Unlike House of the Dragon, which has been plagued with viewers complaining about the show’s lighting (or lack thereof), The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has been routinely praised for its visuals as it nears its season one finale. However, those visuals came at a price tag that seems to be steadily increasing with each new report on the fantasy series’ enormous budget.
While discussing Season 2 plans for The Rings of Power (the series is reportedly set to run for five seasons), Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke revealed that ultimately the first season cost nearly $700 million dollars. That’s $250 million just to secure the rights from the J.R.R. Tolkien estate plus $450 million in production. However, Salke told Variety that the price has been worth it after seeing viewer reactions:
We’re building infrastructure for five seasons. We’re building a small city. We were always going to spend what we needed to spend to get it right. I’m fortunate to be working at this company where we want to be financially disciplined, but nobody wanted to compromise on what this would be visually. I think it was all money really well spent. If you look at how people are reacting to the visual experience of the show, that’s been overwhelmingly positive.
In another stark contrast from House of the Dragon, Salke also revealed that Amazon set up a “war room” for The Rings of Power‘s premiere. There was a massive international operation put in place to make sure the streaming platform didn’t crash as users flooded in to see the fantasy series that had been years in the making. As the premiere went off without the hitch, the war room teams sent each other champagne popping photos.
“They were up all night long,” Salke said. “Pictures were being sent around to everybody. It was just a very culturally defining moment for the global company.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.