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The Lord of the Rings: Cast, Plot, and More

The Lord of the Rings: Cast, Plot, and More

Last updated on October 9th, 2023 at 07:59 pm

Give a ring to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Amazon Prime Video’s massively expensive adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s sprawling fantasy epic books, which were previously brought to life by Peter Jackson’s pair of beloved film trilogies.

The critical and fan response to Season 1 may have been mixed, but the showrunners have promised that the show only gets better from here on out.

Unfortunately, it appears that Season 2 won’t be out for a long while, but you probably still have questions.

When will The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2 be released? How much bigger can the cast get? What will Sauron be up to next season? We’ll try to answer those questions, and many more, including where Season 2 will be filmed, how many episodes it will consist of, and who’s directing.

Here’s everything to know about The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2 latest news
Ciarán Hinds, Rory Kinnear, and Tanya Moodie are the latest actors to join the cast of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

Variety reported on March 20 that Hinds (Belfast), Kinnear (Penny Dreadful), and Moodie (Empire of Light) will each recur in Season 2. Their roles have not been announced.

More on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:

Sauron Actor Breaks Down the Big Reveal in Season 1 Finale
Morfydd Clark on Sauron’s Identity, and How Galadriel Never Saw It Coming
7 Shows Like The Rings of Power to Watch While You Wait for Season 2
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2 cast
In addition to Hinds, Kinnear, and Moodie, a number of new cast members have already been announced.

Gabriel Akuwudike, Yasen ‘Zates’ Atour, Ben Daniels, Amelia Kenworthy, Nia Towle, and Nicholas Woodeson were added to the cast in December, per Deadline, along with Oliver Alvin-Wilson, Stuart Bowman, Gavi Singh Chera, William Chubb, Kevin Eldon, Will Keen, Selina Lo, and Calam Lynch. Their characters have not been announced.

We do know, however, that one familiar character will be played by a new actor.

The role of Adar, the villainous leader of the Orcs, has been recast. Joseph Mawle will be replaced by Peaky Blinders actor Sam Hazeldine going forward, according to TVLine. No reason was given for the recasting.

As for new characters coming in Season 2, we don’t know much, but we do know that one well-known character from the Tolkien universe will be making an appearance: Círdan the Shipwright.

Before Season 1 even premiered, co-showrunner J. D. Payne confirmed to Time that he was excited for fans to meet their version of Círdan in Season 2.

Fans of the books will remember that Círdan is the oldest living elf, so old that he is the only known elf to have a beard. Círdan appeared briefly in the first and third movies and was portrayed by Michael Elsworth.

Prime Video has not revealed who will play the character in the series.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power main cast
Morfydd Clark as Galadriel
Markella Kavenagh as Nori Brandyfoot
Robert Aramayo as Elrond
Benjamin Walker as Gil-galad
Charles Edwards as Celebrimbor
Daniel Weyman as The Stranger
Owain Arthur as Durin IV
Charlie Vickers as Halbrand/Sauron
Sophia Nomvete as Disa
Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Míriel
Check out our character guide for the main Season 1 characters in the series:

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2 renewal
Amazon acquired the rights to make a Lord of the Rings television show on Nov. 13, 2017 for a reported $250 million, though showrunners Patrick McKay and J. D. Payne later clarified to The Hollywood Reporter that it was “tens of millions” less, and the quarter billion-dollar offer was Netflix’s failed bid. Prime Video set a multi-season goal for the series and officially ordered a second season in November of 2020.

McKay and Payne have stated that they have a five-season run planned out and even know what the final shot of the series is, though Amazon has not officially ordered a third season, let alone Seasons 4 and 5.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2 release date prediction
The good news: The Rings of Power Season 2 is coming. The bad news: There’s currently no premiere date set, and it might be a long, long time until we get Season 2.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter in October 2022, co-showrunner Patrick McKay said that he expects to be working on Season 2 for “another couple years,” which means an optimistic guess on when The Lord of the Rings:

The Rings of Power Season 2 will hit Prime Video based on McKay’s own words is the second half of 2024. However, McKay and his co-showrunner J. D. Payne also admitted that with the experience gained from Season 1 under their belts, production on Season 2 is going faster and more smoothly, which could bump up that time frame a bit.

