J.R.R. Tolkien famously said that he wisely started with a map when writing the original The Lord of the Rings. Amazon's Jeff Bezos started his studio's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings far less wisely, paying out $250m (the same amount he paid to purchase The Washington Post) for the rights to develop the work for television. But just because a project begins less than fortuitously does not mean it can't turn out well, and through Amazon's series has been beset by pandemic delays, it seems to be on track to arrive later in 2022.
The show finished filming in 2021, but the first trailer, which arrived this week, doesn't contain any footage from the new series. Instead, it is part of the show's slow rollout of details to keep fans on their toes as its release date approaches. Though the series had been referred to as Amazon's Lord of the Rings since its initial development, a few months ago, the studio revealed that was not the actual name but a placeholder. Now the series has finally rolled out the title, which gives fans an idea of where in Tolkien's vast Middle Earth timeline the show is set.
The teaser features a voiceover from Morfydd Clark as Galadriel, reciting one of Tolkien's most famous passages as the show reveals its title is The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
Here's the show's current logline:
Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.
As fans are aware, the show will be set in what is known as Middle Earth's Second Age. (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are histories from the Third Age, with the defeat of Sauron heralding the end of it.) Between the title and the synopsis, the show plans to be a proper prequel to the early aughts film series. It tells the story that is part of the movie's flashbacks of Sauron's rise, the forging of the rings, the war that followed, and the original fall of Mordor and Sauron's ultimate defeat at the hands of Isildur when he picked up his father's sword.
The cast of The Lord of the Rings is a giant ensemble piece. The show stars a few knowns, like Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow), Robert Aramayo and Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones), and Sir Lenny Henry (Doctor Who). But like many fantasy series, the show will rely on newcomers. They include Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Trystan Gravelle, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Lloyd Owen, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, Daniel Weyman, and Sara Zwangobani.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres on Amazon on Friday, September 2, 2022, most like with three episodes and a weekly release schedule to follow. Season 2 of the series is already greenlit.