Are you quite ready for another adventure?
After what's seemed like years of secrecy and speculation, Amazon Prime Video is finally inviting fans back to Middle-earth, unveiling the first glimpse of its take on J.R.R. Tolkien's expansive fantasy world.
Vanity Fair has the exclusive first look at The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the much-hyped and mega-budget TV series set thousands of years before Frodo carried that familiar golden ring. Not only does the VF story have the first images from the show, but it also takes a deep dive into the rich world Amazon is forging for The Rings of Power, including several characters both familiar and new.
Amazon Studios Amazon Prime Video's 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power'
Morfydd Clark has already been confirmed to play elven queen Galadriel (played by Cate Blanchett in the Peter Jackson trilogy), and here, The Rings of Power introduces her as a much younger, less experienced elf, a sword-wielding warrior who worries that evil may be returning to Middle-earth.
She's joined by others Tolkien fans will remember well: There's Charles Edwards as legendary elven crafter Celebrimbor, who helped forge the famed Rings of Power; Robert Aramayo as Elrond, the wise leader played by Hugo Weaving in the Jackson films; and Maxim Baldry as Aragorn's ancestor Isildur, the young sailor who will grow up to help defeat Sauron and cut the ring from his finger.
#TheRingsOfPower, set within Tolkien’s Second Age, will juggle 22 stars and multiple storylines—from deep within the dwarf mines to the elven kingdom of Lindon. Here, the adventures of the fellowship are still some 2,000 years in the future.
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— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) February 10, 2022
Newly revealed characters also include Charlie Vickers as human Halbrand, Ismael Cruz Córdova as a Silvan elf named Arondir, Nazanin Boniadi as human healer Bronwyn, Owain Arthur as dwarven prince Durin IV, and Sophia Nomvete as dwarven princess Disa.
Showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne say the show won't feature hobbits, but it will include Markella Kavanagh, Megan Richards, and Sir Lenny Henry as harfoots — early predecessors to the tiny, hairy-toed heroes of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
The Rings of Power is set during Tolkien's Second Age, a rich period of Middle-earth history that includes the forging of the One Ring and Sauron's original rise to power. Tolkien outlined the major events in the appendices to The Lord of the Rings, and McKay and Payne say they hope the show will fill in the gaps, functioning as "the novel Tolkien never wrote."
It's a massive undertaking with a reported price tag of $462 million for the first season alone. But although The Rings of Power may seem to be following in the fantasy footsteps of a pricey epic like Game of Thrones, McKay and Payne were careful to debunk one rumor, revealing that the show will not feature George R.R. Martin's bent for sex and violence.
Instead, they said, their goal was "to make a show for everyone, for kids who are 11, 12, and 13, even though sometimes they might have to pull the blanket up over their eyes if it's a little too scary. We talked about the tone in Tolkien's books. This is material that is sometimes scary — and sometimes very intense, sometimes quite political, sometimes quite sophisticated — but it's also heartwarming and life-affirming and optimistic.
The pair added, "It's about friendship and it's about brotherhood and underdogs overcoming great darkness."
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will debut Sept. 2 on Amazon Prime Video. See the first-look photos above.
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