The rollout of the Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power TV series has re-energized Middle-earth fandom, and one thing is clear, we all love to get together, online, at conventions, and at the theater and talk Tolkien.

Reading The Hobbit during the Baggins Birthday Bash

The Baggins Birthday Bash, coming to Los Angeles at 11:30am on September 24 at Griffith Park’s Mineral Wells picnic area is the perfect way for SoCal Tolkien fans to gather and party like Hobbits. There will be games, there will be food, there will be plenty of Tolkien discussion going on, and I’m sure we can fit some fun in there somewhere.

Regarding food, in the before times it was a big buffet, and last year, we decided to ask everyone to just bring enough food and drink for their own party. This year, it will probably end up being a bit of a hybrid. Some will just bring what they want to eat, and a few will bring shareable dishes, and we’ll let the food and drink sort itself out. It would be nice if some folks bring extra picnic plates and cups, maybe some paper towels, and of course, everyone should bring a portable chair or blanket and a popup if you have it.

We would like to bring back the Cake or Cupcake contest for the best Middle-earth designed desserts. We’ve had some really creative and beautiful designs in the past, so start contemplating now on how to wow your fellow fans this year. Costumes are welcome, as usual, especially any new 2nd Age costumes. If we do trivia, there is a decent chance it will include some references to the Rings of Power show, since the 5th episode will have screened just 2 days before the picnic.

Please do RSVP on our Facebook Event page, located at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1271178800320132/ and read through the About Details, including selecting ‘see more’ to access the directions for those driving from different sections of Southern California in order to get to Griffith Park and the Mineral Wells section of the park.

We are finally going back to Middle-earth and we get to see so many more places than we’ve ever been able to visit before on Tolkien’s map.

Juan Antonio ‘J.A.’ Bayona (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

Amazon Prime has finally released the full airing schedule, as shown below. Start marking your calendars to remind you when you can watch the show.

The first two episodes will drop together, and these are the episodes directed by J.A. Bayona. Because they drop together, it is important to note that the first episode is entitled “Shadow of the Past” so that you start off with the correct episode. These will become available on Amazon Prime on Thursday, September 1 starting at 6 pm PT, 9 pm ET and 2 am UK time early Friday, September 2. You will want to sync this info up with your own time zone.

The remaining episodes will drop once a week afterward, starting with Episode 3 on Thursday, September 8 at 9 pm PT, Midnight ET, and 5 am UK time on Friday, September 9, and continue on that same schedule. The 8th episode finale will air on Thursday, October 13 at 9 pm PT, Midnight ET and 5 am UK Time on Friday, October 14. The full schedule is posted below!

Global release occurs on either September 1, 2022 or September 2, 2022 depending on your location

  • The first TWO episodes will debut together on release night.
  • Release night timing is the following: September 1, 2022 at 6 PM PT which is 2 AM UK Time on September 2, 2022.
  • Both Episode 1 and 2 will be available immidiately. Amazon Studios suggests you ensure you first choose Episode 1 titled “SHADOW OF THE PAST” for the best viewing experience. Don’t choose the second episode first by accident!
  • Episodes 3 to 8 will be singular weekly releases. That is, one episode per week. These episodes will air at 9 PM PT each Thursday. This corresponds to 5 AM UK Time Friday.

The week-by-week Rings of Power schedule

Week 1: Episode 1+2

Episode 1+2 will be available at 6 PM PT THURSDAY NIGHT on September 1, 2022. This is equal to 2 AM UK Time on FRIDAY MORNING, September 2, 2022.

Other location conversions:

Auckland: 1.00pm Friday; Sydney: 11.00am Friday; Tokyo: 10.00am Friday; Singapore: 9.00am Friday; Mumbai: 6.30am Friday; Cairo/Paris: 3.00am Friday; London: 2.00am Friday; Rio de Janeiro: 10.00pm Thursday; New York: 9.00pm Thursday; Chicago: 8.00pm Thursday.

