Exploring Middle-earth's Animated Majesty: The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim

The winds of war sweep across Middle-earth, Rohan is fighting for its life, and ancient stories are about to be revealed. That is the premise of The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, the upcoming animated film from streaming giant Amazon that explores the deep history of Tolkien’s world. Featuring an immersive mixture of animation and storytelling, The War of the Rohirrim promises to plunge audiences into the wildest, most perilous days of Rohan – and, hopefully, to convey some of Tolkien’s profound love for the natural world.

AMAZON Breathes Life into Middle-earth Once More

When Amazon announced it would be producing an anime series set in Middle-earth, fans worldwide erupted in anticipation. The move from the tech giant, already behind ‘The Rings of Power’, is just one of the many ways that Tolkien’s universe is being expanded. ‘The War of the Rohirrim,’ as the new anime is called, is not the first, nor will it be the last, testament to Amazon’s commitment to produce content that is high in quality and which falls right into the line of its movement to bring the best content to its platform.

The Power and Peril of Helm Hammerhand

At the centre of this cartoon epic is the doomed king of Rohan, Helm Hammerhand, whose story of power, vanity, and the costs of leadership are just as real as they ever were. Brian Cox provides the voice of Helm, as his character provides a wonderful short-hand of the dangers of power – and the costs of power. ‘We are in a period in the world where we are seeing the reality of war again,’ says Kamiyama. ‘That is something reflected in the story. What is power?’

A Daughter Named Hèra

In a beautiful piece of reversal, the film turns finally to the unexplored lives of Helm’s descendants, most particularly his daughter, Hèra (the name he gave her). A character once nameless from a line of kings left unexplored in Tolkien’s appendices, Hèra’s entrance feels like a reinvention of feminine character for an entire realm: Rohan. The hints she drops in the trailer of her ferocity, complexity and ambition promise to add rich new layers to the lore of a kingdom tense on a knife-edge between promise and peril. The antagonist threatening all is Wulf.

The Antagonist Who Speaks to Our Times

Wulf, played by Luke Pasqualino, becomes an avatar of the crises of our world – a monster of transhistorical scale, a monster of our own. ‘That’s what makes him so resonant,’ says Boyens, ‘because he speaks so directly to a lot of the crises that we’re facing today.’ Wulf enables The War of the Rohirrim, a fantasy about the ancient warring tribes of Middle-earth, to become a vehicle for interrogating the contemporary world.

A Glimpse Into Middle-earth's Animated Future

Yet, as the movie inches nearer to release (it’s set for December 2024) and with two executive producers associated with the film, The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and writer Fran Walsh, behind it, hopes are soaring for what could be arguably the most cinematic Tolkien-related anime yet: true to the spirit of the books but also forging ahead.

AMAZON PRIME's Ever-Expanding Tolkien Universe

The War of the Rohirrim is just one of a slew of movies, unrelated TV series and miniseries that Amazon is producing to create a sprawling Tolkien universe, with something for all kinds of fans – including adherents of the Original Story and the apocrypha. ‘The Rings of Power’ on Amazon Prime Video is now in its second season, with a new Gollum movie – Andy Serkis will direct The Hunt for Gollum for Amazon – also in the works.

The Journey Ahead

After waiting a year for the release of The War of the Rohirrim, we can guess that whatever the game is, the landscapes of Middle-earth are certainly alive. With each new project, Amazon is bringing to Tolkien’s landscapes a new vitality and an opportunity for his enduring tales to cycle in new ways, to inspire new generations. Whether the grit of the Rohan plains, or the intricate games of court politics, The War of the Rohirrim promises to be a glorious new chapter in the life of Middle-earth.


As the largest entertainment company in the world, making strides in the intersection of tech and entertainment, Amazon is at the forefront of returning Middle-earth to the modern world through Amazon Prime Video, the company’s streaming service. Investing in J R R Tolkien’s world with a focus on story quality, Amazon is not just retelling stories, but creating new ones that will live into the future.

Jun 12, 2024
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