– No release date announced yet
– Season 2 already in production in the UK
– Key cast members set to return
– Showrunners already teased new characters
– Season 1 finale hints at where season 2 plot will go
– Series might start following Tolkien’s lore more closely
– Show’s three other seasons yet to be greenlit
Full spoilers for The Rings of Power season 1 follow.
The Rings of Power season 2 is a-go. The season 1 finale only aired on October 14, but the next entry in the bid budget Prime Video series is already in production. That’s music to our ears, as we’ve really enjoyed what Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV show had to offer.
Still, it’ll be a long wait for season 2 to land on Prime Video. TV shows of this scale take time to film, edit, and go through their post-production phases. In short: don’t expect to see The Rings of Power back on your screens next year.
While we wait for The Rings of Power’s second season to arrive, there’s plenty of reading you can do on the topic. Below, we’ve compiled everything we know about the show’s second season. That includes its returning cast members and plot threads – based on what happened in episode 8 and its predecessors – as well as its possible launch date, what the future holds for the big budget series, and more.
Major spoilers for The Rings of Power’s first season, plus potential season 2 spoilers and extracts from J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendary source material, follow. Turn back now if you’re not caught up.
The Rings of Power season 2 release date: what we know
No release date has been set for The Rings of Power season 2.
The show’s next installment is already in production, though, with Amazon confirming as much (opens in new tab) during The Rings of Power’s New York Comic-Con 2022 panel. This lines up with what TechRadar’s sources told us before that fan event.
However, New Zealand is no longer the series’ primary filming location. Production has moved to the UK, with Bray Film Studios and Bovingdon Airfield being used for on-set shooting. Expect the cast and crew to film in natural landscapes across the UK – and potentially Europe, too, with showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay teasing as much during a September 2022 Q&A event that TechRadar attended.
Before filming got underway, the cast had been coy about when filming would begin. Robert Aramayo – who plays Elrond – exclusively told TechRadar that he couldn’t say when principal photography would start. However, Galadriel actor Morfydd Clark told us filming would begin “very soon“, which is obviously the case now.
So when can we expect The Rings of Power season 2 to arrive? The first season took 18 months to shoot due to the pandemic. Speaking to Esquire (opens in new tab), Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, said the team wants to get season 2 “out into the world as soon as we can”. So it’s likely that season 2 won’t take as long to film, but there’ll be a lengthy post-production phase (and potential reshoots) once everything has been filmed.
Our guess? Don’t expect The Rings of Power to return until early 2024. Amazon is set to release the next entry in its other expensive fantasy series – The Wheel of Time season 2 – in 2023, so we’ll have some high fantasy to tide us over until The Rings of Power season 2.
The Rings of Power season 2 cast
Here’s who we expect to see return, based on season 1’s ending:
- Charlie Vickers as Sauron
- Morfydd Clark as Galadriel
- Robert Aramayo as Elrond
- Benjamin Walker as High King Gil-galad
- Charles Edwards as Celebrimbor
- Ismael Cruz Córdova as Arondir
- Nazain Boniadi as Bronwyn
- Tyroe Muhafidin as Theo
- Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Queen Regent Míriel
- Lloyd Owen as Elendil
- Maxim Baldry as Isildur
- Ema Horvath as Eärien
- Trystan Gravelle as Pharazôn
- Leon Wadham as Kemen
- Owain Arthur as Prince Durin IV
- Sophia Nomvete as Princess Disa
- Markella Kavenagh as Eleanor ‘Nori’ Brandyfoot
- Dylan Smith as Largo Brandyfoot
- Sara Zwangobani as Marigold Brandyfoot
- Megan Richards and Poppy Proudfellow
- Joseph Mawle as Adar
- Daniel Weyman as The Stranger
The biggest news is Charlie Vickers’ Halbrand is actually Sauron, aka the Dark Lord and forger of the One Ring. As revealed in the season 1 finale, Halbrand was simply an alias for Morgoth’s apprentice. Whenever we see Vickers from season 2 onwards, he’ll be portraying The Lord of the Rings’ iconic antagonist.
Meanwhile, Lenny Henry’s Sadoc Burrows and The Mystics won’t be back. Sadoc died in the show’s eighth episode after he was fatally injured him during a battle between The Stranger, the Harfoots, and The Mystics, the latter of whom were destroyed by The Stranger during the same fight.
