Amazon's Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power TV series has revealed the first look at its version of the Orcs. The new Orc images come courtesy of Prime Video and photographer Matt Grace, who captures the intensity and monstrosity of these Orcs – as well as the remarkable makeup and prosthetic work being done to make their faces and bodies much more detailed and expressive than their counterparts from Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings Trilogy of the 2000s. While a lot of elements in this Rings of Power series are being debated by J.R.R. Tolkien fans, this should be fairly easy for everyone to enjoy.
IGN has the exclusive first look at the Orcs in Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and you can check out the Full Gallery over there.
The prosthetics department of The Rings of Power is being run by Jamie Wilson – who has worked on every installment of the live-action Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. As executive producer Lindsey Weber explains, the Orc knowledge (and love ) runs deep amongst the series' creative team:
"I love creature design, so I'm very happy to talk about this stuff. JD and Patrick – the showrunners – the very first page of their bible was about Orcs," Weber explains. "They have a real passion for them, they love practical prosthetics and design, and they felt that they needed exploration given that this is the Second Age and thousands of years before the events of the Third Age. It was really important to them to treat them as their own culture and explore their world on its own two legs in its own right."
That is an important distinction that Weber notes: in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies (and subsequently Tolkien's source text) the Orcs were essentially the henchmen/army of Sauron. While the Orcs (and their "Fighting Uruk-hai" cousins) showed clear signs of intelligence and cunning, we never did get to see them as a full-fledged culture. The Rings of Power can do a lot of change perspective on Orcs as a whole – much like Star Wars has gone back to look at characters like the Tuskens (no longer "Raiders") with a more careful eye.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power takes place 1,000 years before Lord of the Rings and is set during Middle-earth's Second Age. It begins during a time of relative peace following the defeat of Morgoth, Sauron's master. The series chronicles the lives and adventures of its ensemble cast and promises to visit the Misty Mountains, the forest elf-capital of Lindon, and the shores of the island kingdom of Númenor.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is currently planned for a five-season arc. It premieres on Prime Video on September 2nd.