Prime Video has announced that Charlotte Brändström, Sanaa Hamri, and Louise Hooper will each helm multiple episodes for Season Two of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

Readers will, of course, recall that Brändström directed a pair of Season One’s episodes: (1X06/“Udûn” and 1X07/“The Eye”).

Hamri, an acclaimed music video director who has collaborated with artists such as Mariah Carey, Prince, and Snoop Dogg, recently completed executive producing and directing The Wheel of Time’s second season. Hooper has directed episodes of The Witcher, as well the season finale of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman.

The announcement states that Hamri and Hooper will each direct two episodes, with Brändström to oversee the remaining four and serve as co-executive producer for the eight-episode season.

Season 2 is currently in production in the UK.

The Rings of Power Season Two’s directors

Charlotte Brändström is an award-winning director and graduate of the directing program at the American Film Institute. She recently finished directing a pilot for Netflix Sweden titled The Unlikely Murder, and her other directing credits for television include The Outsider for HBO; Jupiter’s Legacy, The Witcher, and Away for Netflix; The Man in the High Castle for Prime Video; and Outlander and Counterpart for Starz. Brändström also directed the entirety of two European limited series: Conspiracy of Silence for Viaplay and Disparue for FR2, and has also directed over 30 feature films, miniseries, and movies-of-the-week. Additionally, Brändström is an international Emmy award nominee for Julie, Chevalier de Maupin.

Sanaa Hamri is a renowned film, television, music video, and commercial director from Tangier, Morocco. She recently completed executive producing and directing The Wheel of Time’s second season for Prime Video. Previously Hamri was executive producer/director for FOX’s hit series Empire, and her other episodic television directing credits include Shameless, Rectify, Nashville, Elementary, Glee, and Desperate Housewives. Hamri is also an acclaimed music video director, and has collaborated with numerous hip-hop/R&B musicians including Prince, Common, Lenny Kravitz, Rhianna, Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, Jay Z, and Mary J. Blige. She has also won an NAACP Image Award for India.Arie’s “Little Things” video, as well as an MTV VMA for Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.” In addition, Hamri directed Mariah Carey’s sold-out five arena concert documentary, The Adventures of Mimi, and has also directed the feature films Something New, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, and Just Wright.

Louise Hooper is an acclaimed British drama director, known for the 4-part limited thriller Flesh and Blood, starring Imelda Staunton and Stephen Rea; and Cheat, the 4-part drama starring Molly Windsor. Her additional directing credits include the first season finale of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, The Witcher, Inside No. 9, and Treason. Hooper began her career directing BBC Arts documentaries, working with David Lynch, Helmut Newton, Arthur Miller, David Attenborough, and Björk, and has also received a BAFTA nomination for directing Our Gay Wedding: The Musical.

Earlier this week, TORn staffer greendragon had the chance to sit down with composer Bear McCreary. Greendragon was fortunate to be invited to attend a recording session for the Rings of Power soundtrack in London last April; it was an incredible experience, watching skilled musicians bring McCreary’s score to life. So she was thrilled to have the chance to catch up with the composer, and see how he’s feeling about Season One – and what might be in store for Season Two of The Rings of Power.

McCreary is a huge Tolkien fan himself, and he shared how Peter Jackson’s movies – and in particular, Howard Shore’s score – were important influences in his growth to become the composer he is today. He discussed the luxury of time which Amazon’s big budgets provide, and the importance of music to enhance and communicate emotion and drama. He also revealed that he has already started work for Season Two!

Watch the full interview below; and check out McCreary’s own blog, here.

The scene above is not an original idea, but is imitative of an essay on fantasy writing that is almost fifty years old.

Lord Celebrimbor, The Rings of Power
Lord Celebrimbor, The Rings of Power

In 1973, Ursula K. Le Guin published From Elfland to Poughkeepsie, in which she argued for the importance of style in writing, and especially in the writing of high fantasy. Elfland is the name she used—following Lord Dunsany—for what Tolkien called Faerie: it is Middle-earth, Prydain, and many other locales; as for Poughkeepsie, she offered a comparison to national parks.  As these became more popular tourist venues, more people would travel to these parks, fully equipped with enough modern conveniences that they never really go anywhere.   They can feel at home, “just as if they were back in Poughkeepsie.”

