The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is an upcoming American fantasy television series based on the novel The Lord of the Rings and its appendices by J. R. R. Tolkien. Developed by showrunners J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay for the streaming service Prime Video, the series is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It is produced by Amazon Studios with the Tolkien Estate, the Tolkien Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema.
Amazon bought the television rights for The Lord of the Rings for US$250 million in November 2017, making a five-season production commitment worth at least US$1 billion. This would make it the most expensive television series ever made. Payne and McKay were hired in July 2018. The series is primarily based on the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, which include a discussion of the Second Age, and per the requirements of Amazon’s deal with the Tolkien Estate, it is not a continuation of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies. Despite this, the production intended to evoke the films with similar production designs, and several members of the series’ large international cast portray younger versions of characters from the films. Filming for the first eight-episode season took place in New Zealand, where the films were produced, from February 2020 to August 2021, with a production break of several months during that time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The season is scheduled to premiere on Prime Video on September 2, 2022.