From the art of The Vatican to Lawrence of Arabia.

The showrunners of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power are bringing us back to Middle-earth. Now, with the entire season now out showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have been sharing influences and the creative process behind their most-beloved and most-challenging aspects of the show.

From many interviews across the web, here are some of those in their own words.

On Building Relationships

“From the beginning we wanted to build a relationship between Sauron and Galadriel.” – J.D. Payne, Co-Showrunner

“I hope after the last episode airs, viewers watch the whole season again, which is now a different experience… We were concerned about a situation where the part of the audience steeped in lore is six or seven episodes ahead of the characters. If deception is an important part of the journey, we wanted to preserve that experience for book readers too.”

Patrick McKay, Co-Showrunner

“Season one opens with: Who is Galadriel? Where did she come from? What did she suffer? Why is she driven?” says Payne. “We’re doing the same thing with Sauron in season two. We’ll fill in all the missing pieces. Sauron can now just be Sauron, like Tony Soprano or Walter White. He’s evil, but complexly evil. “

Patrick McKay, Co-Showrunner

Galadriel’s in this place of betrayal and anger and mad at herself and at him, and Sauron’s really coming from this place of, “No, no, no, no, no. This is good. It’s all been leading up to this. This is what we’ve been doing all season. By combining our powers, look at what we’ve achieved. We could do so much more together.”

Gennifer Hutchinson, co-writer Episode 2 & 8

Halbrand’s first lines to Galadriel on the raft are: “‘The tides of fate are flowing. Yours may be heading out.’ That’s the same line that Galadriel says to Frodo when the ring comes into her orbit in LOTR. She’s repeating the first thing Sauron ever said to her.” – J.D. Payne to Vanity Fair

Introducing Sauron

“We began filming before telling Charlie Vickers he was Sauron. After filming episode two, we talked to Charlie during the pause we took because of COVID, and then episodes three through eight he was fully aware.” – J.D. Payne to Vulture

“It’s not an option calling him Annatar because the audience would know ahead of the character.” – McKay on The Ringer podcast. McKay also admits the clues are all there from the start, “in his very first shot, he’s looking over his shoulder with one eye. His second line is ‘Looks can be deceiving.'”

Vulture asked: “Why introduce Sauron through the form of this human disguise?
Patrick McKay responded: ‘One of the earliest ideas we had for the storyline came from the moment in The Fellowship of the Ring when Galadriel is tempted by Frodo’s offer of the Ring. She talks about how well she knows and understands Sauron, and there’s a quote where she says, “I know his mind, and he gropes ever to know mine, but still the door is shut.” She clearly has a darkness — that turning down the Ring is a test she feels she has to pass to finally go West — and that the darkness in her is linked with her feelings about Sauron.’

“We wanted to do an origin story for Sauron. We didn’t want to make a show that was about the hunt for Sauron, but we love the idea of Sauron as a deceiver who could, hopefully, deceive some of the audience.”

Patrick McKay

Seems that the showrunners were trying to pull off a mic-drop moment only the greatest directors have ever successfully done, per this Empire magazine question from Patrick to James Cameron:

We tried to set it up where every single line would be true to a certain extent, no matter who he is.

Patrick Mckay

On Inspirations That Few Viewers Spotted

Patrick tells The Ringer podcast that the entire concept of Galadriel and Halbrand meeting at sea is based on the Neo-classical Romanticist painting “The Raft of Medusa” which hangs in the Louvre, and is surprised nobody picked up on the connection. The painting depicts the real life story of an actual boat named the Medusa that crashed at sea and led to cannibalism among the survivors on the raft.

“There’s something that Milton does in Paradise Lost where he makes Satan a really compelling character. In some ways, he’s the first antihero… and you (the reader) are unconsciously won over, so that you perceive your own fallenness and your need for redemption.” – Patrick McKay

“For my final audition, I had to do a speech from Paradise Lost. Literally, as Satan.” – Charlie Vickers, who plays Sauron. “By no means is this the definitive portrayal of Sauron. I think there’s comfort in the fact that it’s just adding another colour to what is already a really colourful page.”

