– No release date announced yet
– Season 2 in production
– Key cast members set to return
– Bunch of new cast announcements made
– Trio of female directors helming seson 2
– Series might start following Tolkien’s lore more closely
– Plans for season 3 already in the pipeline
When will The Rings of Power season 2 be released? If you’ve been asking yourself that question since its first season ended, we’ve got an answer for you. In short: not for a long time.
You see, The Rings of Power’s second season only entered production in October 2022, so it’s very unlikely it’ll be released on Prime Video until 2024 at the earliest. Sad faces all around.
Still, there’s lots of reading you can do on Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV show before it graces our screens once more. We’ve rounded up everything worth knowing about one of the best Prime Video shows’ sequel seasons, including details on its cast, storylines, the show’s future, and more.
Be aware, though: major spoilers follow for The Rings of Power season 1. Also, potential season 2 spoilers are discussed, so turn back now if you’re not caught up on the first eight episodes.
The Rings of Power season 2 release date: what we know
The Rings of Power season 2 doesn’t have a launch date yet. It is in production, though, with Amazon confirming as much (opens in new tab) in October 2022.
However, New Zealand is no longer its primary filming location, with production moving to Bray Film Studios and Bovingdon Airfield in the UK. Expect filming to take place across the UK and potentially Europe, too, with showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay teasing as much during a September 2022 Q&A event TechRadar attended.
So, when will The Rings of Power season 2 be released? Speaking to Esquire (opens in new tab), Jennifer Salke, co-head of Amazon Studios, said everyone wants to get season 2 “out into the world as soon as we can”. Vernon Sanders, Salke’s studio co-head, also told Collider (opens in new tab) it was “more unlikely than likely” that it won’t launch in 2023.
Don’t expect The Rings of Power season 2 to arrive before early 2024, then,. Amazon is releasing the next entry in its other expensive high fantasy series – The Wheel of Time season 2 – in 2023, so we’ll have something of that ilk to tide us over until its Lord of the Rings returns. In the meantime, The Making of The Rings of Power – a documentary detailing season 1’s production – is available to stream now.
The Rings of Power season 2 cast
Here’s who we expect to return in The Rings of Power season 2:
- Charlie Vickers as Sauron
- Morfydd Clark as Galadriel
- Robert Aramayo as Elrond
- Benjamin Walker as High King Gil-galad
- Charles Edwards as Celebrimbor
- Ismael Cruz Córdova as Arondir
- Nazain Boniadi as Bronwyn
- Tyroe Muhafidin as Theo
- Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Queen Regent Míriel
- Lloyd Owen as Elendil
- Maxim Baldry as Isildur
- Ema Horvath as Eärien
- Trystan Gravelle as Pharazôn
- Leon Wadham as Kemen
- Owain Arthur as Prince Durin IV
- Sophia Nomvete as Princess Disa
- Markella Kavenagh as Eleanor ‘Nori’ Brandyfoot
- Dylan Smith as Largo Brandyfoot
- Sara Zwangobani as Marigold Brandyfoot
- Megan Richards and Poppy Proudfellow
- Daniel Weyman as The Stranger
As The Rings of Power season 1 finale revealed, Halbrand is actually Sauron. Whenever we see Vickers from season 2 onwards, he’ll be portraying The Lord of the Rings’ iconic antagonist.
Meanwhile, Lenny Henry’s Sadoc Burrows and The Mystics won’t be back. Sadoc died in episode 8 after he was fatally injured him during a battle between The Stranger, the Harfoots, and The Mystics – the latter being destroyed by The Stranger during the same fight.
Alex Tarrant’s Valandil, Geoff Morrell’s Waldreg, Peter Mullan as King Durin III, Maxine Cunliffe as Vilma, and Thusitha Jayasundera as Malva are the five main supporting cast members, so we suspect they’ll be back. Vilma and Malva’s appearances, though, depend on whether we see the Harfoot community again (more on this later).