Week 2: Episode 3

Episode 3 will be available at 9 PM PT THURSDAY NIGHT on September 8, 2022. This is equal to 5 AM UK Time on FRIDAY MORNING, September 9, 2022.

Other location conversions:

Auckland: 4.00pm Friday; Sydney: 2.00pm Friday; Tokyo: 1.00pm Friday; Singapore: 12.00 NOON Friday; Mumbai: 9.30am Friday; Cairo/Paris: 6.00am Friday; London: 5.00am Friday; Rio de Janeiro: 1.00am Friday; New York: 12.00 MIDNIGHT Friday; Chicago: 11.00pm Thursday.

Week 3: Episode 4

Episode 4 will be available at 9 PM PT THURSDAY NIGHT on September 15, 2022. This is equal to 5 AM UK Time FRIDAY MORNING, September 16, 2022.

Other location conversions:

Auckland: 4.00pm Friday; Sydney: 2.00pm Friday; Tokyo: 1.00pm Friday; Singapore: 12.00 NOON Friday; Mumbai: 9.30am Friday; Cairo/Paris: 6.00am Friday; London: 5.00am Friday; Rio de Janeiro: 1.00am Friday; New York: 12.00 MIDNIGHT Friday; Chicago: 11.00pm Thursday.

Week 4: Episode 5

Episode 5 will be available at 9 PM PT THURSDAY NIGHT on September 22, 2022. This is equal to 5 AM UK Time FRIDAY MORNING, September 23, 2022.

Other location conversions:

Auckland: 4.00pm Friday; Sydney: 2.00pm Friday; Tokyo: 1.00pm Friday; Singapore: 12.00 NOON Friday; Mumbai: 9.30am Friday; Cairo/Paris: 6.00am Friday; London: 5.00am Friday; Rio de Janeiro: 1.00am Friday; New York: 12.00 MIDNIGHT Friday; Chicago: 11.00pm Thursday.

Week 5: Episode 6

Episode 6 will be available at 9 PM PT THURSDAY NIGHT on September 29, 2022. This is equal to 5 AM UK Time FRIDAY MORNING, September 30, 2022.

Other location conversions:

Auckland: 4.00pm Friday; Sydney: 2.00pm Friday; Tokyo: 1.00pm Friday; Singapore: 12.00 NOON Friday; Mumbai: 9.30am Friday; Cairo/Paris: 6.00am Friday; London: 5.00am Friday; Rio de Janeiro: 1.00am Friday; New York: 12.00 MIDNIGHT Friday; Chicago: 11.00pm Thursday.

Week 6: Episode 7

Episode 7 will be available at 9 PM PT THURSDAY NIGHT on October 6, 2022. This is equal to 5 AM UK Time FRIDAY MORNING, October 7th, 2022.

Other location conversions:

Auckland: 4.00pm Friday; Sydney: 2.00pm Friday; Tokyo: 1.00pm Friday; Singapore: 12.00 NOON Friday; Mumbai: 9.30am Friday; Cairo/Paris: 6.00am Friday; London: 5.00am Friday; Rio de Janeiro: 1.00am Friday; New York: 12.00 MIDNIGHT Friday; Chicago: 11.00pm Thursday.

Week 7: Episode 8

Episode 8 will be available at 9 PM PT THURSDAY NIGHT on October 13, 2022. This is equal to 5 AM UK Time FRIDAY MORNING, October 14th, 2022.

Other location conversions:

Auckland: 4.00pm Friday; Sydney: 2.00pm Friday; Tokyo: 1.00pm Friday; Singapore: 12.00 NOON Friday; Mumbai: 9.30am Friday; Cairo/Paris: 6.00am Friday; London: 5.00am Friday; Rio de Janeiro: 1.00am Friday; New York: 12.00 MIDNIGHT Friday; Chicago: 11.00pm Thursday.

Viewing plans

With this schedule, you should be able to plan a Viewing Party or two, for Debut night and Finale night, if not all 7 weeks. If you choose to do so, please do share in the fun with our Twitter/Facebook/Discord social channel of choice and let us know your thoughts. There will also be some live posting, especially in our Discord on show nights, so come play along during the show, or directly afterward for a discussion on what you have just seen.

