Tolkien fans rejoice! The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is coming back for yet another season, it’s been confirmed. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that season two of the hit prequel series has begun production at Bray Studios outside London, which marks a major geographical shift. The first season was entirely filmed in New Zealand over a lengthy period of 18 months during the pandemic. However, with restrictions lifted and the UK posing a relatively cost-effective filming premise, the production is packing up and moving, although that’s not the sole reason. According to reports, Amazon is endeavouring to create a “multi-show hub” in London where future shows will be produced too.
The transition from New Zealand to the UK marks a significant step, with the former location bearing witness to the filming of several instalments of The Lord of the Rings franchise, including Peter Jackson’s original movie trilogy. In fact, the franchise has become so ingrained in New Zealand culture that a Hobbit-town has been set up in Matamata, offering film tours and behind-the-scenes looks at the classic film series. Many of the country’s major tourism activations currently centre around Tolkien’s iconic works, however, that may soon have to change and not everyone is stoked about it.
New Zealand politician Todd McClay told Variety that the country’s economic and regional development minister Stuart Nash is the one to blame for this transition. McClay stated, “Stuart Nash has shown a lack of interest in negotiating with Amazon, despite the huge impact the production could have on our economy. Stuart Nash needs to be transparent with Kiwis about why he didn’t even ask for future seasons of the show to be filmed in New Zealand.”
Nash fired back, however, claiming that Amazon made a “commercial choice” and the country still remains a great place for movie productions. Similar to the first season, The Rings of Power season two will consist of eight episodes and will see the addition of a new cast member in the form of the wise elf Cirdan, however, no actors have been cast for the role just yet. Beyond that, not much is known about the next season and it will surely be a while until we get to see anything season two-related.
The most expensive television series ever created, The Rings of Power has delivered on much of what was promised, introducing fans to a swathe of characters new and old. The first season is already on the verge of conclusion, with the second last episode slated to air this Friday, October 7, while the season finale will premiere a week later on October 14. The show managed to top the streaming charts for its debut week with 1.3 billion minutes viewed and has garnered mostly positive reviews from both critics and viewers alike. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season two currently has no release date, however, is expected to arrive in late 2023 or early 2024.