Movies & Television

The Rings of Power returns primary practical effects to the franchise

Ahead of its September release, Amazon Prime is slowly teasing Tolkien fans who are anticipating The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – and practical effects are returning to the front line.

We reveal IGN’s exclusive look at the Orcs from The Rings of Power, discuss the franchise’s use of CGI and practical effects in the past, and see what Tolkien fans are saying about the upcoming series.

Developed by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay for Amazon Prime and based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel, The Lord of the Rings, The Rings of Power will be set thousands of years before The Hobbit and its successor, starring Robert Aramayo, Morfydd Clark, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, and many more.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power | Teaser Trailer | Prime Video

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power | Teaser Trailer | Prime Video
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IGN’s exclusive look at the Orcs

IGN recently released its exclusive look at the Orcs of Middle-earth, set during the Second Age in The Rings of Power.

Our first look at the series, via Amazon Prime’s trailer, set the bar for the show’s grandeur and stunning special effects, but many fans wondered if the series would lean on CGI to do most of the work.

First-look photos and an exclusive interview with prosthetic department head Jamie Wilson and executive producer Lindsey Weber revealed that the team wanted to be as practical as possible when creating the Orcs:

Wilson: “We did decide from the outset that we would try and make this a very real show. So therefore, we tried to use real prosthetics and everything and minimize the visual effects, because there are hundreds of productions that are heavy on visual effects, and you can see it, that the human eye is getting better and better and knows what is real and knows what isn’t, because we are just getting so deloused with all this product that you begin to know.”

Image from IGN / Amazon Prime

The franchise’s history with CGI and practical effects

The Lord of the Rings trilogy from Peter Jackson and his team, including the renowned Weta Workshop, is acclaimed for its outstanding practical effects.

A combination of prosthetics, miniatures, and camera trickery lent the trilogy its realistic qualities and was a surefire way to make a 20-year-old film feel and look timeless.

However, Jackson’s creation of The Hobbit was heavily criticized for its tendency to lean more on CGI work instead of practical effects caused by a bigger budget with less time to spend on practical work.

It ultimately left The Hobbit trilogy sitting in the shadow of The Lord of the Rings, therefore, it’s a sigh of relief to hear that The Rings of Power will primarily be using practical effects with CGI used sparingly.

Image from IGN / Amazon Prime

Tolkien fans are ready for the Second Age

The Middle-earth fandom is largely on board with the new Amazon Prime series, and this fan is excited to see the island of Númenor come to life:

Another fan stated that The Rings of Power would unleash their inner Tolkien “fanboy”:

Lastly, this fan got their first look at the Orcs from the show and claimed to now be “foaming at the mouth” with excitement:

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power releases on September 2, 2022, on Amazon Prime.

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Jo Craig
@shingeekyjo

Being a pop culture writer and a proud geek of all trades, Jo loves to dissect fandoms and marvel at their insides. The entirety of The Lord of the Rings, superhero origins, the Ghost of Tsushima score, the Wings of Freedom, and the endless search for a sleepy Tyranitar are but a few of Jo's passions, with a penchant for contributing to the geek culture community.

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