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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Lord of the Rings Showrunner Calls the Series the 'Novel Tolkien Never Wrote'

The massive scale of the new Prime Video series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings ofPower will be used to dive into an important origin story imagined by author J.R.R. Tolkien but never fully fleshed out.

In an expansive first-look piece from Vanity Fair, co-showrunner Patrick McKay revealed the driving force behind taking on the tale behind the making of titular rings. "Rings for the elves, rings for dwarves, rings for men, and then the one ring Sauron used to deceive them all," he said. "It’s the story of the creation of all those powers, where they came from, and what they did to each of those races. Can we come up with the novel Tolkien never wrote and do it as the mega-event series that could only happen now?"

Amazon decided it can indeed, with McKay and J.D. Payne at the helm of the gigantic project. With so many different fantasy races and stories to cover, there are a total of 22 main stars in the Rings of Power cast. Some will be familiar to fans of the books and films, such as the elves Elrond (Robert Aramayo) and Galadriel (Morfydd Clark). Others will be entirely new characters created especially for the streaming show, including Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) and Halbrand (Charlie Vickers).

How and where these characters fit into the story of the forging of the rings largely remains to be seen. Fans awaiting a full trailer received an announcement of its release, but with a twist: the date was written in Elvish, a language created by Tolkien for the novels. Luckily, there are scholars who can translate Elvish to English, and they've surmised the trailer's release date is Feb. 13, or Super Bowl Sunday.

Even the title announcement video for The Rings of Power had a special twist, with practical effects used instead of CGI. "I always try to find an organic -- or analog -- solution instead of the knee-jerk reaction to use computer graphics," special effects advisor Douglas Trumbull said. "The reason for this is: every time I try this, I get some delightful result that is, in some respects, unexpected." Redwood and molten metal were shot in ultra-slow motion to achieve the stunning visuals.

As the series' official synopsis details, The Rings of Power takes place during the Second Age, thousands of years before The Hobbit and The Lord of the Ring trilogy take place. It is "an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and one of the greatest villains that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness."

With such care taken with a video just to reveal the title of the series, and many of the new characters now revealed, fans have a lot to look forward to on Sept. 2, when The Rings of Power premieres on Prime Video.

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