Clockwise from top left (left to right): humans Bronwyn and Theo, elf Arondir and human Halbrand in the Southlands; Elves Gil-galad, Galadriel and Elrond; in Numenor with Kemen, Miriel, Pharazon, Elendil, Earien, and Isildur; and nomadic Harfoots Marigold, Nori, Largo and Poppy.
Photo illustration: Vulture; Photo Prime Video
There’s a lot in Lord of the Rings books you can skip if, say, run through them to see what Frodo is going to do with the Ring of Power – digressions and songs about the history of Middle-earth, prologues about the nature of hobbits, and appendices listing the succession of kings thousands of years before the main action. This fall, Amazon premieres the eight-episode first season of a half-billion-dollar television series based on material from J. R. R. Tolkien’s fringe fantasy series.
Rings of Powercreated by Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne, focuses on the major events of the Second Age of Middle-earth, a largely unexplored part of Tolkien’s world history that you can read about mostly in the book’s appendices. Lord of the Rings trilogy. (Appendix B offers a narrow timeline of major events of the era, which leaves room for television interpretation; the series also compresses events for ease of adaptation.) After Amazon bought the rights to The Fellowship of the Ring, two towers, Return of the King, hobbit, and their applications, McKay, Payne, and producer Lindsey Weber suggested that it be omitted from the more familiar aspects of the story. Their development process was somewhat similar to the study of a religious text: they pieced together a narrative from heavy close reading, deduction, and, in cases where the text is silent, cautious, Tolkienist-supported flights of fancy. There are several millennia-old versions of some of the characters that you’ll recognize and locations that Middle-earth connoisseurs will love to see on screen, as well as characters and plots that are entirely fictional.
The process may seem a bit like making a whole apple peel pie, but the show quickly became an epic. “Having enough has never been a problem,” Weber said. “It was the other way around: here is a boundless sea of imagination.”
All Lord of the Rings as well as hobbit The books and film adaptations take place during a period called the Third Age, a time when the Dark Lord Sauron plans his return, searching for his lost Ring of Power, which has fallen into the unexpected hands of hobbits.
Rings of Power takes place during the Second Age, which begins with a disastrous battle between the Elves and Morgoth, the original, larger Lucifer-style evil in Tolkien’s universe; as the era progresses, his lieutenant Sauron comes to power. The series begins with the elves content with their initial victory over Morgoth, and with the human and dwarf kingdoms at the height of their greatness, though they remain on uneasy terms with haughty elves who are especially suspicious of humans. propensity for corruption.
We know that Sauron eventually shows up and tricks the elves into creating the Rings of Power, using the Dwarves’ precious mithril as part of the process. We also know that he almost succeeded, but the Second Age ends with Sauron’s first – and incomplete – defeat at the hands of “the last alliance of elves and men.” “People will be aware of some of the big things that are going to happen,” Payne said. “But we are interested in how these characters get there along the way. What little grains of sand have tipped the scales?”
As they developed their pitch, McKay, Payne, and Weber skimmed through books looking for details about the events of the Second Age. You hear Gandalf describe the history of the making of Frodo’s rings at the very beginning. The Fellowship of the Ring and Elrond recounts it in council at Rivendell. Sam includes it in a song about the fall of the Elven king Gil-galad, which he sings when the hobbits are just beginning their journey. “It’s like putting these pieces of evidence together,” McKay said. As they worked out possible storylines for the series on the board, they realized that the show, going through Middle-earth and leading to this union, had the epic emotional weight they needed. “There were huge themes about the fear of death, being tempted by evil and even friendship,” McKay said. “I remember saying, ‘This is a show.’
“Tolkien was not talking about creating Middle-earth, but about excavating it. It seemed to us that we were discovering something that was already there, ”added Payne. “People have heard about it in montages and outbursts, but those are huge untold stories.”
Cate Blanchett played old version of elven royal in VC movies. While that Galadriel was regal and reserved, Clark’s version is younger and meaner. She is obsessed with hunting down Sauron, although most of her countrymen do not believe that he is still there.
➼ Source: The inspiration for Galadriel’s obsession with Sauron came from Chapter 7 Brotherhood, in which Galadriel tells Frodo, “I see the Dark Lord and know his thoughts.” Then follows the etymology of her name, which in Elvish means “crowned with a garland of radiance.” According to Tolkien’s letters, this is because, as a child, she lifted her hair during sparring. “We thought, Let’s explore the military unit of herPayne said.
no hobbits Rings of Power – in Tolkien’s canon they don’t really matter until Bilbo and Frodo Baggins show up, which makes them such surprisingly good agents against Sauron. But if you do Lord of the Rings series, people want to see something like hobbits, So The show focuses on the Harfoots, a nomadic group of hobbit-like halfling ancestors who roamed the west during the Second Age.
Harfoot’s main characters are the adventurous Nori Brandyfoot and her supportive but less confident friend Poppy Proudfellow. Together they have a dynamic similar to Frodo and Sam.
