Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power will be exclusive to Prime Video and can be watched for free
After an interminable wait, The Rings Of Power is finally available to stream from Prime Video. Almost five years after Amazon first acquired the rights to The Lord of the Rings franchise and announced plans to launch a new show set within JRR Tolkien’s world, the first four episodes of the new series are now available to watch in the UK, USA, and worldwide.
Episode one, dubbed A Shadow of the Past, and episode two, Adrift, launched on Friday September 2. This was followed by Adar on September 9, and most recently The Great Wave on September 15, 2022. With only eight episodes in the first season of The Rings Of Power, we’re now at the halfway point of the show.
New episodes premiere at at 5am BST in the UK, or 00.01am ET. Each episode clocks-in over an hour, so there’s plenty of Middle-earth action to sink your teeth into. New episodes will now air weekly on each Friday until the end of the first season of The Rings Of Power in mid-October.
The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power is widely-rumoured to be the most expensive television series ever filmed, with an eye-watering budget of $465 million (roughly £385 million) for the first season of the show alone. That works out at around $58 million (£48 million) per episode.
For comparison, Netflix spends around $13 million on each episode of the lavishly produced The Crown and the final season of Game of Thrones clocked up a budget of $15 million per episode. The latter cost $90 million for its entire final season …or about one-and-a-half episodes of The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power. Yikes.
And that’s not even accounting for the $250 million fee for the rights to The Lord of the Rings from the JRR Tolkien estate. As part of that deal, Amazon committed to producing at least five seasons of its new show – sending the overall budget spiralling over $1 billion. For fans of the source material, high-fantasy stories, and Peter Jackson’s Academy Award-winning trilogy of films, that’s an incredibly exciting development.
But thankfully, while The Rings Of Power has taken a sizeable chunk from Jeff Bezos’ wallet …it doesn’t have to cost you anything.
Yes, those who sign-up for a 30-day free trial to Amazon Prime will be able to stream all episodes of The Rings Of Power currently available on Prime Video without paying a penny! Even if you’ve taken advantage of this free trial in the past, Amazon allows accounts to test its membership service without paying around once a year …so it’s always worth checking if your account is eligible again.
HD, Ultra HD
Budget Per Episode
£48 million / $58 million
J.D. Payne, Patrick McKay
Episode 1, A Shadow of the Past
September 2, 2022
Episode 2, Adrift
September 2, 2022
Episode 3, Title TBA
September 8, 2022
Episode 4, Title TBA
September 15, 2022
Episode 5, Title TBA
September 22, 2022
Episode 6, Title TBA
September 29, 2022
Episode 7, Title TBA
October 6, 2022
Episode 8, Title TBA
October 13, 2022
Release Times For New Episodes
5am BST UK / 6am CEST Europe / 00.01am ET USA
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What is Prime Video?
The Rings Of Power will be exclusive to Prime Video, which is a streaming video service owned and operated by Amazon.
Prime Video is available on a dizzying number of devices: iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Fire TV Stick, Chromecast, Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, Samsung Smart TVs, Fire tablets, and any web browser. Unlike Netflix, which forces viewers to upgrade to a pricier subscription tier to unlock the best video quality, Prime Video makes its 4K video streaming available to anyone …as long as their broadband connection is fast enough to handle the resolution.
Speaking of internet speeds, Amazon recommends a minimum of 0.9Mbps to stream in standard definition, with at least 3.5Mbps to upgrade the picture quality to 1080p High Definition. Although Netflix stipulates bandwidth of at least 25Mbps to stream in 4K, Prime Video says you’ll be able to clap eyes on Ultra HD content with just 15Mbps — that’s the same as YouTube requires for the same video quality. For those with slower internet speeds (or busier households, with more people taking up precious bandwidth at peak times) this might make Prime Video a better choice than rival services, like Netflix.
Prime Video is available as a standalone subscription but is also included as one of the benefits of an Amazon Prime membership, which also bundles next-day delivery on thousands of items from the online store, unlimited photo back-up to the cloud, music streaming via Prime Music, access to Lightning Deals and other promotions unavailable to other Amazon shoppers, and much more. Amazon offers a 30-day Prime free trial – so you will be able to stream The Rings Of Power for free if you time it just right.
How to watch The Rings Of Power in the UK and US
The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power will be broadcast globally via Prime Video. The new series will be available in 240 territories and countries around the world, including the UK and the United States.
Prime Video is available to stream online in a desktop web browser. There are also apps for a number of the most popular devices, including iPhone, Android, iPad, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast with Google TV, Roku, Fire tablets, and almost all Smart TV manufacturers and modern game consoles (except the Nintendo Switch).
Unlike Netflix, Prime Video does not lock some functionality – like the ability to watch in 4K Ultra HD behind pricier tiers. Instead, subscribers will gain access to all boxsets and movies included with the subscription service in the best available quality for their television or device.
Prime Video can be downloaded on as many devices as you own, however only three can stream simultaneously with same login credentials. Only two different devices can simultaneously view the same title at the same time – so those with large families desperate to watch Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power the moment that it becomes available might need to sign-up for a couple of Prime Video accounts.
