The Lord of the Rings

The Cast of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on the Series’ Incredibly Immersive Sets

Stars While filming the Prime Video series, Charlie Vickers and Trystan Gravelle felt as if they were in Middle-Earth.

Before anyone saw The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, it was widely known that the Prime Video series had a staggeringly large budget. Now that the show is almost here, it’s clear where a large portion of that money went: creating an incredibly detailed world that brings Middle-Earth to life on screen.

Rings of Power will be quite a spectacle for audiences when it premieres in a few weeks, as the actors in the massive ensemble who were literally immersed in the series’ lavish world-building can attest. io9 asked Charlie Vickers (who plays Halbrand, a human character created for the series) and Trystan Gravelle (Pharazôn, King of Nmenor) what it was like to be there in person at a recent Prime Video press day.

“It was a little overwhelming at times because everything is fully interactive,” said Vickers. “For the Nmenor set, we sailed a boat into a harbour, and they built a harbour for us to sail into.” Then we got off the boat and walked into town. That was truly incredible.”

Gravelle concurred. “It was a completely immersive experience.” There was hustle and bustle, incense burning, and people with all the fruit and fish markets and everything as you walked through the marketplace. It was an amazing experience. There was no need for creativity. It was all waiting for you. “You existed in that world,” he explained. “I think Nmenor was like a fantastic town centre that you walked into as if you’d love to live there but couldn’t afford the rent.” It’s a pretty happy place, you know.”

Vickers and Gravelle play humans in a show full of fantastical elements and even more fantastical creatures. Nonetheless, Vickers believes Halbrand adds an important perspective to the story. “Hal is a Southlander.” “They’re very humble,” he said. “They live in a society with limited access to technology.” It’s because their forefathers fought on the wrong side of the war and are now being punished. They are ruled by the Elves. So it’s a very simple, hard life in the Southlands. I believe it adds another dimension to a world that is rich in many places—in Lindon, in Nmenor—a world full of riches. As a result, it creates a scope within Middle-earth.”

While Nmenor has long been a part of Lord of the Rings lore, Rings of Power will be the first time we see it truly come to life, which Gravelle is very excited about. “It was a tremendous honour.” “To be honest, I’m bursting with pride,” he said. “I’m always full of nervous energy whenever we bring it up, or whenever I walk past a poster or see something about it.” It was a tremendous honour.”

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will be available on Prime Video on September 2nd.