- Launching exclusively on Prime Video in September
- First trailer released in February
- TV series is a prequel based on J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth source material
- Numerous cast announcements revealed
- More plot details unveiled by chief creative team
- Amazon plans to make five seasons of the fantasy show
- Season 1 reportedly cost $250 million to produce
- Potential TV spin-offs could be greenlit
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is shaping up to be one of the most talked-about shows of the year. The prequel series, which will arrive in September, has already got plenty of established fans (and general TV aficionados) talking. And, with plenty more reveals set to come before the show launches, you can expect even more heated discussions to take place between now and then.
With the upcoming Prime Video series releasing in less than three months, there have been lots of new updates surrounding The Rings of Power. We've received confirmation about a bunch of new characters, plus which previously announced cast members will portray them. Additionally, we've learned more about the plot of the Prime Video show's first season, as well as hearing that the showrunners know how the series will end (even at this early stage) and what kind of Middle-earth we'll see in the small screen. Amazon's live-action adaptation won't be copying Peter Jackson's legendary trilogy, though, so we can expect plenty of variety from a character and world perspective when The Rings of Power arrives.
That's not all, however. Below, you'll find even more information about Amazon's Lord of the Rings, including its release date, trailer, more story details, full cast (and the characters they'll play, if they've been confirmed), the show's future, and much more. Hey, we did say that there's a lot to catch up on.
A word of warning before you dive headfirst into this guide: there are small spoilers for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power in our cast and plot sections. They're not big enough to spoil anything major but, if you want to go into the show with no prior knowledge of what may happen, we suggest you skip these areas, just to be on the safe side.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power release date
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power release date: September 2
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will be released on Prime Video on September 2, 2022. The show's launch date was revealed on its official Twitter account in August 2021, which also provided us with a first-look image:
On September 2, 2022, a new journey begins. pic.twitter.com/9tnR7WqDoAAugust 2, 2021
The first episode's title has been revealed, and it'll be called 'Shadow of the Past'. Additionally, The Rings of Power's episodes will be released weekly, so you won't be able to binge it over a single weekend.
If you are interested in immersing yourself in the world of Lord of the Rings as the show airs, though, you can do so via the book medium. A new novel – The Fall of Númenor: And Other Tales from the Second Age of Middle-Earth – will be released on October 4. It contains all of Tolkien's writings on the Second Age, which The Rings of Power is based on, which will help to flesh out what you'll have watched, and will watch in future seasons. You can preorder the tome now on Amazon (opens in new tab), if you so wish.
Meanwhile, unlike its predecessor, season 2 won't be filmed in New Zealand. Variety has reported that Bray Film Studios and Bovingdon Airfield, in Berkshire and Hertfordshire in the UK, with filming expected to begin in the second half of 2022.
Additionally, it sounds like The Rings of Power's September 2022 release will impact The Wheel of Time season 2's arrival. Speaking to TVLine (opens in new tab), Amazon Studios' Head of Global TV Vernon Sanders said: "We are going to be really thoughtful about how we release these shows. In our minds, they are very different shows, but we are cognizant of our genre fans, and we are excited about the collection of content we have."
Don't expect The Rings of Power season 1 and The Wheel of Time season 2 to vie for viewers' attention later this year (or in 2023), then.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power trailer
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power trailer: here's the first teaser
Released in February, the first trailer for The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power is full of action, beautiful sweeping shots of natural landscapes, and lots of interesting hints at what its plot could entail.
We see Galadriel traversing a giant wall of ice in a region called the Forodwaith, shots of key elven characters in Gil-galad and Elrond, and some blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments involving the dwarves who live under the Misty Mountains. We also catch a glimpse of brand-new characters, such as the hobbit's predecessors in the harfoots, and a mysterious meteor streaking across the sky. There's a man inside of it, too, who could play a significant role in Middle-earth events that are yet to come.
If you want more details on what's shown in the teaser trailer, you can check out our trailer breakdown piece.
