Real Reason Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Costs Over $1 Billion

Ever wondered why Amazon's The Lord of the Rings is so expensive?
Amazon's The Lord of the Rings

Amazon’s $250 million, 1.5-hour The Lord of the Rings prequel will be followed up with a five season-long TV series set in JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth. This has been announced as a multi-season commitment.

While it’s easy to think that Amazon has produced a generic visual experience and is trying to sell that product in various ways (movies, tv-series, online streaming), it’s worth noting that The Lord of the Rings doesn’t need any help selling itself. It’s an incredibly popular brand with one of the most loyal fan bases ever.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Amazon’s much-anticipated Lord of the Rings series, has received an official teaser and a pretty lengthy title. The expensive production is based on JRR Tolkien‘s magnum work, yet it must follow Peter Jackson’s renowned trilogy of films from the early 2000s. It grew into a massive phenomenon that stunned even the most cynical critics. It was a major critical and economic triumph, and it completely transformed the cinematic


The series appears to be Amazon’s effort to replicate the popularity of HBO’s Game of Thrones, which, while it may have ended ingloriously, raised the bar for fantasy adaptations and big-budget episodes that equaled full-fledged movies previously.

Here is what we know about it so far from promo images, teasers, and other official material:

The Creative team

The show’s creators are JD Payne and Patrick McKay. The first two episodes will be directed by JA Bayona, who previously directed Jurassic World: the Fallen Kingdom and The Orphanage. The writer’s room also includes Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad), Jason Cahill (The Sopranos), Justin Doble (Stranger Things), Helen Shang (Hannibal), and others.

The Creative team
The Creative team by Matheus Bertelli, licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Cast

File:BAFTA 2007 (387060991).jpg
Sir Ian McKellen or Gandalf from Lords of the Rings by S Pakhrin, licensed under CC BY 2.0

As one would expect from a production of this caliber, the cast is massive. Robert Aramayo, Joseph Mawle, Morfydd Clark, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Daniel Weyman, Maxim Baldry, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Markella Kavenagh, In December, Peter Mullan, Sir Lenny Henry, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, and Benjamin Walker were among the new cast members revealed in a press release. We definitively know that Morfydd Clark is playing Galadriel, the elf-queen who Cate Blanchett portrayed in the trilogy. In the teaser, we can hear her speaking. Other actors’ roles are unknown to us.

new zealand landscapes 2021 08 28 10 39 52 utc 1
Beautiful rural landscapes in New Zealand By Galyna_Andrushko

What is the Plot of the Story?

This is when things start to get interesting. Even though it bears the moniker Lord of the Rings, The Rings of Power is set before the events in Tolkien’s work. The author did not simply write a story; he created a whole planet called Middle-earth, complete with its peoples, races, civilization, the pantheon of gods, and so forth (while taking help from real-world stuff). He even developed entire languages from scratch, complete with their grammar (he was also a philologist). As a result, there is much more to Middle-earth than Frodo and Bilbo Baggins’ narrative.

New Zealand
New Zealand, the series filming location, by Ketan Kumawat, licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Lord of the Rings films were set near the Third Age of Middle-earth conclusion. The Third Age ended with the War of the Ring, and the Age of Men began. The Lord of the Rings series by Amazon is set in the Second Age. According to the storyline and teaser, the plot will revolve around the crafting of Sauron’s Rings so that the Dark Lord will be engaged, not just as a huge eye but in his mortal body. The series will adapt the entire story of Sauron’s rise to his (first) defeat and death by Isildur in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Because he was bound to the One Ring, his soul survived his death.


Sauron fashioned a total of twenty rings with the intent of seducing the rulers of all races of Middle-earth to evil and controlling all the peoples through the One Ring, the Ring that controlled all other rings of power. Elves received three rings, Dwarves seven, and Men nine. The nine Men transformed into wraiths known as the Nazgul, who terrorized the Fellowship in the film trilogy.

Why will it cost so much

Regarding budget, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power eclipses both Jackson’s LotR and Game of Thrones. Tolkien Estate sold the rights to Amazon for a staggering $250 million. The series, which is anticipated to last for five seasons, is projected to cost a total of $1 billion, making it the most costly television production ever. This comes due to multiple reasons. Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke explains the cost of the series and just why Amazon is throwing so much money at it: “This is a full season of a huge world-building show. The number is a sexy headline or a crazy headline that’s fun to click on, but it is really building the infrastructure of what will sustain the whole series.” The costumes, sets, sound stages, and CGI all cost a tremendous amount of money for a massive production like this. Another thing that brings up the cost of any show is the filming on location. Which in case of the The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will be substantial.

The full plot reads:

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged kingdoms rose to glory. They 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 familiar and new characters 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.”


Expect a variety of visuals and sensations

By having a distinct style and look and feel, the series would distinguish itself from Jackson’s films. This is crucial since the series would otherwise feel like a movie continuation. We don’t know how the series will look because there isn’t a full trailer available yet, but the only restriction is their creativity with the creators’ colossal budget. The series is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth; hence it has a high chance of being quite different from the Third Age that we met in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy.

Recent Posts

Follow Us