Orcs have played a massive, and rather pivotal role, throughout Tolkien’s various works, and indeed in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. They pretty much go hand-in-hand. During the First Age, Orcs were at the core of Morgoth’s army during the Battles of Beleriand which lasted for over 500 years. After Morgoth’s defeat during the War of Wrath, the Orc were almost completely eradicated. However, they endured and fled. Throughout the Second Age, the age in which this series is set, Sauron commandeers the land of Mordor where his army gradually grows and festers. However, it isn’t until much later into the Second Age that the full might of the Orcs have been gathered ready for the war against the Elves.
So, it isn’t a suprise to see that the fearsome and lethal Orc hoards will be back in Amazon Studios’ The Rings of Power. Rather than being a mighty army under Sauron’s leadership, these Orcs will be divided and scattered… Waiting for a chance to level the playing field, which will eventually come to pass. While we are still somewhat far away from the show’s release date, we were gifted with a first-look at the various Orcs that will wreck havoc throughout Middle-Earth.
Check them out below:
Isn’t it amazing to see prosthetics again in Middle-Earth? These guys look absolutely fantastic. In a conversation with IGN, Jamie Wilson, the head of The Rings of Power prosthetic department, discussed all things Orcs and their importance within this new narrative. It’s also worth noting that Wilson is known as a “Sevener” which literally means that he has been involved in every live-action Middle-Earth project. Isn’t that awesome? So, it’s safe to say that Wilson knows the Orcs pretty well.
“I love creature design, so I’m very happy to talk about this stuff. JD and Patrick — the showrunners — the very first page of their bible was about Orcs. They have a real passion for them, they love practical prosthetics and design, and they felt that they needed exploration given that this is the Second Age and thousands of years before the events of the Third Age. It was really important to them to treat them as their own culture and explore their world on its own two legs in its own right.”
Given the currenty condition of the Orcs in this Second Age, it seems as though showing a clear distinction was very important even during the early stages of development.
“It felt appropriate that their look would be different, part of a wilder, more raw, Second Age, Middle-earth, closer to where the First Age ends. As we meet them, they’re not yet organized into armies, they’re a little more scattered and they’ve been scavenging. So it’s just a different time in their total story.”
Remember, The Rings of Power has already explored the beauty of practical effects…
That’s right. The Orcs are very nearly extinct at this point, so the armies that we see in Peter Jackson’s trilogy just don’t exist yet. Instead, these Orcs are in hiding… Surviving in the darkness and living in secluded caves. However, they are slowly being lured out by a new and fearsome leader.
Lindsey Weber, the executive producer on the series, also joined the conversation and dropped quite a major reveal, as well as a tease revolving around one of her favourite moments from the first season. “There’s some female Orcs that I truly loved,” she said. “But there’s one Orc in particular, who’s very, very tall and strong, who has a particularly enjoyable fight with one of our Elven characters that I suspect will be, or hope will be a favorite among fans.”
There’s so much to take away from their discussion. Rather than giving it to you all here, we highly recommend you check out the full interview over at IGN. It is quite an exciting read. As someone who has been very excited about The Rings of Power since its reveal, learning about the actual production and how the creative elements have developed since Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings is incredibly fascinating. If anything, it actually helps reaffirm that this show is in safe hands, despite the tension and pressure that is weighing it down.
What do you think of the Orcs? The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power starts streaming from September 2nd exclusively on Amazon Prime. Are you excited? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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