The review embargo for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power was lifted today and reviews are now coming in fast. The reviews have been generally positive, praising the epic feel and production, with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 93%.
Here’s a growing list of reviews (and spoilers):
Many predicted Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ prequel would be a disaster. It isn’t.
Prime Video’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is a unique take, telling something of its own story using a distant time period of the lore that Tolkien mostly laid out in broad strokes. It’s a bold approach, and here fortune has favored it. The two-episode premiere marks a strong start, with breathtaking cinematography, excellent acting, and a story that – after a somewhat labored set-up – shows some serious promise and intrigue.
There are ways to do a prequel, and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power does them all wrong. It takes six or seven things everyone remembers from the famous movie trilogy, adds a water tank, makes nobody fun, teases mysteries that aren’t mysteries, and sends the best character on a pointless detour.
This is TV that is made for big screens, although surely destined to be watched on smaller ones. It is so cinematic and grand that it makes House of the Dragon look as if it has been cobbled together on Minecraft.
It’s technically impressive, reasonably ambitious, packed with Easter eggs that I’m certain I’m not versed enough to get and, with my interest in different plotlines already varying wildly, it could fall off a precarious cliff at any moment.
I came to this series a skeptic, but after watching the first two episodes, I walk away a believer. What showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne have created is something simply staggering in scope and scale, in raw beauty and magnificence. It is nothing short of a masterpiece—and a welcome return to Tolkien’s legenderium.
Having invested hundreds of millions in mounting a series version of “The Lord of the Rings,” Amazon has gotten its money’s worth in production values but not storytelling, with a handsome prequel that could leave all but the most devoted Hobbits feeling more bored than lord.
Rings of Power is not just good, it’s great: a gorgeously immersive and grandly ambitious spectacle packed with stunning imagery and compelling plot threads. Most importantly, it captures the same sense of awe we felt while watching the Lord of the Rings movies — one we don’t often get to experience on the small screen.
It’s a series that wants dearly to set itself apart as a fresh take on the material, right down to setting itself an entire age before the adventures of Frodo Baggins and his Fellowship. But it also does everything it can to stir our nostalgia for the Jackson films, from costume to music to overall design, which can occasionally make it like a store-brand version of the same.
Though the eight-part debut season portends an imminent war between Elves and orcs — with Dwarves, humans and a precursor to the Hobbit race called the Harfoots in the mix — the copious and choppily edited action in the first two episodes (those screened for critics) is bloodless and computer-effects-driven.
By now you may be wanting to know what The Rings of Power is about. In a way, I feel the same. The first two episodes of the show are full of exposition, unhurried table setting and character introductions but not much else.
On the one hand, The Rings of Power’s unwavering focus on its heroes allows the show to truly spotlight several of its strongest cast members. Clark shines as a version of Galadriel who is more battle-hardened and outwardly headstrong than the older, wiser, and more ethereal iteration Cate Blanchett famously played in Peter Jackson’s movies. Owain Arthur nearly steals the show with his likable, charismatic turn as Durin IV, the dwarven prince of Khazad-dûm.
On the other hand, the lack of a major antagonist in The Rings of Power’s opening installments creates an unfortunate sense of waywardness. At times, the show’s disparate storylines feel like they are only connected by the vague notion that evil may be just around the corner. Consequently, there are moments — especially in The Rings of Power’s second episode — when the series’ continent-spanning structure feels frustratingly unwieldy.
This first quarter of the season is almost entirely setup for what is to follow, so it’s hard to render much of a verdict on the series from relatively unknown showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, who have contributed to movies including “Star Trek Beyond” and “Jungle Cruise.” Through two hours — both nicely directed by the talented J.A. Bayona (“The Impossible,” “A Monster Calls”) — “The Rings of Power” is intriguing but not quite engrossing.
The Fellowship of the Ring is a big influence here, and the characters go off on quests to investigate strange occurrences in the land while dark rumors from the previous war start to circulate again. The episodes do a commendable job of not only showing the enormity of the world and its history, but also giving the feeling of dread weighing down as the clues begin to be revealed.
