The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is an American fantasy television series developed by J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay for the streaming service Amazon Prime Video. Based on the novel The Lord of the Rings and its appendices by J. R. R. Tolkien, the series is set thousands of years before Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and depicts the major events of Middle-earth’s Second Age. It is produced by Amazon Studios in association with New Line Cinema and in consultation with the Tolkien Estate.
Amazon bought the television rights for The Lord of the Rings from the Tolkien Estate 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 discussion of the Second Age. Tolkien’s grandson Simon Tolkien was consulted on the development of the series. Per the requirements of Amazon’s deal with the Tolkien Estate, it is not a continuation of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies. Despite this, the production intended to evoke the films using similar production design, younger versions of characters from the films, and a main theme by Howard Shore who composed the music for both trilogies. Bear McCreary composed the series’ score.
A large international cast was hired, and filming for the eight-episode first 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). Amazon moved production for future seasons to the United Kingdom, where filming for the second season began in October 2022.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premiered on September 1, 2022, with the first two episodes, which Amazon stated had the most viewers for a Prime Video premiere. The rest of the eight-episode first season ran until October 14. It has received generally positive reviews from critics. The second season is expected to be released in 2024.
VFX Breakdown By DNEG