She lamented that at the time of her writing, too many new fantasy writers were building the equivalents of trailer parks with drive-in movies.  “But the point about Elfland is that you are not at home there.  It’s not Poughkeepsie.  It’s different.”  If anything, in this post-Dungeons-and-Dragons and post-video-game world, things have not improved.

She then offered a passage from a then-recent fantasy novel—the sort with twentieth-century people wearing 14th-century clothes and doing magic—and then, by only changing a few names and locations, showed that the same passage would be just as familiar in a modern political thriller, similar to our opening scene above.

“Now, I submit that something has gone wrong. The book from which I first quoted is not fantasy, for all its equipment of heroes and wizards. If it was fantasy, I couldn’t have pulled the dirty trick on it by changing four words. You can’t clip Pegasus’ wings that easily—not if he has wings.”

From Elfland to Poughkeepsie, Ursula K. Le Guin

Le Guin’s argument is that, in fantasy writing, style is not merely an ingredient of a book, something added on, but it is the book.  “If you remove the style, all you have left is a synopsis of the plot.”   In a cinematic drama1, of course, there is more than verbal style at play.  The visual arts—sets, costumes, location photography, props, music, and so on—are very important stylistic components.  Still, in another sense they are just illustrations that support, but cannot replace the style of the words.   “Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative,” as Pooh-bah said. 

If the script is good, it should be just as good as a radio drama, perhaps with some well-written narration to replace those illustrations.  I will refer to “the reader” in this article; this may be considered shorthand for “the reader or audience.”

Tolkien himself had much to say about the craft of transporting the reader to Faerie in his important essay On Fairy-stories.  He proposed that any good story (of any genre) must be capable of creating actual belief in the world it creates, not merely suspension of disbelief:

What really happens is that the story-maker proves a successful “sub-creator.” He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is “true”: it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside.  The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or rather art, has failed. You are then out in the Primary World again, looking at the little abortive Secondary World from outside.

On Fairy-stories, J.R.R. Tolkien

He then discussed Fantasy, the creation of images of a world unlike ours, with things that cannot be found in our world at all.  He gave an example, saying that the fantastic device of language lets us say things like, “the green sun,” but that:

To make a Secondary World inside which the green sun will be credible, commanding Secondary Belief, will probably require labour and thought, and will certainly demand a special skill, a kind of elvish craft.

On Fairy-stories, J.R.R. Tolkien

But what is the realm of Elfland, and why does it take such extraordinary artistry to bring a reader into that world?  Tolkien tells us:

The realm of fairy-story is wide and deep and high and filled with many things: all manner of beasts and birds are found there; shoreless seas and stars uncounted; beauty that is an enchantment, and an ever-present peril; both joy and sorrow as sharp as swords. In that realm a man may, perhaps, count himself fortunate to have wandered, but its very richness and strangeness tie the tongue of a traveler who would report them.

On Fairy-stories, J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien portrayed this idea in his poem The Sea-bell and in his last book, Smith of Wootton Major; do read these.   Le Guin said much the same thing but takes it a step further:

It is a different approach to reality, an alternative technique for apprehending and coping with existence. It is not antirational but pararational; not realistic, but surrealistic, superrealistic, a heightening of reality. In Freud’s terminology, it employs primary, not secondary process thinking. It employs archetypes, which, Jung warned us, are dangerous things. Dragons are more dangerous, and a good deal commoner, than bears. Fantasy is nearer to poetry, to mysticism, and to insanity than naturalistic fiction is. It is a real wilderness, and those who go there should not feel too safe. And their guides, the writers of fantasy, should take their responsibilities seriously.

