A pharaonic heroic fantasy series, eagerly awaited by tolkienites. Announced in November 2017, the series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has long been desired, because of the Covid-19 crisis. While the first two episodes of this great epic in Middle-earth will be broadcast Friday on Amazon Prime Video, fans of the universe created by JRRTolkien are in turmoil, and are watching for any information on the content of this blockbuster. What issues? What intrigues? What characters? If its location in the chronology is known – the series will take place during “the second Age” – for neophytes, this clue remains very enigmatic.
Whether you are impatient (like us) or not, 20 minutes offers you a decryption so that you can at least participate in the many predictable conversations around this event series.
How much did the most expensive series of all time end up costing?
Billionaire Jeff Bezos is obsessed with the work of British writer JRR Tolkien, founding father of heroic fantasy. Amazon has thus acquired the TV adaptation rights to The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, Annexes and The Hobbit for the colossal sum of 250 million dollars.
The series is produced by Amazon Studios, in collaboration with publisher HaperCollins, Warner Bros, New Line Cinema studio and Tolkien Estate (the company that manages the rights for the author’s heirs).
With a budget of $715 million (the $250 million rights and $465 million for the first season, according to The Hollywood Reporter), The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is the most expensive series in television history. An absolute record. By way of comparison, the eight seasons of Game Of Thrones cost HBO $500 million.
What writings is the story based on?
Amazon does not have the rights to The Silmarillionthe collection of Tolkien stories that precedes Le lord of the ringsnor on Unfinished Talesnor on Middle-earth History. The blockbuster is therefore not an adaptation of one of the novels published by Tolkien, but is based on the vast backstory that the famous British writer recounted in the “appendices” written on the sidelines of his trilogy of Lord of the Rings.
This leaves a lot of creative freedom for the showrunners, Patrick McKay and JD Payne. What also make some fans nervous about the idea that the series may not respect the source material. Which would probably have delighted JRR Tolkien, who wrote in a letter in 1951 about his masterpiece: “I will draw some of the tall tales in full, and leave many others only placed in the diagram and sketched.” The cycles must be linked to a majestic whole, while leaving room for other minds and hands, handling painting, music and theater. »
It is therefore not necessary to have read Tolkien, nor to have seen the two trilogies of Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) to enjoy The Rings of Power. But there is no doubt that the series will however make you want to know more about Middle-earth, the legendary world created by Tolkien.
What is it about ?
Taking place in the fictional world of Middle-earth and during the Third Age, The Lord of the Rings follows the quest of the hobbit Frodo Baggins, whose mission is to destroy an extremely powerful magic ring, the One Ring, so that it does not fall into the hands of Sauron, the Dark Lord, who created it.
Series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Poweras its title suggests, tells the story that led to the creation of Sauron’s ring, and is set in the Second Age, an era that predates by 7000 years the events told in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
The action begins after the War of the Great Wrath, a long war that ends with the fall of Morgoth, an evil entity and main antagonist of the Silmarillion, and his armies. An event that ended the First Age of Middle-earth and ushered in a period of relative peace and prosperity.
What events will the series tell?
The Second Age covers the creation of the Rings of Power (Rings for Elves, Rings for Dwarves, Rings for Men, and the One Ring that Sauron made to enslave them all, found central to the plot of Peter Jackson’s trilogy), the story of the rise and fall of the kingdom of Númenor (a kingdom resembling Atlantis), the rise of Sauron (the main antagonist of the Lord of the Rings and supporter of Morgoth, the villain of the First Age) and the Last alliance between Elves and Men.
Where it happens ?
The trailer took us on a visual tour of Middle-earth, the Elven kingdoms of Lindon and Eregion, the Dwarven kingdom of Khazad-dûm, and several human kingdoms, including Númenór, the mythical island just out of the water. At the beginning of the Second Age, the dwarves of Khazad-Dûm (the future Moria) and the elves share a common passion: the forging of enchanted objects. It is in Ost-in-Edhil, capital of Eregion, that the elven blacksmiths will create the famous Rings of Power, to which the series owes its title.
Who will be the heroes of the story?
The Rings of Power will feature no less than 22 characters! Among them, Tolkien regulars will discover a young Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) in badass warrior mode, far from the ethereal version of the elf played by Cate Blanchet, and the elf Elrond (Robert Aramayo), a young political elf far from the role of Lord of Rivendell by Hugo Weaving. Galadriel will meet Halbrand (Charles Vickers), a character created especially for the series.
Arondir, a wood elf, will live a forbidden love affair with Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi), a healer from a human village in the southern lands of Middle-earth.
The series will also feature Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards), an elf, described in the books as the most gifted of the Guild of Jewelsmiths (Gwaith-i-Mírdain).
On the dwarf side, fans will discover another original character, Princess Disa (Sophia Nomvete), the wife of Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur).
The series will also feature the Númenoreans, that is to say the ancestors of Aragorn, including in particular Isilgur (Maxim Baldry), a character that we see in the prologue of the trilogy The Lord of the Rings cut off Sauron’s finger.
And what about Hobbits? The plot takes place so far in the past that the Hobbits as we know them do not exist. When they lived in the Val de l’Anduin, they were separated into three distinct branches, including the Pievelus (Harfoots in English). The series will follow at least this tribe, and more specifically two intrepid teenage girls, named Eleanor and Poppy (Markella Kavenagh and Megan Richards), who discover a mysterious man whose origin promises to be one of the great enigmas of the series.
What about Sauron, the great villain of history? Its existence and its appearance will undoubtedly be the key to the story…
Where and when will the series air?
The first two of eight episodes of Season 1 will be available on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, September 2 at 3 a.m. The rest of the season will be unveiled one episode per week at 6 a.m. every Friday until October 14.