A spy report sent in by a fan confirms, for the first time, that Tolkien’s great antagonist of the Second Age will have the name that fans have been hoping and waiting hear — Annatar.

Annatar arrives for his adaptation debut

The July 2024 issue of EMPIRE Magazine hits newsstands this week featuring an exclusive new interview with Lindsey Weber, Executive Producer of The Rings of Power on Prime Video. Grab a copy (or two!) if you can find one (Ed: you can subscribe online and Mac junkies can also apparently get the article via Apple News.). But let’s not bury the lede: for the first time in official marketing or messaging, Prime Video has let loose the heralded name of Sauron’s alter-ego that has fans on edge of their seats:

Meanwhile, Sauron still has (counts fingers, runs out) 16 more rings to usher into being, not including the One that will in the darkness bind them. It’s taken him eight episodes just to get to three. He needs to get cracking. And that’s certainly what he does in Season 2, adopting a new identity as blond-locked elf Annatar and becoming besties with the worryingly pliant Celebrimbor. (emphasis mine)

Empire Magazine, July 2024

There are a lot of juicy tidbits from Lindsey Weber in this piece so let’s highlight one of the most important storylines for Season 2:

“The relationship between those two characters — and those two actors Charlie Vickers and Charles Edwards — is something we’re so proud of. It is a spectacular performance from both of them and a really compelling story that’s very much at the heart of what we’re doing this season. Sauron wants to control all of Middle-earth, and he knows he needs rings to do it. And he needs the greatest of elven smiths to make those rings.”

Lindsey Weber, EP of TROP

Fans immediately took to twitter after seeing the exclusive reveal during TORN Tuesday this week.

and finally…

Watch the reveal happen at 1:38:30 in the middle of the show, or watch the whole episode which has so much MORE news about The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and other adaptations.

Join the most active LOTR and ROP daily discussion on our Discord at https://discord.gg/theonering

Hey Dol! Merry Dol! Bombadil is Coming!

Vanity Fair have today revealed that one of Tolkien’s most beloved characters to ever hit the cutting room floor will finally make his on-screen debut, courtesy of Prime Video’s second season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

The Age of Iarwain Ben-Adar, Oraid, and Forn is finally upon us!

Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow! Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow! Now let his song begin! But what is he after? Fighting off some barrow-wights? Or a masked ring crafter?

To this point, Jolly Tom’s fandom footprints have been largely limited to readers’ imaginations, audio book embellishments, an iconic Hildebrandt Brothers 1976 calendar (seen below), and an occasional illustration on collectible card games. He’s even made a Weta-crafted live action appearance that only made it as far as a long out-of-print Decipher CCG card.

All of that is about to change as Rory Kinnear steps into the role of Middle-earth’s Eldest and Master. An Olivier Award-winning English actor and playwright, Kinnear is perhaps best known for his roles in the Imitation Game, Penny Dreadful, the Daniel Craig era of James Bond movies, and most recently as Churchill in the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. Vanity Fair’s article also includes an interview with the man about to fill these large yellow boots.

Continue reading “Tom Bombadil is Coming to Amazon’s Rings of Power Season 2 – Vanity Fair Exclusive”

October? Yep.

Those of you fortunate enough to get your “sticky paws” on the October issue of Smithsonian are in for a HUGE treat. John Garth, acclaimed author of The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Places that Inspired Middle-earth, Tolkien and the Great War, and others, has penned (pixelled?) a phenomenal read for the complete Tolkien newbie as well as the Tolkien-lifers of the world.

Garth’s exposition provides the reader an important contextualization to better understand and appreciate Tolkien’s writing, and more specifically, the stories behind Prime Video’s Rings of Power. Part abbreviated biography, part history of Tolkien’s writing and publication journeys, and part Númenorian exposé, this essay covers a vast amount of ground with precision, passion, and poignant prose.

The author fused his inspirations into an alloy that he could shape freely. He also generated multiple stories from a single inspiration. What he called his “feigned history” lives on its own terms. 

John Garth, Smithsonian

Coupled with Garth’s authorship are Kieran Dodd’s inspiringly rich photos. Dodd’s talents underscore and punctuate Garth’s narrative with stunning images of architecture and locations frequented by Tolkien. And yes! For those of us not fortunate to get our handses on this publication, the article is also available right here. Enjoy your read!

Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, inspirational to Tolkien’s concept of a Morgothian temple. Courtesy of Smithsonian. Photo by Kieran Dodds.

Bravo gentlemen! And thank you, Smithsonian.