Before the first trailer's arrival, we were also treated to a minute-long trailer that revealed the official title for Amazon's Lord of the Rings:
Interestingly, the video wasn't a CGI creation. As reported by IGN (opens in new tab), the entire sequence was practically crafted and shot, with a small team creating and then filming the sequence – using a Phantom Flex 4K camera – to capture every fantastical moment.
Finally, a new 15-second TV spot-style video (opens in new tab) was released on Prime Video's social media channels on June 27. Could we see a new trailer land online soon? If one is released soon, we suspect it'll be at San Diego Comic-Con, where a panel for The Rings of Power will take place (per TheOneRing.net (opens in new tab)) at Hall H. The series' showrunners and select cast members will be in attendance, so mark your calendars for sometime between July 21 and 24 for more Lord of the Rings details.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power cast
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power cast: who is playing who?
Here's the confirmed cast list for The Rings of Power so far:
- Morfydd Clark as Galadriel
- Robert Aramayo as Elrond
- Owain Arthur as Durin IV
- Sophia Nomvete as Disa
- Ismael Cruz Córdova as Arondir
- Charles Edwards as Celebrimbor
- Benjamin Walker as Gil-galad
- Maxim Baldry as Isildur
- Nazanin Boniadi as Bronwyn
- Charlie Vickers as Halbrand
- Daniel Weyman as The Stranger
- Lenny Henry as Sadoc Burrows
- Markella Kavenagh as Elanor "Nori" Brandyfoot
- Megan Richards as Poppy Proudfellow
- Will Fletcher as Finrod
- Tyroe Muhafidin as Theo
Morfydd Clark (Saint Maud) has been confirmed as Galadriel. As reported in a Vanity Fair first-look article (opens in new tab), Galadriel will be commander of the Northern Armies when the show begins, and she'll be tracking down the agents of Morgoth and Sauron, who killed her elven brothers. Speaking to Empire magazine (opens in new tab), Clark revealed that this younger version of Galadriel "still has a lot to learn" and that viewers shouldn't "expect the same character that you meet later on [in the films]."
Speaking of the elves, there will be a number of the immortal race – famous and not-so-famous – who'll feature as part of the plot. Robert Aramayo (Game of Thrones) has been cast as the legendary elf Elrond, while Benjamin Walker (Jessica Jones) will portray another iconic elf in Gil-galad.
Charles Edwards (The Crown) will play Celebrimbor, the elven smith who creates the Rings of Power for Sauron. Although, the Dark Lord is disguised at the time, and manipulates Celebrimbor into forging them. Speaking to Empire (opens in new tab), co-showrunner JD Payne said: "One of the central figures in the story is the character of Celebrimbor. He’s an Elven smith who was manipulated into helping create the Rings Of Power. We’re excited to be bringing him to Middle-earth. He’s very mysterious."
In his first major acting role, Will Fletcher is thought to be portraying one of Galadriel's brothers in Finrod (according to the Fellowship of Fans Twitter fan account (opens in new tab)), while Ismael Cruz Córdova (The Undoing) is playing a brand-new elven character called Arondir. In the show, Arondir has a secret, forbidden relationship with another new character – a human healer called Bronwyn, who'll be portrayed by Nazanin Boniadi (How I Met Your Mother). As confirmed by the series' official Twitter account (opens in new tab), newcomer Tyroe Muhafidin will play Bronwyn's son Theo, who finds a mysterious sword that could play a key role in the show's plot.
The dwarves will also play an integral part. Owain Arthur (known for his role in UK medical drama Casualty) has been cast as Prince Durin IV, the eventual king of Khazad-dûm. Meanwhile, newcomer Sophia Nomvete will play the first female dwarf in a live-action Lord of the Rings project called Princess Disa.
In a bold move, #TheRingsOfPower condenses Tolkien’s Middle-earth timeline and adds entirely new characters. Sophia Nomvete’s dwarven princess, Disa, and Ismael Cruz Córdova’s Silvan elf, Arondir, broaden the notion of who lives in Middle-earth.🔗: https://t.co/Tabxf9CzoL pic.twitter.com/s2MXkGpQXmFebruary 10, 2022
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Isildur – the soldier who destroyed Sauron during the Second Age's final big battle – is also part of proceedings. He'll be played by Maxim Baldry (Years and Years). When we first meet him in the show, though, he'll be a sailor and not the warrior who becomes consumed by the One Ring following Sauron's defeat.