Supporting characters are also likely to return. Alex Tarrant’s Valandil, Geoff Morrell’s Waldreg, Peter Mullan as King Durin III, Maxine Cunliffe as Vilma, and Thusitha Jayasundera as Malva are the show’s five main supporting cast members, so we suspect they’ll be back. Vilma and Malva’s appearances, though, are dependent on whether we see the Harfoot community again (more on this later).
Potential spoilers follow for The Rings of Power season 2’s cast. Skip to the next section if you’re avoiding spoilers.
It’s official, #TheRingsOfPower is Certified Fresh! pic.twitter.com/cXITQ3AcuJOctober 10, 2022
One character already confirmed to appear in The Rings of Power season 2 is Cirdan the Shipwright. In Tolkien’s source material, Cirdan was Lord of the Falathrim in Middle-earth’s First Age and owned one of the titular rings – Narya – before he passed it onto Gandalf. Speaking to Time magazine (opens in new tab) before season 1’s release, Payne said: “In the time of our story, he’s the oldest of all known elves in Middle-earth. In fact, he lived so long, he had a beard.”
Cirdan isn’t the only elf who could feature. In episode 7, Galadriel opens up to Theo about Celeborn, the elf she’s wedded to but who she hasn’t seen for a long time. Galadriel presumes he’s dead but, as Tolkien fans know, Celeborn is alive in the Third Age. The duo eventually reunite before they make the city of Lothlórien their permanent home.
Speaking at a preview screening event for episodes 6 and 7, which TechRadar attended, Payne and McKay refused to confirm Celeborn will appear. However, McKay teased: “We know there are things that the two of them do together in terms of progeny that they will issue, realms they will found, all kinds of things. So it would be very hard to believe that she would never see him again. But let’s see.”
Elsewhere, Charles Edwards, who plays Celebrimbor, wants to see a deep-cut dwarf character make their live-action debut in The Rings of Power season 2. Finally, with the first Rings of Power being crafted in episode 8, we could see the other 17 forged in season 2. If that happens, we could see characters like Khamûl the Easterling – one of the nine Ringwraiths – make their live-action debut.
The Rings of Power season 2 plot
Full spoilers follow for The Rings of Power’s first season.
Little is known about The Rings of Power season 2 plot. However, based on what the series’ cast and crew have told us, plus what occurs in the season 1 finale and in Tolkien’s works, we can speculate on what will happen.
The most pressing questions revolve around Sauron and the titular rings. Before the season 1 finale aired, some of the show’s cast, including Clark and Edwards, already knew Vickers was playing Sauron. Others, though, weren’t aware until much later in production. Now that Halbrand has been revealed as Sauron – Vickers told us he didn’t know he was playing Sauron until filming the third episode – Middle-earth’s most notable villain is sure to take center stage in season 2 and beyond.
For starters, he’s arrived in Mordor with the view to making it his base of operations. Given Adar and his followers already inhabit this realm, it’ll be fascinating to see if Sauron works with Adar, or bumps him off and take Adar’s orc army as his own. The duo briefly clashed, verbally and physically, in episode 6, so seeing them reunite in The Rings of Power season 2 would make for compelling viewing. Vickers told TechRadar that he’d be excited to explore the pair’s frosty relationship further, adding: “I really love that dynamic. These characters have a long history, so I’d be keen to explore that further and even build on it.”
And what of Sauron potentially meeting Galadriel again? The duo formed a close bond before Halbrand revealed his true identity to the powerful elf, only to be rebuffed in his advances to make her the queen to his tyrannical overlord.
“I’ve always been obsessed with the mirror of Galadriel bit from The Lord of the Rings films,” Clark told TechRadar. “She can’t let go until she’s rejected this completely because she feels temptation in that. But only the tiniest amount because of how dreadful she knows it would be. So it would be interesting to see how she’d handle a reunion.”
“I think the crux of their relationship is there’s no peace in being alone,” Vickers added. “Sauron eventually believes his peace will only come as a king and Galadriel is the one who’s drawn that back out of him in season one. You can view him as being repentant or manipulating her in that sense. He knows she’s incredibly useful and can get him to meet the right people and be in the right circles to make these connections. Now that he’s deceived her, and now that she’s not told the elves about him, it would be fascinating to see how they would react to each other if they met again.”