In Episode 7, we see Galadriel and Theo hiding under a log. But that’s where the connections to Bakshi’s and Jackson’s films end. “It was written that they were hiding under a log, so it was ultimately led by the scripts I don’t think we ever consciously went back to the films and said ‘we want to do it like that'” says Alex Diesenhof, the DP for the episode, in Newsweek.

All of us on the ground who’ve made the show, we approached it with love and so many of us are huge fans, and we just want people to live in Middle-earth again, just like we want to live in Middle-earth again.

Alex Diesenhof, director of photography
image: Screenrant

On Mithril and Legends

One of the most controversial ideas put forth in The Rings of Power is the source of Mithril’s magic. Fans worldwide — from the Tolkien Professor, Corey Olsen, to the Tolkien Society, to nearly all lore YouTubers — universally loathed this effort to expand the Legendarium. The Showrunners justify their choice:

“What if there’s a grand unification theory that could connect the light of the Two Trees of Valinor, which went into the Silmarils, to the rings? The three elven rings were at least partially made of mithril… It was a way to connect many parts of the canon, including the elves fading.”

J.D. Payne, co-showrunner

“Mithril is unusual in Middle-earth. It’s Tolkien’s vibranium, or adamantium, or like the one in Avatar, unobtainium. I would trust Elrond’s read on this piece of lore.”

Patrick McKay, co-showrunner

“I think we’re quite used to the elves doing exactly the right thing and knowing exactly what to do. And that’s not necessarily the case here. [Galadriel] knows that if she [reveals Sauron to Celebrimbor], the rings wouldn’t get made. She needs the rings to be made so that the elves can stay in Middle-earth and continue to fight him. But I don’t know whether that’s the right thing to do!” – Morfydd Clark

“She’s gonna get a bit more magical! I’m really looking forward to that. The gift, or curse, of foresight, I found quite interesting.”

Morfydd Clark, on Galadriel getting her ring for Season 2

Screenrant caught up with the boys to talk about those not-yet-Nazgûl witches.

These witches are lesser conjurers than one of the wizards would be, and are bested here, but they escape in another form. While the visual language is a little similar to the Nazgûl, we’re also thinking about Macbeth and we’re thinking about the old crones and the three witches and just trying to come up with something strange and weird. We know they come from Rhûn, and we know there are magic cults in Rhûn, which is one of the things Tolkien writes about. So maybe there’s a slightly different kind of magic and we can peel back the layers in future seasons.

Patrick McKay

J.D. Payne continues that we haven’t seen the last of the three witches, “were they just temporarily vanquished? I think that’s a story point that people can be thinking about… That’s him seeing into the Unseen world. The ring takes you into that place where you can see the true form of things.”

Númenor

The showrunners tell Joanna Robinson at the Ringer podcast that they are shocked nobody has compared the reveal of Elendil to its inspiration from Lawrence of Arabia. In the classic film, considered one of the top 5 films of all time, the shadow scene represents the title character Lawrence adopting his savior-ego complex and leading the Arabs to potential freedom. In Rings of Power season one, Elendil loses his children to politics and war, but will eventually lead some Númenorians to safety and freedom.

Above: Lawrence of Arabia, Rings of Power episode 2

“If you look back over her trajectory this season, it seems like Isildur’s sister has been pulled into the Pharazôn camp, and that could mean big things for Númenor moving forward. Could she touch the Palantir and increase her sympathies toward the faithful, Or take issue with the idea that the queen has been using an Elven artifact and go the other way?” – via Vulture

“There was more about Isildur not wanting to be a sailor. We could do a whole season on that.” J.D. Payne to The Ringer

The School of Athens by Raphael, c.1510

Númenor’s aesthetic is directly based on the classical Raphael portrayal of Athens as seen in the Vatican, McKay tells the Ringer podcast. Tolkien famously based his myth of Númenor on the ancient Grecian stories of Atlantis, made popular by Plato in his Athenian storytelling. In Letter 163 J.R.R. Tolkien admitted, “I have what some might call an Atlantis complex. … I mean the terrible recurrent dream (beginning with memory) of the Great Wave, towering up, and coming in ineluctably over the trees and green fields.

