Upcoming series ”The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” carries forward the legacy of JRR Tolkien, the creator of ”The Lord of the Rings” fantasy novels, as it shows a mirror to the viewers about real-world problems, showrunner JD Payne said Thursday.
“The Rings of Power” is primarily based on the appendices of “The Lord of the Rings”, specifically the description of Middle Earth’s Second Age, and includes younger versions of some of the key characters from the original trilogy.
Set thousands of years before the events of Tolkien’s famed book series, the Amazon show follows the forging of the original rings of power during the Second Age that allowed the Dark Lord Sauron to spread evil across Middle Earth.
Payne, who co-created “The Rings of Power” with Patrick McKay, said the show explores the ”darkness” of the current world.
”The biggest pressure was the pressure that we put on ourselves because there’s such a need for what Middle Earth can bring to our world. There is a real darkness right now.
”There’s a lot of people who are in a lot of political darkness, economic darkness, social darkness, just a lot of challenges and Middle Earth speaks to people in their soul,” the showrunner said.
Payne was speaking at a press conference which was also attended by the show’s cast members, including Rob Aramayo, Maxim Baldry, Markella Kavenagh, Ema Korveth, Charles Edwards, Lloyd Owen, Megan Richards and Nazanin Boniadi.
Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan and actor Tamannaah Bhatia moderated the event here.
Tolkien’s books ”The Hobbit” and ”The Lord of the Rings” became popular because he was able to strike a chord with his readers, Payne said.
With the show, the writer said he has tried to retain the essence of the world that Tolkien built in the books as well as fill in the gaps that the celebrated author left.
”No matter what country you come from and what background you are from, what you will find is that Tolkien goes past all of these things and finds the inner heart and soul. We felt we needed to capture that special feeling.
”Tolkien sketched out this story but did not do it in detail. There were a lot of parts where we had to very carefully excavate and also continue to connect the dots and fill some of the gaps that are necessary.” Payne credited filmmaker Peter Jackson’s ”The Lord of the Rings” and ”The Hobbit” movie series for introducing him to Tolkien.
The author has become a part of his soul, he said.
”I watched the first one when I was in my early 20s. There were a few films that came up when I was an adult. They got into my heart the way they always used to when I was a kid. Then I took a deep dive and read all the books and got super into it. Now they’ve woven themselves into the fabric of my life.” With ”The Rings of Power”, the team has tried to present an ”untold story about the Second Age”, added Payne.
”We’re telling the story of the forging the Rings of Power, the rise of Sauron, the fall of Numenor and the last alliance between Elves and men, so we had to bring that to life,” he said.
Payne said they underwent a rigorous audition process to find ”22 needles in 22 haystacks” to put together the ensemble cast.
”We had the two criteria for our cast. One they had to be amazing performers, but two, they had to have Middle Earth in them.
”You had to look in their eyes and feel like they could have stepped out of a magical portal and be a part of Middle Earth. And so we auditioned hundreds of people for every role and found 22 needles in 22 haystacks,” he said.
Aramayo, who plays Elven lord Elrond, said he had a great time playing the character in the Second Age setting. Hugo Weaving had originally essayed the role in Jackson’s films.
”It’s the Second Age, so he’s much younger than the trilogy and he’s half-elven which is a sort of unique thing in the world. It was really fun to explore this character,” he said.
Boniadi, who plays a new role of a human village healer named Browyn, said she connected with the ”multifaceted” character a lot.
”She’s a single mother, who has a rebellious teenage son, and a forbidden romance with an elf who is tasked with watching over the Southlands of Middle Earth. Historically, her ancestors chose the wrong side. They chose evil over good and she’s trying very hard to redeem that.
”What I love about her is that she is resilient and strong as well as nurturing. I was going to be a doctor before I started acting. So that healing side resonates with me but she also has the determination to redeem her people and to liberate them from the forces of evil,” she added.
Boniadi said she also resonated with her character as an activist.
”This part of her really resonates with me as an activist because I’m a longtime activist for my country Iran. Women in Iran and in many places in the world are at the forefront of the move towards democracy, freedom, and human rights. That’s where I drew inspiration from.” ”The Rings of Power” also features Morfydd Clark, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Owain Arthur, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, Daniel Weyman and Sara Zwangobani.
The series will start streaming on Prime Video from September 2. It will be available in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)