Not telling the elves about Halbrand’s true form is sure to cause huge problems. Elrond already knows Galadriel hasn’t been honest with him as he found the scroll, containing the Southlands’ royal lineage, that she’d used to work out Halbrand wasn’t who he said he was.
Chatting to TechRadar, Clark believes Galadriel’s decision not to tell Elrond and company about Sauron is going to be a big mistake. “I don’t think she’s going to necessarily feel she made the right decision,” Clark said. “The elves will get things wrong and there are consequences to that. This is a big one and I think Galadriel will realize she’s made a reckless and dangerous error.”
As for what she’s most looking forward to exploring from Galadriel’s season 2 arc, Clark said: “Spending more time with the elves, whatever state those relationships are in, and just coming back to Galadriel’s elvish-ness. We know she’s going to become reclusive and secretive, and starting to turn into the Lady of Lothlórien. I’m excited to see what makes her decide to back away from what we’ve seen her throw herself into.”
As for the rings, the first three were forged by the elves in episode 8, with the fallout from their crafting (and whether they’ll save the elves) set to be a key narrative in early season 2 episodes. But there are another 17 yet to be created, including the One Ring. Will we see the Dark Lord craft his own ring next time out? Speaking to TechRadar, Vickers wouldn’t say, but he teased that Sauron “has a plan”. Take that as a yes, then.
What of the other 16 rings? We know that seven will be forged for the dwarf lords, while the other nine are gifted to the kings of men, with the latter race’s leaders going on to become the Witch King and the Nazgûl, aka the Ringwraiths. It’s unlikely we’ll see Sauron’s most trusted lieutenants take their ghostly forms in season 2, but we’d be surprised if none of them appear in their human forms next season.
Regarding their creation, Tolkien’s source material reveals the rings for the dwarves and men were created alongside the elven ones. As episode 8 revealed, though, this won’t happen in The Rings of Power, which has played pretty loose with some of Tolkien’s lore in season 1, much to some fans’ anger.
These rings will need to be crafted by Sauron himself if he hopes to enslave the dwarves and men, so don’t expect him to ask Celebrimbor for his aid in their forging. Unless Sauron disguises himself as Annatar, like he does in Tolkien’s works, and tricks Celebrimbor into fashioning the other rings, too. We think it would be weird if Celebrimbor is deceived again, though, hence why Sauron will create them on his own. Speaking of Celebrimbor, Edwards exclusively told TechRadar that he’ll be on a “post-performance slump” following the rings’ creation, so he might not be up for the job of making more anyway.
Moving away from Sauron and the rings, the other big question surrounds The Stranger – and where he’s going with Nori.
In episode 8, we learned that The Stranger was one of the Istari, aka one of the five wizards sent to Middle-earth by the Valar (Middle-earth’s gods, essentially) to aid its races in the fight against Sauron. Funnily enough, none of the cast found out that The Stranger was a wizard until the final throes of filming.
Anyway, while we know the type of being that The Stranger is, we don’t know which wizard he is. The first season’s final episode teased which one he is, but that could be a misdirect.
Read our Rings of Power season 1 recaps
Still, The Stranger and Nori are heading off to Rhûn in Middle-earth’s far eastern regions to find out a) what his name is, b) more about his past, and c) how to channel his powers properly. Will they run into Khamûl or the two Blue Wizards (providing The Stranger isn’t one of that duo), whose history is still a mystery to Tolkien fans? Here’s hoping.
There are plenty of subplots and other storylines that The Rings of Power season 2 needs to pick up.
For one, the fate of the Southlanders. The show’s seventh episode confirmed that the Southlands is the region that becomes Mordor after episode 6’s explosive ending. In episode 7, Bronwyn also revealed that the remaining Southlanders would resettle in Pelargir, a city on the banks of the river Anduin that becomes Gondor’s main port in the Third Age.
It’s unlikely that The Rings of Power’s first season will mark the end of the Southlanders’ time in the show. Additionally, in the source material, Pelargir becomes a haven for the Faithful – Númenóreans who are friendly with the elves – during the island kingdom’s moral decline in the Second Age. If events play out like they do in Tolkien’s works, we’ll see Elendil and company reunite with Arondir, Bronwyn, and Theo in a future season, if not season 2.
