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Back to Middle-earth: ‘Rings of Power’ series is here

Amazon Prime is releasing a prequel to the "Lord of the Rings" series. The five-season series tells a narrative long before the events of the trilogies. It follows an ensemble cast of known and new actors as they face the re-emergence of evil. The CGI-generated and real New Zealand landscapes are breathtaking. Some viewers may find the computer-generated visuals too stunning, i.e. unnatural. Cate Blanchett plays the Elven queen Galadriel, and Hugo Weaving plays Elrond.

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It’s going to be an exciting few months for fantasy cinema aficionados.

Following the release of the “Game of Thrones” spin-off “House of the Dragon” by HBO,  Amazon Prime is now releasing “The Rings of Power.”

Twenty years after filmmaker Peter Jackson took the risk of shooting J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” story on the big screen, Middle-wizards, earth’s elves, dwarves, hobbits (or, rather, their ancestors), and hordes of bloodthirsty monster orcs are back.

Amazon Prime spent a billion dollars on their original series about the fresh voyage to Middle-earth, making “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” the most costly series in TV and streaming history.

Five seasons of thrilling adventure

The five-season series tells a narrative long before the events of the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” trilogies.

It starts 3,000 years before the hobbits Frodo, Sam, and their friends set off for Mount Doom in the Second Age of Middle-earth. Tolkien enthusiasts are aware that certain characters live a very long time; therefore, recognisable names like the elves Galadriel and Elrond, as well as the wicked Sauron, appear in the tale as their younger versions.

According to Amazon Prime, the series begins in a period of relative peace and follows an ensemble cast of known and new actors as they face the long-feared re-emergence of evil in Middle-earth.  From the Misty Mountains’ deepest depths to the gorgeous woods of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the stunning island kingdom of Numenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these countries and characters will carve out legacies that will linger on long after they are gone.

That’s precisely what “Lord of the Rings” aficionados anticipate from a prequel.

The future of Middle-earth is not so quiet

The Second Age of Middle-earth starts relative tranquilly. After a lengthy conflict, a supervillain called Morgoth was destroyed, and the kingdom has restored to peace. On the other hand, the Elven warrior Galadriel is sceptical of the peace – and it turns out he is correct. Morgoth has a servant, Sauron, who is still wreaking devastation with a host of terrible orcs. Galadriel goes out to meet Sauron and get avenge her brother’s deathther in the conflict.

Meanwhile, away in Middle-earth, a meteorite strikes and turns out to be a stranger, who encounters two females from the little race of the Harfeet – the Hobbits’ hairy, wilder forebears. The adorable Harfeets will undoubtedly make you grin, and the continuous feud between elves and dwarves also has humorous potential.

There are also some spine-chilling moments. The ground cracks open, a human settlement is assaulted, people vanish, cows produce black milk, sea monsters swim in the water, and orcs assemble to carry out Sauron’s terrible plans.

The many characters are presented gradually, which may slow down the speed of the first two episodes but not the intrigue of viewing them.

According to reports, Amazon spent over half the $1 billion budget on the first season alone.

The series is extravagant; no expense was spared on the sets, the costumes are meticulously styled, and the computer-generated and real New Zealand landscapes are breathtaking. Some viewers may find the computer-generated visuals too stunning, i.e. unnatural.

Morfydd Clark, who plays the Elven queen Galadriel, is one of the series’ intriguing new actors and actresses. Cate Blanchett plays her in the flicks. Hugo Weaving played Elrond in the Jackson movie, and Robert Aramayo portrays him here.

Middle-earth is coloured

However, unlike in the movies, the cast is varied. White individuals performed various main characters in Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth, but in the Amazon series, the mythical realm is filled with people of all skin colours.

Some fans who commented on the German video on YouTube were angered by the proposal, claiming that J.R.R. Tolkien’s and Peter Jackson’s legacies were being trampled for profit. According to one comment: It says Lord of the Rings, but it could be any fantasy series where the characters are given LOTR names. I believe Amazon created this series for the masses rather than the aficionados.

However, many reviewers who have already watched the first episodes are overjoyed. According to The Guardian, “this is extremely pleasant TV, a cinematic feast.”

Buffs of “The Lord of the Rings,” fantasy fans, and Middle-earth novices may find out for themselves. The series premieres on Amazon Prime on September 2 with a double episode, followed by a new episode every week.

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