In many ways, it’ll be a return to a screen universe that’s beloved the world over – but according to Rings Of Power concept artist John Howe, there are surprises in store.

“This isn’t the Middle-earth you remember,” Howe tells Empire in the Summer Preview issue. “This is a world that’s very vibrant. The elves are not hidden away in Mirkwood or lingering in Rivendell. They’re busy constructing kingdoms. The dwarven kingdom of Moria is not an abandoned mine and the Grey Havens is not yet an abandoned city. I loved having the opportunity to explore that unseen history.” And while most of the Middle-earth we’ve seen on screen has involved mountainous, muddy, or marshy terrains, there’s a key new location to be explored this time. “We’re finally sailing on the oceans of Middle-earth,” teases Howe, promising a set of sea-faring elves. “They’re daunting and enterprising and are almost colonising the world. They were a lot of fun to imagine. It’s something neither Lord Of The Rings nor Hobbit movies went anywhere near.” Set course for new adventures. ... h-you-remember-exclusive/