Where was Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series filmed? New Zealand filming locations for The Rings of Power

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Amazon fantasy prequel Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power was filmed predominantly in New Zealand, where the films were shot

Amazon epic fantasy series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power brings Middle Earth to the screen for the first time since the last Hobbit movie hit cinemas in 2014. Peter Jacksons 2000s Lord of the Rings trilogy, and his later Hobbit triology were both filmed in New Zealand, and Amazon thought it was only right to return down under for the new series.

Amazon has bet big on the success of Rings of Power, investing an estimated $1 billion on the first series, a quarter of which went on buying the rights to the story - and the show is reckoned to be the most expensive TV series ever made. But the huge budget was also spent on practical sets, as producers were keen to make the series feel authentic rather than going too heavy on CGI.

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Season one of The Lord of the rings: The Rings of Power was filmed in New ZealandSeason one of The Lord of the rings: The Rings of Power was filmed in New Zealand
Season one of The Lord of the rings: The Rings of Power was filmed in New Zealand | Amazon

Where was The Rings of Power filmed?

New Zealand

The series was always planned to be shot in New Zealand - the 2000s movies created an indelible association of Middle Earth with the geography of the Oceanic country.

However, location scouting also took place at other locations, including Scotland, in case a backup was needed.

The series was filmed in Auckland over a tumultuous period from February 2020 - August 2021 - in case you missed it, a global pandemic broke out just weeks into filming, causing several delays to the shoot.

Many of the main cast of the series are from New Zealand, roughly a third of the minor characters, and most of the crew were locals.

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Much of the filming took place at Kumeu Film Studios and Auckland Film Studios - the original films were shot in Wellington, but the studios there were being used for the Avatar sequels at the time that Rings of Power was being filmed.

Filming for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power in a film studio in AucklandFilming for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power in a film studio in Auckland
Filming for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power in a film studio in Auckland | Amazon

Other New Zealand filming locations include Hauraki Gulf/Tīkapa Moana, a sandy coastal region to the north of the country.

Piha, a coastal city west of Auckland also features as a backdrop in the series - it is known for its rugged landscape and the scenic three-tiered waterfall, Kitekite falls.

Another beautiful part of the country that will be spotted in the first season is Coromandel Peninsula, an area of gorgeous beaches and dense forest.

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Fiordland national park and the Rangitikei District are also likely to appear in the series.

Executive producers Patrick McKay and John D. Payne said that the creatives chose New Zealand as the shoot location because they wanted "somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains"

United Kingdom

The first season of The Rings of Power was not shot in the UK, but Amazon announced just one week after filming on season one wrapped that production would move to the UK for the second season.

It is believed that decision was based on an assumption that a UK shoot would be cheaper, and would also make additional filming in other European countries easier.

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Executive producer Lindsey Weber said that leaving New Zealand without plans to return for the second season was a "hard departure”.

When is The Rings of Power release date?

The first two episodes of The Rings of Power will be released on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 2 September. The remaning episodes will be released weekly, with the season finale airing on 14 October.

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