The first images from The Rings of Power have been released, giving Tolkien fans their first proper glimpse at Prime Video's ambitious reimagining of the Lord of the Rings mythos.
Rather than being a mere remake of the critically-lauded Peter Jackson film trilogy, this streaming show is set thousands of years earlier, telling a new story inspired by the original author's rich and detailed world-building.
In addition to familiar characters like Sauron and Galadriel, The Rings of Power will also feature a number of all-new creations, with co-showrunner Patrick McKay describing it as "the novel Tolkien never wrote" in a new Vanity Fair interview.
He added that the key focus of the story will be "the forging of the rings", which had an irreversible consequence for every living being in Tolkien's world.
"Rings for the elves, rings for dwarves, rings for men, and then the one ring Sauron used to deceive them all. It’s the story of the creation of all those powers, where they came from, and what they did to each of those races," explains McKay.
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Following the official title reveal last month, we now have our first look at several cast members, but with a heaving ensemble of 22 principal actors there are still plenty of surprises to come.
In the images below, you can see Morfydd Clark (His Dark Materials) in the role of Galadriel, previously portrayed by Cate Blanchett, as well as The Undoing's Ismael Cruz Córdova as new character Arondir, a Silvan elf.
There is also a glimpse at a quiet moment shared between Galadriel and her love Elrond (Game of Thrones alum Robert Aramayo), as well as the debut of Charlie Vickers in mysterious original role Halbrand.
The Rings of Power is also noteworthy for expanding the diversity of the Lord of the Rings, with screen newcomer Sophia Nomvete being the first Black woman to play a dwarf in the franchise.
“It felt only natural to us that an adaptation of Tolkien’s work would reflect what the world actually looks like,” said executive producer Lindsey Weber. “Tolkien is for everyone. His stories are about his fictional races doing their best work when they leave the isolation of their own cultures and come together.”
After purchasing the global television rights for a reported $250 million, Amazon is now said to be investing approximately $1 billion over a five-season commitment to the project. Let's hope it pays off.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 2nd September 2022 - try Amazon Prime Video for free for 30 days. Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.