Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power - Dramatic trailer gives a glimpse of the characters and landscapes of Prime Video's J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation

The first teaser trailer of Prime Video's billion-dollar series based on Tolkien's Lord of the Rings has been revealed - find out which characters appear in it...

By Sophia Moir Updated: 1 August 2022 - 3.24pm

The first teaser trailer for Prime Video's Lord of the Rings series, The Rings of Power, has arrived and it doesn't disappoint as it introduces us to the main characters of the show and the spectacular scenes of Middle-earth.

The Lord of the Rings TV series on Prime Video - expected to be the most expensive series ever made - debuts on the streaming service on Friday, September 2, 2022.

Prime Video are sparing no expense on the adaptation and want the fantasy series to capture the imagination of millions and match the success of Game of Thrones as well as the Oscar-winning Peter Jackson adaptations of J.R.R Tolkien's novels.

Anticipation for the fantasy epic, which is based on the classic J.R.R. Tolkien novels, is palpable, but what do we know about the story, release date, setting, cast and creators of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power? Here’s everything we know so far...

The Rings of Power teaser trailer

Prime Video unveiled the first trailer for the series during the 2022 Super Bowl, and it doesn't disappoint, giving us a glimpse of some of the characters and creatures who will feature in The Rings of Power.

Among the characters we see in the trailer, according to Den of Geek, are Markella Kavenagh, a harfoot - ancestors of the hobbits - who utters the trailer's opening words "Haven’t you ever wondered what else is out there?"

According to Den of Geek's analysis, we also see Galadriel (played by Morfydd Clark), Halbrand (Charlie Vickers), Arondir (Ismael Cruz Cordova), Isildur (Maxim Baldry), Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards), Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur), the Dwarven princess Disa (Sophia Nomvette), young Elrond (Robert Aramayo) and, as a soldier fighting an orc in a battle scene, the actor Will Fletcher.

And of course, just like the Lord of the Rings films, we also see the spectacular landscapes of Middle-earth, aka New Zealand enhanced by cutting-edge CGI.

In January, a dramatic clip revealed the title of the show, with what appears to be the One Ring at its heart, being forged from rivers of gold.

Morfydd Clark, who plays the elven lady Galadriel, recites Tolkien's iconic Ring Verse which sets out who was to receive the 20 powerful rings.

When is Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power released on Prime Video?

The first two episodes of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere on Prime Video at 2am UK time on Friday, 2 September. The rest of the eight-episode first season will be released at the same time each week from September 9 to October 14.

First-look image revealed

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power first-look image Amazon Studios

This image from the series was released in August 2021 to mark the end of filming in New Zealand. However other than confirming that the scene is from the very first episode, Amazon Studios gave no more details of the identity of the figure nor of the city in the image.

Who is in the cast of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?

The cast includes some recognisable stars such as Lenny Henry and Peter Mullan, below, and a huge ensemble of new talent from around the world.

A long list of confirmed cast members include Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Maxim Baldry, Ian Blackburn, Kip Chapman, Anthony Crum, Maxine Cunliffe, Trystan Gravelle, Thusitha Jayasundera, Fabian McCallum, Simon Merrells,​ Geoff Morrell, Lloyd Owen, Augustus Prew, Peter Tait, Alex Tarrant, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker and Sara Zwangobani.

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power cast

Peter Mullan is among Amazon Prime Video's massive Lord of the Rings TV series cast

Also confirmed for the series are Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers and Daniel Weyman.

Showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay said: “The world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is epic, diverse, and filled with heart. These extraordinarily talented performers, hailing from across the globe, represent the culmination of a multi-year search to find brilliant and unique artists to bring that world to life anew. 

“The international cast of Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series is more than just an ensemble. It is a family. We are thrilled to welcome each of them to Middle-earth.”

In July 2021, further new cast members were revealed including Charles Edwards (The Crown), Will Fletcher (The Girl Who Fell), Amelie Child-Villiers (The Machine) and newcomer Beau Cassidy.