Charlie Vickers (Medici) will play a new human character called Halbrand, who is said to be on the run from his past. He'll come across Galadriel in the early stages of the series, though it's unclear if they'll team up for a greater purpose or stick together to simply survive.
Markella Kavenagh (The Cry) and Megan Richards (Wanderlust) will play Nori Brandyfoot and Poppy Proudfellow, two harfoots (i.e. one of three races of Hobbit precursor races). Additionally, Lenny Henry (Doctor Who, Harry Potter) confirmed that he'll play an elder harfoot called Sadoc Burrows. Speaking to Empire (opens in new tab), Henry said: "Finally, in this show, kids are going to see people of colour taking up space in the centre of a fantasy series. We’re very visible in this world and that’s very exciting."
Lastly, Daniel Weyman (Gentleman Jack) have been cast as The Stranger, an unnamed character who crash lands on Middle-earth after arriving in a meteor, and is rescued by Nori and Poppy. The Stranger's real identity is one of the biggest mysteries to emerge from the teaser. Given the secrecy around him, we suspect he'll have a major role to play later down the line.
It's great to receive confirmation on these characters, but there are more main characters whose identities haven't been revealed yet. You can check out the other actors set to appear via the official casting page (opens in new tab) and, while we largely don't have confirmation on their roles, we have some ideas based on various inside sources.
One of those is Simon Merrells (Good Omens). According to the actor's biography page on the Warring and McKenna management agency website (opens in new tab), Merrells will play an original character called Trevyn. Lord of the Rings fansite The Fellowship of Fans (opens in new tab) think this character is another elf. Given that Aramayo's character was thought to be called 'Beldor' before his real identity was revealed, we suspect the identity of Trevyn's character is another attempt by Amazon to withhold his real name until a later date.
Meanwhile, Deadline (opens in new tab) has suggested that Lloyd Owen (Monarch of the Glen) portrays someone known as Loda. Joseph Mawle, who played Benjen Stark in Game of Thrones, is also thought to have been cast as series antagonist Adar (h/t Deadline (opens in new tab)). However, it's unclear if this character has ties to Sauron – more on him later – or if he'll be a supporting villain. Speaking of Sauron, we don't know who will be playing (or voicing) Sauron yet. It could be Mawle if Adar is an alias of Sauron's, but the Dark Lord doesn't use this pseudonym in Tolkien's novels, so we'll have to see.
The Fellowship of Fans (opens in new tab) alleges that Kip Chapman (Westside) is playing someone called Selin. Meanwhile, A Discovery of Witches' Trystan Gravelle has given us a hint at his character's potential look (opens in new tab) for the show, but we're not sure who this is yet. In another tweet, The Fellowship of Fans (opens in new tab) suggests that other characters who could appear include Queen Míriel, Valandil, Nolion and Ontamo. The first two of this quartet are pre-existing Middle-earth characters, while the latter two are brand-new individuals created for the show.
Finally, the Fellowship of Fans has also claimed that Ema Horvath (Don't Look Deeper) will portray Isildur's sister, who is known as Carine. They'll be another original character for Amazon's Lord of the Rings, and are rumored to be in a relationship (opens in new tab) with another as-yet-revealed individual called Kemen.
EXCLUSIVE: Ema Horvath is playing “Carine”, Isildur’s sister, which is an Amazon original character in the upcoming ‘The Lord of the Rings’ TV Show(1/7) pic.twitter.com/L51xiR6mayJanuary 2, 2022
There are a number of big-name players from Middle-earth's Second Age, particularly those of Númenorian descent, who haven't been revealed yet. We're sure to learn more about these individuals as The Rings of Power's release date draws nearer.
Oh and, if you missed them, feel free to check out the 23 character posters that were released by Amazon before the official teaser trailer arrived.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power plot
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power plot: what's it about?