From Elfland to Poughkeepsie, Ursula K. Le Guin

Thus, if we are to avoid leaving the reader in the Primary World, the language itself, that “fantastic device”, must act as the cicerone for this dream journey.  Le Guin gave examples of appropriate prose: from Eddison‘s The Worm Ouroboros with its carefully-crafted Elizabethan prose; Kenneth Morris, with his less ornate but still mannered dialogue in Book of the Three Dragons; and Tolkien. 

“Who can tell?” said Aragorn, “But we will put it to the test one day.” 
“May the day not be too long delayed,” said Boromir. “For though I do not ask for aid, we need it. It would comfort us to know that others fought also with all the means that they have.” 
“Then be comforted,” said Elrond.

The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

It is important to notice that Tolkien does not use especially archaic speech here.  Le Guin described the speech as, “a less extraordinary English; or rather an English extraordinary for its simple timelessness…it is the language of men of character.”  She did not argue for archaic speech, but for speech that is appropriate to the subject matter, and indicative of the character of the speakers, who should not think like accountants and video-gamers.

Tolkien had much to say on this link between language, thought, and character.  In a letter to Hugh Brogan (Letter #171, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien) he responded to that reader’s criticisms of the archaic narration in The Two Towers, which Brogan had described as “tushery”.

This letter is worth reading in its entirety, but Tolkien addressed “tushery” as the “bogus ‘medieval’ stuff with … expletives, such as tush, pish, zounds, marry, and the like,” and observes that real archaic English is more concise than “our slack and often frivolous idiom”. 

In doing so, he examined the specific case of Théoden’s conversation with Gandalf (“Nay, Gandalf! You do not know your own skill in healing” et seq.).

First pointing out that it is actually “moderated or watered archaism” compared to a more authentically antique diction (“Nay, thou n’wost not thine own skill in healing,”2), he then added that even though much of the speech could be translated to a modern idiom, “Not at all my dear Gandalf…” the thought that ends it , “Thus shall I sleep better,” would not translate well to the modern idiom because a king who speaks in a modern idiom would simply not think in terms of sleeping quietly in his grave.

We see a similar disconnect in the Rings of Power speech with which we began.

Lords of Elfland do not think of expanding work-forces and project deadlines, and for them to speak of such matters is a disunity of language and character.   The spell has broken, and the art has failed: we are back in Poughkeepsie.  There are many examples of modernisms that have crept into the dialogue: hobbits who say, “Okay,” “It means, like, what we do,” and, “That’s not who we are.”  Númenoreans who say, “Nah,” and, “Míriel has her up for tea?”  Elves who say “conflicted”. Dwarves who say, “Yeah.” Even grade-school grammatical errors, “Your people have no king, for you are him,” (a sentence that was walking along just fine before it fell on its face at the last word). 

There are almost too many examples to count, and they pop up at random in the midst of more timeless speech.  Some are more jarring than others—especially the name-calling like “Elf-lover!”—but none of them belong in a tale of the fantastic, except perhaps as Orc-talk. 

Overcompensating for modernism is, of course, an equally dangerous trap.  Le Guin and Tolkien both objected to “tushery” and pseudo-archaic speech.  Imitating the elevated register of dialogue from Tolkien’s writing is perilous. 

Le Guin noted that young fantasy writers sense that their language must distance the tale from the ordinary, but don’t know how to do it, fumbling with “thee” and “thou” and overusing words like “mayhap”.  To their credit, the writers of The Rings of Power, do not fall into this trap. 

Instead, however, these Elves too frequently lapse into High Aphorism.  “It is said the wine of victory is sweetest for those in whose bitter trials it has fermented.”  You have to read that twice to figure out what it is saying.  “Most wounds to our bodies heal of their own accord, so, it is their labor instead to render hidden truths as works of beauty. For beauty has great power to heal the soul.”  All right, if you say so; but it doesn’t sound helpful for a broken leg. And of course:

Do you know why a ship floats and a stone cannot? Because the stone sees only downward. The darkness of the water is vast and irresistible. The ship feels the darkness as well, striving moment by moment to master her and pull her under. But the ship has a secret.  For unlike the stone, her gaze is not downward but up. Fixed upon the light that guides her, whispering of grander things than darkness ever knew.