What will Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power be about and when is it set?

The Prime Video series will explore new storylines thousands of years before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring, which is the first of three volumes of the epic novel, The Lord of the Rings. 

In March 2019, the show's official Twitter account showed maps that would've existed long before Frodo Baggins set off from the Shire, suggesting that the series will actually take place during the Second Age of Middle-earth, the time period when Sauron (the titular Lord of the Rings) created the One Ring to rule all the other Rings of Power.

Prime Video outlined the setting for the show in a press relase:

"This epic drama 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 one of the greatest villains that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness.

"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 reemergence 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 farthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone."

Who’s making Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?

Spanish director J.A. Bayona will recreate Middle-earth for the billion-dollar series

In July 2018, it was announced that writing duo JD Payne and Patrick McKay would develop the series for Amazon, serving as the series’ executive producers and showrunners. 

It was a surprise to see the duo handed the job of looking due to their limited experience. They’d previously worked in an uncredited role on Star Trek Beyond and involved in drafts of a new Flash Gordon movie and Dwayne Johnson’s Jungle Cruise.

The pair were reportedly recommended to Amazon by J.J. Abrams, who worked with them on Star Trek.

It was later announced that J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Impossible) has been hired to direct and executive produce the opening block of episodes.

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode director Charlotte Brandstrom Amazon Studios

Charlotte Brändström, who was a director on Netflix’s The Witcher and Jupiter’s Legacy, will also direct two episodes.

“I’m very excited to be guided through Middle-earth by J.D.’s and Patrick’s vision and immerse myself in the iconic world of J.R.R. Tolkien,” said Brändström, above.

“It’s a great privilege to be in New Zealand to work with Amazon Studios’ outstanding ensemble of creative talents.”

British Chinese director Wayne Che Yip has also joined the creative team as a director and co-executive producer.

Yip will direct four episodes.

Yip, below, is best known for his work directing popular genre content including Hunters, Preacher, Utopia (Channel 4) and Doctor Who, and has recently directed episodes of Amazon Studios’ upcoming epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time. 

Wayne Che Yip, who is one of the directors and producers for Amazon's new Lord of the Rings TV series Prime Video
Wayne Che Yip

“It is a true honour to be invited into the world of Tolkien by J.D. & Patrick and Amazon Studios,” he said. 

“Every day I look forward to working with the incredible team here in New Zealand as we humbly contribute to the legacy of the greatest stories ever told.”

The rest of the creative team behind the series includes producers that have worked on Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and Breaking Bad.

Where is Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power filmed? 

Amazon confirmed in September 2019 that filming would take place in New Zealand, where the award-winning Peter Jackson movies were shot (below the movie set in Hobbiton, near Matamata, North Island, New Zealand).

Like the Lord of the Rings movies, the series will be filmed on location in New Zealand

Amazon Studios said it had found a great location with world-class sets and skilled staff. It said pre-production had already started and production on the series would begin in the city of Auckland over the coming months.

“As we searched for the location in which we could bring to life the primordial beauty of the Second Age of Middle-earth, we knew we needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains, that also is a home to world - class sets, studios, and highly skilled and experienced craftspeople and other staff.

"And we’re happy that we are now able to officially confirm New Zealand as our home for our series based on stories from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings,” said showrunners and executive producers Payne and McKay.

“We are grateful to the people and the government of New Zealand and especially Auckland for supporting us during this pre-production phase. The abundant measure of Kiwi hospitality with which they have welcomed us has already made us feel right at home, and we are looking forward to deepening our partnership in the years to come.”

Will there be a Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2?

Amazon won a massive $250 million bidding war for the rights, which included an agreement to produce at least five seasons. If it’s a hit, there could be even more than that and the agreement also includes the rights to any spinoffs.

So yes, expect a season 2, 3, 4 and 5!

Watch the first two episodes of The Rings of Power on Prime Video in the UK from 2am on Friday 2 September. The rest of the eight-episode first season will be released at the same time each week from September 9 to October 14.