“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have already plotted out five seasons and know what the final shot will be. The Rings of Power will be Amazon Studios’ first journey into Middle-earth, following Peter Jackson’s immensely successful adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s high-fantasy classics, “The Lord of the Rings” and The Hobbit, for New Line Cinema. In 2017, Amazon paid $250 million for the television rights to Lord of the Rings and committed to a five-season run of the Rings of Power show, which cost roughly $1 billion to produce, making it the most expensive TV series ever.
One of Payne and McKay’s more high-profile projects was drafting a draft of the script for 2016’s Star Trek Beyond, despite the fact that they are technically uncredited on the film. In 2018, the duo was hired for the Lord of the Rings series, with the rest of the creative team following a year later. J.A. Bayona of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom serves as an executive producer and directs the first two Rings of Power episodes alongside Payne and McKay. The series is based on “The Lord of the Rings” appendices and is set during the Second Age of Middle-earth, with a diverse ensemble cast from all over the world.
Payne and McKay revealed to Empire for their exclusive cover story that they have already plotted out five entire seasons of Rings of Power. Even more astounding, Payne revealed that they already know what the series finale’s final shot will be. Here’s what he had to say:
We even know what our final shot of the last episode is going to be. The rights that Amazon bought were for a 50-hour show. They knew from the beginning that was the size of the canvas – this was a big story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. There are things in the first season that don’t pay off until Season 5.
Given the possibility of a series being canceled after the pilot or not renewed after the first season, it’s uncommon for writers to plan out a show’s complete story before the first episode airs, especially for adaptations of previously published work. The showrunners of “Rings of Power” and “Lord of the Rings” viewers both benefit from knowing how long the show will last. This allows the authors to plan particular story aspects in Season 1 that will be directly paid off in Season 5 and beyond.
Over the course of five seasons, “The Rings of Power” will follow a number of Elves, Dwarves, and Harfoots as they navigate key historical events from the Second Age, such as the forging of the titular magical items and the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron. Despite the fact that the program will introduce many new characters and plot lines, it will all be based on Tolkien’s mythology. While it’s far too soon to speculate on what “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’s” final shot will be, it will become clearer with each passing season, beginning with the season 1 debut on September 2.