One actor who won’t be returning for season 2 is Joseph Mawle, who played Adar. He’s been replaced by Sam Hazeldine (Peaky Blinders). Elsewhere 14 other actors – six in the Mawle departure press release and eight in another – have joined the cast:
- William Chubb (The Sandman, Pistol)
- Kevin Eldon (Game of Thrones, Shadow and Bone)
- Will Keen (His Dark Materials, The Crown)
- Selina Lo (Hellraiser, Boss Level)
- Calum Lynch (Bridgerton, Derry Girls)
- Stuart Bowman (Versailles, Alex Rider)
- Gavi Singh Chera (The Lazarus Project, The Undeclared War)
- Oliver Alvin-Wilson (Lovesick, The Bay)
- Ben Daniels (The Crown, Jupiter’s Legacy)
- Yasen “Zates” Atour (The Witcher season 2, Young Wallander)
- Gabriel Akuwudike (1917, War of the Worlds)
- Nia Towle (Persuasion)
- Nicholas Woodeson (Rome, Silent Witness)
- Amelia Kenworthy (in her first major acting role)
Potential season 2 cast spoilers follow. Skip ahead if you’re avoiding them pre-release.
A great light shines upon Middle-earth! #TheRingsOfPower is a @peopleschoice nominee for Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2022. pic.twitter.com/USh5ccKSvoNovember 1, 2022
One character confirmed to appear is Cirdan the Shipwright. In Tolkien’s source material, Cirdan was Lord of the Falathrim in the First Age and owned one of the titular rings – Narya – before passing it onto Gandalf. Benjamin Walker, who plays High King Gil-galad, has teased (via Nerdist (opens in new tab)) that Cirdan will have an “important influence” on his character.
Cirdan isn’t the only elf who could feature. In episode 7, Galadriel mentioned Celeborn, the elf she’s wedded to but who she hasn’t seen for ages. Galadriel presumes he’s dead but, as Tolkien fans know, Celeborn is alive in the Third Age. The duo eventually reunite before they make the city of Lothlórien their permanent home.
Speaking at an episodes 6 and 7 screening event, showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay refused to confirm Celeborn will appear. However, McKay teased: “We know there are things that the two of them do together in terms of progeny that they will issue, realms they will found, all kinds of things. So it would be very hard to believe that she would never see him again. But let’s see.”
Elsewhere, Charles Edwards, who plays Celebrimbor, wants to see a deep-cut dwarf character make their live-action debut in The Rings of Power season 2. Meanwhile, according to The Fellowship of Fans Twitter account (opens in new tab), newcomer Jamie Bisping has been cast as a character called Viran. It’s unclear if this is a code name. Additionally, TheOneRing.net (opens in new tab) has claimed Tom Bombadil will feature in some capacity. We’re taking that rumor with a giant pinch of salt, though.
Finally, with the first Rings of Power being crafted in episode 8, we could see the other 17 forged in The Rings of Power season 2. If that happens, we could see characters like Khamûl the Easterling – one of the nine Ringwraiths – make their live-action debut.
The Rings of Power season 2 plot
Little is known about The Rings of Power season 2’s plot. Based on what the cast and crew have said, plus what happens in the season 1 finale and in Tolkien’s works, though, we can speculate on certain elements.
The most pressing questions revolve around Sauron and the titular rings. Now that Halbrand has been revealed as Sauron – Vickers told us he didn’t know he was playing Sauron until filming the third episode – Middle-earth’s most notable villain will surely take center stage.
For starters, he’s arrived in Mordor to make it his base of operations. Given Adar and his followers already inhabit this realm, it’ll be fascinating to see if Sauron works with Adar, or bumps him off and steals Adar’s orc army. The duo briefly clashed in episode 6, so seeing them reunite in The Rings of Power season 2 would make for compelling viewing. Vickers told TechRadar that he’d be excited to explore the pair’s frosty relationship further, adding: “I really love that dynamic. These characters have a long history, so I’d be keen to explore that further and even build on it.”
And what of Sauron potentially meeting Galadriel again? The duo formed a close bond before Halbrand revealed his true identity, only to be rebuffed in his advances to make Galdriel his queen.
“I’ve always been obsessed with the mirror of Galadriel bit from The Lord of the Rings films,” Clark told TechRadar. “She can’t let go until she’s rejected this completely because she feels temptation in that. But only the tiniest amount because of how dreadful she knows it would be. So it would be interesting to see how she’d handle a reunion.”
