‘Rings of Power’ Producer Lindsey Weber On Worldbuilding & Managing Fan Expectations

Credit: Amazon

The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power is perhaps the biggest and most expensive show ever made. That comes with a bit of baggage, as does the franchise name. Rings of Power producer Lindsey Weber, told Collider that finding a balance between fan expectations and the need to cater to new viewers has been challenging. To counter that challenge, the show has instead put a large focus on worldbuilding as a way to please both kinds of viewer.

It’s a tough balancing act as Weber explains: “We worked very hard, every day, to make the show accessible to people who have not read the books, have not seen the movies, and who are totally new to Tolkien and Middle-earth, as much as and equally for the fans, who know the Legendarium incredibly well.

“Certainly, for the mega fans, there are additional things there for them, that they will catch in every frame. There are details and costumes and runes carved into things and suggestions that they will certainly find in all the craftsmanship that you’ll see across all the departments, that go into making every frame of the show.

“The daunting part of it, we certainly put a lot of pressure on ourselves because we are fans too, and we know what this means to so many people. The challenge, every day was to make all these worlds come to life, all at the same time.”

The challenge is no small feat. As the property is “inherently epic,” the sheer scale of everything has meant that a large focus has been placed on worldbuilding. As Weber explains:

“The show is five or six worlds in one. Any one of them would be enough for 50 hours or more. We’ve got the Elven world of Lindon, we’ve got the Dwarven world of Khazad-dûm. We’ve got the two human worlds of Númenor, which is never been captured on screen before and required an enormous amount of imagination and planning to figure out, and we’ve got Eregion in the show, we’ve got an Orc world. We’ve got all kinds of places for fans to go, and each one needed to have its own colour palette and shape and form language and, in some cases, smells."

“That required the work of hundreds and hundreds of people,” added Weber. “And, in some cases, thousands of people to bring it to life, and they had to all be ready, every day. I think only 25% of our cast plays human characters, so that requires prosthetics.”

Weber says that there’s “no shortage of challenges” but adds that that’s “the fun of it. It’s never dull.”

Rings of Power is streaming on Prime Video now with new episodes releasing on Fridays.

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