If you’ve heard about Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings TV show and were afraid Middle Earth might leave New Zealand — don’t worry. The show, rumored to be the most expensive ever made at $1 billion, will explore the storylines of Middle Earth preceding the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and will be filmed in New Zealand.
Amazon Studios, which bought the rights to the show, has confirmed that filming wrapped on the first season on August 2, 2021, in New Zealand. After a long delay due to COVID-19, it has now been revealed — much to the delight of Tolkein fans — that the long-awaited series will debut on September 2, 2022 on Prime Video.
“As we searched for the location in which we could bring to life the primordial beauty of the Second Age of Middle Earth,” said the studio, “we knew we needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine costs, forests, and mountains.” Given the criteria, it’s no surprise that the franchise is returning to New Zealand. The film sparked a major tourism boom for the country, with visitors eager to explore the Hobbit-holes of Middle Earth for themselves.
Scotland was the front-runner for the series’ filming location, but Brexit derailed its chances, The Guardian reported.
Details of the TV show’s plot have been kept under wraps, but Amazon has revealed that the series will be set during the 3,441-year period before the Fellowship of the Ring, perhaps focusing on the adventures of a young Aragorn.
“I can’t express enough just how excited we all are to take our global audience on a new and epic journey through Middle-earth!” Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, told Variety. “Our talented producers, cast, creative, and production teams have worked tirelessly in New Zealand to bring this untold and awe-inspiring vision to life.”
A version of this article was previously published on September 19, 2019, and was updated on September 15, 2021, with more information.