Responding to Fan Criticism

Hollywood Reporter asked the writers to respond to five constant criticisms of the lore, paraphrased here:

  • Dwarf women have beards. “Tolkien has answered this particular question both ways.”
  • Elves all have long hair. “If Tolkien ever wrote a comprehensive style guide to hairstyles, I would love to see it.”
  • Galadriel is too masculine. “Her nickname [by Tolkien] is “Nerwen,” which means “man-maiden.” 
  • Costumes are too new. “Guess what? Sometimes clothes are new.”
  • Pacing is too slow. “Tolkien will take his time and let you sink into characters, into a journey, and… I hope people will have the patience to settle in for a Tolkien epic.”

“The storytelling will be different next time, not because of the response to the show, but because of the experience of making the show for us. We’re certainly listening to the critics and to our audiences. You don’t want to give any one voice too much weight, but figure out what people are responding to.” – via Vulture

“We felt it was very important that season one be about reintroducing Middle Earth in this new era. Introducing all of these kingdoms, and all of these peoples and all of these characters and knowing what was important to them, and what they had at stake.” – Patrick McKay, who still needs to introduce 16 leaders of men and dwarves to be corrupted by the rings of power.

“People of the world will think everything, love/hate & in between, I’m quite sure, but it certainly seems like everybody’s talking about it and people are watching. I think we always knew there would be a lot of chatter from all corners, and it’s good to be talked about.” – Lindsey Weber

“It’s not a mystery it’s a character journey. Watching fans fight each other bums me out. Sauron enjoy seeing us tear each other part” – J.D. Payne

“Some portion of audience don’t want to go in journey of discovery. That surprised us. We thought fans would enjoy Galadriel not having husband and child.” – Patrick McKay on The Ringer podcast

“The guys really wanted to devise a story that would work from service level the first time and then would work on a whole new level when you saw it again with the full knowledge of the season.” – Lindsey Weber

“What matters to us is if it’s entertaining enough that people are digging into it and debating it. One of the big things we learned was even when it’s a small scene, it always has to tie back into the larger stakes. It has to be about good and evil and the fate of the world or it doesn’t have that epic feeling you want when you’re in Tolkien.” – Patrick McKay

“Bezos is a huge fan of Tolkien and has a great knowledge of the lore. The whole idea of why we got the rights to begin with was to tell the story of good versus evil — of people coming together from all different worlds to fight evil, really. Leaning into light was the other thing that was really appealing to everybody — bringing something to our global customer base that is hopeful and has light and that a family can watch.” – Jennifer Salke, president of Amazon Studios

Good Things Are Worth Taking Time

“We wanted to explore what it meant for Galadriel to, who had been right a lot, to be wrong, really, really wrong for a minute. We wanted her to have to live with those consequences, and in a way that she couldn’t fix in the short term.” – Lindsey Weber, Executive Producer formerly from Bad Robot, on why the volcano wasn’t the triumphant climax of season one.

“JD and Patrick talked about Stalingrad and Battle in the Streets, not sort of full epic but more hand-to-hand and brutal with surprising twists and turns.” – Lindsey Weber

Mystery Boxing The Obvious

When quizzed about the Gandalf-like similarities of The Stranger’s voice and accent Patrick McKay responded: “The specifics of these things matter so much. Daniel Weyman, who plays The Stranger, developed a voice with vocal coach Leith McPherson that has a little twinge of the Irish lilt the Harfoots have. Whatever name he may one day be known as is not actually important at this stage of his journey. What matters at this stage is… his own relationship to power and good and evil and darkness and light.”

“I was playing what was put in front of me. I felt I could really play it honestly.” – Daniel Weyman, who is following his nose to Rhûn, wasn’t told his character’s name at first.