The Rings of Power, Amazon Studios
Young Galadriel with Finrod, The Rings of Power.

Not only is this pretentious and sententious (if lovely), but it forgets that the Noldor know more about the natural world, about the forces of gravity and buoyancy and density and displacement, than we do.  Their “magic” comes from this deeper understanding.  Instead of knowledge (which is what the word Noldor means!) we get fortune-cookie philosophy that sounds like we just need better-trained stones. 

Compare:

‘Are these magic cloaks?’ asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.

‘I do not know what you mean by that,’ answered the leader of the Elves. ‘They are fair garments, and the web is good, for it was made in this land. They are Elvish robes certainly, if that is what you mean. Leaf and branch, water and stone: they have the hue and beauty of all these things under the twilight of Lórien that we love; for we put the thought of all that we love into all that we make. Yet they are garments, not armour, and they will not turn shaft or blade.’

The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

There is a fine line between elegant speech and pretentiousness.  The Rings of Power stumbles across that line too often; and perhaps without knowing exactly why, we are jerked back to the Primary World, because we know, somehow, that Elves don’t really talk like that.

Such considerations, of course, apply to any genre, such as real-world historical stories—at least, those taking place in a setting in which fairly modern English is spoken. 

If I were writing a novel or screenplay taking place at, say, a New England boys’ prep school in 1905, I would not only have to take into account things like clothing, music, technology, or the rules for football, but I would have to give the boys speech appropriate to the time, with usages like “kick” for “complain”, “bully” for approval, or, “You make me tired!” for disapproval.  And I would also have to assiduously avoid letting the boys say anachronistic things like, “epic”, “iconic”, “I’m still processing this”,  “cool”, or…  “That’s not who we are.”

If I were particularly careful, I would research then-new usages like, “Okay,” “Yeah,” or “Wow,” before putting them into the mouths of my characters. 

It takes real work to get such things right.  Without that work, even a non-specialist reader might sense that something is off-pitch, without knowing why, and will not believe in the story.

But such a story is not required to transport us to Elfland; only to (historical) Poughkeepsie.  Elfland is a far more perilous realm, with deeper delights and dangers for both the reader and writer.  Surely, then, a well-paid script editor can be employed to apply at least as meticulous a reading to the dialogue of a drama taking place in such a well-known and well-loved corner of Elfland as Middle-earth?

FOOTNOTES

[1]: It is not at all clear that there is any longer a useful distinction between “movies” and “television” and “streaming” in such discussions.

[2]: Incidentally, this is very similar to the writing of early fantasist William Morris.

Editor’s note:

In the above essay, Staffer Ostadan references a number of key early fantasists whose works pre-date and influenced Tolkien. Some of these works now exist freely in the Public Domain. Interested readers who might care to explore these works further can find and enjoy them as free downloads on Project Gutenburg.

Kenneth Morris’s Book of the Three Dragons was published in 1930 and is not yet available in the Public Domain. Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series was published between 1964 and 1968. Ursula K. Le Guin’s essay From Elfland to Poughkeepsie seems to be available through Amazon in limited quantities, but it is very expensive.

If you have a Tolkien/Middle-earth inspired poem you’d like to share, then send it to poetry@theonering.net. One poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. TheOneRing.net is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.

The Rings of Power at San Diego Comic-Con created a tsunami of cast interviews, video snippets and press write-ups. Unfortunately, they’re scatered all across the internet.

So some of the fine folks on our Discord server have been working assiduously to collate everything for easy reference. Courtesy of their hard work, everything we can find in one place for your reading and viewing pleasure. Big thank-you to Tim B. Ranatuor, WheatBix and Amaurëanna for getting all these links together!

The Colbert-hosted panel

CBR also has a nice write-up on the Colbert-hosted panel if you just want the highlights or prefer to read than watch.