Become a Numenorean and sail to Middle-earth with us

After a successful Cruise to Middle-earth in November of 2008, and a sequel cruise in December 2012, it is time to complete the Trilogy. This Journey to Middle earth starts on January 2, 2023, in Sydney, Australia as you board the Celebrity Eclipse, and runs 12 nights long, ending in Auckland, New Zealand on January 14, 2023.  This is not a LOTR convention at Sea, but more of a Mobile Middle-earth Moot where we get to see the real-world Middle-earth while enjoying the benefits of a luxurious cruise ship.

The Celebrity Eclipse comes with a 1/2 acre of live grass called the Lawn Club

This 12-night cruise will take you to such filming locations as Hobbiton and Edoras, with the option to visit the WETA Workshop in Wellington on a private tour. Other ports visited will be Melbourne, Dunedin, and the Bay of Islands. And for those choosing to arrive in Sydney a few days early, you will be able to celebrate the New Year’s Celebration near the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge for fireworks (not included, but I can assist in securing a hotel and flights).

Departs Sydney on January 2, 2023 and ends in Auckland on January 14, 2023

Once the cruise is finished, there will be an optional 2-night post-cruise stay in Auckland so that we can experience WETA Unleashed, and have a farewell dinner in the restaurant at the top of the Sky Tower in Auckland, and have a private tour and dinner in Hobbiton. This allows folks to choose a Cultural or Geological tour option in the port of Tauranga (Rotorua) rather than Hobbiton from the ship, which will be rather short and bunched together with other cruise passengers that might not be as geeky as those in our group. If you choose this post-cruise tour, there will be an additional cost, and you will need to remain in New Zealand at least until January 16, 2023.

Garfeimao and Bella in front of Bagend in 2018

If you choose to arrive on the morning of the cruise, you will have to depart North America on December 31, 2022, to arrive by January 2, 2023, or you can depart earlier and spend a couple of days in Sydney. If you wish to be in Sydney for the actual New Year’s celebration, you will want to depart North America no later than December 29 for a December 31 arrival. For those interested parties in Europe or Down Under, the time difference will affect you differently.

I am arranging an exclusive day tour to visit with WETA in Wellington for us when the ship is in port, which will include a private workshop. There will be a motorcoach to pick us up just outside the port area in the morning and take us over to Miramar to tour the facility, taking in not just LOTR projects, but some of the many other film projects WETA has worked on over the years. This will be topped off with a hands-on workshop on crafting leather and chain maille armor before the motorcoach will take us back to the city center for a self-guided tour inside the Te Papa Museum. You will not want to miss Te Papa, besides it being a world-class museum, there is a Gallipoli exhibit created by WETA that must be seen to believe, and the museum is free. We will then make our own way back to the ship before it departs.  This tour can be purchased as a customized package not included in the cruise fare. A quote will be available shortly.  

The original 2008 Cruise to Middle-earth group, the 5-year-old in the center just finished his first year of college.

On the ship, there will be a few days at sea, with no port stops, so I’ll be planning a few group activities that you can choose to join or not, depending on whether you would prefer to go to the spa or partake in other Ship Hosted activities. There will be a Tolkien Toast on January 3, 2023, to commemorate the Professor’s birthday, and then there will be a few games and group discussions, and maybe singing along to some of Tolkien’s songs found in the books. And this cruise takes place just a couple of months after the Rings of Power airs, so lots to discuss and maybe an additional location or two to be seen. For those of you with Middle-earth costumes, feel free to bring them, especially if they are on the lighter side, for packing purposes. There will be a Costumed Cocktail reception, and for those without costumes, a geeky t-shirt will suffice. The bonus is that you can also wear the costume either in Edoras or Hobbiton or bring two costumes and do both.

