The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power showrunners address rumors that modern politics will influence the show

A still from Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
(Image credit: Amazon)

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power comes loaded with expectations – something the showrunners know to expect considering the sheer popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien's work. However, one thing that has been brought up numerous times on online forums is the rumor that modern politics will influence the story. That's not the case.

"This was one of Tolkien's debate points with C.S. Lewis, his friend and colleague," co-showrunner Patrick McKay tells Total Film in the new issue of the magazine, which features Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on the cover. "It was very important that what he was creating was not an allegory. He was not commenting on historical events of his time or another time. He was not trying to transmit a message that spoke to contemporary politics. He wanted to create a mythos that was timeless, and would be applicable – that was his word, 'applicable' – the applicability across times.

"Every single choice we’ve made at every turn of making this show has been to be faithful to that aspiration, because that’s what we want as viewers. We don’t want to adapt the material in a way that might feel dated. We aspire to being timeless. That’s why these books still speak to people so much, because so much of what’s in them has not aged a day. And we aspire to do the same thing. And I think we feel that once people see the show, and see what the stories and characters and worlds are in context, they’ll feel the same way."

Another talking point regarding the series has been about the expedited timeline the series is set across. Rather than have the Second Age run for thousands of years, the showrunners – working with the Tolkien estate – condensed the story, otherwise humans would be dying between episodes (due to their short lifespans) and only Elven characters would be in every season. A non-linear series was considered, but that, McKay explains, would have stopped the audience from emotionally investing in the series. Fellow showrunner Payne points out how plenty of real-life historical dramas do the same thing and says their guiding principle was respect for the "spirit and feeling" of the Second Age.

for much more from the cast and crew behind the series in the new issue of Total Film, featuring our huge TV preview on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, House of the Dragon, Andor, The Mandalorian season 3, and so much more. 

The magazine reaches shelves on July 26 and will be available to order through this link. Or subscribe and never miss an issue again and receive magazines with exclusive cover images and insider secrets. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is streaming on Prime Video from September 2. 

Jack Shepherd
Freelance Journalist

Jack Shepherd is the former Senior Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar. Jack used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film for the likes of GR+, Total Film, SFX, and others. You can now find Jack working as a freelance journalist and editor.