First Look at Amazon’s “Rings” Series Orcs

Amazon Prime/IGN

Amazon Prime’s upcoming series “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” reportedly goes back to mostly practical effects and prosthetics for the depiction of the Orcs in Middle Earth.

Peter Jackson’s original “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy was mainly about creating practical make-up for creatures and prosthetics, but “The Hobbit” relied heavily on fully CG creations like Azog and Bolg.

Speaking to IGN, executive producer Lindsey Weber and prosthetics department head Jamie Wilson say visual effects were only used to make minor adjustments to prosthetics during action sequences or to showcase large armies that were virtually impossible. Wilson says:

“We decided from the start that we would try to make it a very real show. That’s why we’ve tried to use real prosthetics and stuff and minimize the visual effects, because there are hundreds of productions that are heavy on visual effects, and you can see the human eye getting better and better and knowing what’s real and what’s not because we are so inundated with all this product that you start to know.

A lot of [VFX work comes in] when you get into stunts and action, some things that humans can’t physically do. So that’s why it becomes a visual effect. So there was a lot. Also, many things with prosthetics are beasts and creatures that then need further improvements or whatever.

Since the series is set in the Second Age as opposed to the Third Age thousands of years later of both film trilogies, the Orcs’ appearance has been modified to “be part of a wilder, grittier, Second Age, Middle-earth, closer to where the first era ends,” Weber says, resulting in a “dehydrated” look because these creatures aren’t as organized and are more scavengers.

“The Lords of the Rings: The Rings of Power” begins September 2 on Amazon Prime. Head over to IGN to see a full gallery of Orc close-up shots.