In January 2021, TheOneRing.net revealed Amazon Studios' official synopsis for the series:
Our servers haven't crashed & burned like this since 2003, so here's the official show synopsis for Amazon's LORD OF THE RINGS series. 📺 #LOTRonPrime pic.twitter.com/O9k0Q8VkuzJanuary 13, 2021
The synopsis doesn't give much away, but showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay teased more of how they approached The Rings of Power's overarching narrative.
Speaking to Vanity Fair (opens in new tab), McKay said: "[It's the story of] The forging of the rings. Rings for the elves, rings for dwarves, rings for men, and then the one ring Sauron used to deceive them all. It’s the story of the creation of all those powers, where they came from, and what they did to each of those races. [We thought] 'Can we come up with the novel Tolkien never wrote and do it as the mega-event series that could only happen now?'”
Of course, similarities between Amazon's TV series and Peter Jackson's movie trilogy have been a hot topic of discussion among fans since the show's announcement. And The Rings of Power's showrunners were acutely aware of doing justice to the live-action films that have come before. "Can you imagine going back to such a beloved world and facing the high bar of the Peter Jackson movies?" Payne told Vanity Fair. "We were, all the time, very aware of the massive expectations."
Elaborating on their take of the source material compared to Jackson's, the duo said they "admired" his works but wouldn't be looking to copy it. Given how iconic Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy is, that's a smart move.
So when is The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power set? It takes place during Middle-earth's Second Age, which lasted for nearly 3,500 years and ended with Sauron's defeat thanks to the Last Alliance of men and elves. This is the battle that opened The Fellowship of the Ring film, so it's possible that we may see this adapted again in Amazon's TV series. And, given how central Sauron is set to be to the studio's TV adaptation, we're confident that it'll be featured in the final episode or two of the entire series, whenever that may be.
However, that's a long way off currently. According to Vanity Fair, The Rings of Power will tell multiple storylines across various locations in Middle-earth, so it'll take a while for the series to reach the large-scale battle that brings an end to the Second Age.
#TheRingsOfPower, set within Tolkien’s Second Age, will juggle 22 stars and multiple storylines—from deep within the dwarf mines to the elven kingdom of Lindon. Here, the adventures of the fellowship are still some 2,000 years in the future.🔗: https://t.co/Tabxf9CzoL pic.twitter.com/FOQFHUKNQ3February 10, 2022
That's not all Vanity Fair has discovered. Galadriel – who is younger, angrier and more brash than the ethereal character we've previously seen – will be one of the series' main characters. The leader of the elves' Northern Armies, it isn't long before things take a turn for the worse and she's forced to fight for her survival alongside Charlie Vickers' Halbrand on storm-swept seas. Expect their uneasy alliance to play a significant role in earlier episodes, then.
Galadriel and Halbrand's chance encounter is a sign of how much original content The Rings of Power will contain. Per Vanity Fair's article, the show borrows from legendary author J.R.R. Tolkien's Appendices – a 150-page post-Silmarillion document that contains thousands of years of Middle-earth's history, various cultures, languages, and more.
Interestingly, Lenny Henry had told BBC Sounds that The Silmarillion may be adapted in some part for Amazon's Lord of the Rings. Speaking in a separate Vanity Fair article (opens in new tab), however, Payne confirmed that Amazon doesn't currently have the rights to The Silmarillion. So maybe we shouldn't expect any of that novel to be adapted for the small screen.
Regardless, there's plenty of Middle-earth history that The Rings of Power has to cover. Based on the teaser trailer, we know we'll be visiting iconic locations including Númenor, Lindon, and Khazad-dûm among others. Whatever locations we visit, The Rings of Power's concept artist Jon Howe claims we'll see a Middle-earth that's "very vibrant" and that we'll "explore that unseen history".
And, for fans who may be worried about whether Amazon's TV show will incorporate the languages that Tolkien created for Middle-earth, you need not fret. Dialect coach and Lord of the Rings fan Leith McPherson (who worked on Jackson's film trilogy) spoke to Inverse (opens in new tab) about her role in authentically bringing these elements to life. We can all breathe a sigh of relief on this front, then, at least.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. #LOTRonPrime pic.twitter.com/7TuQh7gRPDMarch 7, 2019
What else will Amazon's Lord of the Rings explore from narrative and character arc perspectives, though? Again, Vanity Fair's '10 burning questions' article holds some answers.
