Showrunner Patrick McKay was determined not to use The Lord of the Rings as a template when developing The Rings of Power.
McKay and his collaborator J.D. Payne had the daunting task of creating a continuation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy – a franchise that is sacred to its fans that came burdened with huge amounts of supplemental lore.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, McKay laid bare his vision about ensuring the The Rings of Power stood on its own.
“We were not interested in doing a show about the younger version of the same world you knew, where it’s a little bit of a prequel, We wanted to go way, way, way back and find a story that could exist on its own two feet. This was one that we felt hadn’t been told on the level and the scale and with the depth that we felt it deserved.”
The Rings of Power is the story of the Second Age, and takes place several millennia prior to the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It is an account of the reemergence of the Dark Lord Sauron, who assumes the guise of Annatar, Lord of Gifts, in his quest to become god of the world. To this end, Sauron forges the infamous rings and begins a campaign to disrupt the peace of era and divide people with chaos.
McKay spent years developing the series, fine-tuning their vision with such precision that all five seasons were fleshed out before the show went into production. Amazon Studios furnished the duo with a mouthwatering $460 million budget for the first season, making the fantasy drama the most expensive television series ever made.
The result promises to be a family friendly show that can be enjoyed by viewers all ages.
The Rings of Power will premiere on Prime Video on September 2.