“I think the crux of their relationship is there’s no peace in being alone,” Vickers added. “Sauron eventually believes his peace will only come as a king and Galadriel is the one who’s drawn that back out of him in season one. You can view him as being repentant or manipulating her in that sense. He knows she’s incredibly useful and can get him to meet the right people and be in the right circles to make these connections. Now that he’s deceived her, and now that she’s not told the elves about him, it would be fascinating to see how they would react to each other if they met again.”
Not telling the elves about Sauron will cause problems for Galadriel. Elrond already knows she’s lied to him, with Elrond discovering the Southlands’ royal lineage scroll, which Galadriel used to work out who Halbrand was, in the season 1 finale.
Clark believes Galadriel’s decision not to tell anyone about Sauron is going to be a big mistake. “I don’t think she’s going to necessarily feel she made the right decision,” Clark told TechRadar. “The elves will get things wrong and there are consequences to that. This is a big one and I think Galadriel will realize she’s made a reckless and dangerous error.”
As for what she’s most looking forward to exploring from Galadriel’s season 2 arc, Clark said: “Spending more time with the elves, whatever state those relationships are in, and just coming back to Galadriel’s elvish-ness. We know she’s going to become reclusive and secretive, and starting to turn into the Lady of Lothlórien. I’m excited to see what makes her decide to back away from what we’ve seen her throw herself into.”
As for the rings, the first three have been forged by the elves, with the fallout from their crafting (and whether they’ll save the elves) set to be further explored. There are 17 more to be created, including the One Ring. Will we see the Dark Lord craft his own ring next time out? Vickers wouldn’t say, but he told TechRadar that Sauron “has a plan”. Take that as a yes, then.
We know seven are forged for the dwarf lords, and nine gifted to the kings of men, with the latter’s leaders going on to become the Witch King and the Nazgûl, aka the Ringwraiths. It’s unlikely we’ll see Sauron’s most trusted lieutenants take their ghostly forms in season 2, but we’d be surprised if some don’t appear as their human counterparts.
Regarding their creation, Tolkien’s source material reveals the rings for the dwarves and men were created alongside the elven ones. This doesn’t happen in the TV series, which has played pretty loose with some of Tolkien’s lore in season 1, much to some fans’ anger.
These rings need to be crafted by Sauron himself if he hopes to enslave the dwarves and men, so don’t expect him to ask for Celebrimbor’s help. That’s unless Sauron disguises himself as Annatar – like he does in Tolkien’s works – and tricks Celebrimbor into fashioning the other rings. It would be weird if Celebrimbor is deceived again, though, hence why we think Sauron will create them alone.
Another big question surrounds The Stranger and where he’s going with Nori.
We know The Stranger is one of the Istari, aka one of the five wizards sent to Middle-earth by the Valar (Middle-earth’s gods, essentially) to aid its races in the fight against Sauron. Funnily enough, none of the cast found out that The Stranger was a wizard until the final throes of filming.
Anyway, while we know The Stranger is a wizard, we don’t know which one he is. The first season’s final episode teased his real identity, but that could be a misdirect.
Read our Rings of Power season 1 recaps
The Stranger and Nori are heading off to Rhûn in Middle-earth’s far eastern regions to find out a) what his name is, b) more about his past, and c) how to channel his powers properly. Will they run into Khamûl or the two Blue Wizards (providing The Stranger isn’t one of that duo)? Here’s hoping.
There are plenty of subplots and other storylines that The Rings of Power season 2 needs to pick up.
For one, the fate of the Southlanders. Episode 7 confirmed the Southlands is the region that becomes Mordor after episode 6’s explosive ending. Additionally, Bronwyn revealed the remaining Southlanders would resettle in Pelargir, a city on the banks of the river Anduin that becomes Gondor’s main port in the Third Age.
It’s unlikely season 1 will mark the end of the Southlanders’ time in the show. Also, in the source material, Pelargir becomes a haven for the Faithful – Númenóreans who are friendly with the elves – during the island kingdom’s moral decline in the Second Age. If events play out like they do in Tolkien’s works, we’ll see Elendil and company reunite with Arondir, Bronwyn, and Theo in a future season.
As for the Harfoots (minus Nori), some viewers might think we’ve seen the last of them, with the Harfoot community, including Poppy and the rest of the Brandyfoot family, heading in a different direction to The Stranger and Nori. However, speaking during an episode 8 press screening Q&A, which TechRadar attended, McKay confirmed we’ll be reunited with the Harfoots at some point and even teased their involvement in the founding of Hobbiton.
