The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Images Reveal First Look at Orcs

Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has finally revealed the first look at the Orcs, and they look stunning and scary as ever. But there’s a catch. The Orcs in The Rings of Power will be younger, leaner, and less deformed than they are in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books, which take place in the Third Age of Middle-earth.

LOTR: The Rings of Power is set thousands of years before the events of the books, in the Second Age, and the Orcs, having been nearly eradicated at the end of the First Age, are coming out of hiding now under the command of a new leader. They aren’t yet the fearsome and organized force of evil that would go on to terrorize the realms of Men, Elves, and Dwarves later on. However, the Orcs will play a significant role in The Rings of Power. You can check out the images below, exclusively released by IGN.

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Like Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and unlike The Hobbit movies, Orcs in The Rings of Power are primarily created with practical effects, though there will be a bit of CGI involved in the action sequences. The series’ prosthetic department head, Jamie Wilson, and executive producer, Lindsey Weber, talked to IGN about the Orcs’ design and how important it was to get them right. Weber said,

“We spent a lot of time talking about what it would mean to be an Orc in the Second Age. 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.”

Wilson further revealed the reasons behind the Orcs’ changed appearance, saying it’s due to their emerging from the darkness after years of hiding. “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.”

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Will Feature Female Orcs

Amazon Studios

Amazon has been under fire from hardcore Tolkien fans for “misrepresenting” the author’s vision in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The backlash mainly arises from the inaccurate appearances of a few characters, like beardless female Dwarves, dark-skinned Harfoots, Hobbits’ predecessors, and crew-cut Elves. Since Tolkien never explicitly stated the ethnicities or genders of characters, and because the Second Age is barely even mentioned in the books, The Rings of Power showrunners read between the lines and have made sure that the series reflects “what the world actually looks like.”

LOTR: The Rings of Power will also feature female Orcs, per Lindsey Weber.

“There’s some female Orcs that I truly loved. But there’s one Orc in particular, who’s very, very tall and strong, who has a particularly enjoyable fight with one of our Elvin characters that I suspect will be, or hope will be a favorite among fans.”

While it remains to be seen if the decision causes more controversy, the Orcs’ appearance at least won’t be the subject of debate, as they look absolutely incredible. Hopefully, Amazon has more such revelations up its sleeve for The Rings of Power.

Developed by J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere on Prime Video on September 2, 2022.