Evil never dies in Middle-earth, created by JRR Tolkien. He slumbers, waiting for the opportune moment to reappear. We know the struggle waged against Sauron in the Third Age by Gandalf, Aragorn, the Hobbit Frodo and their many companions (the trilogy of Lord of the Rings).
With the first season of his new series The Rings of Power, Prime Video takes us from September 2 some seven thousand years earlier, to the beginning of the first millennium of the Second Age (DA). The five seasons should cover some twenty-five centuries, until Sauron’s first defeat, in the year 3441 DA.
The billion-dollar series (in reality a little less than 500 million for the first season, the sequel is already in the works) walks in the artistic footsteps of the two cinematographic trilogies by Peter Jackson, not associated with this production.
New Zealand sets, costumes, lights, fantastic creatures extend Tolkien’s universe, now familiar to millions of spectators and readers, old or new.
New locations, new characters
As at the beginning of the trilogy of Lord of the Rings, The Rings of Power begins with an introductory story narrated by Galadriel (Morfydd Clark replaces Cate Blanchett in this some 3000 year younger version of the Elf…). But, soon, Evil arose through Morgoth, First Lord of Darkness.
A few shots sum up the epic struggle, over several centuries, between his hordes of orcs and the legions of elves, which left Middle-earth in ruins and cost the life of Galadriel’s brother. Morgoth defeated, the young elf still hunts for several centuries Sauron, her servant.
The Rings of Power begins when the elf Gil-galad, High King of the Noldor, proclaims peace definitively acquired and Sauron disappeared forever. The first episode sets up the main locations and characters. We travel through places that did not appear in the films: Lindon, land of the Elves, the Rhovanion, region of Men, the Eriador of the Harfoots, the ancestors of Hobbits…
The mark of Sauron
The story arcs fall into place: High King Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker) puts an end to Galadriel’s hunt for Sauron. Elrond (Robert Aramayo), herald of the High King, is summoned to help the Elf Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards) in an ambitious project, which will require the help of the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm, then at the height of his prestige.
In Rhovanion, the wood elf Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) sees strange signs as the son of the healer Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi) gets his hands on an artifact that bears the mark of Sauron. The peaceful Harfoots live hidden in the woods. The reckless Nori (Markella Kavenagh) leads clandestine excursions.
The rhythm of the first two episodes (out of eight) that we have been able to see is relatively calm. Seeds of a great saga, a good twenty protagonists are introduced. The adventures and threats (in the form of fantastic creatures) appear from the second episode.
Showrunners J. D Payne and Patrick McKay make great use of the resources of the Hobbit and Lord of the Ringsthe only two books to which they have the rights.
Wealth and diversity
In its freedoms as its loyalties, the series confirms the legendary richness of Tolkien’s imagination. The characters created for the series and the interpretations have potential even if surpassing Aragorn, Arwen, Éowyn, Legolas or Frodo is a challenge as ambitious as climbing Mount Doom – the heroes and actors of the trilogy of Hobbit know it.
A sign of the times, the peoples of Middle-earth are now more diverse. Mixed couples abound and Girl Power takes over Middle-earth. We remain in familiar territory, however, and Tolkien readers will guess what great adventures the story is heading towards. The mysterious protagonist introduced at the end of the first episode will arouse many passionate speculations…
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power heroic fantasyCreated by JD Payne and Patrick McKay Achievement JA Bayona (episodes 1 and 2) With Morfydd Clark, Maxim Baldry, Robert Aramayo, Charles Edwards,… Prime Video From 02/09.