“There’s even references to Gandalf himself possibly coming much earlier in some different form — he ‘walked among the elves’ — there’s a story to be told with a wizard in this age feels in harmony with Tolkien’s canon.” – Showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay

“Apples have a lot of mythological resonances in cultures really across the world. There’s, obviously a biblical idea. I mean, it’s also commonly associated with the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The taking of fruit in a garden setting is something that portends kind of a loss of innocence, a leaving of Eden and heading into the difficult world. But rather than eat the apple, he holds on to the apple, as you know, holding onto the friendship.” – J.D. Payne

Apple poster

Sticking to the Plan

Lindsey Weber, Rings of Power producer who previously produced Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker, told the Ringer that “their (Patrick and J.D.) passion for and knowledge of Tolkien—combined with their clarity of vision for the whole series, across multiple seasons—was uniquely impressive.”

“We don’t want to make something disposable,” Payne says. “Carrying the responsibility of this material and this man’s life’s work, we aspire to making something that’s special and not like anything else you’ve seen before. … It’s not ours. We have a responsibility to this world and this history and this mythology that this guy created that means so much to these people and want to do right by it.”

J.D. Payne

“I wouldn’t say we’re over-correcting for any of it, but we’re certainly listening to people’s responses.”

Patrick Mckay

McKay tells Vanity Fair in a season-ending interview: “In the fourth episode, she asks him for advice, and he says basically, “the way you beat your enemies is to figure out what they need and figure out how to give it to them. Help them master their fear. And then you can master them.” And that’s exactly what he’s doing to her the entire season — maybe what he’s going to do to everybody over the following seasons. That’s his modus operandi.”

Here’s some reactions from the writers of Season 1 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, now streaming all episodes FREE with your existing Prime membership that most people already have for free shipping.

Sources:

A second round of new casting for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has been announced by Prime Video. Eight new cast members – mostly stalwarts of British television and theatre and with impressive credentials – have been revealed. Previous appearances by these actors include shows such as Game of Thrones, Bodyguard, Versailles, The Sandman, Bridgerton, and The Crown.

Here’s the official press release:

The One Ring
Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Announces Additional New Cast Members for Season Two
Eight additional new actors join the existing cast of the global hit series in recurring roles for the forthcoming second season, currently in production in the UK.

CULVER CITY, California—December 7, 2022—The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which has been viewed by over 100 million people worldwide and has been an unprecedented global success as the top Original series for Prime Video in every region in its first season, has announced an additional eight new recurring cast members for the forthcoming second season, currently in production in the UK. 

The new cast members are Oliver Alvin-Wilson, Stuart Bowman, Gavi Singh Chera, William Chubb, Kevin Eldon, Will Keen, Selina Lo, and Calam Lynch.

OLIVER ALVIN-WILSON
OLIVER ALVIN-WILSON

OLIVER ALVIN-WILSON

Oliver Alvin-Wilson’s television credits include The Bay (ITV), as “Guy Townsend,” Murder in Provence (ITV) as “Luc Martinez,” Collateral (BBC) as ”Chips Benson” and Lovesick (Netflix) as “Alex.” In film, Oliver has been seen in HarknessWonder Woman 1984, and The Huntsman. He has appeared on stage in All of Us (National Theatre), Henry VI Rebellion/War of the Roses (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Twilight Zone (Almeida Theatre/Ambassadors Theatre), The Doctor (Almeida Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Young Vic Theatre) and Nine Night (National Theatre/Trafalgar Studios) among many others.

STUART BOWMAN
STUART BOWMAN

STUART BOWMAN

Stuart Bowman can currently be seen in the television series The Pact (BBC), Karen Pirie (ITV), and The Control Room (BBC). He has previously played recurring roles in Alex Rider (Prime Video), Guilt (BBC), Bodyguard (Netflix), Versailles (Netflix), Grantchester (ITV), and Deadwater Fell (Channel 4) opposite David Tennant. Stuart’s work in film includes Man and WitchThe CursedSunset Song, and Slow West. His recent theatre credits include Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre) as “Macduff.”