Markella Kavenagh, who plays Nori, told TechRadar: “I would love to reunite with the family. The entire community is so wonderful to work with. To me, it will be so difficult to imagine that they wouldn’t [be back] but we’ll just have to see what what happens really.”
Over in Khazad-dûm, we’ll need a resolution to King Durin III and Prince Durin IV’s familial issues. The former stripped his son of his titles during the fallout over the mining of mithril. With Princess Disa galvanizing Durin IV in a Lady Macbeth-style manner, could we see a civil war erupt within the glorious dwarven kingdom? Or will father and son make up?
We think it’ll be the latter. That’s based on Tolkien’s source material, with King Durin sending an army of dwarven warriors to try and save Eregion from destruction at Sauron’s hands during the War of the Elves and Sauron. That battle could also see Gil-galad’s warrior side come out, with Walker telling Nerdist (opens in new tab) that Gil-galad’s spear – Aeglos – will see some action and that he’ll become more of a war general in season 2.
The two Durins will need to set their differences aside, too, based on the emergence of a Balrog – aka Durin’s Bane – in episode 7. Asked by TechRadar if we’ll see Durin’s Bane again soon, McKay simply teased: “Season 2, sir. Stay tuned.”
Then there’s the sizeable political and monarch-based upheaval Númenor will be afflicted with. King Palantir is dead, meaning Queen Regent Míriel should be crowned the island realm’s next ruler. With Míriel blinded in the fallout from episodes 6 and 7, though, and based on what we know of Númenor’s history, Pharazôn will make a play for the throne. That, alongside Sauron’s potential return to Númenor – we don’t know this will be tackled yet – will ultimately lead to the kingdom’s downfall. Speaking during a Lucca Comics 2022 panel (opens in new tab), however, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, who plays Míriel, hinted “this weakness (blindness) will become her strength in the future”, so don’t expect Pharazôn to usurp her easily.
And what of Númenor’s favorite dysfunctional family, i.e. Elendil, Isildur, and Eärien? The former will be grieving for his son – although, we know Isildur is alive, given the role he plays in Sauron’s defeat in the Second Age – and carrying out his Númenorean duties. Meanwhile, Eärien discovered the palantír in the season 1 finale. Will she use it to see into Númenor’s future? Her decision to do so or not could have big implications on the kingdom, herself, and her family.
Fans will be relieved to hear The Rings of Power season 2 will follow Tolkien’s materials much more closely. Payne told The Hollywood Reporter: (opens in new tab) “Season two has a canonical story. There may well be viewers who are like, ‘This is the story we were hoping to get in season one!’ In season two, we’re giving it to them.” Speaking on the official Rings of Power podcast (opens in new tab), Payne added: “[In] season 2 there is a lot more canon that we are interested in adapting and bringing to life.”
That extends to some major battles in Tolkien’s legendary works, with Sanders telling Deadline (opens in new tab): “You will see bigger battles in season two including some iconic moments from the appendices and the books.”
The Rings of Power season 2 trailer: is there one?
No and there won’t be for a long time. Once one is released, we’ll update this section.
Will The Rings of Power get more seasons?
The Rings of Power season 2 won’t be the last installment. Payne and McKay say they’ve planned for a five-season series, which is already mapped out. Speaking to Empire magazine (opens in new tab), the pair confirmed they know how the show would end, including its final shot.
So far, Amazon has only greenlit two seasons, but Sanders (per Deadline (opens in new tab)) said: “We’re probably two to three months in on season 3 but I think there could be news certainly in the new year”. Mark your calendars for a season 3 announcement soon, then. How Embracer Group’s acquisition of The Lord of the Rings IP affects season 3 and other seasons – executive producer Lindsey Weber is unsure how it’ll impact the series – is unclear.
The Rings of Power reached the number one spot in Nielsen’s TV rankings in September 2022; the series amassing 1.3 billion minutes viewed (per Variety (opens in new tab)) worldwide. The show’s two-episode premiere was also streamed by 25 million viewers in its first 24 hours, making it the most-watched Prime Video show ever (opens in new tab). Providing those figures hold (or even rise), we’ll see all five seasons of The Rings of Power over the next few years.
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