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Exclusive: Everything We Know About The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

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Everything We Know About The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

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Get ready to return to Middle-earth.
Gif: Amazon Studios

At a glance:

  • Inspired by the events detailed in J.R.R. Tolkien’s history of Middle-earth beyond The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Rings of Power explores what happened long before the events of those novels, dubbed the Second Age of Middle-earth.
  • Set thousands of years before the events of the books and movies (which Rings of Power has a… tenuous connection to, and Amazon has been vague on the specifics), it details several events during the aforementioned Second Age, including Sauron’s forging of the titular magical Rings of Power, and the infamous One Ring designed to dominate all others to his will.
  • It’s set to begin streaming on Prime Video starting September 2, and you can check out the first teaser here.
  • Season one will run for eight episodes, and the series has already been granted a second season.

Last updated 6/23/2022. 


What is The Rings of Power about?

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Image: Amazon Studios

Set during the Second Age of Middle-earth—for the record, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set at the very end of the Third Age—Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power charts the rise of Sauron, as the Dark Lord manipulates the beings of Middle-Earth to hatch plans to sow chaos and bend the land to his will. (Read more: Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Show Is About the Return of Sauron)

The Second Age itself is a period that spans over thousands of years, leaving plenty of room for stories to be told in The Rings of Power. Beyond the return of Sauron—diminished after a war against the Elves at the behest of the First Dark Lord, Morgoth—and the forging of the Rings of Power, the Second Age sees the fall of the island kingdom of Númenor, the descendants of whom go on to found the human kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor, and even the making of the entire world from a flat plane into a spherical planet. (Read more: Everything You Need to Know About Lord of the Rings’ Second Age) 

We do know that we won’t just see events from that specific period of time in the show, however. Our very first look at the series teased a glimpse back at the earliest years of creation in Tolkien’s vast reckoning of Arda, the world of his fantasy works. (Read More: Why the Glowing Trees in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Are So Important)

One thing we’re not so sure about is just how and if Rings of Power will connect to Peter Jackson’s iconic adaptation of Lord of the Rings. The Second Age culminates in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men doing battle with Sauron at the base of Mount Doom, an event seen in the opening of The Fellowship of the Ring, so we could see a connection there. Beyond that, all we know is that Amazon is allowed to use the nebulous idea of “materials” from the movies, but it’s been hazy about just what that means. Expect something evocative of the films, if not directly connected, visually speaking. (Read more: Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Show Can Use ‘Materials’ From the Movies, Whatever That Means)

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Who is making The Rings of Power?

Rings of Power is showrun by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, and features an expansive writing staff, including Breaking Bad’s Gennifer Hutchison and Hannibal’s Helen Shang, among many more. (Read more: Meet the Full Creative Team Behind Amazon’s Lord of the Rings)

There are also multiple directors attached to the series, each tackling a handful of episodes. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s J.A. Bayona helmed the first two episodes of the show, before passing the reigns to Wheel of Time and Doctor Who’s Wayne Che Yip for another four episodes, with The Witcher’s Charlotte Brändström directing the remaining two. (Read more: Your Latest Lembas-Crumb of Lord of the Rings Show News Is Here)


What’s the production schedule for The Rings of Power?

First announced in 2017, The Rings of Power entered production in 2020, and was paused due to the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic. Filming resumed in the summer of 2020, after New Zealand began lifting the first wave of strict covid-19 lockdown rules, with filming concluding in the middle of 2021. The series has cost Amazon over half a billion dollars to produce, with Amazon Studios’ Jennifer Salke defended the budget as necessary to build the world of Middle-earth to a desired scope. In a conversation with the Hollywood Reporter, Salke said that “As for how many people need to watch Lord of the Rings? A lot. A giant, global audience needs to show up to it as appointment television, and we are pretty confident that that will happen.” (Read More: Amazon Explains Lord of the Rings’ Giant Budget, Which Is Still Smaller Than Jeff Bezos’ Yacht)

While the first season of The Rings of Power was filmed in New Zealand—following in the footsteps of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie trilogies—the already confirmed second season of the show will re-locate production to the United Kingdom. Post production on season one will last until roughly June 2022, with pre-production on season two starting in early 2022. (Read More: Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Series Just Dropped a Surprising Bit of Season 2 News)


What is the release date for The Rings of Power?

