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Rings Of Power Cast Members Reveal How Much They Know About Future Seasons Of The Show - Exclusive

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is walking the line between a "Lord of the Rings" prequel and an entirely independent story. On the one hand, the show directly connects to the events of "The Lord of the Rings" through characters like Sauron, Elrond, and Galadriel. We also know (thanks to the name alone) that the famous Rings of Power — including the infamous One Ring — will be forged during the narrative.

On the other hand, "The Rings of Power" is set thousands of years before the events of "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" stories. All of the mortal characters and even some of the immortal ones in those later stories aren't around during this early iteration of Middle-earth. In addition, Tolkien didn't write the events of the Second Age, when "The Rings of Power" is set, in the same detail. It's provided in more of a disjointed outline format, which gives showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay a lot more room for interpretation.

The pair of production leaders have used this unique combination of specific yet thin material to map out a sprawling story that spans five seasons and was already intimately planned out before Season 1 aired. In past interviews, Payne clarified that "We even know what our final shot of the last episode is going to be. This was a big story with a clear beginning, middle and end. There are things in the first season that don't pay off until Season 5."

In spite of the detailed forethought on the part of the behind-the-scenes powers that be, the cast members themselves haven't been let in on the details — as was made clear when Looper had a chance to interview them earlier this summer.

The cast doesn't know anything past Season 1

In June, Looper was able to conduct several interviews with different pairings of "The Rings of Power" cast. One of these groups included Lloyd Owen, Ema Horvath, and Maxim Baldry, who play Elendil, Eärien, and Isildur, respectively, in the story. When asked how much of the five seasons the actors were aware of to date, Baldry stated, "Season 1," and Owen launched into the details.

"Obviously, they said enough in the press about some of that stuff. We're going to forge the Rings of Power; we're going to see the great island of Númenor, Khazad-dûm, the last alliance of Elves and men. That gives us some idea. There's a difficult balance for everyone, because if I'm talking to someone like you, we know where Tolkien has gone with this. Then [if] someone comes to it fresh and brand new, you don't want to spoil it for them, because they might not have read anything about it. It will be coming to them fresh, and all of us want that new 11-year-old, 10-year-old, to get sucked into Tolkien's world like we were at the equivalent ages."

The desire to avoid spoilers for new fans is a fair point. Owen also followed this explanation with encouragement about how the showrunners are handling things, in spite of the secrecy. "We feel very safe in J.D. [Payne] and Patrick [McKay]'s hands, as I hope the fans should — because the more you hear them talk, these are a couple of absolute fanboys with super smarts and an encyclopedic knowledge of Tolkien and a great love for him."

"The Rings of Power" premiered on September 2 on Prime Video. Episodes air weekly, and Season 2 starts production in mid-September.