Broadcast, story, characters… What you need to know about the “Lord of the Rings” prequel.

A pharaonic heroic fantasy series, eagerly awaited by Tolkienites. Announced in November 2017, the series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power long desired, due to the Covid-19 crisis. While the first two episodes of this extraordinary Middle-earth epic will be broadcast on Friday on Amazon Prime Video, fans of the universe created by JRRTolkien are in a frenzy, and are on the lookout for any information on the content of this blockbuster. What issues? What intrigues? What characters? If its location in the chronology is known – the series takes place during the “second Period” – for neophytes, this sign remains mysterious.

Whether you’re impatient (like us) or not, 20 minutes offers you a decryption so you can participate in many predictable conversations around this event series.

How much did the most expensive series of all time cost?

Billionaire Jeff Bezos is fascinated by the work of British writer JRR Tolkien, the founding father of heroic fantasy. Thus Amazon acquired the TV adaptation rights to The union of the ring, the two towers, the return of the kingthe annexes and The Hobbit for a whopping sum of 250 million dollars.

The series is produced by Amazon Studios, in collaboration with the publisher HaperCollins, Warner Bros, New Line Cinema studio and Tolkien Estate (the company that manages the rights for the author’s heirs).

With a budget of $715 million ($250 million for rights and $465 million for the first season, according to The Hollywood Reporter), The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is the most expensive series in television history. A perfect record. By way of comparison, the eight seasons of Game of Thrones costing HBO $500 million.

What writings is the story based on?

Amazon has no right to The Silmarillionthe collection of Tolkien stories that preceded Le lord of the ringsneither of Unfinished Storiesneither of History of Middle-earth. So the blockbuster is not an adaptation of one of Tolkien’s published novels, but is based on a broad one backstory as told by the famous British writer in the “appendices” written on the side of his trilogy of Lord of the Rings.

This left a lot of creative freedom for the showrunners, Patrick McKay and JD Payne. What makes some fans nervous is the idea that the series may not respect the source material. That must have pleased JRR Tolkien, who wrote in a letter in 1951 about his masterpiece: “I will draw some of the long stories in full, and leave many others only diagrammed and sketched.” The cycles must be linked to a noble whole, while leaving room for other minds and hands, handling painting, music and theater. »

So no need to read Tolkien, or see Peter Jackson’s two trilogies (The Lord of the rings and The Hobbit) to enjoy The Rings of Power. But there is no doubt that the series will make you want to know more about Middle-earth, the legendary world created by Tolkien.

What is it about?

Taking place in the fictional world of Middle-earth and during the Third Age, The Lord of the rings follows the quest of the hobbit Frodo Baggins, whose mission is to destroy an extremely powerful magic ring, the One Ring, so that it does not fall into the hands of Sauron, the Dark Lord, who created it.

One after the other The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Poweras its title suggests, tells the story that leads to the creation of Sauron’s ring, and is set in the Second Age, a time that predates the events recounted by 7000 years The Hobbit and The Lord of the rings.

The action begins after the War of the Great Wrath, a long war that ended with the fall of Morgoth, an evil entity and the main antagonist of the Silmarillion, and his armies. An event that ended the First Age of Middle-earth and ushered in a period of peace and prosperity.

What events will the series tell?

The Second Age consisted of the creation of the Rings of Power (Rings for Elves, Rings for Dwarves, Rings for Men, and the One Ring that Sauron made to enslave them all, found central to the plot of Peter Jackson’s trilogy), the story of the rise and fall of the kingdom of Númenor (a kingdom similar to Atlantis), the rise of Sauron (the main antagonist of Lord of the Rings and supporter of Morgoth, the villain of the First Age) and the Last alliance between Elves and Men.

Where does this happen?

The trailer takes us on a visual tour of Middle-earth, the Elven kingdoms of Lindon and Eregion, the Dwarven kingdom of Khazad-dûm, and several human kingdoms, including Númenór, the mythical island that not in the water. At the beginning of the Second Age, the dwarves of Khazad-Dûm (the future Moria) and the elves shared a common love: the forging of enchanted objects. It is in Ost-in-Edhil, capital of the Eregion, that elven smiths forge the famous Rings of Power, from which the series owes its title.

Who will be the heroes of the story?

The Rings of Power show no less than 22 characters! Among them, Tolkien regulars will discover a young Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) in badass warrior mode, far from the ethereal version of the elf played by Cate Blanchet, and the elf Elrond (Robert Aramayo), a a young political elf far removed from Hugo Weaving’s Lord of Rivendell role. Galadriel will meet Halbrand (Charles Vickers), a character created especially for the series.

Arondir, a wood elf, lives in a forbidden love affair with Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi), a healer from a human village in the southern lands of Middle-earth.

The series will also feature Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards), an elf, described in the books as the master of the Guild of Jewelsmiths (Gwaith-i-Mírdain).

On the dwarf side, fans will discover another original character, Princess Disa (Sophia Nomvete), the wife of Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur).

The series will also feature the Númenoreans, that is to say the ancestors of Aragorn, including in particular Isilgur (Maxim Baldry), a character we see in the prologue of the trilogy. The Lord of the rings cut off Sauron’s finger.

And what about the Hobbits? The plot takes place in the past when the Hobbits as we know them did not exist. When they lived in the Val de l’Anduin, they were separated into three separate branches, including the Pievelus (Harfoots in English). The series will follow at least this tribe, and more specifically two brave teenage girls, named Eleanor and Poppy (Markella Kavenagh and Megan Richards), who discover a mysterious man whose origin promises to be one of the great enigmas of the series.

What about Sauron, the great villain of history? Its existence and its appearance will undoubtedly be the key to the story…

Where and when will the series air?

The first two of the eight episodes of Season 1 will be available on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, September 2 at 3 a.m. The rest of the season will be revealed one episode per week at 6 a.m. every Friday until October 14.

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