Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show gets an official subtitle: The Rings of Power

We got our first look at Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show in 2021, in the form of a still image of what die-hard fans believe is the city of Valmar in Valinor, the home of the elves. And now, with the show set to debut in September, we can finally stop calling it "the Lord of the Rings TV show," and refer to it by its proper, official name, unveiled today as The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

"This is a title that we imagine could live on the spine of a book next to JRR Tolkien’s other classics," showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay said in a statement. "The Rings of Power unites all the major stories of Middle-earth’s Second Age: The forging of the rings, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the epic tale of Númenor, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men."

"Until now, audiences have only seen on-screen the story of the One Ring—but before there was one, there were many... and we’re excited to share the epic story of them all."

Maps shared in 2019 (and a telling tweet) indicated that Amazon's Lord of the Rings series will be set in the Second Age, long before the events of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings novel. But the YouTube blurb reveals a little more about what viewers can expect.

"This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and 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."

There's really not much to see in the teaser, but there is an interesting bit of trivia behind it: It's not CGI, but actual molten metal poured into carved wood, all captured in slow motion. The point, Amazon said, was to emulate how "so many elements of the show itself were hand-crafted." I'm honestly not sure what that means.

The "multi-season drama" Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will debut on September 2, and will be available exclusively on Prime Video.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.