Fans of 'The Rings of Power' may be wondering why there will only be 8 episodes in the entirety of the first season, just as the series is building up to its first part finale.
Based on the announced schedule for the show, this looks to be the format for each consecutive season as well. For a show as involved as The Rings of Power, you would think it would invest more episodes into each series. However, there is a very good reason for Amazon's decision to limit each season to an 8 episode run only. It's all to do with the show's ongoing plan.
Earlier in the year, just before the series aired, the show's creators including; showrunners John D. Payne and Patrick McKay, producer Lindsey Weber and musician/composer for the series Bear McCreary, took to the stage at San Diego Comic-Con to tease the upcoming release. It was on this panel that Payne and McKay discussed the original conception for the show. And how after hearing Amazon had acquired the rights for a series based on 'The Lord of Rings', the duo set to work writing the format for what would become The Rings of Power. As fans of Tolkien's works they already knew the franchise well and developed a pitch they took to Amazon for a '50 hour epic'. Of course, this piqued their interest, and eventually earned them the job of leading the show's direction.
But how does this relate to the season's limited episode count? As part of Payne and McKay's pitch, together with other show producers and writers, they have already developed a scope of how the story will continue and progress into the following seasons. In fact, Amazon has scheduled the following four seasons after this one. Making it a total of roughly ten hours per season of the total five. Considering that each episode so far currently runs at an average of just over an hour each. If we predict a long finale episode to each season, as we see with many other shows of its kind, then that gives us only 8 episodes each.
Of course, there may also be several other supporting reasons for the limit. So far, it is estimated that Amazon has spent up to $715 million to create the show. Making it the most expensive television series ever produced to date. Adding more episodes to a season may become financially unfeasible. Also, considering the show is set as a prequel, there is only so far the show can continue. The benefit of the producer's set 'plan' is that it will likely lay out the story all the way to events that begin with 'The Hobbit', or possibly even 'The Lord of the Rings'. Either way, fans will have to be content with the 8 episodes they are given.