GAVI SINGH CHERA
GAVI SINGH CHERA

GAVI SINGH CHERA

Gavi Singh Chera was most recently seen in the television series The Undeclared War (Channel 4) and The Lazarus Project (Sky). Other television credits include Vera (ITV) and Doctors (BBC). On stage, Gavi has appeared in productions including The Cherry Orchard (The Yard Theatre), Our Generation, Behind the Beautiful Forevers (National Theatre), Duck, 1922: The Waste Land (Jermyn Street Theatre) and Pygmalion (Headlong).

WILLIAM CHUBB
WILLIAM CHUBB

WILLIAM CHUBB

William Chubb is a prolific actor whose television credits include Vampire Academy (Peacock), The Sandman (Netflix), Pistol (Hulu), QuizJonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (BBC), Law & Order: UK (ITV)and House of Cards (BBC). On stage, William has appeared in numerous productions including The Tempest (Theatre Royal Bath), The Taxidermist’s Daughter (Chichester Festival Theatre), Witness for the Prosecution (County Hall, London), Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Old Vic). His film credits include Sam Mendes’ Empire of LightA Week in Paradise, and Adrift in Soho.

KEVIN ELDON
KEVIN ELDON

KEVIN ELDON

Kevin Eldon is a well-known performer in television, film and theatre. On television, Kevin has starred in Game of Thrones (HBO), Shadow And Bone (Netflix), Inside Number 9 (BBC) and has had recurring roles in Trigger Point (Peacock) and Dad’s Army. He also appeared in The Crown (Netflix), Criminal: UK (Netflix) and Doctor Who (BBC). In film, he has been seen in Martin Scorsese’s HugoHot FuzzFour Lions and Set Fire to the Stars opposite Elijah Wood.

WILL KEEN
WILL KEEN

WILL KEEN

Will Keen will soon start production on Prime Video’s My Lady Jane. He most recently wrapped the indie feature Borderland opposite Felicity Jones and Mark Strong, as well as the TV series The Gold (BBC1/Viacom). He was most recently seen in Ridley Road (BBC) and The Pursuit of Love (BBC) opposite Andrew Scott and Emily Beecham. His other TV credits include His Dark Materials (HBO), The Crown (Netflix), Genius: Picasso (National Geographic), Wolf Hall (BBC) and The Musketeers (BBC). Stage credits include Patriots (Almeida Theatre), Ghosts (Almeida Theatre), Waste (Almeida Theatre), Quartermaine’s Terms (Wyndham’s Theatre), The Arsonists (Royal Court) and The Coast of Utopia (National Theatre).

SELINA LO
SELINA LO

SELINA LO

Selina Lo is a British-Asian actress and former martial arts champion, whose film credits include starring in Boss Level (Hulu) as “Guan Yin” and Hellraiser (Hulu) as “The Gasp.”  Her work in television includes a recurring role in One Child (BBC) as “Xu Lian.”

CALAM LYNCH
CALAM LYNCH

CALAM LYNCH

Calam Lynch was most recently seen in Bridgerton (Netflix) as “Theo Sharpe.” Other television credits include Derry Girls (Channel 4) as “John Paul O’Reilly” and Mrs. Wilson (BBC) as “Gordon Wilson.” In film, Calam starred in Black Beauty (Disney+), Benedictionopposite Jack Lowden, and Dunkirk. He has appeared in theatre in productions including Much Ado About Nothing (The Rose Theatre) and Wife (The Kiln Theatre).

The One Ring

All eight first season episodes are now available to stream exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories in multiple languages. 

The Rings of Power brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, and will take viewers back to 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 the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. 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 reemergence 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 farthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.  

The first season of The Rings of Power has been an unprecedented success, viewed by more than 100 million people worldwide, with more than 24 billion minutes streamed. The highly anticipated series attracted more than 25 million global viewers on its first day, marking the biggest premiere in the history of Prime Video, and also debuted as the No. 1 show on Nielsen’s overall streaming chart in its opening weekend. The show has also broken all previous Prime Video records for the most viewers, and has driven more Prime sign-ups worldwide during its launch window than any other previous content. Additionally, The Rings of Power is the top Original series in every region—North America, Europe, APAC, LATAM, and the rest of the world. The season finale also created a global cultural moment, with multiple series-themed hashtags, including #TheRingsofPower and others, trending in 27 countries across Twitter for over 426 cumulative hours throughout the weekend.

