Set long before the events of The Lord of the Rings, The Rings of Power takes J. R. R. Tolkien's works and expands them, fleshing out backstories to certain characters and, in some places, rewriting history. One canon detail from the source material that the series bends to suit its narrative is the timeline of the forging of the rings – in the show, the Elven rings are made first, not last as they are in Tolkien's legendarium. Now, writer Gennifer Hutchison has explained why the change was necessary.
"So much of the season was about the Elves and their journey, and Galadriel’s journey, and the fading [of Eregion]," she recently told Inverse. "So, we wanted to tie those rings into that story. It was about narrowing our focus down on them and having those rings cap off the season. Because we had to make rings. It felt like the climax of that arc, as opposed to trying to manage the timeline in a different way."
In Tolkien's original works, both humans and dwarves get their rings before the Elves. Even though each of those groups do appear in The Rings of Power, there's no denying that the likes of Galadriel, Elrond, and Celebrimbor are the driving force behind the first season's story, as the former becomes hellbent on finding – and thwarting – the dark lord Sauron.
Speaking of Sauron, Hutchison also touched on that reveal during the interview, which saw Galadriel discover that her ally, supposed Southlands king Halbrand, was in fact the enemy she had been searching for. "We wanted a foil for Galadriel," she recalled. "Someone who was running from their past and a little bit checked out. Someone that she could pull back in, because she's so driven. And so that character just started springing up from what that dynamic could be."
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 1 is available to stream on Prime Video in its entirety and you can read all of our episodic reviews now. If fantasy's not your thing, then check out our guide to the best shows on Amazon Prime for some viewing inspiration.