Lord Of The Rings Prequel Series Give The First Look At Orcs

Amazon Prime Video’s Lord of the Rings prequel series continue to amaze anticipating fans with the first look at the series’ Orcs. After showcasing their elves, men, dwarves and hobbits, the Amazon series now shows the Orcs. Their depiction of the menacing race from J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic truly lifts description from the books.

On IGN’s exclusive feature about the Orcs in the series, they covered the background of this particular age’s Orcs in middle earth. They also explained how prosthetics and computer imagery go hand in hand during production. All the while, creators and artists assured that as the team is composed of highly passionate individuals when it comes to Tolkien’s lore.

Jamie Wilson, head of The Rings of Power’s prosthetic department, and Lindsey Weber, executive producer on the series share their insights and intentions for the Orcs. They explain that the prequel series happen during the Second Age where the Orcs are actually diminished in population. For some in the Middle Earth, they actually had the impression that the Orcs were wiped out. However, the series will show that they have only dwindled in numbers and retreated into the dark areas of Middle Earth. It’s only during the series that they have come to slowly surface again into the sunlight. Thus, unlike what people may be familiar with from the previous movies, the Orcs of the prequel series are not battle-hardened nor of warrior level in physique or strength. The creators mentioned that they are at times caught scavenging, truly struggling to survive and continue to live.

Lord Of The Rings Prequel Series Give The First Look At Orcs

Talking to IGN, Weber shares:

Well, I love Orcs. I love creature design, so I’m very happy to talk about this stuff. JD and Patrick — the showrunners — the very first page of their bible was about Orcs. They have a real passion for them, they love practical prosthetics and design, and they felt that they needed exploration given that this is the Second Age and thousands of years before the events of the Third Age. 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.

Talking about the process they now have developments or advancements in the application of prosthetics. Unlike during the previous years, prosthetics end up limiting the movement and expression of the actors.

This time, they have lighter and thinner material that allow actors to move and showcase their acting since the prosthetics easily give way to the actors’ expressions. This provides and advantage to the actors. For some, getting into the look also becomes instrumental in getting into character.

Wilson explains:

Time has changed a lot. You go back 20 years and we used a basically foam latex, which is like a porous-y kind of rubbery, spongy material with a smooth or whatever textured surface. It was great at the time. But it was actually just at the end of doing Lord of the Rings that we did the very first encapsulated silicon for Gimli. At the end of that, he got to start wearing silicons, but now it’s common.

Lord Of The Rings Prequel Series Give The First Look At Orcs

Amazon Prime Lord Of The Rings The Rings of Power Orcs

Image: Amazon Prime

Wilson also describes the material’s behavior to the actor’s skin:

So all the ears, noses, Orcs pieces are all made in encapsulated silicon, which is basically two layers of silicon with a moveable piece of silicon in the middle, so when it’s applied to the actor’s face, they can move and it works. It also gets the same temperature as their skin. And you can see the translucency and then you gently paint on the top of it, a bit like doing makeup on a human rather than having to seal and heavily paint like we did in the old days.”

In order to enhance the quality of design even further for the Orcs, the series as like any other movies or series, utilize computer graphics together with practical prosthetics. There are specific aspects of the physical attributes that are better with CGI. Nevertheless, the artists assure viewers that the Orcs or any creature character for the series is as practical as it can get. A close up shot of the character would be very much in the character’s practical look.

Lord Of The Rings Prequel Series Give The First Look At Orcs

Amazon Prime Lord Of The Rings The Rings of Power Orcs

Image: Amazon Prime

Weber expounds:

The most sophisticated prosthetics are thin and nimble and allow people to move their mouths really freely and emote in all the ways human faces do. We work really hard to make our prosthetics really thin and more comfortable for our performers and all of that. But there are times when they’re wearing things, teeth for example, and all sorts of other stuff that do make that hard. And over time, as you’re shooting, those things can just take on a little wear and tear as the day goes along.

From this, Wilson agrees and adds:

In this particular production, we work very closely. In fact, directly together because at the end of the day, you will have visual effects involved, that might be minor tweaks, right. A lot of it, because bear in mind, when you get into stunts and action, some of the stuff the human physically can’t do. So therefore it turns into a visual effect. So there was a lot of that. Also, a lot of stuff with prosthetics is beasts and creatures that then need further enhancements or whatever. So there was a very close link.

It’s particularly interesting to know that there is a potentially new dimension to the characteristics of Orcs in the upcoming prequels. They even mentioned that there is a specific female orc that they hope would eventually be a favorite among the viewers. The cast and especially the crew is pouring so much into this upcoming series and we truly are rooting for it to deliver what it promises to be. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series premieres on September 2 this year in Amazon Prime.


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