Season Two of the series is produced by showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne & Patrick McKay. They are joined by executive producers Lindsey Weber, Callum Greene, Justin Doble, Jason Cahill, and Gennifer Hutchison, along with co-executive producer Charlotte Brandstrom, producers Kate Hazell and Helen Shang, and co-producers Andrew Lee, Matthew Penry-Davey, and Clare Buxton.  

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It’s that time of year… awards season has begun! While the Emmys are many months away, many critics groups and craft guilds will be honoring the best in film and television for 2022 over the next few months.

Already The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has received a nomination for the People’s Choices Awards for Best Sci-fi/Fantasy Show (losing out to Stranger Things) and Bear McCreary received a Hollywood Music in Media Award nomination for Best Score – TV Show/Limited Series (losing out to the composers of 1883.)

Today, the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards television nominations were announced. While Rings of Power did not get nominated for Best Drama Series, congratulations are in order to Ismael Cruz Córdova for being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series! Ismael recently received the breakthrough actor award for television at the Critics Choice Association’s 2nd annual Celebration of Latino Cinema and Television in November.

The Critics Choice Awards will be broadcast live on The CW on Sunday, January 15, 2023.

Filming for Season Two of Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is already underway, and today new casting was revealed.

Of particular note is the recasting of the role of ‘Adar’ – Joseph Mawle will not be back for the second season. (One has to assume this is because he is not available; he was so great in the role that I can’t imagine the showrunners wanted to replace him.) Given some of the speculation about whether this is a ‘winning team,’ it’s also worth noting that JD Payne and Patrick McKay are still at the helm.

Here’s the full press release:

The One Ring

Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Announces New Cast Members for Season Two

Seven new actors join the existing cast of the global hit series in recurring roles for the forthcoming second season, currently in production in the UK

CULVER CITY, California—December 1, 2022—The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has announced seven new recurring cast members for the forthcoming second season, currently in production in the UK.

“Since its premiere, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has been bringing audiences together to experience the magic and wonder of J.R.R. Tolkien’s magnificent Middle-earth. To date, season one is the top Original series for Prime Video in every region and has been viewed by over 100 million people worldwide, a truly global hit that speaks to the universal nature of powerful storytelling. We welcome these wonderful actors to our ‘fellowship’ and look forward to telling more incredible Second Age stories in season two,” said Vernon Sanders, Head of Global Television, Amazon Studios.

The new cast members are: Gabriel Akuwudike, Yasen ‘Zates’ Atour, Ben Daniels, Amelia Kenworthy, Nia Towle, and Nicholas Woodeson. The role of Orc leader “Adar” has been recast for Season Two, and will be played by Sam Hazeldine.

Biographies and headshots for the newly announced cast are featured below.

GABRIEL AKUWUDIKE
GABRIEL AKUWUDIKE

GABRIEL AKUWUDIKE

Gabriel Akuwudike is a British-Nigerian actor who has appeared in the acclaimed series Hanna (Prime Video). Other TV credits include Ridley Road (BBC) and War of the Worlds (FX/Disney+). He has appeared in films including Sam Mendes’ 1917, and HBO’s Brexit directed by Toby Haynes.

YASEN ‘ZATES’ ATOUR
YASEN ‘ZATES’ ATOUR

YASEN ‘ZATES’ ATOUR

Yasen ‘Zates’ Atour is most known for his role as “Coen” in Season Two of The Witcher (Netflix). He was also a series regular in Young Wallander (Netflix), playing the role of “Reza Al-Rahman.” He directed the film Good Intentions and was an executive producer and star of the film When the Screaming Starts.

