'Udûn': How 'The Rings of Power' makers brought battle sequence to life

Cinematographer overcomes lighting challenges in 'The Rings of Power' battle episode

By Web Desk
June 10, 2023
Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Ismael Cruz Córdova, and Charlie Vickers on 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power'

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Powerseason 1 episode titled "Udûn" features a massive and memorable battle sequence. The crew aimed to avoid repetitive sword-fighting scenes by breaking the battle down into individual moments for each hero character.

Set in the Southlands of Middle-earth, the episode showcases the villagers led by Arondir and Bronwyn fighting against invading orcs. The Númenórean cavalry, led by queen-regent Míriel, joins the battle for a grand clash on horseback.


The crew built a set from scratch in New Zealand's picturesque valley. Cinematographer Alex Disenhof faced the challenge of lighting the night scenes, achieving a balance between darkness and visibility.

One standout sequence involved Arondir facing a colossal orc after falling from a roof. Stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong worked closely with the actor to develop a unique fighting style, while various departments collaborated to ensure a seamless and believable encounter.

Another pivotal moment showcased the Númenórean cavalry charging the orcs at dawn. Practical action was captured on the day, enhanced by visual effects later.

The climax revealed the birth of Mount Doom as the enemy triggered a volcanic eruption, with the crew using brighter colors and midday sunlight to contrast the earlier dark battle scenes.

Despite the logistical challenges, the dedicated efforts of the entire team paid off.

The episode promises to deliver an epic battle sequence that captivates audiences, showcasing the meticulous attention to detail and passion of the crew.