Other cruises thought our group were performers and wanted to follow us to our show

The nitty-gritty information for this group is that it has been on sale for several months, so some room types are no longer available. The Cruise pricing fluctuates regularly, based on available discounts for persons who qualify (past passenger, Senior or military rate, etc.) and just what rooms are still open for booking. An interior room right now is starting at $2179 per person, a Balcony room starts at $2429 per person and a Concierge Balcony (more perks) starts at $2869 per person. The private tour to WETA during the ship’s port stop in Wellington will have its own price, to be finalized very soon, and the customized 2-night post-cruise tour in Auckland to Hobbiton and other activities is currently priced at $1170 per person, but that will go down with a few more people booked into the group. There is a small planning fee of $50 per person if booked by May 31, and then it goes up to $100 per person on June 1.

To make an inquiry, please contact me at Garfeimao@TheOneRing.net

 

Several Ph.Ds, published authors, Tolkientubers and TikTokers have shared their first impressions of completed footage from Prime Video’s massive new Lord of the Rings TV series – The Rings of Power. (Check out our report too!)

We’ve gathered all of these reactions in one convenient post on TORn. Enjoy!


Amazon assembled a wide group of Tolkien fans for this adventure, but if anyone on the trip is to be considered a celebrity, it is Dr. Corey Olsen. Known as the Tolkien Professor, he is founder and head of Signum University, an accredited online-only graduate school which counts Stephen Colbert as an avid viewer. Corey held court from the first introductions, entertaining a revolving circle of fellow Ringers and fans of his work throughout the week. I loved seeing how excited folks were finally to meet him! While I’m sure he will share his thoughts over the coming days and weeks across his many broadcasts on twitch, Corey’s small but powerful statement has made waves, as an acknowledgement of the quality of the showrunners in charge:


The Tolkien Society, currently headed by Shaun Gunner, is probably the most respected LOTR fan group, since its founding while JRR Tolkien was still alive. They have always championed the literary legacy of Tolkien’s works, and often are a strong and balanced community voice among the hype that Hollywood generates. It’s no small thing to earn a positive review from the Tolkien Society, and in their post about Amazon’s event Shaun praises what he saw & heard:

The show has been created with a level of craftsmanship and attention-to-detail which is unparalleled, and which is a love letter to the Professor… this is a level of commitment and interest that can’t simply be faked. Speaking with the showrunners, I am convinced that they are the right people to adapt Tolkien’s works.

– Tolkien Society chair Shaun Gunner

Nerd of the Rings, one of the biggest YouTube channels who started talking about lore and has grown into wonderful interviews with some of our favorite people, shared a 30-minute travelogue with an essential comment at the end: ”My trajectory on this show has gone from cautious to cautiously optimistic, with excitement creeping in.”


My count may be off but there were around 30 influencers at this Prime Video LOTR event, each with an incredibly personal perspective and deeply engaged audiences.

Tea with Tolkien, whose aesthetic I will always strive to reach but never attain, posts:

As a lifelong Tolkien fan, I’m no stranger to seeing adaptations go off the rails or Tolkien’s creative works being exploited for profit, so I will always retain some level of nervousness toward anything set in or inspired by Middle-earth. But after learning so much more about the show and its creators, I do feel quite a bit more confident going forward. From what I’ve seen, it seems to me that this show is in competent hands. 

Tea with Tolkien

Tiktok star KnewBettaDoBetta, who was a breakout lore hero for our marathon 6-hour trailer analysis livestream, shares his excitement:


Kili from Happy Hobbit was there too, known for co-authoring ”Middle-earth From Script to Screen” with Daniel Falconer and Peter Jackson. She has mined the Weta archives, and brings a unique perspective on Amazon’s show which I hope we get more of on TORn Tuesday soon.


Want more opinions on what Rings of Power looks & feels like? Here are more scholars and fans who shared first impressions.


