When it comes to fantasy literature and film, only a few sagas have won over the hearts of fans like J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. With its sprawling world, rich mythology, and iconic characters, the epic story has become a cultural phenomenon. And, most recently, it’s spawned the prequel series, The Rings of Power, which brings fans back to Middle Earth yet again.
Set thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings, The Rings of Power Season 1 immersed viewers in the origin tale of the infamous rings, their creation, and the dark forces that seek to wield their immense power.
As we get closer to The Rings of Power Season 2 release date and rumors swirl, it’s time to shed light on some lesser-known facts about this highly-anticipated adaptation. Here are some fun facts you might or might not know about the book and its ongoing series.
Peter Jackson Initially Not Involved in The Rings of Power
Peter Jackson, who helmed the two Tolkien trilogies, initially said he wasn’t involved with The Rings of Power. But in 2018, Jackson hinted that he might be advising on the scripts, asking Amazon Prime Studios to look over but was turned down. The alleged reason was that Tolkien’s Estate was opposed to Jackson getting involved with the show.
Despite the rejection, The Rings of Power showrunners still had several private discussions with Jackson about the show.
Practical Effects Over CGI
The Rings of Power prioritizes practical effects, which means characters like the Orcs are real extras in makeup instead of CGI figures. In July 2022, The Rings of Power executive producer Lindsey Weber told IGN that the prosthetics for the Orc faces are “thin and nimble to allow actors to move their mouths and emote the way humans do.”
Weber also revealed that the show includes female orc characters, stating that there were “some female Orcs,” that she truly loved.
The Rings of Power Is Not a Direct Adaptation of Tolkien’s Books
The show is not a direct adaptation of Tolkien’s famous books. Instead, The Rings of Power introduces stories that take place thousands of years before the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings books.
The Tolkien Estate has demanded that the show not change anything written about the age in which it takes place. But the showrunners maintain creative freedom to come up with their own stories.
Despite the show not being a direct prequel to the films, Amazon and the showrunners have expressed their plans to remain true to the look and designs of the movies.
The Rings of Power Was the Most-Watched Premiere on Amazon
During the first season of The Rings of Power, the show managed to amass 25 million viewers. This made the spinoff the most-watched premiere on Prime Video of all time.
The show was years in the making, as Amazon bought the rights in 2017, and it didn’t premiere until September 1, 2022.
Several Streaming Platforms Sought After The Rings of Power
When it came to making perhaps the most expensive show to date, several major streaming services entered a bidding war to obtain the rights to film the show. Netflix and HBO were in the running to obtain the rights with Netflix entering a bidding war with Amazon Studios. HBO was approached by the Tolkien Estate to make the show mostly due to its connection with the distribution company of the trilogies.
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos personally worked on the agreement when the studio won the rights for $250 million. The deal was between Amazon Studios, the Tolkien Estate, and Warner Bros. At the time, Bezos sought to get Amazon Studios to develop a fantasy series similar to Game of Thrones. The Rings of Power proved to be such a series.
The budget for The Rings of Powers Season 1 was initially planned to cost between $100 and $150 million. However, the final season ended up costing nearly $465 million.
There are Three Kinds of Hobbits
In “Concerning Hobbits” by LOTR author J.R.R. Tolkien, we learn that three kinds of Hobbits exist in Middle Earth. The types include Harfoots, Sloors, and Fallohides.
In The Rings of Power, the breed of Hobbits depicted are Harfoots. Harfoot Hobbits in the Second Age share the same love of song, dance, and humor as their Third Age descendants.
What makes them different is that Harfoots live a more nomadic and migratory lifestyle, preferring to hide from people and creatures they don’t know.
There are Lesser Rings of Power
We only know of the number of rings in the films, but there are 20 Rings of Power overall. Even with that number, there are rumors of other “lesser Rings” that were made. It’s unknown how many of these “lesser Rings” there are.
According to a historical record, the so-called “lesser Rings” do not have gems or decorative motifs. This means that these rings were only how people practiced a newly learned skill without wasting time and effort on creating a failed great Ring. These objects are mostly a mystery in the franchise but given how the show focuses on the Rings of Power, more information may be revealed about them.
Even with the rings being referred to as “lesser rings,” speculation suggests that the power within these rings may not be tied to the One Ring. This means that it’s likely that the rings weren’t incredibly useless when the One Ring was destroyed. Should these rings retain their power after the One Ring’s destruction, then they may play a key part.
Most of the Rings are Made in Eregion
Most of the famed rings in Middle Earth were made in Eregion, a peaceful Noldor realm ruled by Celebrimbor. At the time, the people were unaware of Sauron’s true intentions when they helped him forge the Rings of Power. It’s said that their skills in forging the rings surpassed nearly anything made by the Elves. Celebrimbor oversees the forging of most of the Rings of Power except for the One Ring.
One such type of ring was the three Elven Rings, whose forging was overseen by Celebrimbor. While the three rings were made without Sauron’s influence, they still fall within the reach of the One Ring. The three rings help its wielders safeguard their territories.
The rings that belong to Galadriel and Elrond play a part in the peace over Rivendell and Lothlorien. The ring that belongs to Gandalf, on the other hand, encourages and inspires those who are oppressed by Sauron.
Sauron Declares War on the Elves for Control of the Rings
The War of the Elves and Sauron was waged by Sauron himself out of wearing the One Ring. When Sauron wears the One Ring, his darkness is revealed to the Elves and exposes his schemes. Sauron’s only option to take control of the lands of Middle Earth is through brute force, which triggers the war.
This leads Elrond and Gil-Galad to bring their armies to protect Eregion from the orcs coming from Mordor. The Elven kingdom inevitably loses.
Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1 is available to watch on Prime Video.