Adjectives like “bold” and “ambitious” are par for the course when it comes to this franchise, and they absolutely apply to what we’ve seen so far of the show.
Two episodes in, the world-building is just as stunning and intricate as you could hope for. It’s the kind of show that deserves to be seen on the big screen instead of your phone, but that’s not going to stop fans from visiting Middle-earth via a six-inch display
…first-time showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay are content to take their time establishing the characters and laying the groundwork for what’s to come in a measured and deliberate way instead of giving viewers a taste of something and then jumping ahead years into the future by the next episode.
There are great performances throughout, including Clark as a Galadriel, who dances much closer to the darkness than one might expect from the future Lady of Lorien. There’s strong chemistry between Clark and Robert Aramayo as Galadriel’s friend Elrond, who at this point is but an ambitious young politician. However, the dwarves — Owain Arthur as Durin and Sohpie Nomvete as Disa — make the strongest impression.
From the tempestuous Sundering Seas to the glorious halls of the dwarven kings, each location is richly created. It’s clear how much of the budget went into making these places look as magical as imagined. On top of that, composer Bear McCreary’s soundtrack plays off the familiar tunes of Howard Shore’s iconic soundtrack and instantly tugs at the heartstrings of anyone who would find themselves affected by the music of Middle-earth.
Prime Video Hosts J.R.R. Tolkien Homecoming in London’s Leicester Square for theWorld Premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Ahead of the September 2 Premiere
The highly anticipated Prime Video series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power honoured J.R.R. Tolkien by ending its epic global tour in the United Kingdom with its world premiere in London’s Leicester Square. Prime Video brought nearly 2,000 people—including cast, producers, and fans—into Middle-earth in advance of the series’ September 2 debut.
The London premiere represented the final stop in the series’ five-city world tour that started in Los Angeles and included Mexico City, Mumbai, and New York City before culminating in Tuesday’s historic Leicester Square premiere.
A fully immersive, Ring-shaped carpet took cast, crew, and guests on a narrative journey through five realms of Middle-earth, as they interacted with media and fans on their way into the Odeon Luxe and Cineworld in Leicester Square. The center of the 2,000-foot-long circular carpet was anchored by an exquisitely hand-crafted 40-foot-tall structure representing the five realms depicted in the series: The Elf capital of Lindon; the Dwarven realm of Khazad-dûm; the island kingdom of Númenor; the Southlands, the world of Man; and the Wilderlands, the home of the Harfoots. Five customized lanterns representing the five realms lit the way for cast down the carpet, each with different light sources: Fire and coal for the Dwarves, the Harfoots’ fireflies, Númenor’s oil lamps, the Southlanders’ caged candles, and Elven glow.
A living environment was created with a multitude of plants, grass, moss, vines, and 100 large-scale trees. A multilevel environment, mimicking the mountainous and hilly topography of the world, was created with various levels and vantage points, with greenery that will be repurposed or recycled following the event for future use.
Attending the global premiere were all 22 of the series’ cast regulars: Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Lloyd Owen, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, Daniel Weyman, and Sara Zwangobani.
Also attending the premiere were showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne & Patrick McKay; executive producers Lindsey Weber and Callum Greene; directors Wayne Che Yip and Charlotte Brändström; writer and executive producer Justin Doble; series composer Bear McCreary; production designer Ramsey Avery; concept artist John Howe; supervising dialect coach Leith Mcpherson; and casting director Theo Park.
Amazon executives in attendance included Jeff Bezos, Founder & Executive Chairman; Jeff Blackburn, SVP Media & Entertainment; Mike Hopkins, SVP, Prime Video, MGM and Amazon Studios; Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios; Vernon Sanders, Head of Global Television, Amazon Studios; Albert Cheng, COO of Amazon Studios, among others.
