(Pocket-lint) - The Lord of the Rings films are some of the most beloved and acclaimed fantasy movies ever made, and while the Hobbit trilogy may not have reached the same heights, there's still a huge amount of lore and backstory from J R R Tolkien's work that has never been explored onscreen.
Amazon made waves when it announced that it had bought the right to make a new high-budget TV show set in the world of Lord of the Rings, and we now know that the show will be called The Rings of Power. Find out all the key details about it, right here.
When does The Rings of Power come out?
The Amazon show is slated to start on 2 September 2022, and that release date has been confirmed multiple times so we'd be surprised if it slipped.
We also know that Amazon will not drop every episode at once, instead opting for weekly releases. Multiple streaming services seem to have cottoned on to the fact that this can keep people talking about a show for longer.
How and where to watch The Rings of Power
The Rings of Power will be exclusive to Amazon Prime Video, meaning that the only way to watch it will be by having a Prime membership, which will let you view the show via whatever compatible hardware you have.
What is the best streaming device for your TV? Our top recommendation is the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max. Also excellent are the Google Chromecast with Google TV, the Roku Express 4K, the Apple TV 4K and the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
How many episodes in The Rings of Power season 1?
We know that the first season of Amazon's show will run for eight episodes, meaning two months of weekly releases.
What we don't know is how long each of these will be, although the working assumption is that they'll land on or around the one hour mark that most prestige dramas tend to aim for.
The Rings of Power trailer
The first full trailer for the Rings of Power debuted during the 2022 Super Bowl broadcast, and you can watch it below.
It gives a lovely, if quick overview of some of the sights we'll be seeing and the characters that we'll be introduced to throughout the season.
What is expected to happen in The Rings of Power season 1?
For a long time, the premise of the show was a mystery, as was its setting, but things got a lot clearer when Amazon unveiled the title and confirmed some details of what the show concerns.
We now know that the show will focus on the 20 rings of power that were given to various figures in Middle Earth, while the One Ring that the original trilogy of books and films centred around kept a secret by Sauron.
The show will be set during the Second Age (where the films are during the Third), long before The Fellowship of the Ring, but that doesn't mean we won't meet some familiar characters. A younger Galadriel is now confirmed as part of the show, along with Elrond and the big baddie Sauron, all of whom have hugely elongated lifespans.
This is partly because Amazon's rights package mean it can't touch on the events contained within the main trilogy of books or The Hobbit, although as we've said that leaves a lot of space for the streaming giant to move around in.
We can also have increasing confidence who the main characters of the show will be, firstly after the recent release of a whole swathe of posters featuring their hands and a piece of equipment each, as well as the Super Bowl trailer.
There are a whole bunch of these posters, so do check out the show's Twitter account to see them all.
More recently, Vanity Fair posted the first big on-set tell-all about the show, featuring loads of amazing photography of the characters in costume and hints about how they'll interact.
#TheRingsOfPower, set within Tolkien’s Second Age, will juggle 22 stars and multiple storylines—from deep within the dwarf mines to the elven kingdom of Lindon. Here, the adventures of the fellowship are still some 2,000 years in the future.— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) February 10, 2022
: https://t.co/Tabxf9CzoL pic.twitter.com/FOQFHUKNQ3
We get glimpses of Galadriel and Elrond, who are both in earlier phases of their lives as commanders and advisors, while there are also a host of smaller characters who will share the screen with them, from elves and humans to dwarves.
At its core, #TheRingsOfPower takes its biggest cue from the heart of Tolkien’s books. “It’s about friendship,” says McKay. “It’s about brotherhood and underdogs overcoming great darkness.”— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) February 10, 2022
: https://t.co/Tabxf9CzoL pic.twitter.com/VX5FmTOteN
It looks like a vibrant set of characters, and there are plenty of interesting locations in the background, too, from a Dwarven hall to Elven havens and smaller villages and hamlets.
Will there be a Rings of Power season 2?
Amazon hasn't fully confirmed that it's committed to a second season of the show, but there are enough industry rumours around it to make things pretty clear. For one thing, we know that it's moving production from New Zealand, where the films were made, to the UK for its second stint.
This has been a bit controversial, needless to say, but it makes pretty clear that there's going to be another season. Amazon is also spending huge sums on the show, with a rumoured first-season budget of $450 million, by far the most expensive show ever made, so to end it after one season is hugely unlikely even if it ends up being a critical flop.
So, you can probably feel fairly confident that there will be a second season for you to tuck into eventually.