'Lord Of The Rings' TV Series Will Return Audiences To Middle-Earth In 2022; See The First Image Here

Amazon Prime Video's mega-budgeted and mega-anticipated Lord of the Rings TV show will not hit the streaming service this year after all. The streamer has just announced that the show will debut in 2022 and released a new first-look image showing off the familiar, painterly vibe of Middle-earth that should be familiar to fans of filmmaker Peter Jackson's movie trilogies. Learn the show's exact release date and take a look at the first photo below.

A New Journey Begins

Today, Amazon Prime Video announced that its untitled Lord of the Rings series will debut on September 2, 2022. That's a bit of a bummer for those of us who were hoping the series would premiere this fall, but it makes sense considering production on the series had to shut down because of COVID-19.

"The journey begins September 2, 2022 with the premiere of our original The Lord of the Rings series on Prime Video," Amazon Studios boss Jennifer Salke said in a statement. "I can't express enough just how excited we all are to take our global audience on a new and epic journey through Middle-earth! Our talented producers, cast, creative, and production teams have worked tirelessly in New Zealand to bring this untold and awe-inspiring vision to life."

"As Bilbo says, 'Now I think I am quite ready to go on another journey,'" said showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay in a joint statement. "Living and breathing Middle-earth these many months has been the adventure of a lifetime. We cannot wait for fans to have the chance to do so as well."

The new epic drama brings to screens for the very first time J.R.R. Tolkien's fabled Second Age of Middle-earth's history. Beginning in a time of relative peace, thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, 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.

Headlining this ensemble cast are Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Lloyd Owen, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, Daniel Weyman, and Sara Zwangobani.

What Secrets Does That Image Hold?

I was immediately struck by how much the visual aesthetic appears to be following the template laid out by Peter Jackson, but once that similarity wore off, the image itself contains a world of possibilities. For example: is that figure in the white cloak actually Ben Mendelsohn reprising his role as Orson Krennic from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? (No, of course not. But think about how nuts the geek community would go if that happened!)

On a more serious note, this location in the foreground might be Eregion, where the elves forged the rings of power. Meanwhile, the light in the background could be one of the trees of Valinor, which is essentially Middle-earth's version of heaven. In Tolkien's mythology, the two trees of Valinor are sacred objects which brought light to his entire kingdom. It may be a while before we find out for sure, but we can't wait to learn more about what Payne and McKay have in store for us.