Just six weeks ago, it felt like a Rings of Power drought. Now every day there’s a new batch of interviews and reveals. These are via Time Magazine writer Eliana Dockterman. Dockterman was able to shadow and interview the showrunners and key cast at San Diego Comic-Con.

Below are summaries and links to four articles that emerged from that for your reading pleasure.

The Secretive, Extravagant, Bighearted World of The Rings of Power, the Most Expensive Show Ever Made

Tears are streaming down Ismael Cruz Córdova’s chiseled cheekbones. Somehow, hardly anyone notices. I’m at San Diego Comic-Con, halfway through 96 hours spent shadowing the cast and creators of The Rings of Power, Amazon’s highly anticipated Lord of the Rings prequel series. Tomorrow, franchise superfan Stephen Colbert will debut a trailer for the series to 6,500 screaming attendees, many wearing pointy wizard hats. But tonight, at a private dinner, journalists are getting an early preview of the video in a golden faux forest constructed by Amazon for the occasion.

After a day spent among the convention crowd in 80-degree heat, sweaty, sneaker-clad members of the press mingle with actors dressed in cocktail attire: Córdova has chosen a sharp suit with a black leather harness pulled tight across his chest. A 16-person choir and 25-piece orchestra—fronted by a violinist decked out in Middle-earth regalia—perform music from the series.

Read More

11 Rings of Power Secrets We Learned From the Cast and Creators

Spend some time in Middle-earth and you’ll learn a lot of secrets. I shadowed the cast and creators of the much-anticipated Lord of the Rings prequel series, The Rings of Power, for four days at San Diego Comic-Con in July. During my conversations with the showrunners, executive producer, and several members of the cast, I did my best to pick up clues about where the series may be headed—along with details about the immense production behind the epic saga.

and…

If you want to watch the series without knowing anything about what might happen in the show, know that this story contains minor spoilers. Stop reading now. But if you want some background on the series and how Payne and McKay cooked up a story from Tolkien’s notes, forge ahead. I’ve seen two episodes of the show, and the information in this story comes primarily from the appendices.

[Editor’s note: Having read the article, I don’t consider any of this to be much of a spoiler for anyone who’s been casually following press reports and has a passing knowledge of Middle-earth’s Second Age.]

Read More

The Rings of Power Exclusive: Producer Says Fan Theories About Sauron Are Wrong

Fans have spent months speculating when and how he might appear in the show. They’ve combed the various trailers and publicity shots. Some theorize that fans have already seen his image—or at least his Annatar guise. But executive producer Lindsey Weber told TIME the prevailing fan theories may be on the wrong track.

[Editor’s note: This is potentially a spoiler, though I think fandom very quickly discarded the Sauron identity theory that Weber discusses with Time. It would have been much more interesting to address the other (much more compelling) rumour that’s doing the rounds right now. Unfortunately, they don’t even touch on it.]

Read More

This Fan-Favorite Character Is Joining the Second Season of The Rings of Power

McKay and Payne leaned heavily on the appendices to The Lord of the Rings, which trace the rise of Sauron, the creation of the one ring, and the battle between Sauron and the last alliance of elves and men for the soul of Middle-earth. Elves are immortal in Tolkien’s world, so Lord of the Rings fans can expect to see familiar faces like Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo). (Both characters also appeared in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy.) But a fan-favorite character has been missing…

[Editor’s note: I guess this could be a minor spoiler for some so I’ve hidden the character’s name behind the link below just to be safe!]

Read More

TIME Rings of Power cover

Entertainment Weekly is handing out a Comic-Con 2022 print edition exclusively at SDCC with The Rings of Power on its cover. Per their website, this special edition cover has a first look at Númenor, “the legendary island kingdom that’s never before been depicted on screen.”

Rings of Power

More from EW:

Númenor looms large in Tolkien’s legendarium, and EW’s cover introduces four key residents who will play a major role in The Rings of Power.

Cynthia Addai-Robinson stars as the queen regent Míriel, who descends from a long line of royal leaders. Her closest advisor is Pharazôn (far right), played by Welsh actor Trystan Gravelle. Rounding out the cover are seafarer Elendil (center right), played by Lloyd Owen, and Elendil’s son Isildur (far left), played by Maxim Baldry.

EW’s full issue includes exclusive interviews with the cast, as well as key creatives like Payne and McKay, director Wayne Che Yip, and production designer Ramsey Avery.

Additional images with character insights and an interview with production designer Ramsey Avery are also up on EW.com with more to come.

Check out our detailed write-up on everything you need to know about the panels, booths and events for Middle-earth fans going to San Diego Comic-Con 2022.