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is set to premiere on September 2, 2022.


Is there a The Rings of Power trailer?

There is! Released at the Super Bowl on February 13, it gives us a look at a few notable faces and the sweeping vistas of Arda, largely focusing on cryptic shtos of Morfydd Clark in action as Galadriel. (See More: The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power’s Stunning First Teaser Is Here)

Empire Magazine released all four cover variations of its forthcoming Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power issue. We also got an image of a Snow-Troll on June 5 from Empire Magazine, as well as our first look at the Harfoots.

Amazon has released an odd tie-in commercial for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power in which a little boy “finds his people” after buying a robe online.


Who is in the cast? Who do they play?

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Image: Amazon Studios
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Amazon has kept very vague about just which characters we’ll see in The Rings of Power, but it has an incredibly large cast, and including Charles Edwards, Will Fletcher, Amelie Child-Villiers, and Beau Cassidy in major roles. In December 2020, Amazon announced a whopping 20 new additions, still keeping their roles vague. Deep breath, added to the cast were: Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Ian Blackburn, Kip Chapman, Anthony Crum, Maxine Cunliffe, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Thusitha Jayasundera, Fabian McCallum, Simon Merrells,​ Geoff Morrell, Peter Mullan, Lloyd Owen, Augustus Prew, Peter Tait, Alex Tarrant, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, and Sara Zwangobani. (Read More: Lord of the Rings Adds 20 Cast Members, and We Have No Idea What They’re Doing)

In late 2019, it was reported that His Dark Material’s Morfydd Clark had joined the series, playing a younger version of the Elven ruler Galadriel, portrayed by Cate Blanchett in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. (Read More: Fellowship of the Ring’s Mirror of Galadriel Scene Is Still One of the Trilogy’s Finest)

But Galadriel isn’t the only familiar face or notable figure from Tolkien’s lore in the show. Amazon has confirmed alongside Clark’s casting that Robert Aramayo will play Elrond, the future lord of Rivendell played by Hugo Weaving in the movies, while Celebrimbor, the Elven forgemaster deceived by Sauron into helping craft the rings of power will be played by Charles Edwards. Beyond Elves, the series has cast Maxim Baldry as Prince Isildur, the son of the future king of Gondor and Arnor, Elendil, and has teased a host of original characters as well: Charlie Vickers as a human named Halbrand that allies with Galadriel, Ismael Cruz Cruz Córdova and Nazanin Boniadi as the Silvan Elf Arondir and human healer Bronwyn caught in a forbidden romance, and Sophia Nomvete as Disa the Dwarven Princess of Khazad-dûm. (Read More: New Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Images Finally Tell Us Something About the Show)

While we don’t know every character appearing, we do have a vague inkling of just some of the aesthetic of the show: in early February 2022, Amazon released the first character posters for the series, teasing 23 different characters of various races—including a teasing glimpse of the Dark Lord Sauron. (Read more: Give Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’s Character Posters a Hand)

There will also be some “new and unimproved” Orcs appearing in the series.


How can I watch The Rings of Power?

The show will stream exclusively on Amazon’s Prime Video platform, which wll require a subscription.


Is there more Lord of the Rings to Come?

We don’t know much of Amazon’s plans for the future of The Lord of the Rings beyond at the very least a second season of The Rings of Power. But we do know that there is at least one more Lord of the Rings projects coming to screens: last year Warner Bros. Animation and New Line Cinema announced that Kenji Kamiyama (Ultraman, Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045) will direct The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, a CG anime movie that tells the story of Helm Hammerhand, the legendary king of Rohan who’s reign saw the construction of Helm’s Deep, the fortress besieged by Saruman’s Uruk-Hai in The Two Towers. (Read More: Lord of the Rings Returns to Helm’s Deep for an Anime Film About the King of Rohan)

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Exclusive: Best Car Insurance for Military and Veterans for July 2022 – CNET – TalkOfNews.com

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Best Car Insurance for Military and Veterans for July 2022     - CNET

#Car #Insurance #Military #Veterans #July #CNET

If you’re an active-duty military member or a veteran (or sometimes their family members), there are a couple of good places to check for car insurance. Some companies offer discounts for vets while other auto insurance carriers create policies specifically for them. Military members and vets may have access to a variety of cheaper car insurance options that aren’t available to the general public, often with rates hundreds of dollars below the national average. 