If you’re looking for some historical context to guess when Season 2 will premiere, here’s what we know about how Season 1 came to be.

Shooting Season 1 was an incredibly long task, beginning in February of 2020 in New Zealand and taking 18 months due to the massive production and COVID delays.

Season 1 filming was completed in early August of 2021. Filming of Season 2 began on Oct. 3, 2022, in the production’s new home of the United Kingdom. But Season 2 is expected to be bigger, so even though production might be smoother, the scope of each episode is presumably larger, adding to the production time.

COVID restrictions have also loosened, so it’s unclear how McKay’s estimate of a couple more years fits in.

I guess it’s better to establish a longer release window and beat expectations than promise sooner and disappoint fans when there’s a delay.

How many episodes will The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2 be?
Season 1 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power consisted of eight hour-plus episodes.

Season 2 isn’t changing things up and will also run for eight episodes.

What’s coming in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2?
The Season 1 finale revealed Sauron’s identity and gave fans more hints about who The Stranger is (he’s a wizard!).

There are very few details on The Rings of Power Season 2, but the showrunners have shared a few ideas.

McKay and Payne are touting Season 2 as being “bigger and better” on “every level… by an order of magnitude.”

All showrunners double as salesmen, so touting a bigger season isn’t a surprise, but color us intrigued by the promise of the new season being better by an order of magnitude.

It could be a simple sales pitch, but it can also be the pair looking at what they did in Season 1 and realizing that they must up their game.

Case in point, The Hollywood Reporter’s big pre-Season 1 finale Rings of Power cover story says Season 2 will feature “more iconic locations,” “familiar Middle-earth characters,” and, most interestingly, “a massive two-episode battle.” Yes!

Following the Season 1 finale, Morfydd Clark spoke to TV Guide and told us when Galadriel finally wised up to Halbrand’s true identity, and how Galadriel felt totally blindsided by the reveal that he was Sauron.

McKay and Payne explained to The Hollywood Reporter that much of Season 2 will focus on Sauron’s development as an antihero. “Sauron can now just be Sauron,” McKay said.

“Like Tony Soprano or Walter White. He’s evil, but complexly evil. We felt like if we did that in Season 1, he’d overshadow everything else.

So the first season is like Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight is the next movie, with Sauron maneuvering out in the open.

We’re really excited. Season 2 has a canonical story. There may well be viewers who are like, ‘This is the story we were hoping to get in Season 1!’ In Season 2, we’re giving it to them.”

Behind the scenes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2
Amazon has confirmed the three directors who will be helming episodes of Season 2, and they’re all women.

According to Deadline, Charlotte Brändström, Sanaa Hamri, and Louise Hooper have all been named as directors on the show, with Brändström (who directed two episodes in Season 1, including “Udûn,” which featured the season’s biggest battle) directing four of the season’s eight episodes.

She will also serve as co-executive producer for the series. She’s taking over the lead director position from Wayne Che Yip, who directed four episodes in Season 1, including the finale (pilot director J.A. Bayona also is not returning).

Hamri and Hooper — who both have recent prior TV fantasy directing experience, with Hamri working on The Wheel of Time and Hooper directing episodes of The Witcher and The Sandman — will each be directing two episodes.

Where is The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2 filmed?
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1 was famously filmed in New Zealand, which was also the picturesque backdrop for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films. However, Season 2 of The Rings of Power is changing things up.

Season 2 is moving production to the U.K. and started filming on Oct. 3, 2022 just outside of London at Bray Studios in Berkshire.

Reasons given for the location change include cheaper costs, easier access to more diverse locations throughout Europe, and the Tolkien estate expressing the U.K.’s influence on Tolkien’s writing.

More shows like The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Now that you’ve seen Season 1, what do you watch next? Our list features fantasy epics for the whole family (or just the adults) on several streaming services, including Netflix, Prime Video, and HBO Max.

Here are 7 shows like The Rings of Power.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1 review
Our pre-air review of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power from Keith Phipps was a positive one, with special kudos to the show’s visuals and the approach that paid homage to both the books and Peter Jackson’s films.

The big knock on it? It took a while to get things going. Here’s Keith Phipps’ review of the early Season 1 episodes.

Where to watch The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1 is currently on Amazon Prime Video.

TV Guide



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