Ramsey Avery, the show’s production designer, designed a village for the Harfoots, built with structures that can be demolished and taken along on the go, and will seem familiar enough with the depictions of hobbits we’ve seen elsewhere. In Tolkien’s films and writings, hobbits have round doors, so the Harfoots use a lot of big wheels. “At some point, they will calm down, look at these wheels and decide: “Let’s make a door out of them,” Avery said.
➼ Source: The description of the Harfoots comes primarily from part of the prologue Lord of the Rings titled “About the Hobbits”. There, the Harfoots are mentioned among two other halfling ancestral groups known as the Sturs and the Fallohides. Compared to them, the Harfoots “are darker in skin, smaller and shorter in stature, and they were beardless and barefoot; their hands and feet were neat and dexterous; and they preferred highlands and hillsides.”
In the first episode Rings of Power, a mysterious bearded man falls into a crater in the middle of Middle-earth. He has no idea who he is, but he’s connected to something important.
➼ Source: The creators don’t say more about the Stranger, but they say they always had the idea of a mysterious creature falling from the sky. At first glance, he appears to be a single entity, though his appearance mirrors that of other legends in the universe. “Tolkien always writes about the stars,” McKay said. “Eärendil becomes a star. Bilbo sings a song about how a man from the moon descends to earth. It looked like a branch from that tree.” Could the stranger be one of the Maiar, some of whom became Istari, wizard versions of Middle-earth? Could it be Gandalf? There is definitely something magical about it.
In the books and films, Elrond is the leader of the half-elves who plays a large role in organizing the Fellowship of the Ring and acts as Arwen’s stern father figure. AT Rings of Poweryoung Elrond is still tense, wary of his friend Galadriel’s exploits and eager to impress the elven king Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker).
➼ Source: Elrond talks a lot about himself Lord of the Rings, especially during the “Council of Elrond” chapter, in which he details how Sauron forced the elves to create the Ring of Power because of their “desire for knowledge”. Early on, the show explores this through Elrond’s complicated friendship with the dwarf prince Durin IV, who we know from the appendices is one of six identical Durins descended from each other.
There’s a thread Rings of Power The action takes place in the southern part of Middle-earth, where elves and people are in constant tension, and the human healer Bronwyn and the elf patrol Arondir fall in love with each other. “We liked the idea Romeo and Juliet forbidden love,” Payne said, noting that VC films have already explored the romance of Aragorn the human and the elf Arwen. “We saw a man-man with a woman-elf. What if we invert it?”
➼ Source: These two are completely made up. In the appendices there is mention of the difficulties of relations between humans and elves in connection with the courtship of Aragorn and Arwen, but Arondir and Bronwyn are a separate topic. The mutual suspicion between elves and humans in the Southlands is based on the fact that many humans fought on the side of Morgoth in the previous age, and they feel suffocated by the patrolling elves. “What brought all the different themes of the show together is the shadow of the war against Morgoth,” said director J.A. Bayona. “Everything is based on each kingdom’s attitude towards that war.”
Rings of Power takes us to worlds that have not yet appeared on the screen, but may be familiar to those who carefully read Tolkien. Like the places depicted in the films of Peter Jackson, Rings of PowerRussian cities were created on the site of New Zealand.
Houses with gnomes in Khazad-dum. AT The Fellowship of the Ring, the characters travel through the abandoned Mines of Moria. As far back as the Second Age, the place was known as Khazad-dum, a thriving community of dwarves and home to their mining operations. AT Rings of Power, we see the splendor of this empire before it collapsed when the dwarves dug too deep. TV series portrays a warmer and cozier side of gnomes than in the films and introduces the gnome’s female lead, Princess Disa (Sofia Nomwete). In the appendices, Tolkien notes that there is a common myth that female dwarfs do not exist because they do not travel much abroad and are very similar to male dwarfs.
Numenor, aka Tolkien’s Atlantis. Tolkien writes of a legendary human kingdom on its own island, which by the Third Age had sunk into the ocean. Rings of Power builds Numenor in all its splendor: Avery, the production designer, incorporated elements of Greco-Roman architecture into the city, as well as canals, referring to Tolkien’s correspondence, in which he casually compares the city to Venice. Some of the designs were their own invention: “We came up with a certain Númenórean bottle arch shape that we often used,” Avery said, “and a particular column shape, distinct from any historical reference.” There is nothing Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian here.
Valinor, elven paradise. Also known as the Undying Lands, this is a peaceful realm across the sea to the west of Middle-earth, where the elves originated. It is also the place where they sail after they leave Middle-earth, as shown in Return of the King. Rings of Power begins with a flashback to Galadriel’s youth, offering a glimpse of the trees Lorelin (the sun) and Telperion (the moon) before Morgoth destroyed them. These events are affected in applications Lord of the Rings and detailed in Silmarillion, a gigantic collection of Tolkien’s myths and legends, which focuses mainly on the First Age and also describes the fall of Númenor. Amazon has no right to Silmarillionso the creators Rings of Power could write material that “harmonizes” with the description of events in Silmarillion but does not directly adapt or contradict them. “We have to do a very subtle dance,” Payne said.