As for the Harfoots (minus Nori), we should unite with them again, too. Some viewers might think we’ve seen the last of them, with the Harfoot community, including Poppy and the rest of the Brandyfoot family, heading in a different direction to The Stranger and Nori. However, speaking during a Q&A after a press screening for episode 8, which TechRadar attended, co-showrunner Patrick McKay confirmed we’ll be reunited with the Harfoots at some point and even teased their involvement in the founding of Hobbiton.
Meanwhile, Markella Kavenagh, who plays Nori, exclusively told TechRadar: “I would love to reunite with the family. The entire community is so wonderful to work with. To me, it will be so difficult to imagine that they wouldn’t [be back] but we’ll just have to see what what happens really.”
Over in Khazad-dûm, we’ll need a resolution to the breakdown in the relationship between King Durin III and Prince Durin IV. The former stripped his son of his titles during the fallout over the mining of mithril, and how its use could’ve saved the elves from extinction. With Princess Disa galvanizing Durin IV in a Lady Macbeth-style manner, could we see a civil war erupt within the glorious dwarven kingdom? Or will father and son make up? That’ll depend on whether the elven rings are successful in allowing the elves to retain the immortality or not, in our view.
If we had to guess, we think it’ll be the latter. That’s based on King Durin sending an army of dwarven warriors, in Tolkien’s source material, to try and save Eregion from destruction at Sauron’s hands during the War of the Elves and Sauron.
The two Durins will need to set their differences aside, too, based on the emergence of a Balrog – aka Durin’s Bane – in the final moments of episode 7. Asked by TechRadar if we’ll see Durin’s Bane again soon, McKay simply teased: “Season 2, sir. Stay tuned.”
Then there’s the sizeable political and monarch-based upheaval that Númenor is set to be afflicted with. King Palantir is dead, meaning Queen Regent Míriel should be crowned the island realm’s next ruler. With Míriel now blind following the fallout from episodes 6 and 7, though, and based on what we know of Númenor’s history in the literature, Pharazôn will make a play for the throne. That, alongside Sauron’s potential return to Númenor – we don’t know how McKay and Payne will tackle this part of Númenorean history in their series – will ultimately lead to the kingdom’s downfall.
That’s all before we consider story arcs for Númenor’s favorite dysfunctional family, i.e. Elendil, Isildur, and Eärien, too. The former will be wrestling with grieving for his son – although, we know Isildur is alive, given the role he plays in Sauron’s defeat in the Second Age – and carrying out his Númenorean duties. Meanwhile, Eärien discovered the palantír in the season 1 finale. Will she use it to see into Númenor’s future? Her decision to do so or not could have big implications on the kingdom, herself, and her family.
Lastly, fans will be relieved to hear The Rings of Power season 2 will follow Tolkien’s materials much more closely. Co-showrunner J.D. Payne told The Hollywood Reporter: (opens in new tab) “Season two has a canonical story. There may well be viewers who are like, ‘This is the story we were hoping to get in season one!’ In season two, we’re giving it to them.”
The Rings of Power season 2 trailer: is there one?
No and there won’t be a trailer for a long time. Once one is released, we’ll update this section.
Will The Rings of Power get more seasons?
Yes, you can bet that The Rings of Power season 2 won’t be the last installment.
Payne and McKay has continually stated that they’ve planned for a five-season series. They’ve already mapped it out in its entirety and, speaking to Empire magazine (opens in new tab), the pair confirmed they knew how the show would end, including its final shot.
So far, Amazon has only greenlit two, but we’d be amazed if the multinational corporation doesn’t renew its Lord of the Rings show for the other three. However, Embrace Group’s acquisition of The Lord of the Rings IP may muddy the waters somewhat, with executive producer Lindsey Weber unsure of how that deal will impact the series moving forward. Here’s hoping not by much.
The Rings of Power reached the number one spot in Nielsen’s TV rankings in late September, with the series amassing 1.3 billion minutes viewed (per Variety (opens in new tab)) worldwide. The show’s two-episode premiere was also streamed by 25 million viewers in its first 24 hours, making it the most-watched Prime Video show ever (opens in new tab). Despite the criticism levelled at it by some sections of the Tolkien fanbase, that’s not bad going.
With the series’ creators all-in on their live-action adaptation, plus its significant share of the global TV audience during its season 1 run, we’d be extremely surprised if The Rings of Power season 2 ends up being its final entry. Even so, we’ll wait for official confirmation from Amazon before jumping to conclusions.