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The Incredible Lengths Rings Of Power's Showrunners Went To When Pitching The Show

One of the biggest storylines surrounding "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" has been the immense amount of time and money that was poured into the series, eclipsing even the incredible production budgets for shows like "Game of Thrones." Prior to the release of the "Rings of Power," it was reported that the first season alone would cost about $465 million — surpassing a $1 billion budget when you include the cost of property rights and marketing alongside this extreme production cost (via The Hollywood Reporter).

The series' alleged $1 billion price-tag makes it by far the biggest and most expensive television show of all time, and we haven't even entered Season 2 yet. On top of the series' monumental cost, the showrunners of "The Rings of Power" also face the daunting task of adapting one of the most highly-revered fantasy sagas in all of literature, and capturing centuries' worth of history throughout the Second Age of J.R.R. Tolkein's Middle-earth.

Considering the colossal scale of this story, as well as the series' massive price tag, it seems like a miracle that showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne were able to successfully pitch the show in the first place. Indeed, according to the showrunners themselves, their original pitch for the series was a massive undertaking in and of itself.

Payne and McKay campaigned for months in order to see the show greenlit

During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, "The Rings of Power" showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne explained that their pitch to Amazon was a grueling process that took several months and numerous individual pitches to specific executives and shareholders. Although their initial pitch (in which they compared the series to medieval epic "Braveheart," emphasizing the "lived-in" nature of the world they were attempting to build) was ultimately successful, Amazon next asked them to pitch the entire five seasons of the series at once.

The two first-time showrunners happily complied with this enormous task, mapping out the series' major storylines through all five seasons. "When that session of fevered creativity and inspiration ended, we had a moment of silence," McKay said. "I looked at the board like: 'That's it, this is what the show wants to be.'" Following this intensive brainstorming session, McKay asserted that they were required to do seven more pitches for Amazon, and spent six more months pitching their series to a variety of higher-ups throughout the company.

McKay compared this process to a full-on "presidential campaign," and recalled one instance where he and Payne even spoke directly to Simon Tolkein of the Tolkein estate. In the end, it's clear that this incredibly thorough pitching process was well worth it, as "The Rings of Power" was ultimately greenlit and became the largest undertaking in the history of television.