Lord of the Rings Amazon show releasing September 2, 2022

The much-hyped Lord of the Rings TV show which was filmed in New Zealand will premiere on September 2, 2022 via Amazon's Prime Video streaming service.

The as-yet unnamed show's first season will consist of eight episodes to be released weekly from the premiere date in 240 countries and territories, including Aotearoa.

Amazon has also released the first look image of the series, which wrapped in West Auckland on Monday after 18 months of production.

According to fans online, the Middle-earth region depicted in the image is Valinor and the city of Valmar. Some are even convinced the image - which was tweeted by the show's official account this morning - includes the Two Trees of Valinor, which have a lot of significance in Lord of the Rings lore. 

First look released for the Lord of the Rings TV show.
First look image for the Lord of the Rings TV show. Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video

IGN quotes "a source familiar with the series" as stating the image is taken from the first episode of the series.

The TV show is set thousands of years before the events of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books during the Second Age of Middle-earth's history. 

The show will feature characters already established in the films from Sir Peter Jackson as well as introducing new ones.

Amazon famously spent an enormous amount on buying rights to the series and producing it - around US$1 billion, which is understood to make it the most expensive TV show of all time.

In a statement also released today by Amazon, showrunners and executive producers JD Payne and Patrick McKay said: "As Bilbo says, 'Now I think I am quite ready to go on another journey'.

"Living and breathing Middle-earth these many months has been the adventure of a lifetime. We cannot wait for fans to have the chance to do so as well."