El Anillo Unico, often considered the Spanish equivalent of our little site since the earliest Peter Jackson days, wrote (in translation):

The most important thing we have discovered and believe we can make public, Tolkien Estate is involved in the creative process, and had active participation during the process. This gives us an idea that Amazon has really had people who are experts in the field and have helped to fill in the gaps that exist in what is written about the Second Age. We loved the music, the visual aspect is very good and it gives us an air of something already known. Quite different from the trailer itself that was released months ago

El Anillo Unico

Dr. Maggie Parke, director of the Mythgard Institute:


The top Brazilian LOTR fan group (who I am so excited to have met, thanks to this opportunity!) wrote, “The wisdom and depth of the entire team in Tolkien’s work is something never seen before.”


Still don’t believe the hype? Here are further respected voices from the Tolkien community, for you to peruse:


And finally, to everyone’s – and perhaps no one’s! – surprise, the #1 leaker of things and Bezos’s bane against secrecy, Fellowship of Fans was invited to see and share what real finished footage looks like (instead of grainy cell phone pics).


Big thanks to Varking on reddit for assembling everyone’s takes and being there in person with his own perspective! And thanks to all of the merry company, with whom we had such a great time, and whose opinions are always worth hearing. Find many of the folks from this post around our Discord, where more conversation is happening. discord.gg/theonering You can also join us tonight, 5pm PT for TORn Tuesday, when we’ll have some of these folks as our special guests. And before that, you may want to check out Corey Olsen and Maggie Parke at Other Minds and Hands, as they discuss last week’s events in their livestream (1pm PT).

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, a 5-season adaptation of tales from Tolkien’s Second Age, comes to Amazon Prime Video on September 2 this year.

Today (depending on where in the world you are) fans of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien join together in a worldwide celebration of the late author’s works for Tolkien Reading Day.

The theme for this year’s event is Love and Friendship in Tolkien’s works.

Tolkien Reading Day takes place every year on March 25, and commemorates the date on which Frodo and the Fellowship were successful in destroying the One Ring and defeating Sauron. It’s a communal and international act of fellowship in recognition of the achievements of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. Anybody with a copy of his works can take part (it’s also a great opportunity to introduce for children to Tolkien’s works).

And if you happen to be in need of a copy of a particular Tolkien book, we understand that Amazon’s digital “Deal of the Day” (in conjunction with publisher HarperCollins) will be will offer up to 80% off select Tolkien books. So now might be a good time to go hunting.

Reading events are occurring today all round the globe.

For example, Tolkien Guide will be hosting a number of excellent guests for discussions of Tolkien’s life and works throughout the day (including TORn staffer Cliff “Quickbeam” Broadway). You can also always pop by our new Discord server at discord.gg/theonering if you feel like participate in some fine talk with fellow Tolkien fans.

What are you up for Tolkien Reading Day? (Or if, like me, you live in “Futureland” in the Eastern hemisphere, what did you do for TRD?)

JRR Tolkien

TheOneRing.net will be at WonderCon this year, and we will be hosting two panels over the course of the weekend, April 1-3 in the Anaheim Convention Center. If you plan to attend the convention, please read through the WonderCon COVID protocols.

Our first panel, Middle-earth! Coming to your TV this Fall will be at 4:30 pm on Friday, April 1 (no joke) in room North 200A. This will be our big overview panel, with all the news, rumors, and anecdotes about Amazon’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, as well as the WB’s upcoming animated War of the Rohirrim. There will be an update on any and all Middle-earth news, activities, and events coming up this year. And we can wait to see if anyone has had enough time to create a costume from the recent Amazon Teaser Trailer.

Our Second panel, I am no Man: The Women of Middle-earth will be a deep dive into Tolkien’s legendarium to discuss all the unique and wonderful women that Tolkien created. For those who have just read The Hobbit, Middle-earth feels like an ‘all males club’, but in The Lord of the Rings and some of the books of deeper lore, there are queens and warriors and creators, all women, who had a hand in shaping the Middle-earth we all know and love. The presentation is still being crafted, if there is a specific woman of Middle-earth you wish to see discussed, send an email to Garfeimao@TheOnering.net. Include the character name and a brief note about what makes her so special for you, we will include as many as we can fit into our allotted panel time.