Today’s a big day for fantasy fanatics. The Rings of Power debuts Sept. 1 on Amazon Prime Video, and the highly-anticipated (and highly expensive) Lord of the Rings sequel series is already earning early accolades from critics.
Adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s book series, The Rings of Power is set in the Second Age — thousands of years before the events in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings — and brings new and familiar characters to the small screen. Created by Patrick McKay and John Payne, the Amazon Studios original series’ first season will span eight episodes and stars Benjamin Walker as the Elven High King Gil-Galad, Morfydd Clark as young Galadriel, Robert Aramayo as young Elrond, Charles Edwards as the Elven prince Celebrimbor, Owain Arthur as the Dwarven prince Durin IV and Maxim Baldry as Isildur.
Joining the cast as new characters are Lenny Henry as Sadoc Burrows, Nazanin Boniadi as Bronwyn, Ismael Cruz Cordova as Arondir, Daniel Weyman as the Stranger, Sophie Nomvete as the Dwarven princess Disa and Charlie Vickers as Halbrand, among others.
Per the show’s logline, the series “will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain 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 characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence 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 furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.”
Amazon spent $465 million on the first season of the series, which was shot in New Zealand. The e-commerce giant-turned-movie studio also plans to film five potential seasons and possible spinoff series in the country.
The first Rings of Power teaser dropped during the Super Bowl in February and the main trailer was released July 14 following an exclusive preview period for Amazon Prime members. Subscribers also tried their luck at winning one of 20 exclusive invites to the Rings of Power world premiere in London.
Ahead, find out everything you need to know about how to watch the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power prequel series (including for free) and where to catch up on all of Peter Jackson’s films, plus some of the best LOTR merch to shop.
How to Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Online
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power debuts Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime Video. The first two episodes of the eight-part series will be released today, and subsequent ones will be available weekly Thursdays at 9 p.m. PT (or Friday 12 a.m. ET), with the finale airing Oct. 14.
A membership to Amazon Prime ($139 annually or $15 monthly) or the standalone Prime Video service ($9 monthly) is required to watch the new TV series. New subscribers can watch the LOTR prequel series for free when they sign up for a 30-day free trial for either option.
Memberships for Amazon Prime are $15 per month or $139 annually, or you can subscribe to Prime Video‘s stand-alone service for $9 monthly.
Amazon Prime Membership
$15 monthly or $139 annually
In addition to Prime Video and Prime Music access, subscribers of Amazon Prime get year-round perks including free one- and two-day shipping, same-day delivery, free two-hour delivery on Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods Market groceries, exclusive deals and sale events (such as Prime Day), Prime Try Before You Buy and personal shopping services, personalized deals on online doorbusters, unlimited photo storage on Amazon Drive and more. Amazon Prime store cardholders also receive 5 percent cash back on purchases.
Members of Prime and Prime Video can watch Amazon’s original series, including Emmy-nominated shows such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Lucy and Desi, Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, The Boys Presents: Diabolical and more, and sports fans get exclusive access to stream Thursday Night Football online.
Amazon Prime Video Membership
How to Watch All of the Lord of the Rings Films Online
If you need a refresher on Middle-earth, you can rent or buy director Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001 to 2003) and The Hobbit prequel trilogy (2012 to 2013), the live-action films’ extended editions, and the animated movies (1977 to 1980) on Amazon Prime Video, DirecTV, iTunes, Google Play Movies & TV, Vudu and other video-on-demand platforms for $4 to $45. (The LOTR trilogy bundles are currently on sale at Vudu for $30.)
You can also stream the films for free on HBO Max, which costs $10 per month (or $100 annually) for the ad-based plan or $15 monthly (or $150 per year) for the ad-free package. New subscribers who sign up for HBO Max by Oct. 30 can save over 40 percent (the equivalent of five free months).
The best order to watch all the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies isn’t necessarily by their release dates. If you’re catching up on the high fantasy franchise for the first time, here’s every LOTR movie to watch in chronological order:
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Bonus points if you watch the earlier animated films, The Hobbit (1977), The Lord of the Rings (1978) and The Return of the King (1980).
The Best Lord of the Rings Book Sets and More to Shop Online
Prefer page-turning over binge-watching? We’ve rounded up some of the coolest editions of the Lord of the Rings novels, as well as companion books and other merch for fans (or those buying gifts for one). Check out our top picks below.
1. The Lord of the Rings 50th Anniversary Edition Hardcover by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings 50th Anniversary Edition Hardcover by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings 4-Book Paperback Boxed Set
The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings 4-Book Paperback Boxed Set
3. Monopoly: The Lord of the Rings Edition Board Game
Monopoly: The Lord of the Rings Edition Board Game
4. Pop! Movies Frodo Baggins Figurine
Pop! Movies Frodo Baggins Figurine
5. The Noble Collection Officially Authorized The One Ring
The Noble Collection Officially Authorized The One Ring
6. Middle-Earth’s Annual Mordor Fun Run T-Shirt
Middle-Earth’s Annual Mordor Fun Run T-Shirt
7. The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings Boxed Set: Illustrated Edition
8. Arwen Evenstar Sterling Silver Pendant Necklace
Arwen Evenstar Sterling Silver Pendant Necklace
9. Lord of the Rings: The Complete Writings 5-Volume Hardcover Book Set
Juniper Books Lord of the Rings: The Complete Writings
10. The Prancing Pony Wooden Beer Mug
The Prancing Pony Wooden Beer Mug
11. The Silmarillion Illustrated Edition by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
12. The Nature of Middle-Earth by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Carl F. Hostetter
The Nature of Middle-Earth by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Carl F. Hostetter
13. The History of Middle-Earth Boxed Set
The History of Middle-Earth Boxed Set
14. The Great Tales of Middle-Earth by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Great Tales of Middle-Earth by J.R.R. Tolkien