The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power concluded its record-breaking first season in October, expanding the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved fantasy novels with a sprawling setting and impressive ensemble cast. The series has been confirmed to run for five seasons, and work on the next installment is well underway. "They knew from the beginning that was the size of the canvas," said co-showrunner J.D. Payne of the deal Amazon made with the Tolkien estate. "There are things in the first season that don’t pay off until Season Five. We even know what our final shot of the last episode is going to be."
Season 2 of the fantasy epic kicked off production in October, and new casting announcements have become a regular occurrence. Here's everything we know so far about The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2.
While exact plot details are largely being kept under wraps, it has been confirmed that wise elf Círdan will be appear in Season 2, though casting for the role has not been announced yet. Payne also hinted at what might be ahead for Galadriel (Morfydd Clark). "I think there has to be a reckoning. Even knowing that Sauron was partially involved in the science behind the making of the rings, we see her give the go-ahead to make the rings anyway," he said.
"She also has to bear some responsibility; 'I empowered the Dark Lord. I saved his life on a raft,'" he continued. "'I was party to him coming from obscurity to head an army.' That’s a lot she has to wrestle with and be accountable for. I think we can expect to see her having to pick up those threads and see how those decisions impact her various relationships."
"Season One opens with: Who is Galadriel? Where did she come from? What did she suffer? Why is she driven?" said Payne. "We’re doing the same thing with Sauron in Season Two. We’ll fill in all the missing pieces."
McKay added that the goal for Season 2 is to be "bigger and better" on "every level… by an order of magnitude."
Much of the central cast from Season 1 will return for the next installment, though Sam Hazeldine (Peaky Blinders, The Sandman) will replace Joseph Mawle as Orc leader Adar. New additions announced so far include Ben Daniels (The Crown, The Exorcist), Nicholas Woodeson (Silent Witness, Rome), Gabriel Akuwudike (Hanna), Yasen 'Zates' Atour (The Witcher), Nia Towle (Persuasion), and newcomer Amelia Kenworthy.
Also joining the cast in recurring roles for the new season are Oliver Alvin-Wilson (Murder in Provence), Stuart Bowman (Bodyguard), Gavi Singh Chera (The Lazarus Project), William Chubb (The Sandman), Kevin Eldon (The Last Kingdom), Will Keen (The Pursuit of Love), Selina Lo (Hellraiser), and Calam Lynch (Bridgerton, Derry Girls).
Season 2 is currently in production, but it's likely we won't see any new episodes of The Rings of Power until 2024. Co-showrunner Patrick McKay told The Hollywood Reporter that viewers shouldn't expect to see Season 2 for "another couple years," though production is anticipated to go a lot quicker this time around due to the team finding their stride.
"We’re going to get that out into the world as soon as we can. We want the shortest time possible between seasons, but we want to keep the bar just as high. So it’ll take what it takes," said Amazon Studios' Jennifer Salke. "But there’s been some urgency around moving quickly, which is why these guys have been writing all through their hiatus. We’re moving fast."
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1 is streaming on Prime Video.
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Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.