Payne and McKay revealed that The Rings of Power will follow "four or five big stories" in Middle-earth's Second Age.
The first sees Elrond – who is just beginning to turn into the diplomat-cum-warrior that we see in the Second and Third Ages – visit Durin IV, Disa and the rest of Khazad-dûm's dwarves at some point in season 1. The elven statesman is on a visit to try and repair the elves' relationship with the mountain-dwelling race, so expect plenty of tension and diplomacy to be on show in this story thread.
Next, we'll see the rise of Sauron himself as a physical villain. This is likely to play out over multiple seasons, but it's clear that Morgoth's former apprentice will loom large throughout proceedings.
As we mentioned earlier, the show will chart the rise of Isildur from sailor to the soldier who ends Sauron's reign of terror by severing the finger that the One Ring loops around. This will form part of the show's third overarching narrative, which explores the rise and fall of Númenor and the Game of Thrones-style politicking that plays out over its throne. The final major plot arc will lead into the Last Alliance of Men and Elves, who unite in a bid to stop Sauron from becoming Middle-earth's totalitarian ruler.
There'll be plenty of subplots throughout, though. Nori and The Stranger, Arondir's relationship with Bronwyn, and other side stories will appear frequently throughout the show's five seasons. And, interestingly, Nori and the Stranger's subplot may even tease the arrival of the first Middle-earth wizards. Asked if Weyman's character could be someone like Gandalf or Saruman, McKay replied: "Well, I would say those are not the only beings, those names, in that class. So maybe, but maybe not. And the mystery and the journey of it is all of the fun, I would say."
Don't expect any major villains to appear in the first season, though. "We didn’t want to do a villain-centric thing [early on]", McKay told Vanity Fair. "We wanted it to be about introducing these worlds and the peoples who dwell in them and the major heroes and characters, some of whom you know, and some of whom are new. Season two we go a little bit deeper into the lore and the stories people have been waiting to hear."
We may even see some flashbacks to Middle-earth's First Age, though. Given that the teaser trailer supposedly shows Galadriel's brother Finrod fighting Morgoth and Sauron's forces, such a battle would have to take place in the First Age when Morgoth was still alive. Expect some backstory for the First Age to form part of the show's early episodes.
One particularly part of Middle-earth's history that The Rings of Power will certainly focus on is the evolution of the orcs. Speaking to IGN (opens in new tab), executive producer Lindsay Weber explained how Amazon's TV adaptation will show us a side of this race of creatures that we've not seen before – including the introduction of female orcs.
"It was really important to them to treat them as their own culture and explore their world on its own two legs in its own right," she said. "It felt appropriate that their look would be different, part of a wilder, more raw, Second Age, Middle-earth, closer to where the First Age ends. As we meet them, they're not yet organized into armies, they're a little more scattered and they've been scavenging. So it's just a different time in their total story."
If you want a even more in-depth rundown on the state of play between the races heading into The Rings of Power, Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab) has produced a fantastic guide on Middle-earth and its inhabitants in the Second Age. We're not usually one to push another website's extensive features, but this is well worth a read, in our view.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power cost
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power cost: how expensive is it?
Amazon bought the rights to the Lord of the Rings TV show for $250 million in November 2017 (h/t Deadline (opens in new tab)). If Amazon completes its reported five-season run, it'll be expected that the entire production will have cost $1 billion, according to The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab). This would make The Rings of Power the most expensive series of all-time.
That $1 billion mark is moving closer to reality, if not more, too. As New Zealand-based publication Stuff (opens in new tab) revealed, Amazon's Lord of the Rings will reportedly cost $650m New Zealand dollars to produce. Converting that into US dollars, season 1 is valued over $465 million. Although, as Variety (opens in new tab) reported, that price tag includes start-up costs for launching the show ahead of its multi-season release.
Additionally, Amazon Studios had a portion of its production costs knocked off the bill by the New Zealand government. Reuters (opens in new tab) reported that Amazon received an extra five per cent from the nation's Screen Production Grant due to the jobs and work it generated for the country's economy. This meant that Amazon Studios was eligible to receive a rebate of NZ$162 million (US$116 million) from the New Zealand government – funds that reduced Amazon's financial outlay for season 1.
