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 Amazon Prime's New Behemoth 'Rings of Power' Propels 'Lord of the Rings' Into the Future

Not Your Grandma's Hobbit: Amazon Prime's New Behemoth 'Rings of Power' Propels 'Lord of the Rings' Into the Future

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Aug. 31 2022, Published 4:34 p.m. ET

In a hole in the ground lived a hobbit. But this story isn't only about hobbits. It's about elves, and dwarves, and sweeping cities and grand tales - and rings of power.

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Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is coming to Amazon September 2, and what it's bringing with it is a new upping-the-ante approach to streaming series, a massive budget, and a promise of a return to a world viewers left 8 years ago with the last Hobbit movie.

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The Rings of Power are New Tales for a New Age of Viewers

First of all, let's talk about that budget. RoP will be the most costly television series in history. The rights alone cost over $250M and the first season reportedly cost over $462M. By comparison, Amazon's other new fantasy series, The Wheel of Time which is another book adaption, cost $80M. That should give readers a good idea of just how massive this series is. No fantasy series is cheap, but if you're going to tackle a world like JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings/Hobbit world - you gotta go massive.

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And massive they went.

The Hollywood Reporter writes, "Based on bits and pieces of Lord of the Rings lore from various J.R.R. Tolkien texts, it’s half 'If you liked seeing the awkwardness that ensued when different factions formed a fellowship previously, here’s something similar but different from thousands of years earlier,' and half 'Remember that ring that there was a fellowship of/for? Betcha don’t know how it was made!'”

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The original worldbuilder Tolkien did future showrunners the favor of being absolutely meticulous in detail. Tolkien wrote a book of lore called "The Silmarillion", which fills out a lot of history and cultural details left out between the "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" series.

The entire world is spelled out in (some say grueling) detail that helped the writers, set-builders, screenplay adaptors, costume builders and actors come up with a rich tale of before the Fellowship existed - and it's hitting the mark with most critics.

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The series debuts September 2 on Amazon Prime Video, but it's not the only before-you-knew-them series hitting a homerun this year.

House of the Dragon Came Roaring in With a High Bar

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The Rings of Power comes in hot on the heels of another magic-and-fantasy series: House of the Dragon.

HBO's Game of Thrones prequel, HotD follows the Targaryen family approximately 200 years before Daenerys brings her dragons back to life and attempts to wrest the Iron Throne from the Lannister family.

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After a disappointing final season to the original series, HBO's plan to bring the prequel to life was met with skepticism. Luckily for the streaming giant, the series pilot hit with the fury of a dragon's roar.

Starring Doctor Who star Matt Smith, a few familiar faces for Outlander fans and up-and-coming star Milly Alcock, HotD brings back all of the intrigue, gripping pacing, special effects and excellent storytelling of the original series. Fans just hope this series has a more satisfying ending than the last.

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