Lord of the Rings series moving away from New Zealand for season 2

Frodo in Lord of the Rings
(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

They’re taking the Hobbits to… the UK.

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series is departing the franchise’s long-time backdrop of New Zealand after its first season.

According to Deadline (opens in new tab), the production is shipping bespoke sets across to the UK in preparation for the series' impending pre-production for its second season – set to begin in January.

It's a move that may rankle with those who have grown up with Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. While author J.R.R. Tolkien drew inspiration from the rural English countryside for his Middle-earth, Jackson's decision to relocate to New Zealand for his films was hugely popular. So much so, that the country ended up becoming synonymous with the franchise. Six Middle-earth movies were filmed there, including Jackson's Hobbit trilogy.

The first season, meanwhile, is set for release on September 2, 2022. That came bundled with the first image from the Amazon Prime Video series, depicting a figure in a white cloak overlooking a large city that's been carved into the side of a hill.

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In another departure, The Lord of the Rings series is confirmed to take place during "the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth's history." That's thousands of years before the events of the Lord of the Rings, in case you didn't have your sprawling Tolkien timeline to hand.

At the very least, there's going to be some basis as to why the rolling hills of New Zealand potentially aren’t needed moving forward. Still, we'll miss Hobbiton.

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Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.