Car insurance companies that exclusively cover service members and veterans — whether you’re a sailor, Marine, soldier, airman, Coast Guardsman, National Guard member or reservist — provide a pricing scale that larger insurers typically can’t match. Eligibility for the families of service members or veterans will depend on the carrier. 

If you fall into any of these categories, it’s still critical to compare rates and policies. “Current and former military [personnel] should shop for insurance just like everyone else,” said Dan Karr, CEO of ValChoice, an independent platform for insurance analytics and ratings. The way a provider handles claims should also be an important consideration when researching insurance policies, Karr added.

Here are some of our top car insurance company picks for military members, veterans and their families. 

Best car insurance companies for members of the military and veterans

USAA

Active-duty military service members, veterans and their immediate family members are eligible to apply for United Services Automobile Association insurance. If you fall into one of these categories, you may find yourself eligible for cheaper rates than you might find elsewhere. Customers who switch their auto insurance policies to USAA saved $725 on average per year, according to USAA’s website. Moreover, USAA’s average annual premium for full coverage is among the most competitive, coming in at $1,209 compared to $1,771 for the national average, according to Bankrate.

The company has been around since 1922, when 25 US Army officers decided to insure each other’s vehicles. Today, the insurance company serves millions; the insurer’s low car insurance rates are a big draw, but USAA’s high customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power surveys are also alluring. Its overall customer satisfaction score averages to 884 across US regions; higher than the industry average of 834. 

The bottom line: USAA is a worthy option to look into if you’re eligible to buy a policy. 

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Geico doesn’t quite match USAA’s rates: The company’s average annual premium for full coverage sits at $1,297 compared to USAA’s $1,225, according to Bankrate. Nonetheless, Geico’s rates fall well below the $1,674 national average, and its military discount makes for a good insurance choice if you’re active or retired military.

All active-duty and retired personnel, as well as members of the National Guard or Military Reserves, are eligible for up to 15% off their total insurance rate premium. Moreover, Geico offers an additional Emergency Deployment Discount to customers who deploy into a military base in imminent danger pay areas, as designated by the Department of Defense. The company has a special customer service team dedicated to military assistance, as well as a toll-free line dedicated to serving military customers — 1-800-MILITARY. 

Check out our full review of Geico Auto Insurance.

Armed Forces Insurance

Armed Forces Insurance has deep roots — it was founded in 1887 by military leaders — and while it’s not as well-known as USAA, it’s been around longer and has broader eligibility requirements, making it easier for more people to qualify for coverage.

AFI expands its coverage beyond active-duty and retired service members — and their children and spouses — to the Department of Defense civilian employees, officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Public Health Service. If you fall into one of those groups (or have in the past), AFI may be worth a look.

However, one of the most glaring differences between AFI and USAA is reflected in the companies’ customer satisfaction and ratings. While USAA routinely scores high in customer satisfaction, feedback on AFI is more divided. AM Best has given AFI a B+ financial strength rating compared to USAA’s A++. Moreover, AFI receives more than 3.5 times the complaints compared to the national industry average, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners,

Other carriers with notable discounts


Arbella

Arbella is a regional insurance company offering car, home and business insurance policies in the New England area, though its auto policies are only offered in Massachusetts and Connecticut. If you live in either of these states, Abrella is worth exploring because the company offers up to a 10% discount for any active-duty service member deployed more than 100 miles away from your vehicle.

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Farmers

Farmers extends its “Affinity discount” for military customers who are active duty, active reserve, retired or honorably discharged veterans. Pair this discount with others from Farmers’ robust list, including good payer (history of paying in full, on time), multicar and ePolicy discounts, and you’re well on your way to bringing your annual premiums down.

