Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show is trying pretty hard to fill the void left by Game of Thrones. A familiar face from GoT just joined the Prime adaptation of LOTR. Actor Joseph Mawle is joining the currently untitled Lord of the Rings adaptation. Best known for his role as Benjen Stark in Game of Thrones, Mawle will play the lead villain in the Amazon show.
Joseph Mawle as Benjen Stark in Game of Thrones | Image via HBO
What Do We Know About Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Show?
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show will be a prequel to the epic fantasy trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. The show will take place during the Second Age of Middle-Earth. Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and Return of the King all take place towards the end of Middle-Earth’s Third Age. This means that the prequel series will occur thousands of years before the events that are familiar to most LOTR fans. Notably, the series will not delve into The Silmarillion which is Tolkien’s origin story for Middle-Earth.
The Second Age of Middle-Earth spans over 3,000 years in Tolkien’s lore, and ends with the defeat of Sauron at the hands of an alliance of Elves and Mankind. The Second Age also sees the rise and fall of Númenor, and the emergence of Gondor as a nation. Amazon’s rights to Tolkien’s work stipulate that they may explore the Second Age as much as they want, but the First and Third Ages of Man are off-limits. What this means for familiar Second Age characters (such as Elrond, Isildur, and Sauron himself) is still unknown.
Who Is Involved In The Adaptation?
Joseph Mawle is not the only GoT alum to join the cast of the Lord of the Rings adaptation. Executive producers Bryan Cogman and Bruce Richmond are also onboard. They join showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay, as well as writers Gennifer Hutchinson and Helen Shang. The show will begin production in 2020. It will film in New Zealand, where Peter Jackson filmed the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Jackson himself is not involved with the Amazon adaptation, but the show definitely seems to be following his award-winning legacy.
Details about Amazon’s Lord of the Rings adaptation are scant right now. Joseph Mawle joins actors Will Poulter and Markella Kavenagh who will play the heroes Beldor and Tyra. The cast members that have been announced so far all have some experience with genre work. Will Poulter was in Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Markella Kavenagh has worked with Amazon Studios before, in Picnic at Hanging Rock.
Reportedly, Mawle will play a character named Oren. According to Lord of the Rings fanpage (The Council of Elrond) the name Oren means ‘pale’ in Celtic and ‘tree’ in Hebrew. There is at least one prominent pale tree in the lore of LOTR. Only time will tell if my wild speculation means that this character has anything to do with the White Tree of Gondor or one of the Two Trees of Valinor.
The Lord of the Rings series is not Amazon’s only epic fantasy show in the works. Production has already begun on the Wheel of Time adaptation, with a premiere date set for 2021. With both Wheel of Time and Lord of the Rings on their roster of upcoming shows, it is clear that Amazon intends to be the new home for epic fantasy.
(Featured image via Amazon Prime)
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.