The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power will be a fresh canvas for the series, offering fans a glimpse of Tolkien’s mythical Second Age for the first time. In so doing, Amazon is taking the time to rethink many of the familiar elements from Tolkien’s world, including Orcs.
In a new interview with IGN, members of the Rings of Power production team speak in-depth on how the new show will portray Lord of the Rings’ familiar villains. In so doing, they reveal an interesting revelation: Amazon’s new show will have have female Orcs.
“There’s some female Orcs that I truly loved,” executive producer Lindsey Weber says when talking about her favorite moment in the new series. The rest is up to the imagination of the fans.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – Exclusive Images
The origin of Orcs in general has long been a thorny issue within the Tolkien mythos. While the movies establish that “they were elves once, taken by the dark powers, tortured and mutilated,” the books are far less certain. The Silmarillion, which was edited by Christopher Tolkien, holds that the villain Morgoth bred Orcs from captured Elves in the First Age, but Tolkien himself seemed split on the question.
It’s unclear whether The Second Age will expound on this, but Weber does say that the Orcs in the Rings of Power will be much more fresh than the battle-scarred versions shown in Peter Jackon’s trilogy.
“The way I described it to my team, it’s a bit like these are the baby versions,” says Jamie Wilson, head of the Rings of Powers’ prosthetic department. “They’re not actually babies, but it’s them coming out from the darkness. So this is early on. So for example, if you go to past films about them, you’ll see them and they’re quite battle damaged and scarred and all that kind, because there’s been lots more battles.
“This is kind of before the next range of big battles. So there’s a lot more smooth texture. There’s still wrinkles, and lines, and shape, and form, but they’re not so battle scarred, but they are dealing with some skin conditions because of their exposure to the sun. They’re coming back out for the first time again. So it’s all a bit new. That’s why they’re not as dark skinned, necessarily not as muscle-y and not as battle worn as you’d seen in previous productions.”
There’s plenty more info about the Orcs in Rings of Power in our full interview, which is well worth reading. We’ll no doubt learn even more when Rings of Power heads to San Diego Comic-Con next month.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will be available on Prime Video on September 2. You can go here to find out who’s who in the upcoming prequel, as well as every confirmed actor so far.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.