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual is another insurer that offers a robust set of discounts, including one that extends to active, retired and reserve members of the US armed forces. Though Liberty Mutual’s average annual premium for full coverage sits a bit higher than the national average using the military discount along with homeowner, bundling multicar, good student or early shopper discounts can help make its policies more affordable. 

Best car insurance for military and veterans, compared

Company Benefits A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating*
USAA Family coverage, low rates, award-winning service and coverage. A++
Geico Military personnel, emergency deployment, dedicated hotline for military customers. A++
Armed Forces Insurance Department of Defense civilian employees and NOAA and PHS commissioned officers eligible. B+

*A.M. Best financial strength rating scale runs from D (lowest) to A++ (highest).

FAQs

What is the best car insurance for military members?

The best carrier will differ for everyone, depending on your specific situation, how much coverage and what kinds of coverage you want. According to our research, USAA and Geico offer among the most competitive rates out there for service members, and they both cover a wide range of coverage options and discounts to help formulate a policy that fits your needs and budget.

Whichever auto insurer you choose, your military service may potentially mean savings. For that reason, it’s important to always check your eligibility and inquire about the rates and discounts that service members, veterans and their families can get.

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What should you do when applying for car insurance as a service member or veteran?

  • Look for quotes from a variety of insurance companies. Make sure to include companies that offer military discounts, as well as those that only serve the military.
  • Choose the plan that makes the most sense for you, based on eligible car insurance discounts, the company’s customer service rating, auto claims satisfaction, coverage options and the final price.
  • Gather documented proof of your identity and military service such as your military ID or DD-214 (or the service of your family member, along with proof of relation).
  • Submit the appropriate documents to your insurer of choice, then wait for final approval.

How can you save on car insurance as a veteran?

Some carriers only serve members of the military, such as USAA and AFI. These insurers generally have competitive rates compared to other mainstream carriers available to the general public. If USAA and AFI don’t serve your needs, mainstream carriers like Geico, Liberty Mutual and Farmers also offer discounts for military members. If you pair a low premium rate with a variety of discounts, including a military discount, you may be able to bring your annual premiums down substantially and save on car insurance in the long run.

How do you get a military discount on car insurance? What documents do you need to show you’re eligible?

The requirements to receive a military discount differ from insurer to insurer. For example, while Geico simply gives all active-duty military and retired personnel up to a 15% discount, Arbella will only apply up to a 10% discount if you’re an active-duty military member that is deployed more than 100 miles away from your vehicle. You’ll want to check what each insurer’s parameters are for qualifying for a military discount. 

That said, the documents to prove your eligibility for military discounts are similar across the board. You’ll likely need to show one or more of the following documents:

  • DD-214
  • NGB-22
  • Military orders if you are actively serving
  • Academy appointment letter or ROTC contract
  • Discharge certificate
  • Letters or statements showing membership in an eligible military group, such as the Navy League of the United States or the Armed Forces Benefit Association.

CNET reviews insurance carriers and products by exhaustively comparing them across set criteria developed for each category. For auto insurance, we examine average annual premium rates for full coverage, consumer complaints, collision repair scores, the carrier’s financial strength, auto claims satisfaction and overall customer satisfaction. For this list, we also investigated available discounts for military members, veterans and their families. Our data comes from a multitude of sources. 

Auto insurance rates come from Bankrate, which gathers data using Quadrant Information Services. We also use both J.D. Power annual surveys that collect data on customer auto claims satisfaction and overall customer satisfaction.

Consumer complaints are taken from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which collects consumer complaints across states, indexing complaints on a scale that takes into account the industry average. We collect the financial strength rating of each carrier from the A.M. Best Rating.

Last, we collected collision repair scores from the Crash Network Insurer Report Card, which collects data from collision repair professionals, including mechanics, to gauge the quality of collision claims service from insurance carriers.