The Q&A session

Part 1 (hosted by Pat Oswalt)

Part 2 (hosted by Tiffany Smith)

Part 3 (hosted by Felicia Day)

Media interviews

Note: outlets are listed in alphabetical order to make it easier to find your fave rave.

Black Girl Nerds

Interviews with Leon Wadham (Kemen), Lloyd Owen (Elendil), Sophia Nomvete (Princess Disa), Morfydd Clark (Galadriel), Sara Zwangobani (Marigold), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Tar-Míriel), Ismael Cruz Córdova (Arondir).

Collider

Group interview with Charlie Vickers (Halbrand), Markella Kavenagh (Elanor ‘Nori’ Brandyfoot), Dylan Smith (Largo Brandyfoot), Sophia Nomvete, (Princess Disa), and Tyroe Muhafidin (Theo).

DEADLINE

Tyroe Muhafidin (Theo) mixed-area short interview

Daniel Weyman (The Stranger) mixed-area short interview

Morfydd Clark (Galadriel) mixed-area short interview

Charlie Vickers (Halbrand) mixed-area short interview

Ismael Cruz Córdova (Arondir) mixed-area short interview

Nanzanin Boniadi (Bronwyn) mixed-area short interview

Maxim Baldry mixed-area short interview

Den of Geek

E! News

Nazanin Boniadi (Bronwyn) interview

Benjamin Walker (Gil-galad) interview

Morfydd Clark (Galadriel) interview

ET Canada

Morfydd Clark (Galadriel) interview

Benjamin Walker (Gil-galad) interview

Ismael Cruz Córdova (Arondir) interview

Robert Aramayo (Elrond) interview

Nanzanin Boniadi (Bronwyn) interview

Entertainment Weekly

Group 1 interview (actual interview starts at 6 mins 17 secs)

Group 2 (actual interview starts at 8 mins 20 secs)

Gamespot

Sophia Nomvete, (Princess Disa) short mixed-area interview

@gamespotdotcom In The Rings of Power, dwarven Princess Disa will have a beard! Watch here.

Key cast individually elevator pitch their characters

@gamespotdotcom Wondering who’s who in The Rings of Power? Let the cast explain. Watch here.

IGN

Group interview with Charles Edwards (Celebrimbor), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Tar-Míriel), Ema Horvath (Eärien), Ismael Cruz Córdova (Arondir), Daniel Weyman (The Stranger), Maxim Baldry (Isildur), Robert Aramayo (Elrond), Trystan Gravelle (Pharazon), Megan Richards (Poppy Proudfellow), Sara Zwangobani (Marigold Brandyfoot), and Owain Arthur (Durin IV)

Group interview with Benjamin Walker (Gil-galad), Lloyd Owen (Elendil), Leon Wadham (Kemen), Morfydd Clark (Galadriel), Nazanin Boniadi (Bronwyn), Charlie Vickers (Halbrand), Markella Kavenagh (Elanor ‘Nori’ Brandyfoot), Dylan Smith (Largo Brandyfoot), Sophia Nomvete (Princess Disa), and Tyroe Muhafidin (Theo).

IMDB

Group interview with Nazanin Boniadi (Bronwyn), Markella Kavenagh (Elanor ‘Nori’ Brandyfoot), Ismael Cruz Cordova (Arondir), and Benjamin Walker (Gil-galad).

Click here to watch.

JoBlo Celebrity Interviews

Individual interviews with Benjamin Walker (Gil-galad), Dylan Smith (Largo Brandyfoot), Markella Kavenagh (Elanor ‘Nori’ Brandyfoot), Leon Wadham (Kemen), and Nazanin Boniadi (Bronwyn).

The LA Times

Behind-the-scenes at SDCC stuff (might be paywalled!)

‘I can’t believe we’re doing this!’ ‘Lord of the Rings’ stars drink in first Comic-Con

The Times tagged along with ‘Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ stars Sara Zwangobani, Tyroe Muhafidin and Owain Arthur at San Diego Comic-Con.

