Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Comic-Con 2022 Panel Recap

San Diego Comic-Con has become a home for some of the biggest parts of pop culture, with highly-anticipated movies, television shows, and more being celebrated at the event. At this year's event, that will include Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the long-awaited television adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novels. With The Rings of Power's series premiere arriving in September, hype is definitely growing for the series — and the show's SDCC panel is sure to carry that momentum in spades. Keep reading for our recap of everything you need to know from the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power panel!


After a sizzle reel for Prime Video plays, series composer Bear McCreary appears onstage and conducts a live orchestra, which plays various themes from the show. Stephen Colbert, who is moderating the panel, comes out onstage and shares his personal connection to the Lord of the Rings franchise. He then speaks about the Second Age, the lore that Rings of Power will be exploring, and introduces the series' teaser, which is played in a panorama across the hall.

Colbert introduces executive producers Lindsey Weber, J.D. Payne, and Patrick McKay. They share their connection to the text of Lord of the Rings, Payne calls the series a "human story", about how far someone would go into the darkness to protect the things they love. McKay and Payne call the Second Age "Tolkien's amazing untold story," and tease that they didn't want to spin off or tell an origin story of one thing. Payne promises that Amazon has let them make the show that they want to make.

Colbert asks each person's favorite event from the Second Age — Payne cites the Fall of Nuemenor. Colbert asks if it was a benefit or challenge , Weber says it was a matter of keeping up with the creativity and imagination of Tolkien, McKay, and Payne. McKay reveals they've been working on the show for four years, and doesn't know if he should "cry, sh-t, or go blind."

Colbert asks which race from Middle Earth they'd want to be, Weber wants to be a Nuemenorian. McKay jokes she wants to be a Nuemenorian so she can die and not have to keep producing the show. Payne wants to be an elf and live forever, and also promises that the show does right by the dwarves. Colbert says he wants to play a Hobbit, Payne makes a joke about cutting Colbert "short."

Colbert asks what has been the most daunting part of the series, McKay says the pressure they put upon themselves was the strongest. Colbert asks about the characters in the show that are non-canonical to Tolkien, Payne reveals that they worked with franchise scholars and experts on that. Payne cites Tolkien's passing reference to Hobbits' ancestors as an example of what they're building upon. He also reveals that they, like Tolkien, looked to real world battles and epics for inspiration.

They screen a new trailer for the series. An elf places helmets in a giant pile. "Today, our days of peace begin." Elves in boats, Galadriel, big battle scenes, "Evil does not sleep, it waits." Dwarves, a village on fire, a blade. "Each of us must decide who we shall be." Trailer ends with a Balrog. 

Colbert asks about the Balrog, and if the season will unintentionally help set up stuff in the Third Age. McKay says the Second Age is so dense they don't need to dip into the Third Age. Weber says they built practical sets "as much as they could," McKay echoes that it included several blocks, and an entire wharf.

Colbert asks about casting, and jokes about not being invited. Payne says there was two criteria for casting — they have to be a good actor, and they have to "have Middle Earth in them." Colbert asks rapid-fire questions, starting with "Why do some elves have short hair?" McKay: "Elves don't look the same all the time."

McCreary returns to the stage, and teases his inspiration for the music. He reveals that there will be some instruments never heard in the franchise before, as a way to represent what was lost by the Third Age. Payne reveals that every Lord of the Rings-related thing is a source of inspiration.

The crew leave the stage, and Colbert quizzes the audience on pronunciations of some LOTR names. 

The first crop of cast members come out, including Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Benjamin Walker, and Sophia Nomvete. 

Aramayo talks about how his approach to Elron is rooted in him being an orphan. Colbert asks Arthur how being Welsh affects his performance, he says there are definitely some similarities. 

They screen a clip, showing Elrond and Durin engaging in a stone-cutting completion. 

Walker recites the poem about Gil-Galad. He reveals that he was hesitant about taking the role, because of how demanding it would be. He reveals he signed on to the show after Payne called him from the hospital while his wife was in labor.

talks about playing Disa, the first female dwarf onscreen in the franchise. She calls her a "force of nature", and reveals she auditioned for the role two days before giving birth, and she signed on to the role when her daughter was five days old. 

The cast leaves the stage, and a second crop of cast members arrive, including Sara Zwanboghi, Megan Richards, Daniel Weyman, Nazanin Boniadi, Ismael Cruz Cordova, and Tyroe Muhafidin.

Zwanboghi explains how the Harfoot are a nomadic ancestor to the Hobbits, but still have the same energy and spirit. The environment of the show was a "character" in and of itself. Richards was not prepared to sing for the role, and that they did karaoke a lot in New Zealand 

Another clip screens, of Poppy and Nori meeting a giant in the fiery crater.

Weyman teases The Stranger has a unique sense of purpose, and is excited to see people go on this journey. Colbert addresses theories that The Stranger is Gandalf or Sauron, and asks how he perceives the character, and Weyman says he had enough information day to day.

Boniadi teases that Bronwyn, and all of the show's female characters, have so much agency, and she's inspired by the real-life work of women in Iran. 

Cordova plays coy about what the symbol on his armor represents. He teases how dance and martial arts influenced his fighting style onscreen, in a way to honor the diversity of the Elves.

Another clip plays, showing the elves fighting against their oppressors, with a fight scene involving chains and an axe. 

The cast leaves, and Colbert talks about Nuemenor. He introduces the last group of actors — including Lloyd Owen, Morfydd Clark, Charlie Vickers, and Cynthia Addai-Robinson. 

Clark talks about playing Galadriel, calls it "beyond my wildest dreams," and says her family is obsessed with the franchise. She reveals she did a lot of training, and Vickers reveals that included free diving, which was difficult.

Another clip shows Galadriel and Elron meeting and speaking Elvish. Clark reveals that she was able to pick up Elvish because of its similarities to Welsh.

Another clip screens, showing Galadriel and Halbrand arriving in Neumenor.

Addai-Robinson says that playing Miriel gave her a space to work out her feelings about the world. She teases that Miriel wants to do right by her people.

Colbert brings out the rest of the cast to answer fan questions. Clark says she wanted to explore Galadriel's immortality, and how hard-fought it was. Weyman teases he believes fans will be happy with the mythology expanded upon in the show. Weber teases Galadriel's armor is a "gift" from someone else.

A fan asks about disability representation, and Payne confirms as much, revealing that one of the characters is partially deaf, and how the show custom-made a suit of armor so he could hear better on set. A fan asks for them to commit to giving Colbert a role, and they agree, getting Colbert to sign a sheet of paper. 

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will debut on September 2nd on Prime Video.