Already in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the “The Hobbit” films by Peter Jackson, orcs have served a large and important role as servants of the main villain Sauron and opponents for the heroes and heroines and this is also shown in “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” couldn’t be any different. However, the orcs will differ a little from the well-known orcs from the Middle-earth films.
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The good news first: In “The Rings of Power” the orcs are mainly realized with masks and prosthetic effects, just like they were in the “Lord of the Rings” films, so the CGI orcs from the Hobbit movies are mostly a thing of the past. Visual effects (like The Lord of the Rings) should only be used in crowd scenes and to improve practical effects.
Like the people responsible for the series on the site IGN however revealed the Orcs aren’t exactly at the peak of their power in the Second Age that The Rings of Power is set in. Almost wiped out at the end of the First Age, they are few in number and constantly struggling to survive.
“It was very important for [die Showrunner]to treat the orcs as a distinct culture and explore their world,” revealed producer Lindsey Weber IGN. “It felt fitting that her look was a little different, part of a wilder, rawer Second Age, closer to the end of the First Age. When we meet them in the series, they are not yet organized into armies.”
Jamie Wilson, who was also involved in all(!) “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” films and is responsible for the prosthetic effects in “The Rings of Power”, even describes the orcs as a kind of “baby version” of the well-known orcs. They were scarred in the movies, but the series is set before those big battles.
“They are not that badly battered yet, but they are struggling with skin problems because of the sun. They’re coming back to the surface for the first time. It’s all still a bit new. So they’re not as dark-skinned, and they’re not as muscular and battle-hardened as in previous productions.”
In one respect, however, The Rings of Power remains true to previous Middle-earth adventures: Again, there will be a leader who is particularly hard on the elves, humans and dwarves – such as Gothmog and Lurtz in The Lord of the Rings and Azog in The Hobbit.
The orcs are said to regroup under this new leader and slowly become a threat again. And this orc will probably also be seen in producer Weber’s favorite scene:
“There are some female orcs that I think are great,” says Weber. “But there is one particular orc that is very, very big and strong and has a very enjoyable fight with one of our Elf characters which I hope will become a fan favorite.” So we’re going to be seeing female Orcs in the series too – and very soon:
“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power‘ starts September 2, 2022 on Amazon Prime Video.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Trailer DF
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