The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power 'Built An Entire City' For Its Massive Production [Comic-Con]

When it comes to "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," Amazon says go big or go home. The "Lord of the Rings" prequel series is the streaming giant's endeavor to capture some serious eyeballs with a sprawling epic. "Rings of Power" is based upon J.R.R. Tolkien's history of the fictional Middle-earth as chronicled in the author's long-beloved "Lord of the Rings" books, as well as their appendices.

"The Rings of Power" is set thousands of years before the events of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," during the once-peaceful era of Middle-earth's Second Age. It was a time in which the Rings of Power were forged, the Dark Lord Sauron ascended to power, and the island of Númenor fell into decline; it was also a period of alliance between Elves and Men. All of this will be depicted in what is intended to be a five-season series, helmed by showrunners J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay.

San Diego Comic-Con attendees (those with the intestinal fortitude to weather the trials and tribulations of Hall H) were blessed with the first new glimpses of the series since ... well, not that long ago, actually. But Payne and McKay appeared in-person alongside executive producer Lindsey Weber and some cast of the show to debut a new trailer, several clips, answer questions, and get the hype train moving for the already highly-anticipated series. During the panel, the showrunners touched upon the incredible images that have come out so far, particularly of the island realm Númenor. Asked how much was CGI vs. practical sets, McKay raved about the production:

"We built an entire city, several blocks, and an entire wharf. It's crazy and enormous, like something from D.W. Griffith, it was awesome. But the not racist part!"

One production to rule them all

Executive producer Lindsey Weber backed up McKay's awe of the expansive (and expensive) sets with vocal appreciation for the crew that made it happen:

"We built as much as any group of humans could. So a huge amount of it was in-camera. It was a labor of love for thousands and thousands of people and crew members. We worked with incredible artists; we have an amazing costume designer, Kate Hawley, our brilliant production designer, Ramsey Avery, who's here in the audience somewhere, a saint among men, and the legendary John Howe. So we have this incredible group, this brain trust, to help us bring this place to life and we built it from the ground up, the water, and all of that stuff. Some of it is coastlines and locations that New Zealand graciously provided us, but it was a lot. Then, of course, our visual effects team helped fill in the rest."

The trailer for "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" gives a taste of the vast expanse of New Zealand landscapes utilized for that fantasy epic feel. The city of Auckland served primarily as the shooting location for Númenor, which was augmented by the aforementioned crew into stunning scenery and detailed sets, transporting audiences into what the books characterize as the greatest civilization of Men. On the panel, Payne snuck in his own kudos:

"The first time you stepped on [the set of] Númenor, you're like, 'I'm in Númenor.' It's honestly amazing."

Because Tolkien media, like a wizard, arrives precisely when it means to (never late nor early), fans will have to wait until September 2, 2022 to get their fantasy fix.