Ben Daniels
Ben Daniels

BEN DANIELS

Ben Daniels has had recurring roles in television including Jupiter’s Legacy (Netflix) as “Walter Sampson,” The Crown (Netflix) as “Lord Snowdon,” The Exorcist (Hulu) as “Father Marcus Keane,” House of Cards (Netflix) as “Adam Galloway,” and Law & Order: UK (ITV) as “James Steel.” Film credits include roles in BenedictionCaptive StateRogue One: A Star Wars Story, and The Exception. Ben is an award-winning stage actor who has appeared in numerous productions including The Normal Heart (National Theatre – Olivier Award Nomination – Best Actor, Critics’ Circle Theatre Award – Best Actor), All My Sons (National Theatre – Olivier Award – Best Supporting Actor), and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Broadway – Tony and Drama Desk Nominations – Best Actor). Ben trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

Sam Hazeldine
Sam Hazeldine

SAM HAZELDINE

Sam Hazeldine’s credits include Peaky Blinders (BBC), Slow Horses (Apple TV+), The Huntsman: Winter’s WarMechanic: Resurrection, and Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel.  He currently appears in The Sandman (Netflix) and The Playlist (Netflix), and will next be seen in the upcoming Band of Brothers sequel Masters of The Air (AppleTV+) opposite Austin Butler and Callum Turner, and starring alongside Jonah Hauer-King and Dar Zuzovsky in the Casanova drama feature, A Beautiful Imperfection.

AMELIA KENWORTHY
AMELIA KENWORTHY

AMELIA KENWORTHY

Amelia Kenworthy is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.  While at RADA, she performed in numerous stage productions including Spring Awakening as “Anna,” A Midsummer Night’s Dream as “Puck,” Two Gentlemen of Verona as “Julia,” Pomona as “Ollie” and Against as “Shiela.”  She has also appeared in short films IRL and Messenger.  She will make her television debut in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

NIA TOWLE
NIA TOWLE

NIA TOWLE

Nia Towle was most recently seen in the Netflix film Persuasion. On stage, Nia debuted Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane at both the National Theatre and Duke of York Theatre. During her studies at Guildhall School of Drama, from which she graduated in 2021, Nia played leading roles in plays including YermaA Streetcar Named Desire, and Medea.

NICHOLAS WOODESON
NICHOLAS WOODESON

NICHOLAS WOODESON

Nicholas Woodeson is a veteran English performer of television, film, and theatre. In television, his credits include Silent Witness (BBC), Baptiste (BBC), The Honourable Woman (BBC), Poirot (ITV), and Rome (HBO / BBC). He can also be seen in films including The HustlePaddington 2The Danish GirlSkyfall, and Conspiracy. His most recent theatre performances include The Two Popes, “The Duke of Norfolk”in The Mirror and The Light, “The Mayor” in The Visit, “Pope Francis” in The Pope, “Mr. Kidd” in The Room, and “Willy” in Death of a Salesman. Nicholas is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

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All eight first season episodes are now available to stream exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories in multiple languages.

The Rings of Power brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, and will take viewers back to 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 the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. 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 reemergence 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 farthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone. 

The first season of The Rings of Power has been an unprecedented success, viewed by more than 100 million people worldwide, with more than 24 billion minutes streamed. The highly anticipated series attracted more than 25 million global viewers on its first day, marking the biggest premiere in the history of Prime Video, and also debuted as the No. 1 show on Nielsen’s overall streaming chart in its opening weekend. The show has also broken all previous Prime Video records for the most viewers, and has driven more Prime sign-ups worldwide during its launch window than any other previous content. Additionally, The Rings of Power is the top Original series in every region—North America, Europe, APAC, LATAM, and the rest of the world.  The season finale also created a global cultural moment, with multiple series-themed hashtags, including #TheRingsofPower and others, trending in 27 countries across Twitter for over 426 cumulative hours throughout the weekend.

Season Two of the series is produced by showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne & Patrick McKay. They are joined by executive producers Lindsey Weber, Callum Greene, Justin Doble, Jason Cahill, and Gennifer Hutchison, along with co-executive producer Charlotte Brandstrom, producers Kate Hazell and Helen Shang, and co-producers Andrew Lee, Matthew Penry-Davey, and Clare Buxton. 

