The second season of Amazon Prime Video’s Rings of Power series moved production away from New Zealand and into the UK after a troubled first season. The second season managed to wrap production before the actors strike bit into the industry, so it is expected to air on time next year.

Sam Hazeldine is replacing Joseph Mawle as Adar, and solid actors like Ciarán Hinds and Rory Kinnear are joining the cast. Does this mean better things are in store for the second season? Season one of “The Most Expensive TV Show Ever!” was a bust.

In season one, the identity of Sauron was ultimately revealed to be Australian actor Charlie Vickers. Scoopers have said that a second actor has been cast as Sauron in the second season, but Vickers is also returning, meaning Sauron will take two forms in the second run.

Gavi Singh Chera was added to the cast list in an undisclosed role. The hotly-tipped British actor has appeared on UK TV in shows like The Undeclared War, Mother Teresa & Me and The Lazarus Project. Now Fellowship of Fans is claiming that Chera will play Sauron in his original form. They report this will be “angelic” and “ethereal”, appearing in flashback form. They claim the character will appear in multiple major sequences across the second season.

There is no shortage of rumor and fan speculation about what will appear, and when, in the series as it progresses. The key question remains, can they make it any less awful than season one?

Set thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, The Rings Of Power is based on author J. R. R. Tolkien’s history of Middle-earth. It begins during a time of relative peace and covers all the major events of Middle-earth’s Second Age: the forging of the Rings of Power, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the fall of the island kingdom of Númenor, and the last alliance between Elves and Men. These events take place over thousands of years in Tolkien’s original stories but are condensed for the series.

The series famously parted company with several Tolkien scholars who were no doubt asking awkward questions and deploying knowledge in the form of facts and logic. Awkward!

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