The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Showrunners Promise An Even Bigger Scale For Season 2

Prime Video's "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" has only two episodes remaining in its premiere season. There have been critiques and praise alike for the show, and you can't argue with ratings regardless of which side you fall on. According to Nielsen, the first two episodes — released simultaneously — captured 12.6 million viewers across the United States. The latest episode, "Udûn," was the highest rated on IMDB. 

Season 2 is already filming at Bray Studios in London (as opposed to New Zealand, where season 1 was shot) as of Monday, October 3, 2022, according to a feature from THR about the series. The publication spoke to showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne about what's coming, and if you think season 1 is epic in scale, get ready for a whole lot more. McKay explained that the plan for the second season is to be "bigger and better" on "every level ... by an order of magnitude."

"The Rings of Power" already has viewers traveling from the western island nation of Númenor to the Southlands, where Mordor will eventually take form, to the elven kingdoms, and almost to Valar, the island that Frodo, Bilbo, and Galadriel sail off to at the end of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. That isn't enough for a second season, though. According to the interview, we'll visit more iconic locations and get a two-episode battle scene. There is no detail beyond that, as this is very much under wraps at the moment, but it does sound big.

'The fate of the world'

McKay spoke about the first episodes and the reaction, explaining that while they got both good and bad comments, he hopes viewers will stay on to see more. "The bar has to keep going up." These first-time showrunners (but long-time writers) have learned from what they've done so far. Payne said, "One of the big things we learned was even when it's a small scene, it always has to tie back into the larger stakes," with McKay adding:

"There are things that didn't work as well in season 1 that might have worked in a smaller show. It has to be about good and evil and the fate of the world, or it doesn't have that epic feeling you want when you're in Tolkien."

That's the thing about high fantasy: there are epic stakes, and everything is about the battle between light and dark. You must strike a balance between the grand scale of things and making us care about the characters. That's no easy task, with one of the season 1 critiques being that it's too big to follow. 

While that may have been true in the beginning, by episode 6, we know these characters a lot better. We finally got a chance to sit with more of them, to experience conversations they have about the fate of the world and how they fit into it. While the show may have benefited from more character development early on or fewer characters to follow, we're in it now. That means that there is room for more scope in season 2.

Though we don't have a date for season 2 yet, season 1 of "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is currently streaming on Prime Video, with new episodes released on Friday.