Prime Video are today revealing new behind the scenes footage for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power; and to celebrate, they’ll have live interviews happening with cast throughout the day.

TORn staffer greendragon will be chatting with Markella Kavenagh (Nori) and Sara Zwangobani (Marigold) of the Brandyfoot family. Join us LIVE today at 11.30am PT/ 2.30pm ET, on Twitter Space.

https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1ypKddenLVaKW

Here’s the trailer for the ‘X-Ray’ footage:

Prime Video has announced that new behind the scenes footage from The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will be released today, in the form of ‘X-ray’ content, which can be accessed whilst watching the show. To promote the footage, they released this trailer:

Here’s what the official press release tells us:

Prime Video Announces a Spectacular Return to Middle-earth With X-Ray’s “The Making of The Rings of Power

Fans of the global hit series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power can get an exclusive look behind the scenes of all eight episodes via Prime Video’s X-Ray feature, pulling back the curtain on the real-life creation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s magnificent realms like never before

CULVER CITY, California—November 21, 2022—Prime Video’s record-breaking global hit series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has announced that “The Making of The Rings of Power”—a special look at previously unreleased behind-the-scenes content from Season One’s eight episodes—is now available exclusively on X-Ray, via a full-screen experience that can be launched anytime while watching the series. Viewers can also access the X-Ray episodes by scrolling to the Bonus Content section on the series’ main page on Prime Video HERE.

X-Ray’s behind-the-scenes content invites audiences to take a close, personal look at Season One’s production, allowing fans to discover how the series meticulously brought J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth to life in all of its splendor. These “making of” pieces, each corresponding to one of the first season’s eight episodes, provide a thrilling deep dive into the series, with exclusive access, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with the cast, showrunners, executive producers, directors, and production team.

“The Making of The Rings of Power” gives fans a special inside look at the creation of the unique realms that make up Middle-earth, including Númenor and Khazad-dûm, both shown on screen at the heights of their glory for the first time. These segments also reveal exciting details about the production design, set decoration, costumes, makeup, visual and special effects, stunts, sword fights, horseback riding, and so much more of the intricate preparation involved in creating this very special world.

The first season of Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has been an unprecedented global success, viewed by more than 100 million people worldwide, with more than 24 billion minutes streamed. The highly anticipated series attracted more than 25 million global viewers on its first day, marking the biggest premiere in the history of Prime Video, and also debuted as the #1 show on Nielsen’s overall streaming chart in its opening weekend.  The show has also broken all previous Prime Video records for the most viewers, and has driven more new Prime sign-ups than any other previous content launched.  Additionally, The Rings of Power is the top Original series in every region – North America, Europe, APAC, LATAM and the rest of the world.  The season finale also created a global cultural moment, with #Halbrand trending on Twitter for 305 hours.

About X-Ray

Watch, listen, and shop more on Prime Video with your favorite show, powered by X-Ray. The technology of showing you who that actor is now includes more—What song is playing? Where can I buy this book? How did they make the scale of the Harfoots and Dwarves? Launch X-Ray to find out more: https://www.amazon.com/adlp/xray

How to Access X-Ray

Via mobile device or web browser on Prime Video, move your cursor, tap the screen, and/or pause the series to reveal on-screen X-Ray controls. X-Ray’s on-screen Quickview mode disappears after a few moments, so to see X-Ray information again, just tap, click or move your cursor again. Click or tap “X-Ray View All” at the top left of the screen to enter full screen X-Ray.

On Smart TVs or streaming media devices: “The Making of The Rings of Power” behind-the-scenes pieces will be available as Bonus Content.  Scroll to the Bonus Content section on the show’s main page, where all eight segments will be available to view individually.

Use your remote to activate X-Ray by pressing/swiping up to view on-screen X-Ray controls. Press up on the remote again or select “X-Ray” to access the full screen X-Ray experience

You can listen to TORn’s live chat with Markella Kavenagh and Sara Zwangobani (aka Nori and Marigold Brandyfoot) on Twitter Space today, 11.30am PT/2.30pm ET. https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1ypKddenLVaKW