“I have never experienced a Hall H and I’ve been wanting to come to Comic-Con my whole life,” said Sara Zwangobani while riding in a van to the San Diego Convention Center to take part in the Comic-Con 2022 panel for her upcoming show, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” “These are my people! I can’t believe we’re doing this right now.”

Full article and-behind the-scenes video here.

Photos: behind the scenes at Comic-Con with the cast of ‘Lord of the Rings’

LA Times photographer Jay Clendenin embedded in the Rings of Power group for Comic-Con. He captured a full range of images from life inside the Comic-Con bubble, from cast members’ morning glam routine to the mayhem of Hall H to the afterglow of a successful bow at the year’s biggest fan gathering.

Full photo-essay here.

MTV News

Group interviews with Markella Kavenagh (Elanor ‘Nori’ Brandyfoot), Tyroe Muhafidin (Theo), Charlie Vickers  (Halbrand), Dylan Smith (Largo Brandyfoot), Sophia Nomvete (Princess Disa),  Daniel Weyman (The Stranger), Ismael Cruz Cordova (Arondir), Ema Horvath (Eärien), Maxim Baldry (Isildur), Charles Edwards (Celebrimbor), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Tar-Miriel), Trystan Gravelle (Pharazôn), Sara Zwangboni (Marigold Brandyfoot), Owain Arthur (Durin IV), and Megan Richards (Poppy Proudfellow).

Showbiz Junkies

Ema Horvath (Eärien) interview

Charles Vickers (Halbrand) interview

Tyroe Muhafidin (Theo) interview

Megan Richards (Poppy Proudfellow)

Owain Arthur (Durin IV)

Nazanin Boniadi (Bronwyn)

Benjamin Walker (Gil-galad)

Markella Kavanagh (Elanor ‘Nori’ Brandyfoot)

Sara Zwangobani (Marigold Brandyfoot)

TV Insider

Group interview with Markella Kavenagh (Elanor ‘Nori’ Brandyfoot), Tyroe Muhafidin (Theo), Charlie Vickers (Halbrand), Dylan Smith (Largo Brandyfoot), and Sophia Nomvete (Princess Disa).

Group interview with Morfydd Clark (Galadriel), Benjamin Walker (Gil-galad), Lloyd Owen (Elendil), Nazanin Boniadi (Bronwyn), and Leon Wadham (Kemen).

“The set of Númenór, which they’d built on the back lot, is absolutely extraordinary,” Owen said. Wadham, who has worked in the same New Zealand studio on other projects, added, “I thought I knew what I was walking into. I turn up, and there was a city with a wharf with boats in water on the backlot. It was transcendent.”

Watch the full interview here.

Variety

Charles Edwards (Celebrimbor) interview

Robert Aramayo (Elrond) interview

Daniel Weyman (The Stranger) interview

Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Tar-Míriel) interview

Markella Kavenagh (Elanor ‘Nori’ Brandyfoot) interview

Dylan Smith (Largo Brandyfoot) interview

Charles Vickers (Halbrand) interview

Maxim Baldry (Isildur) interview

Morfydd Clark (Galadriel) interview

Tyroe Muhafidin (Theo) interview

Sophia Nomvete (Princess Disa) interview

Nanzanin Boniadi (Bronwyn) interview

Yahoo News

‘Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power’ cast on how they bonded

Watch the interview here.

Transcript

– It is here, Galadriel, the moment we feared.

KEVIN POLOWY: So, huge cast, but you guys spent a year and a half together–

MARKELLA KAVENAGH: Yes.

KEVIN POLOWY: –shooting this in New Zealand. What kind of bonding experience was that? I mean, you hear stories from the original trilogy, the hobbits all got matching tattoos. Did you guys get matching tattoos, by the way?

MARKELLA KAVENAGH: I was really close to getting one. Not that I know of, I don’t think there are any, but I wouldn’t rule it out. I mean, we’ll see. We’ll see.

KEVIN POLOWY: But what was the bonding experience like among you guys?

