Season 1 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power ended on Prime Video ( HERE our review of the finale).
we had the opportunity to attend an online press conference with JD Payne and Patrick McKay.
The showrunner of the series, to pull the strings of a very successful first season and understand what directions season 2 will take .
As Payne explains, the challenge of this first season was to re-introduce viewers to Middle-earth and “tell things that Tolkien didn’t elaborate on, but do it in a way that was consistent with the rest of his work.” There has therefore been a great deal of effort in defining the worlds in which the various characters of the series move. This too, for McKay, was a real challenge: “Tolkien’s world is so vast and rich. Each world required a lot of work and a lot of imagination ”. To the point that The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power cannot really be defined as a TV series: “A TV series would have focused perhaps on only one of these worlds, preferably inhabited by mortal characters. But that wouldn’t have done Tolkien justice. We knew we needed all those worlds ”.
Now that the necessary introductions have been made, Payne continues, “we can begin to recount the canonical events of the Second Age that people are looking forward to, such as the rise of Sauron and the fall of Númenor.” And speaking of Sauron, McKay explains that “from the beginning we didn’t want him to be an active villain in season 1, but we wanted him to be a character and be part of the story, and that his evil be present”. Hence the idea that he “was in history without our knowledge”, being Sauron able to change shape. For Payne: “The first season is about an evil emerging from the shadows, in the second the evil has emerged, is active and has a plan.”
The two showrunners weren’t too worried about someone figuring out the twist on Sauron ahead of time. Payne explains: “We are not too interested in surprise, but more in an idea of inevitability, […] we are much more interested in this than a twist that you might not have expected, and that surprises you the first time but leaves you nothing to second viewing “.
By the way, instead, of the other great mystery of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power , the Stranger and the fact that it could be Gandalf, the showrunners don’t get too out of balance. Commenting on a sentence the character utters in the finale, “When in doubt, follow your nose,” attributed to Gandalf, Payne states: “Certainly those words and other actions of his make one think of Gandalf, but others make one think of other sorcerers. We know that Saruman and the Blue Warlocks traveled east and struggled with temptation, and we see that in the character too. The search for his identity and his journey of self-discovery will continue in season 2 ”.
A season in which, Payne promises, “we will go deep into Tolkien’s mythology”. All that remains is to wait.