The most expensive and ambitious series in the history of television has reached the end (of its first season). Showrunners Patrick McKay and JD Payne have recalled their favorite moments from these eight dazzling episodes in the press conference immediately following the broadcast of the outcome. The former is very proud of having turned Queen Míriel into a kind of prophet who “He is afraid to see the future of his people and trying to guide them loses his sight, there was something so tragic and perfect there that it was his guide for this season”. On the other hand, his partner’s favorite scenes are “Arondir and Bronwyn escaping the orcs in slow motion reaching into the sunlight” and Elrond’s reconciliation with Durin by sharing how they feel about their parents. “I saw it and I felt the same thing that I want to feel every time I see ‘The Lord of the Rings'”.
But in addition to planting interesting paths for the second season, The creators and writers of this last chapter have given a visual response to many of the theories about the unknown characters of the series and the most famous of the entire saga. How they created those climaxes of this season finale and what it implies for the continuation of the series have been the main topics of this exclusive meeting with journalists.
*This article reveals important details of the end of the first season of ‘The Rings of Power’.
Who and why is Sauron?
“Nothing is bad at its origin.” Galadriel herself already announced in the first sentence of the entire series the twist of the season finale: Sauron is her companion in adventures, Halbrand (Charlie Vickers). The creators are aware of the debate generated among fans during the seven weeks of broadcast, but they assure that this was just one more piece to hook viewers with their characters.. “We never wanted to focus on the mystery or the clues. The fact that they discuss the interpretations of the books or any topic that gets people talking we count it as a success”.
The already known awakening of Sauron was something announced from that brief dark scene of the first chapter. But McKay emphasizes that “We weren’t interested in surprise, we don’t think it’s especially dramatic or rich. It doesn’t matter if you think this character is the bad guy and he’s going to reveal himself or that this villain just has to be out there and you’re waiting for it to happen.” ‘, his goal with this first season was to play with what viewers already know about the saga to convey “The feeling of inevitability. The surprise lasts a moment and is no longer enjoyed in a second viewing. The inevitability of seeing something happen that you know happened was our true guide. That means that, even if they tell you, nothing happens, because it only increases that feeling”.
If it was not his intention to surprise, why play the game with the identity of Sauron? From the beginning they were clear that they did not want a first season marked by “Sauron as the big villain. We wanted to keep him in the shadowsand we know he’s a trickster and he can take many forms.” What they also seemed very clear about was the human identity in Halbrand’s character as, despite this background to his power, “We also wanted him to be part of this story and have his evil present. We immediately had the idea that he would be somewhere in the story without anyone knowing. And when we came up with it being this particular character that enters the story in that way, we felt it was very satisfying and exciting.”. Payne doesn’t remember exactly who in the writers’ room came up with it, but he says there was never a plan B with another character: “There was never any debate. That was always the story”.
The great villain of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ has already emerged from the shadows… to immerse himself fully in them, as seen literally in the last shot of Charlie Vickers hidden arriving at his true home, Mordor. The creators of the series have hinted that Sauron will not be as hidden in the second season as in the first and, consequently, the plot will cross over even more with the original trilogy. “This season is about the origin of evil. In the second season, that evil is already born, is active and has a plan. Having Sauron as one more piece on the board and getting into some of these great canon stories It’s what we’re most excited about bringing to the screen.”.
Who will be the magician?
The other big rumor that Payne and McKay have dealt with is the identity of the outsider. At the end of the episode, it is confirmed that he is a wizard, and almost Gandalf as well, when he tells Nori the same phrase that the gray wizard uses in the Mines of Moria in ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’: “When in doubt, always follow your nose.” “Admittedly, that phrase and many other things resonate with what we associate with Gandalf. But also with other wizards. We know that Saruman and the blue wizards traveled to the Eastthey struggled with darkness and temptation, and we see that in this character as well”.
Unlike Sauron, the creators still want to continue playing with the identity of this character in the second season. “Who he is and his journey of self-discovery will continue nicely in season two”. Payne justifies his decision not yet to reveal his true identity in that “at this point, his name would mean nothing to him, first we need to learn what he is like. Whatever his name is, there will come a time when the outsider is ready to understand more about his own identity”.
The clues for the second season
To face the new stage of history, it is necessary to first analyze the one that closes in the first season. The creators confess that they have their own assessment “about what has worked and what hasn’t, and certainly the second season is influenced by it”. Nevertheless, this future batch of episodes “was entirely written before the world saw a single picture of the first season”. As with the theories of surprises, Payne is well aware of all the criticism received about the slow pace or licenses with the protagonists, but he bluntly assures that “The evolution of the story, the series, the tone and the characters that we focus on is based on what we believe is the next step in the story. We are not going to change course because of the reception of the first chapters the first weeks“.
Although they maintain that essence, McKay confirms that yes, “The story will be different next time, but why does it have to be since the characters change”. Unlike what happened with the departure of the creator of ‘The House of the Dragon’, he knows that they are here “to play the whole match” during the five confirmed seasons. Therefore, it encourages viewers to assess the entire season in its global context and do as they do: “Taking a minute to settle everything that the first season has been and thus change the opinion and perspective on it. I think that this last chapter serves for it, maybe it changes the point of view of the people”.
From the script, this first season has been a gigantic re-introduction to the entire world, culture, characters, and themes of Middle-earth. But the writers already warn that the full presentation of news is over; Now it’s time to play with the material that we already knew from before. “In season two, you already have all those players on the field, which opens the way to all those canon stories that Tolkien left us that you see starting at the end of this season. In the next one, we’re going to go much deeper into the lore.”. Specifically, Payne warns that we will have both “new characters from the canon that we have been asked to introduce” What “there will also be new non-canon characters”.
Among the characters that will remain from this first season, Payne is doubtful about the presence of the hairy community that Nori says goodbye to in the last chapter. At least in the second season. “One of the things I like best about this long-term narrative is that part of the story can go away for half a season or a whole season, and then suddenly come back. Any character that hasn’t died can come back and we might create a strategy to the”. Of course, in those plans, at the moment the spin-offs of any of the races do not seem to be found as Netflix intended to do. “That is a question for Amazon. We are focused on creating the best 55 hours possible, line by line, scene by scene”. Even so, Payne confesses an idea that would attract him for another possible series: “a Second Age adaptation might be fine”.
The track for the rest of the seasons
Coming to the end of the series (and this press conference), the song of the credits interpreted by Fiona Apple can keep the secret of the future seasons of ‘The Rings of Power’. The showrunners were clear that they wanted to end the season with a sinister song like ‘Where the shadows lie‘. On a musical level, they worked with the praised composer Bear McCreary (‘Calle Cloverfield 10’) in “a tune that builds throughout the season. If you watch it again, you’ll hear how this epic theme mixes with other themes”. Thus, the tradition of adapting songs as in Peter Jackson’s films continued.
But the clue is in the lyrics. As the composer himself explained in his twitter threadit is the adaptation of a poem by Tolkien with which ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ begins: one ring to rule them all… “We are always trying to go back to Tolkien’s words”confess the writers of the last episode. “The first line of season one is straight out of the books. And the last words as well”. Apart from this tribute to the prolific British writer and teacher, “It is also a small preview for what is to come. The song talks about three rings, as it has happened now, after seven, then nine and then one. It is suggesting that perhaps that is what we are going to see the next times”. Thus, McKay leaves the door open so that each season can be closed with the forging of the rings for each race. To see if it is the turn of the dwarfs, we will have to wait a long time for the second season of ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’, which has already started filming but still does not have an official release date.