How to Watch ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’

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“The Lord of the Rings” is back. Only this time, it’s in streaming show form.

While most of what has been written about “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” has been related to how much it cost, with a whopping $465 million production budget for the first season alone (meaning each episode cost nearly $60 million), there is still much to discuss about the highly anticipated new series. You know, like when you can watch it and who is in it. That kind of thing. Below we are attempting to answer all of your questions before “The Rings of Power” come out and you become a troll-obsessed freak once again.

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When Does “The Rings of Power” Come Out?

“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” will debut on Amazon’s Prime Video direct-to-consumer streaming service this Friday, February 2, at midnight. (The official press release says that it is “time zone dependent.”) All of this means that if you want to revisit Middle-earth, you might have to stay up pretty late.

How Do I See “The Rings of Power” in a Movie Theater?

Two days before the first two episodes premiere, you can watch them in a movie theater! But there are some very big caveats! The event, taking place on August 31, will only happen at Cinemark theaters. And you can’t buy a ticket to the event. Technically it’s a free event for Cinemark Movie Rewards members.

If you’re bemoaning the fact that you’re already an AMC A-List member (or part of another subscription service at a different theater), there is a silver lining! The theater chain’s loyalty program has two tiers, including a free tier subscription. It’s not too late! Sign up for the free option and you can still watch “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” in a theater.

Are Episodes Released Weekly or All at Once?

New episodes of “The Rings of Power,” like its number one competitor a couple of streaming services over (“House of the Dragon”) will be released weekly. Meaning that you won’t be able to binge the whole shebang on day one. However, this week will feature the first two episodes, which will at least prolong the fun for a little while. Bonus!

How Many Episodes Are There?

There are eight episodes in this first season of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” This seems like a solid number – with eight episdoes the new show gets you back into the epic fantasy world but doesn’t overstay its welcome. Everybody (and every elf) wins.

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When Does the “Lord of the Rings” Series Take Place?

Buckle up, because we’re getting into some true “Lord of the Rings” mythology here (having your copy of “The Silmarillion” open isn’t required but it is encouraged). According to early materials, the new TV series takes place during the Second Age of Middle-earth, and is set “thousands of years” before the events of “The Lord of the Rings,” which make up the Third Age, making this very much a prequel – a far-flung prequel. This means that if you are fuzzy with some of the details of the original movies, it’s not a huge deal. This will be an entirely new era. But considering how long some of these magical species can live, there might be some familiar characters in the mix …

What Is “The Rings of Power” About?

According to official materials from Prime Video, the new series “follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, 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.” Sounds appropriately epic!

Who Is in the “Rings of Power” Cast?

Prime Video
Prime Video

The cast (and characters) of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” include Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), Elrond (Robert Aramayo), High King Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker), and Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards); Harfoots Elanor “Nori” Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh) and Largo Brandyfoot (Dylan Smith); The Stranger (Daniel Weyman); Númenóreans Isildur (Maxim Baldry), Eärien (Ema Horvath), Elendil (Lloyd Owen), Pharazôn (Trystan Gravelle), and Queen Regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson); Dwarves King Durin III (Peter Mullan), Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur), and Princess Disa (Sophia Nomvete); Southlanders Halbrand (Charlie Vickers); Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi); and Silvan-elf Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova). Try remembering that every week!

Is Peter Jackson Involved in the TV Show?

No! While he might wind up with some ceremonial credit, filmmaker Peter Jackson, who directed three “Lord of the Rings” movies (all classics) and three “Hobbit” movies (less so), was not involved in the new show at all. Recently he said that he offered to give feedback on scripts and whatever else the production needed, especially since the first season was based in New Zealand, but the new team “ghosted” him. Not to worry, though, as “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and “The Impossible” filmmaker J.A. Bayona kicks things off as the director of the first two episodes of the series.

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How Many Seasons Will There Be?

All told, there will be five seasons of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” This was agreed upon when Amazon purchased the rights to the material. And they fully intend on following through. Season 2 starts shooting in October, this time in England (to take advantage of those tasty tax incentives). Blimey!

Watch the “Rings of Power” Trailer

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