The Rings Of Power showrunners have confirmed the show’s ending will remain faithful to J.R.R. Tolkien’s source material.
Based on the appendices to the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, The Rings Of Power covers Middle-earth’s Second Age, from the rise of Sauron, the forging of the rings and the last alliance between Elves and Men.
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The show has been mapped out for five seasons by showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay, including an endpoint which won’t deviate from Tolkien’s original works.
Asked by NME if they have an ending for the show, McKay said: “Yes, if you’re a fan of the lore or a fan of The Lord Of The Rings, then you know that the rings of power… it’s the rings which were scattered across Middle-earth through Elves, Dwarves and mortal Men as Tolkien called them. But they were all deceived, there was one master ring to rule them all.
“We reckon there’s this grand epic to be told about their creation and the distribution and the results of what those rings can do. We saw in the original Lord Of The Rings narrative what one ring can do, this is 20. So presumably that story will end when the story of the rings and how they change the world is over.”
Asked if they’ll have to make changes to the source material endpoint to adapt it to television, Payne said: “No, I think it’s going to work well. I think it’s going to leave people with that feeling you want when you have gone through a 50-hour story. It’s been a privilege as storytellers to have that kind of canon from the beginning because you can set things up in season one that are going to pay off way down the road. It’s a great storytelling canvas to work on.”
After the original trilogy of movies, Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, which concluded with 2013’s The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, was criticised for its reliance on CGI over practical sets and prosthetics.
For The Rings Of Power, which blends both CGI and practical sets, the approach was to make Middle-earth feel as real as possible to match Tolkien’s vision.
“We had an ambition early on to want to make Middle-earth feel real,” Payne said. “Tolkien spoke about, when he was writing these tales, he said he felt more [like] he was excavating something that pre-existed him. He came to this with the rigor of a linguist, who tracked the morphology and syntax of languages across centuries, and because of that you feel like Middle-earth is a real place. We wanted it to feel as real as possible. Discovered not constructed was one of our guiding principles early on.
“We used CG to support that reality but we would build as much as we possibly could on camera and then we worked with some of the best VFX artists in the world. They made sure that hand-off between the worlds was as seamless as possible.”
Morfydd Clark, who plays Galadriel, recently detailed her rigorous underwater training for the series, where she had to learn to hold her breath for extended periods.
‘The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power’ is available now on Amazon Prime Video.