The show is considered the most expensive TV series ever made, with the first season costing $465 million — though that figure contains considerable one-time startup costs, such as securing the rights to the material from J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate, building sets, costumes, props, etc. The show is planned to span 50 hours and five seasons.
The Rings of Power 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. It’s set thousands of years before the events in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Amid shots of scenic spectacle (so much waterfall), the trailer gives glimpses of young versions of two familiar elven characters from Jackson’s movies — Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo) — as well as new characters for the series such as a dwarven princess named Disa (Sophia Nomvete) and an elf named Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova).
Two types of LOTR characters have been largely restricted from the series: wizards and hobbits, “who weren’t major players in the Second Age,” according to a recent Vanity Fair story on the production. The Rings of Power will still have hobbits, of a sort, by including hobbit ancestors called harfoots, but they will have a peripheral story “in the margins of the bigger quests.”
The producers also recently addressed the backlash from some fans about the show being far more diverse than Jackson’s films.