The first two episodes of the multi-season drama will launch on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide on Friday, September 2, with new episodes available weekly.
It’s here! If you’re anything like me, listening to the music of The Lord of the Rings is a great way to relax at the end of a stressful day. Now we can add the music from the new series to our playlists.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season One Soundtrack
Amazon has two additional Amazon exclusive releases, “Find the Light” and “The Promised King”. I’ve already listened to “Find the Light” and personally I love it, I found it to be quite moving and beautiful, very emotive.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Season One: Amazon Original Series Soundtrack)
Score composed by Bear McCreary,this soundtrack features “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Main Title” by composer Howard Shore available on Amazon Music
CULVER CITY, California – August 19, 2022—Today, Amazon Studios released The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Season One: Amazon Original Series Soundtrack). Available worldwide across all streaming services, the full episodic score for the highly anticipated Amazon Original series was composed by Emmy-winner Bear McCreary and also features “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Main Title,” composed by Academy Award-winner Howard Shore. Amazon Music listeners will also have access to two exclusive songs from the soundtrack: “Find the Light” and “The Promised King.” CLICK HERE to listen to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Season One: Amazon Original Series Soundtrack). Physical CDs can be pre-ordered HERE and the LP can be pre-ordered HERE. An Amazon Exclusive vinyl variant is available for advance purchase HERE.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will debut worldwide on Prime Video on September 2, 2022. Following each episode, Amazon Music will release a weekly soundtrack album containing the entirety of the score for each episode, plus additional bonus tracks only available on Amazon Music.
The Season One: Amazon Original Series Soundtrack includes two performances by The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power actors—Sophia Nomvete (Princess Disa) on the track “A Plea to the Rocks” and “This Wandering Day,” sung by Megan Richards (Poppy Proudfellow).
Bear McCreary, known for his incomparable world-building and use of innovative musical approaches in the worlds of television, film, and video games, will guide audiences through the major events of the Second Age of Middle-earth, as seen in the forthcoming series. Working out of the iconic Abbey Road Studios as well as AIR Studios and Synchron Stage in Vienna, he has recorded and composed hours of music for the score, weaving together his original themes into a sonic tapestry for a full symphonic orchestra, alongside vibrant folk instruments and choral singers.
“J.R.R. Tolkien’s stunning novels and their film adaptations have had a profound impact on my imagination for nearly my entire life,” McCreary said. “I am honored to compose the music that will help guide audiences through the major events of the Second Age of Middle-earth.”
“This soundtrack is a stunning companion to the series’ exploration of the Second Age of Middle-earth” said Bob Bowen, worldwide head of music for Amazon Studios. “With two weeks to go till the debut of Season One, we’re excited to give fans a further glimpse into the epic series.”
Legendary composer Howard Shore has composed scores for some of the most memorable and world-renowned film and television series. Globally respected for his passion for J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, he is perhaps best known for his work on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power brings to screens for the very first time the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history, set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings stories. Led by showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne & Patrick McKay, the series begins in a time of relative peace, following an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared reemergence of evil to Middle-earth.
Additional executive producers are Lindsey Weber, Callum Greene, J.A. Bayona, Belén Atienza, Justin Doble, Jason Cahill, Gennifer Hutchison, Bruce Richmond, and Sharon Tal Yguado, and producers Ron Ames and Christopher Newman. Wayne Che Yip is co-executive producer and directs, along with Bayona and Charlotte Brändström.
The multi-season drama will premiere exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories around the world in multiple languages on Friday, September 1-2 (time zone dependent), with new episodes available weekly.