MARKELLA KAVENAGH: Well, we lived– we lived so close together. We were there for nearly two years. And we’d have dinners together. We’d go around to people’s places. We had karaoke nights. It was really– we had to be each other’s friends, family, and colleagues in a time where we couldn’t get to each our actual real life friends and family and colleagues. So it was quite an experience. Really, really grateful for the camaraderie, for sure.

BENJAMIN WALKER: Because we were kind of stuck together in New Zealand, and I was there with my family, we became the home where everyone came and had Sunday lunch every Sunday. And when other people were away from their families, it was a way to kind of bond with your castmates, but also have that familial attention, and just feel like a person. So that’s an honor to do. I mean, they’re all nice people, and I enjoyed hosting.

NAZANIN BONLADI: To be in New Zealand– if you’re going to be stuck anywhere, let it be New Zealand. And we understand how blessed we are, because we, at one point were the only show in the world that was filming, because we were in the safe haven that was New Zealand at the time there was no COVID there. So we are very, very fortunate.

And because of the pandemic, the island was shut off from visitors. So we didn’t get to leave the Island or come back, you know, or have visitors. So basically we were stuck there for a good part of two years. And we had to lean on each other and depend on each other. So by default we became family. And, you know, and that’s what a fellowship is, is people who have to sort of support each other through an adventure.

TYROE MUHAFIDIN: Every Sunday we’d go for dinners and things like that, and we’d always socialize, because we were sort of the only people we had. And we were all really, really there for each other in times that we needed each other. And it was really great. I was actually quite lucky because under 18 I’m allowed a chaperone, so I brought my mother along with me. And she kind of ended up being everyone else’s mom.

MEGAN RICHARDS: We had to become, not just each other’s colleagues, but friends and family and support systems. And it really did ring true. I have such a love for this cast, and I really hold them deeply within my heart. And we would have, like, dinners together, where like, 20 of us would try and like, get a table, which is impossible in a restaurant. You know, just so many things like that. And, you know, we’d like, go on holidays together or we’d have, like, Sunday lunches. And, yeah, no, we were really, really close.

LEON WADHAM: Yeah, there’s a true fellowship, no question. So many people came from all over the world and spent a lot of time far from their homes to make this. And I think that encouraged a strong bond. They had to create a family. Whereas I am an Aucklander? I was shooting in my home. And I didn’t start until the midpoint because it took the first half of the shoot to build Numenor. So by the time I met everyone, they were already a family, and they invited me in.

BENJAMIN WALKER: This is going to be the most eclectic fellowship we’ve ever seen, right. It feels like the series is progressing, when it comes to ethnicity, when it comes to gender. I mean, how much of a sort of like point of pride was that for you guys, as creators of this series to sort of– to bring new faces and a new world into this world that’s created, that’s existed for so long, but we’ve never seen look quite like this?

CYNTHIA ADDAI-ROBINSON: It’s a huge point of pride. I mean, I think we’re talking about a global show and a global audience. This is now the reality. This is not about taking the narrow view. And, to me, this is about inviting people in and being expansive. And if you’re going to tell this story in 2022, this, to me, feels like the only way to tell it, the only way to represent it. And I think people are going to be really happy.

They’ve been hungry to sort of see full representation in this world. Because at the end of the day, this story is very much about people of all different backgrounds coming together for a common cause, to fight the common enemy, and that very much relates to where we’re at today. So that, to me, is just, like, the natural progression of things. It’s just what I would expect it to be.

MARKELLA KAVENAGH: It’s just, you know, really exciting to have– for it to be more representative of the world that we live in. And I just hope that the industry, not just our show, but the industry just continues to become more inclusive and representative of the world we live in. So I’m really grateful to be a part of that.

NAZANIN BONLADI: Every woman has agency on this show. Every female character has– is not there to serve the male characters around her. But every one of us has autonomy in our storylines. I am not only the mother of a rebellious teenage son or in a forbidden romance with an elf, the very handsome Ismael Cruz Cordova, but I also am a healer and a leader of sorts in my own right.

