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Amazon Lord of the Rings series release date - everything we know

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV prequel is recreating Middle-earth with acclaimed Jurassic World, Doctor Who, and The Witcher filmmakers

Lord o f the RIngs TV series release date: Everything we know about the Amazon Prime series

What is the Amazon Lord of the Rings series release date? Fancy a return trip to Middle-earth? Amazon certainly hopes so, because it’s pumping a staggering amount of money into a new Lord of the Rings TV series, called The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, set to premiere on its Amazon Prime streaming service.

The ambitious project has already grabbed headlines for being the most expensive TV series ever made, but it’s not like Amazon is gambling on an unknown quantity. The original book trilogy written by JRR Tolkien and published from 1954-1955 has sold more than 150 million copies. But as prepublicity goes, that’s peanuts compared to the Peter Jackson-directed film trilogy (2001-2003), which made just shy of $3 billion at the box office (with his follow-up prequel movie trilogy The Hobbit adding another $2.9 billion). It was the Jackson films that truly created an army of Rings fans, who embraced the fantastical characters and stories of hobbits, wizards, elves and dwarves battling orcs and the ancient evil being Sauron.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is no mere remake. It’s both more exciting and riskier than that. So ahead of its big debut, here is everything you need to know about the Amazon Lord of the Rings series release date, cast, plot, and more.

What Is the Lord of the Rings series release date?

The first episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere on Amazon Prime on September 2, 2022, with episodes continuing weekly thereafter.

“I can’t express enough just how excited we all are to take our global audience on a new and epic journey through Middle-earth,” Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said. “Our talented producers, cast, creative, and production teams have worked tirelessly in New Zealand to bring this untold and awe-inspiring vision to life.”

Lord of the Rings series release date: a close up of an elf


Is there a trailer for The Lord of The Rings Series?

Yes! Yes, there is. Amazon Prime shared the first glimpse at the new series on January 19, 2022. In the teaser clip, we see Middle-Earth in all its high-definition glory. The trailer also revealed that the series was called The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

During the 2022 Super Bowl, Amazon shared the first full-length trailer for the TV series.

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When IS The Lord of the Rings series set?

When Amazon announced the series in 2017, many assumed it would be a remake. It soon became clear, though, they had other plans; the series is a prequel. A map posted on the official @LOTRonPrime Twitter feed in February 2019 detailed lands and regions that only existed long before the events depicted in The Lord of the Rings.

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If you’re wondering how people could have worked that out when we’re dealing with a made-up world, the reason is that JRR Tolkien created an entire history of Middle-earth – broken down into the First Age, Second Age and Third Age – which then he related in a book called The Silmarillion, plus various appendices to The Lord of the Rings.

The events of The Lord of the Rings take place in the Third Age; the events of the new series take place in The Second Age, thousands of years before.

FYI, Sauron (the Big Bad of Lord of the Rings) created the all-important One Ring during the Second Age.

Lord of the Rings series release date: Ian McKellen as Gandalf

What is the lord of the rings series plot?

Amazon released an official synopsis for the series through TheOneRing.net in January 2021, revealing that the series “will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness.”

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“Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.”

What can we glean from that? The mention of the Misty Mountains would seem to promise some dwarf action, while Númenor is a vital stepping stone in the creation of Gondor, which features significantly in Lord of the Rings. And Sauron is clearly going to be playing a part in proceedings.

Lord of the Rings series release date: a close-up on a dark mask

What Amazon can and cannot do in the Lord of The Rings Tv series

Apparently, the deal Amazon signed with the Tolkien estate means they have to play by specific rules.

According to Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey, Amazon must only film Second Age events, and cannot, “contradict anything that Tolkien did say… It must be canonical, it is impossible to change the boundaries that Tolkien has created…

But you can add new Lord of the Rings characters and ask a lot of questions, like: What has Sauron (pictured) done in the meantime? Where was he after Morgoth was defeated? Theoretically, Amazon can answer these questions by inventing the answers, since Tolkien did not describe it.”

Lord of the Rings series release date:  hobbits

What is the lord of the rings series budget?

Various sources claim that the series’ budget will be $450 million for the first series. That compares to the estimated $90 million that Game of Thrones season eight cost, or $15 million an episode. As yet, we don’t know how many episodes season one of The Lord of the Rings will be; eight are confirmed across three directors.

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Tom Shippey has said it will be 20, which is unconfirmed (and seems a lot), in which case that still would be a significantly larger $22 million an episode. Amazon boss Jennifer Salke justified the cost saying, “This is a full season of a huge world-building show.”

Lord of the Rings series release date: Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, and Sean Astin as Sam

Who is in the LORD OF THE RINGS SERIES cast?

Oddly, Amazon has released a huge list of actors who’ll be in the show, and most of the parts are of new characters in the extended Tolkein Lore.

Some familiar names, such as Galadriel and Sauron himself, have been cast. But get ready to meet a fresh batch of adventures!

Here is a cast list for The Lord of the Rings series so far: 

  • Sir Lenny Henry
  • Cynthia Addai-Robinson
  • Maxim Baldry
  • Kip Chapman
  • Trystan Gravelle
  • Thusitha Jayasundera
  • Fabian McCallum
  • Simon Merrells
  • Peter Mullan
  • Lloyd Owen
  • Augustus Prew
  • Alex Tarrant
  • Benjamin Walker
  • Robert Aramayo
  • Owain Arthur
  • Nazanin Boniadi
  • Morfydd Clark
  • Ismael Cruz Córdova
  • Markella Kavenagh
  • Joseph Mawle
  • Dylan Smith
  • Charlie Vickers
  • Daniel Weyman
  • Ian Blackburn
  • Anthony Crum
  • Maxine Cunliffe
  • Geoff Morrell
  • Peter Tait
  • Leon Wadham
  • Sara Zwangobani
  • Ema Horvath
  • Tyroe Muhafidin
  • Sophia Nomvete
  • Megan Richards


Lord of the Rings series release date: Christopher Lee as Saruman

Who’s making the lord of the rings series?

The names of the showrunners (JD Payne and Patrick McKay) may leave you none the wiser, as their credits on IMDB start with… the Lord of the Rings TV series.

So how did two guys with apparently no experience land such a plum role? It appears they were recommended for the role by JJ Abrams (Lost, Star Trek, Star Wars) and have been quietly making a name for themselves behind the scenes.

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Confirmed directors include: JA Bayona (The Orphanage, A Monster Calls, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) who will helm the first two episodes; Charlotte Brändström (The Witcher, Jupiter’s Legacy), who will direct two episodes; and Wayne Che Yip (Preacher, Doctor Who, Doom Patrol).

The series will also be crafted by executive producers Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire), and Sharon Tal Yguado.

More names include Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad);  Jason Cahill (The Sopranos); Justin Doble (Stranger Things); consulting producers Bryan Cogman (Game of Thrones) and Stephany Folsom (Star Wars Resistance); and writer and co-producer Helen Shang (Hannibal).

Ron Ames (Bumblebee, Avengers: Age of Ultron) will oversee the visual FX.

Lord of the Rings series release date: Ian MacKellen as Gandalf

Will Gandalf be in the Lord of The Rings series?

On learning of the new series, Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf in the Peter Jackson movies) confirmed on Graham Norton’s radio show in 2017 that he’d be delighted to play the wizard again.

But while, according to Tolkien, Gandalf was alive in the Second Age, he – along with his fellow wizards (or Istari) – didn’t arrive in Middle-earth until the Third Age. Does that mean a wizardless show?

Need more fantasy and magic? Check out our guide to all the Harry Potter movies to get your fix.