01) “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Main Title” (by Howard Shore)
04) “Nori Brandyfoot”
05) “The Stranger”
09) “In the Beginning”
10) “Elrond Half-Elven”
11) “Durin IV”
12) “Harfoot Life”
13) “Bronwyn and Arondir”
15) “The Boat”
16) “Sundering Seas”
17) “Nobody Goes Off Trail”
18) “Elendil and Isildur”
19) “White Leaves”
20) “The Secrets of the Mountain”
21) “Nolwa Mahtar”
23) “A Plea to the Rocks” (feat. Sophia Nomvete)
24) “This Wandering Day” (feat. Megan Richards)
25) “Scherzo for Violin and Swords”
26) “Sailing into Dawn”
27) “Find the Light” (Amazon Music Exclusive)
28) “For the Southlands”
30) “The Promised King” (Amazon Music Exclusive)
31) “Water and Flame”
32) “In the Mines”
33) “The Veil of Smoke”
34) “The Mystics”
35) “Perilous Whisperings”
36) “The Broken Line”
37) “Wise One”
38) “True Creation Requires Sacrifice”
39) “Where the Shadows Lie” (Instrumental)
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About Bear McCreary:
Emmy and BAFTA award-winning composer Bear McCreary began his career as a protégé of legendary film composer Elmer Bernstein, before bursting onto the scene scoring the influential and revered series Battlestar Galactica in 2004. Since then, McCreary has been a four-time Emmy nominee and won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme for Da Vinci’s Demons, a musical palindrome that sounds the same forwards and backwards. His recent projects include Foundation for Apple TV+, the Sony and Starz international hit series Outlander, Netflix’s Academy Award nominated documentary Crip Camp, produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot Films’ 10 Cloverfield Lane, AMC’s global phenomenon The Walking Dead, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the video game Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge for Disney; and Sony PlayStation’s massive video game God of War, and its highly anticipated sequel.
About Howard Shore:
Shore is one of today’s premier composers whose music is performed in concert halls around the world by the most prestigious orchestras and is heard in cinemas across the globe. Shore’s musical interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s imaginative world of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, as portrayed in the films directed by Peter Jackson, have enthralled people of all generations for years. This work stands as his most acclaimed composition to date awarding him with three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes as well as numerous critic’s and festival awards. He is an Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la France, the recipient of Canada’s Governor General’s Performing Arts Award and is an officer of the Order of Canada. The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures honored Howard Shore with an award for Career Achievement for Music Composition, the City of Vienna bestowed him with the Max Steiner Award and in 2017 he received the Wojciech Kilar Award established by the mayors of Krakow and Katowice. Shore has received numerous other awards for his career achievements. Shore has been invited to speak at many prestigious institutions, including La Fémis in Paris with Michel Hazanavicius. Other notable talks have been at Oxford Union, Royal Conservatory, Yale, NYU, Julliard, UCLA, University of Toronto, Berklee School of Music, Berlinale, Cinémathèque in Paris, and at Trinity College Dublin where he received the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage.
So you wouldn’t think that Galadriel means something similar, like that one time at Aqualondë when Fëanor decided to requisition some boats (or, later, when he decided to use said boats for tinder on the beach at Losgar).
It’s also likely that Elrond was involved in the The War of Wrath and present at Thangorodrim for the defeat of Morgoth at the conclusion of the First Age. It’s implicit in his statement during the Council of Elrond when he speaks of the Last Alliance.
“I remember well the splendour of their banners,” he said. “It recalled to me the glory of the Elder Days and the hosts of Beleriand, so many great princes and captains were assembled. And yet not so many, nor so fair, as when Thangorodrim was broken…”
The Council of Elrond, The Lord of the Rings
Arguably that’s the defining event of the First Age (even if it’s the most-sketchily recorded). A dragon falls on and destroys a mountain chain. Later, an entire sub-continent sinks as a result. It is, quite literally, a world-changing event.
Let’s say your preferred canon is that Galadriel remained in Doriath into the later stages of the First Age (one option CJRT outlines in Unfinished Tales), the sacking of Menegroth doesn’t remotely meet that benchmark. Even were you to place Galadriel at the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (I wouldn’t), or the Dagor Bragollach (a big stretch, but I do wonder if the showrunners might), it’s just not comparable.
So what’s left?