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More car insurance advice:

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

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Exclusive: Hyundai shares first look at the much-awaited Ioniq 6 electric sedan – TalkOfNews.com

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Hyundai shares first look at the much-awaited Ioniq 6 electric sedan

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Forward-looking: Hyundai is slowly climbing in EV market share in the US and Europe, and it has grand ambitions to capture seven percent of the global EV market by 2030. While a full reveal is scheduled for next month, the South Korean automaker is already teasing everyone with a first look at the much-awaited Ioniq 6 all-electric sedan.

Not too long ago, Hyundai was in talks with Apple to build an electric car. The South Korean automaker seemed interested in lending its expertise to the Cupertino giant, which had long been rumored to be working on a self-driving car. However, those discussions quickly fell apart as Apple executives were worried about information leaks. Similarly, Hyundai executives remained divided on whether or not they saw Apple as a great fit for a potential partnership.

Earlier this year, Hyundai stopped research and development on combustion engines, adding to a growing list of companies committed to going all-electric in the coming years. During its 2022 CEO Investor Day forum, the Hyundai Motor Group presented its bold electrification roadmap through 2030 that includes no less than 17 new battery-powered electric vehicles.

Today, Hyundai offered the first look at its upcoming all-electric sedan, the Ioniq 6. It looks a lot like the Prophecy concept EV it showcased back in 2020, and as noted by Top Gear, it seems to be inspired by classic, streamlined designs from the 1920s and 1930s, such as the Stout Scarab or the Tatra 87.

Details are scarce now, as Hyundai wants to make a full reveal on July 14. Still, the company did tease an ultra-low drag coefficient of just 0.21, which is among the lowest you can get with most cars on the market today. That’s thanks to the streamlined design with a low nose and active air flaps, among other things.

The Ioniq 6 shares the same E-GMP platform as the Ioniq 5 crossover, which is rated for up to 315 miles on a single charge, and since the Ioniq 5 is a smaller, low-drag car, it will not only be cheaper but might also offer more range.

The cocoon-shaped interior features sustainable materials, and a couple of touchscreens give it a futuristic look. However, Hyundai design chief Sangyup Lee told Ars Technica the company opted for physical buttons for things like audio and climate controls.

“The touchscreen is great when this car is [in] stationary condition, but when you’re moving, touchscreens can be dangerous. So we always think about the right balance, user experience, and the buttons and the combination with the voice activation together. In the future, obviously, voice activation is going to play the major role versus touchscreen, but this is still in transition. For us, anything that relates to the safety, we use hardware. Anything not related to safety will use a touch interface.”

Production of the Ioniq 6 is expected to start next month in South Korea. In the meantime, Hyundai is also spending $10 billion to accelerate electrification and autonomous vehicle development in the US, $5.5 billion of which will go towards building a battery manufacturing facility in Georgia.

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Exclusive: Substack CEO says he’s ‘very sorry’ about laying off 13 people – TalkOfNews.com

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Substack is the latest tech company to announce layoffs, with the company’s CEO Chris Best tweeting on Wednesday that he’s letting 13 workers go. According to Axios, that’s around 14 percent of Substack’s workforce. In his letter and follow-up tweets, Best cites “market conditions” as the reason behind the layoffs.

He also admits that the move may be a surprise to some employees. “Not so long ago, I told you all that our plan was to grow the team and not do layoffs,” he says, also noting that the company is “still hiring for specific key roles” and has money saved. However, Best says that the company needs to change tactics, as it could be facing “an extended period” where the economy goes from bad to worse. He says that the layoffs are one of several changes the company has made to make sure it’s in “a strong financial position.”

According to The New York Times, some of the employees laid off were involved in human resources and writer support. The report also says that Substack recently halted efforts to secure funding from investors, but that its revenue is still growing.

In April, Substack faced a minor controversy around its hiring efforts when its vice president of communications tweeted a hiring link while noting a specific type of employee she said the company didn’t want. “If you’re a Twitter employee who’s considering resigning because you’re worried about Elon Musk pushing for less regulated speech… please do not come work here,” she said. The company has historically said that it places a lot of importance on free speech.

Substack is far from the only company laying off a significant percentage of its workers in the past month or two. Companies like Tesla, Netflix, Klarna, Better.com, and Cameo have all cut jobs, as have several large crypto firms.


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