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By Sarah Ward
January 17, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
January 17, 2021
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If you consider yourself a Lord of the Rings fan — of JRR Tolkien's books, Peter Jackson's movies or both — then one TV series has sat at the top of your most-anticipated list for the past few years. That'd be Amazon Studios' new LOTR show, bringing the beloved property from the page to the cinema to your TV. A five-season series was first announced in 2017, then received the official go-ahead in mid-2018.

In case anyone thought that the new program would just be a simple rehash, it was revealed back in 2019 that it wouldn't simply be remaking events already covered by the movies, with show's official Twitter account hinting at spending time in Middle-earth's Second Age. If you're a little rusty on your LOTR lore, the Second Age lasted for 3441 years, and saw the initial rise and fall of Sauron, as well as a spate of wars over the coveted rings. Elves feature prominently, and there's plenty to cover, even if Tolkien's works didn't spend that much time on the period — largely outlining the main events in an appendix to the popular trilogy.

Knowing when the new series will be set is all well and good, but that description is still rather scarce on details. Thankfully, Amazon has now dropped an official synopsis for the show that provides more information. "Amazon Studios' forthcoming series brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth's history," it confirms. "This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and 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."

Yes, you can expect Sauron to feature, and to give the show's main figures some trouble. "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," the official synopsis continues. "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," it also advises.

Exactly when Amazon's series will arrive on screens hasn't yet been revealed but, pre-pandemic, it was originally expected to drop sometime in 2021. It is currently in production, though — in New Zealand, of course.

A huge number of cast members have been announced, however — plus some talent behind the scenes. Among the actors traversing Middle-earth are Tom Budge (Judy & Punch), Morfydd Clark (Saint Maud), Ismael Cruz Córdova (The Undoing), Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (The Accountant), Maxim Baldry (Years and Years), Peter Mullan (Westworld), Benjamin Walker (Jessica Jones) and comedian Lenny Henry. And, the series is being overseen by showrunners and executive producers JD Payne and Patrick McKay, while filmmaker JA Bayona (A Monster Calls, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) directs the first two episodes.

Amazon's new Lord of the Rings series will hit screens sometime in the future — we'll update you with release details when they come to hand.

Published on January 17, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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