Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power showrunners say season 2 is "all about the villains" and everyone might not make it out alive

Total Film exclusive image: The Rings of Power season 2
(Image credit: Total Film/Prime Video)

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2 is coming later this summer and will be a lot darker than the versions of Middle-earth we've seen before.  

"We like to say that Season 1 was primarily about our heroes," showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne tease to Total Film in our new issue, out on Thursday, June 20. "But Season 2 is all about the villains." As glimpsed in the first trailer for season 2, the action picks back up with Sauron at the height of his new powers, and this time he's got a new disguise as well. 

"This time, Sauron’s agenda sets everything in motion: Adar [Sam Hazeldine, taking over the role from Joseph Mawle] and his army of orcs; Galadriel [Morfydd Clark], Elrond [Robert Aramayo] and Gil-galad [Benjamin Walker] and their armies of elves – all of which will come crashing together in the most ambitious battle our show has seen yet, a battle from which many big players may not make it out alive," the showrunners say.

Amid the new battle lines too, one of season 1's more minor characters will take the limelight. Elven smith Celebrimbor becomes what McKay and Payne call "the principal protagonist" as his dynamic with Sauron becomes the "central relationship".

Total Film also has an exclusive new image from season 2 as well, which you can see above, featuring Peter Mullan's King Durin III. The new episodes delve into the consequences of him disowning his son, Durin IV, for excavating Mithril against his wishes.

"A recurring motif in mythology centers around a king’s failing health leading to a sickness in the land that endangers the entire kingdom," the showrunners tease of this storyline. "Season 2 sees a fractured relationship between King Durin and his son take on a similar larger dimension." It seems nothing will be the same again...

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2 streams on Prime Video from August 29. And you can read more about it and a whole lot else besides in the new issue of Total Film when it hits shelves and digital newsstands on Thursday, June 20.

Check out the covers below:

Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman on the cover of Total Film's Deadpool & Wolverine issue

(Image credit: Total Film/Marvel Studios/Disney)

Pre-order the issue here to bag your copy or click here to subscribe to Total Film and never miss another exclusive. You’ll get every issue before it's in stores, and you’ll get subscriber-exclusive covers. 

Total Film subscriber offer

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, Amazon)
Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.