Amazon has been incredibly tight-lipped about what’s going on in its Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power TV show, which is kind of weird given that the history of Middle-Earth has been available for the public to read for decades. But now, thanks to a massive Vanity Fair article, we have our first concrete information about the Prime Video series beyond the title and a bunch of hands. Here’s what we learned.
• The show takes place in the Second Age, after the defeat of the Dark Lord Morgoth and his apprentice, Sauron. Sauron, in fact, has disappeared, and this will be a major mystery in the series.
• The young Galadriel (played by Cate Blanchett in the movies, and by Morfydd Clark here), furious at the death of her brother, will be hunting down the remaining minions of Morgoth as she’s unconvinced evil has totally been defeated. Her story will see her paired with a new character, a human named Halbrand (Charlie Vickers), who is running from his past. Somehow, this leads them to be trapped on a raft in the raging Sundering Seas in the second episode.
• Celembrimbor (Charles Edwards), the elf who ended up forging the rings of power, will be part of the show, as will Isildur (Maxim Baldry), the Númenórean who eventually defeats Sauron but falls prey to the One Ring. However, Isildur will be a young sailor here, long before he or his father Elendil became the king of Gondor and Arnor.
• The young Elrond (Robert Aramayo) will be an architect in Lindon, the western-most area of Middle-Earth.
• There will be an original storyline that will focus on a elf named Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) and his forbidden romance with a human healer named Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi).
• Although hobbits don’t really do anything in the Second Age in Tolkien’s histories, they will be in Rings of Power; or rather a particular breed of them will, the Harfoots. They’re basically trying to hide away from the rest of Middle-Earth at this point in Middle-Earth’s history. Sir Lenny Henry plays a harfoot elder, while two harfoots, played by Megan Richards and Markella Kavenagh, meet a “lost” man whose mysterious origin will also play a major role in the series.
In a bold move, #TheRingsOfPower condenses Tolkien’s Middle-earth timeline and adds entirely new characters. Sophia Nomvete’s dwarven princess, Disa, and Ismael Cruz Córdova’s Silvan elf, Arondir, broaden the notion of who lives in Middle-earth.— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) February 10, 2022
🔗: https://t.co/Tabxf9CzoL pic.twitter.com/s2MXkGpQXm
• We’ll get to see Khazad-dûm, the underground dwarven kingdom seen abandoned to the dark in Fellowship of the Rings, at its heights. Additionally, Sophia Nomvete plays a dwarven princess named Disa, who also seems to be a new character for the series.
• Since the Second Age lasts more than 3400 years, there’s going to be some time shenanigans to make Rings of Power work as a TV show without having to span centuries and cast new human characters every episode or two.
While that’s mostly it for the plot and character info, there’s plenty more to learn about the production of the show, including how the surprisingly inexperienced Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne became the showrunners, what a Tolkien fan Amazon owner Jeff Bezos is, and much more. Oh, and there are also plenty of photos that aren’t of people’s hands, so I highly recommend you go check out Vanity Fair’s article.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power debuts September 2 on Prime Video.