Back in 2020, a casting call for Amazon’s then in pre-production Lord of the Rings series seemed to hint that the show, called The Rings of Power, might veer into far more adult territory than Peter Jackson’s trilogy or even Tolkien’s novels. An unearthed casting call stipulated that actors interested in auditioning should “be comfortable with nudity” and one report said the series had hired an Intimacy Coordinator — someone studios call in to navigate the legal and emotional complications of naked actors on set. However, a new report suggests that whatever the original plans, The Rings of Power will keep the content pretty tame.
The show’s co-creator and showrunner Patrick McCay told Vanity Fair that the show will be safe for families, give or take some frightening moments. The goal was “to make a show for everyone, for kids who are 11, 12, and 13, even though sometimes they might have to pull the blanket up over their eyes if it’s a little too scary,” he said. “We talked about the tone in Tolkien’s books. This is material that is sometimes scary — and sometimes very intense, sometimes quite political, sometimes quite sophisticated — but it’s also heartwarming and life-affirming and optimistic. It’s about friendship, and it’s about brotherhood and underdogs overcoming great darkness.”
Well, that probably soothes some fears that Amazon was chasing after a Game of Thrones successor in both form and content, and ought to reassure parents of young Tolkien fans. But, of course, “safe” doesn’t necessarily mean “good,” and it remains to be seen whether the show can deliver on the stratospheric expectations set by the famous source material, which (mostly) takes place eons after the events of The Rings of Power.
“We know what it’s like to be anticipating something and to be terrified that it won’t be what you hope,” McKay told Vanity Fair. “We’ve been those guys many times over.”
The first trailer dropped during the Super Bowl. You can check out the very SFW footage here.