MEGAN RICHARDS: It’s just nice. It’s just such an inclusive atmosphere. And, I mean, I can’t even– I can’t wait for the time when that’s not even a question anymore, you know. Like, it’s just so nice that the modern world that we’re living in today, it really is reflected within in the world that Jodie and Patrick have created.

NAZANIN BONLADI: I never, in a million years, thought that I would be in something like this. And now we’re hoping that when people watch Arondir and Bronwyn fall in love on screen that they can see a Afro-Latino man and a Middle Eastern woman fall in love and have a love story, and be romantic leads, and in this genre. And that means the world to both of us, and all the people of– marginalized people in our cast.

KEVIN POLOWY: Despite, you know, “Rings of Power” taking place in the Tolkien universe, fantasy world long ago with creatures of all types, there’s a lot of themes that are going to be relevant to what is actually happening in the real world. Like, what can you say about that aspect? Like, what is it about the show that reminds you of the reality that we all live in?

CHARLIE VICKERS: We all live with. Well, I think that’s the beautiful thing about Tolkien is that the essence of his work, sort of will forever be related to what we go through, and what endures in human life. There are stories within the show that are stories of hope and stories of love and stories of loss, and the fight between good and bad. And I think that within this vast world of high fantasy, it’s these human stories that sort bring you in and really make you feel things when you watch the show.

BENJAMIN WALKER: There are a lot of connections you can draw between refugees or the climate crisis. But I don’t– that’s not the intention of the show. It’s just Tolkien. He understood the human experience in a deep way, and that translates into his work.

TYROE MUHAFIDIN: Just sort of those ideas of, like, family, friendship, you know, sticking with the people you know and you love, and no matter what goes on, they’re always going to be there for you.

LEON WADHAM: Certainly in Numenor there is a hunger for legacy at all costs. And I don’t know how much more I can reveal about that, but certainly ambitious to a fault is something that is said about the people of Numenor. They’re really proud. They have big dreams. They want to leave an imprint on this land before their time on Earth is over. And not everyone on that island knows where to draw the line.

– There can be no trust between hammer and rock. Eventually one or the other, or she’ll be back.

Nanzanin Boniadi (Bronwyn) interview

“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” star Nazanin Boniadi teases what fans can expect in her character Bronwyn. May be geo-blocked depending on your location, but you can try watching it here!

Last night TheOneRing.net and Amazon Prime Video hosted a “Rings of Power” off-site party at San Diego Comic-con.

The setting was lovely and looked very Middle-earthy with trees growing inside the venue surrounded by moss, rocks, mushrooms, and even a few birds’ nests filled with eggssess, precious. Showrunner Patrick McKay joined the party, and TORN staffer Cliff “Quickbeam” Broadway talked Tolkien lore with him. Jed Brophy stopped by, too.

Golden Mallorn leaf tickets were given out at TORn’s Booth 1220 in the convention center for trivia answers. These ticket holders got to meet 20+ Rings of Power actors and have posters signed by them all. Five Middle-earth costume winners also got Mallorn tickets. Actual set-worn costumes were displayed throughout the venue, and immediately after the party, they were bubble wrapped and crated and flown back to the set.

Highlights of the food and drink that flowed throughout the evening were the blackberry sparkling cocktail and the mini poke ice cream cones surrounding a mountain from which smoke poured out.

An expanded trailer that does not disappoint was played in a separate room on loop.

It was a wonderful evening, and hopefully the first of many ”Rings of Power” parties. (Emmys party perhaps?)

#sandiegocomiccon2022 #amazonprimevideo #theoneringnet #lordoftherings #ringsofpower

Just a week over the drop of the full length ‘teaser’ trailer from Prime Video, today fans were treated to a FULL trailer (3min long) for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Timed for release in the midst of San Diego Comic-con – and dropping during Prime Video’s Hall H panel – this trailer certainly sweeps away the coy hinting, and gives us a real look at what the story of Rings of Power may be; at least in the first season. But it may also pose more questions than it answers. Take a look:

Continue reading “New FULL Rings of Power trailer: so much revealed, and more questions posed?”