Prime Video costs £5.99 per month / $8.99 per month. However, the streaming service is also included as one of the many benefits of Amazon Prime membership, which costs £7.99 per month / £79 per year or $14.99 per month / $139 per year.
As well as access to Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power and all of the other TV shows, documentaries, live sports fixtures and movies available with Prime Video, Amazon Prime members unlock next-day delivery on thousands of items bought from the online store (and same-day delivery in some parts of the country), unlimited back-up to the cloud for photos via Amazon Photos, millions of tracks and hand-curated playlists to stream via Prime Music, PC games to download via Prime Gaming, and more.
How to watch The Rings Of Power for free
Since Prime Video is one of the perks included with Amazon Prime membership, you’ll be able to stream the exclusive boxsets, sports fixtures, and documentaries available on the Netflix rival during a free trial of Amazon Prime. These Prime membership trials last 30-days …plenty of time to binge any episodes of The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power available on-demand. You can take out an Amazon Prime free trial now, so that you can watch the episodes already available and tune-in for the latest instalment this week.
However, if you want to watch the entire first season of The Rings Of Power without paying, you’ll need to wait a little longer (and avoid spoilers across social media!). With episodes of The Rings Of Power released on Prime Video weekly, you’ll need to time your month-long trial just right to binge all eight episodes in the first season of the show. We’d suggest plumping for the free trial in the first two weeks of October to ensure you can watch all eight episodes without paying.
If that sounds like too long to wait without your Lord Of The Rings fix, it’s worth remembering that even if you take out a Prime free trial for the first few episodes, then subscribe to a rolling monthly plan for the remaining episodes that air after your 30-day trial period, you’ll be able to stream the entire series of The Rings Of Power as it airs for half the usual cost!
Watch the latest Rings Of Power trailer
What is The Rings Of Power about?
The official synopsis for the eight-episode first season from IMDB, which is owned by Amazon, states: « Epic drama set thousands of years before the events of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. »
That’s a little vague, but fortunately, there are a few more details available on the feverishly-anticipated TV show.
The Rings Of Power is a prequel series that will be set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, which lasted around 3,500 years and came to a close with the defeat of Sauron at the hands of an alliance between men and elves. This seismic battle (and the brutal de-handing of Sauron) was depicted in the opening minutes of The Fellowship Of The Ring.
Amazon’s rights package means it cannot touch the events that took place within the main trilogy of books or The Hobbit, so while it’s likely that we’ll see this battle depicted in the show …but we won’t follow the timeline much further than that. That’s because the defeat of Sauron leads to the Third Age of Middle-earth, which is when the events of The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings film trilogies are set. But don’t fear, there is a lot to get through before Amazon’s series reaches the defeat of Sauron, with the Second Age spanning thousands of years (although some of this will be compressed by the showrunners).
Despite the Prime Video series being set thousands of years in the past, there will still be some familiar characters who crop up in The Rings Of Power, thanks to the astounding lifespans of some species in Middle-earth. The trailers have already confirmed that a young Galadriel, Elrond and the aforementioned Sauron will all feature in the TV show.
Unfortunately, you won’t see the likes of Bilbo, Frodo, Sméagol, or Aragorn in the new series.
According to Vanity Fair, the Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power will borrow from author JRR Tolkien’s Appendices – a 150-page document that contains notes on thousands of years of Middle-earth history. This is a similar approach to The Hobbit film trilogy, which greatly expanded the original story …although hopefully, the team behind The Rings Of Power will be more successful.
The ensemble cast includes Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Ema Horvath, and Sara Zwangobani.
Do you need to watch The Lord Of The Rings first?
No, not at all. Since The Rings Of Power is a prequel set thousands of years before the events depicted in The Lord Of The Rings then there’s no need to know what takes place in those books. In fact, the deal struck between the estate of JRR Tolkein and Amazon stipulates that the Prime Video series cannot retread the events from the trilogy of books, or The Hobbit.
Of course, fans of the source material and film series will likely pick up on some knowing nods and winks placed by the creators of the TV show and, thanks to the extraordinary lifespan of some of the species in Middle-earth, there are some characters from The Lord Of The Rings that will make an appearance in The Rings Of Power. But again, since this is a prequel, there’s no advantage is knowing more than the characters themselves.
When did The Rings Of Power start?
The Rings Of Power started on September 2, 2022 on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.
Unlike some of the other original TV shows produced for Prime Video, Amazon did not release all eight episodes at the same time. When The Rings Of Power started on September 2, the season launched with a double-bill. However, following the release of those two episodes, dubbed A Shadow of the Past and Adrift, new episodes will arrive on Prime Video on a weekly schedule.
In the UK, new episodes land on Prime Video at 5am BST. For those in mainland Europe, the latest instalment will be available to stream from 6am CEST. In the United States, the latest The Rings Of Power episode arrives at 00.01am on the East Coast, while those on the West Coast can watch from 9pm on Thursday – the night before everyone else gets to enjoy the show.
When is the next episode of The Rings Of Power?
The third episode of the first season of The Rings Of Power will be available to stream on September 23, 2022. Amazon hasn’t revealed the title or the run-time of the fifth instalment of the fantasy series, but we’ll update this guide as soon as we hear more from the streaming giant.
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