I broached this with fellow staffers, suggesting that only one thing in Galadriel’s history is truly incomparable: the destruction of the Two Trees by Morgoth and Ungoliant.
But, generally, we agree that the description of that event given in The Silmarillion is a poor match for the imagery from the scenes that Galadriel’s voice-over cuts across in the trailer. The Silmarillion describes that Laurelin and Telperion wither as Ungoliant drains them of life. They do not burn. The assault causes a vast, ever-expanding gloom and darkness, and it is entirely unexpected and unanticipated.
That’s very unlike what we see in the Rings of Power trailer scene. There’s a the red-hued background, flickering embers pass behind Galadriel, and there are bodies that seem to hang in space. Further, whatever Galadriel is looking on seems to centre on something that looks like a tower, or a fortress. Not trees.
If it’s not something in Galadriel’s (distant) past, what is it then?
Perhaps it’s some Second Age event around or during timeline that The Rings of Power covers.
Here, fellow-staffer Garfeimao cleverly suggests that we should keep in mind that Galadriel has powers of foresight. This, after all, is how Sam is able to see a vision of The Shire getting, let us say, redeveloped.
“Many things I can command the Mirror to reveal,” she answered, “and to some I can show what they desire to see. But the Mirror will also show things unbidden, and those are often stranger and more profitable than things which we wish to behold. What you will see, if you leave the Mirror free to work, I cannot tell. For it shows things that were, and things that are, things that yet may be. But which it is that he sees, even the wisest cannot always tell. Do you wish to look?”
I could see some pointing out that Elrond also has a mighty foresight. And that’s true.
For example, his concern for welfare of The Shire is not at all misplaced. But he also doesn’t intuit how critical Merry and Pippin would prove to the Quest to destroy the Ring. That’s not to say his foreknowledge is less, it’s more to showcase how imprecise such things can be in Tolkien. No-one ever sees the full picture — even the memories of the Valar of the Music are said to be fuzzy.
And a vision might explain the subtle differences between the two shots: Galadriel is not physically present at the second scene. Instead she’s perceiving it through the lens of vision — just as Frodo and Sam did in Lorien — from somewhere else that is distant in both place and time. Somewhere else that — in a sneaky bit of misdirection — just happens to have endured some sort of fire or assault.
Recall, also, that such visions and dreams in Tolkien can be the cause of great restlessness in the receiver. In The Silmarillion, Turgon and Finrod each receive a vision from Ulmo while resting by the banks of the Sirion.
“Unquiet was upon them ever after, and doubt of what should befall, and they wandered often alone in untrodden lands, seeking far and wide for places of hidden strength…”
Of the Return of the Noldor, The Silmarillion
This might be a key reason why Galadriel is unable to, as Elrond suggests, put down her sword.
A vision opens up possibilities of things that we, as an audience, might not see come to pass in the first season of The Rings of Power.
Staffer Josh suggests that it might just be a vision of The Downfall of Númenor: Akallabêth, and perhaps even the Temple in Armenelos as it sinks below the waves.
Now, that seems appropriately apocalyptic.
It would explain why all the figures look like they’re floating — they are. And it explains the odd ripples through that scene — it’s distortions caused by the surface of the water.
The mist cleared and he saw a sight which [Frodo] had never seen before but knew at once: the Sea. Darkness fell. The sea rose and raged in a great storm. Then he saw against the Sun, sinking blood-red into a wrack of clouds [my emphasis], the black outline of a tall ship with torn sails riding up out of the West.
The Mirror of Galadriel, The Lord of the Rings
There might be powerful reasons for Amazon Studios to tip people to this end-scenario early. The fact is that most viewers won’t know what a Númenor is, let alone that it was an island-continent that was sunk after an entire people went off their collective trolley, implemented a system of human (and, presumably elven) sacrifice, and decided to invade the “land of the gods” out of a misplaced belief that conquering it would confer immortality.
Sure, even the most casual watcher will understand Ring Bad(tm), but this is vastly more tangible and visceral.