That reduction in costs won't be carried over when production moves to the UK, but the British government also offers financial incentives for movies and TV shows to be shot on UK soil. Amazon can expect, then, to receive some form of reimbursement.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power crew
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power crew: who's involved?
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and A Monster Calls director J.A. Bayona is leading production on the show, while Payne and McKay have been on board since July 2018 (h/t The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab)) to write and co-executively produce the show.
Other executive producers include Bayona, Weber, Callum Greene, Jason Cahill, and Gennifer Hutchinson. Kate Hawley led costume design on the series, while Howe – one the film's chief conceptual designers – was also part of the crew. As we mentioned earlier, McPherson is also on board as dialect coach.
Bayona directed the series' first two instalments, including the pilot episode. Hunters director Wayne Che Yip has directed four of season 1's eight episodes, while Charlotte Brändström (The Witcher, Jupiter's Legacy) helmed the final two entries.
Finally, Howard Shore – who scored all six Lord of the Rings movies – appears to be set to return to Middle Earth for the third time.
In January 2021, Shore spoke to TechRadar entertainment reporter Tom Power (during his freelance days) for Observer.com (opens in new tab), revealing that he hadn't been contacted by scoring the show but "would consider it" if asked. Deadline (opens in new tab) has since reported that Shore has held talks with Amazon Studios about penning the music for its TV adaptation. Here's hoping that an agreement can be reached as Shore would be the perfect fit for it.
Interestingly, Shore didn't score the music for the show's first trailer. According to TheOneRing.net (opens in new tab), Cavalry Music (opens in new tab)'s Felix Erskine was responsible for the sweeping, grandiose music that we hear. It's odd that Erskine would write the music for The Rings of Power's trailer, but not be involved in the show itself. Has Shore's return fallen through? We'll have to wait and see.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power tie-ins
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: could we see spin-off shows and movies?
Maybe. One upcoming project that won't tie into The Rings of Power, though, is the War of the Rohirrim animated flick.
The Rings of Power is set centuries before The Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim, so don't expect there to be any crossover between these events.
For those who may have missed this announcement: last year, Variety (opens in new tab) reported that Warner Bros. Animation is developing a Lord of the Rings anime movie. Focusing on the history of Helm's Deep, the legendary Rohan stronghold that was the scene for Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' massive battle, War of the Rohirrim will tell the tale of King Helm Hammerhand, whose reign is remembered for a long and costly war that occurred during his time on the throne.
Anime filmmaker Kenji Kamiyama, who has helmed Netflix's Ultraman series among other projects, will direct War of the Rohirrim, which will supposedly tie into the six main Lord of the Rings films.
However, given that King Hammerhand's reign took place around 260 years before Lord of the Rings' main events, it won't be linked to Amazon's TV series. The latter is set during Middle Earth's Second Age, so it'll precede events in War of the Rohirrim. The film won't be released until April 2024, while a number of cast announcements were made recently, including the return of one iconic Lord of the Rings character.
That doesn't mean that there won't be spin-offs from The Rings of Power. Per Variety (opens in new tab), Callum Greene – one of Amazon's Lord of the Rings' executive producers – signed a first-look deal with Amazon Studios in March 2022. Could some of his forthcoming projects be centered around The Rings of Power? It's possible, especially with Amazon Studios closing its $8.5 billion deal to acquire MGM (per Variety (opens in new tab)), which was the studio that delivered The Hobbit film trilogy to audiences. Keep your eyes peeled, then, for other potential Lord of the Rings spin-offs.
Even if there are no spin-offs in the works, The Rings of Power's showrunners already know how the main series will end. Chatting to Empire (opens in new tab), JD Payne said: "We even know what our final shot of the last episode is going to be. The rights that Amazon bought were for a 50-hour show. They knew from the beginning that was the size of the canvas – this was a big story with a clear beginning, middle and end. There are things in the first season that don’t pay off until season 5." Suffice to say, we're all in this for the long haul.