This would be one way to drive home the wider audience what’s at stake and, conceptually, I like it a lot.
Unfortunately, neither The Lord of the Rings nor its Appendices mention the “mighty temple” that Sauron has built in Armenelos, nor the sacrifices of the Faithful that are conducted inside. Those details are only found in the Akallabêth story in The Silmarillion.
However, Appendix A and Appendix B do mention that the Faithful are persecuted, and that rebellion and “civil war” occurred in the final years of Númenor.
That may be enough for the purposes of a vision. That may also satisfy a quite accurate objection that Staffer Earl raises — that the scene does have the appearance of being the outcome of battle. In fact, the most prominent floating figure seems to be run through with a spear.
Perhaps it reflects that, in those final, doomed years, “men took weapons … and slew one another for little cause; for they were become quick to anger.” Chaos and violence as the apocalypse literally occurs should not, I think, be unexpected.
But let’s say that’s incorrect and we’re not looking upon a scene of Akallabêth.
Is there something else it might be?
Here, I’m indebted to one of our Discord chatters DrNosy who informed me that the fan hivemind suspects that the trailer aerial of a city at the confluence of two rivers is Ost-in-Edhil, the chief city of Eregion.
“…the Elves of this land were of a race strange to us of the silvan folk, and the trees and the grass do not now remember them: Only I hear the stones lament them: ‘Deep they delved us, high they builded us, fair they wrought us, but they are gone.'”
The Ring Goes South, The Lord of the Rings
While not as apocalyptic as the end of Númenor, it is still the end of Eregion. More, it’s the civilisational high mark of the Noldor. Although Elrond establishes subsequently a refuge in Rivendell, never again would they attempt anything on a similar scale.
A vision of the dreams of the Noldor going up in flames might just suffice.
About the author: Staffer Demosthenes has been involved with TheOneRing.net since 2001, serving first as an Associate News Editor, then as Chief News Editor during the making of the Hobbit films. Now he focuses on features and analysis.The opinions in this article are his own and do not necessarily represent those of TheOneRing.net and other staff.
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Prime Video dropped a new lifestyle promo video chronicling a day in the life of a Lord of the Rings fan, in anticipation of Rings of Power.
Watch the video then ask yourself, does this confirm Ents are in the show? Also was that NIRNAETH ARNOEDIAD, the epic battle with elves & men & dragons?
Nerd of the Rings did an immediate deep-dive into this general TV ad to find many easter eggs including John Howe books, John Howe artwork, and several other callbacks to things that have come before. This may also hint at a theatrical release!
Seen in context of the marketing of Rings of Power, this unheralded video comes 4 months after the Superbowl teaser and 2 weeks after the big Harfoot reveal in EMPIRE magazine, yet still doesn’t reveal ANYTHING about the show. It is a great level-set and reminder of what it’s like being a fan, with many recalling the first time they ever read LOTR after watching this video.
The greatest gift this show can provide is bringing even more people into the books of JRR Tolkien. This Amazon ad aims in that direction.
Join the lively discussion about this video in our Discord channel: https://discord.gg/theonering
Maybe it’s the time zones, but I really thought that John Howe’s interview with Empire about The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power was coming out tomorrow. Instead, if you’re keen (and an Apple News subscriber), you can read it right now over on Apple News.
The interview expands on the teaser Empire provided the other day, that “this is not the Middle-earth you remember”. Instead, it’s a story of a different time (the Second Age), when Middle-earth was visually and politically a different place.
Howe can’t elaborate on what that tale may be, but does hint that it takes place against a backdrop of “Sauron’s rise to power, the forging of the Rings of Power and the epic tale of [human city] Númenor” — all events with important repercussions for Middle-earth.
“I was convinced the Hobbit trilogy would be the last we’d see of Middle-earth on film,” Howe admits, explaining that it took an exciting new approach to Lord Of The Rings lore to unlock a story worth telling.