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Galadriel with pitcher - FotR "Things that were, things that are,
and some things that have not yet come to pass."

As this article concerns something not yet released, it is subject to major changes.

The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is an upcoming anime film produced by Warner Bros. It will be directed by Kenji Kamiyama,[3] and will focus on the story of Helm Hammerhand, the founding of Helm's Deep, and crucial events in the history of the Rohirrim.[4] The film was expected to release in April 2024,[5] but was delayed to December 2024.[1]



Cast in alphabetical order[]


The movie was first announced on June 10, 2021 in the run up to the 20th anniversary of the theatrical release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. A standalone work, it is presumably intended to ride the coattails of Amazon's The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power[4] and to retain Warner's lease on the rights to adapt J.R.R. Tolkien's works, extended to them by Middle-earth Enterprises. Indeed, the project was said to be "fast tracked",[4] with a script already being written by Jeffrey Addiss and Will Matthews and the voice-casting process well on the way.

While in development, Middle Earth Enterprises disputed Warner Brothers' claim to the rights and started shopping them around[7] before returning to mediation with Warner[8], now run by David Zaslav, who, while ordering cost-cutting measures, stressed Warners' hold on the rights even without mentioning the project.[9] Since then bought by Embracer, Middle-earth Enterprises retains "financial interests" in the film,[10] which is still "in production"[11], despite that Embracer reportedly disputes Warners' lease on the rights.[12] With a new deal signed, The War of the Rohirrim is now set as the first of a slate of New Line-produced films.[13]

Due to the actor's strike, the film was delayed to 13 December 2024. Animated in 2D (with 3D elements[14] and rotoscoping for horses[15]) by Sola Entertainment and Sola Digital Arts and produced and distributed by New Line and Warner Brothers (specifically, Warner Bros. Animation), the film was originally to be released in April 2024 in theaters;[16] Dolby Cinema and IMAX. It is unclear whether the release will be wide[11] or limited.[17] France was said to see a release two days early,[18] and Germany a day after that,[19] with a full trailer has been assumed to air "around October 2023", while a teaser "could come much sooner."[20] As of early December 2022, work on the film was still "going very well."[21] Warners held 65-minute panel showing footage ("Behind the scenes look") from the film in June at Annecy Film Festival with Kamiyama, Chew, DeMarco and Boyens.[22][23][24][25]

The film is connected to Peter Jackson's trilogies[26] and had Jackson's blessing,[27] with his co-writer and co-producer Philippa Boyens boarding as a consultant.[4] Since her involvement, the script was being rewritten by her daughter Phoebe Gittins (known from a few minor cameos in Jackson's films) and her The Sorrows' writing partner Arty Papageorgiou, "based on a script" by Addis and Matthews,[28] the latter two having since relegated to a "story by" credit:[11] Philippa admitted Addis and Matthews did not know Tolkien's mythos very well.[15]

Philippa had since admitted to using the next-door Jackson and Fran Walsh as a sounding board, noting that it was Walsh's idea to call the female heroine Hèra after Boyens rejected several names, suggested by the writers, for not alliterating with Helm's name.[29] Jackson had personally taken to social media in response to each major news release about the project in a show of support, including approving of the "amazing" cast.[30][31] Apart from some overlap in the production team, the film is unconnected to The Rings of Power, which had come under some criticism from executive producer Jason DeMarco for its story.[32][33]

Also involved in the project are Richard Taylor and Wētā Workshop[34] (including Mark Wilshire and Daniel Falconer) credited with "concept design";[11] John Howe, Alan Lee[28] and, apparently, The Lord of the Rings' and The Hobbit's dialect coach Roisin Carty.[11] Lee had reportedly completed his work for the film no later than November 2022,[35] while Howe worked on it between seasons of The Rings of Power. Stephen Gallagher, who composed "Blunt the Knives", is said to score at least the majority of the picture.[36][37] Early on, composer Alexandre Desplat's name came up in the IMDb credits for the film, but have since been removed, and have not resurfaced.[38][39] Audiences at Annecy heard Howard Shore music, but its unclear if its Gallagher reprising Shore's themes or a temporary Howard Shore track.[15][40] Lord of the Rings' music editor Mark Wilsher had seemingly also joined the crew, perhaps an indication that scoring sessions had been at least booked. [11]

Boyens seem to now be involved as an executive producer alongside Richard Brener, Sam Register, Warner Brothers Animation Senior Vice-President Jason DeMarco,[41] and former New Line chief and The Hobbit executive Carolyn Blackwood. Also producing is Joseph Chou.[11] Further cew members given by IMDb include Assistant Sound Engineer Maximo Abraham, ADR engineer Francesco Marseglia.[11] Other credited crew members are seemingly wrongly credited, and belong to The Rings of Power shoot.[11]

Several pieces of concept art, credited to Wētā Workshop but seemingly made by John Howe[42], had been released for the film, featuring the title, familiar views of Edoras and Rohirrim cavalry[28], and the gates of the Hornburg in snow,[43] with Helm resembling his statue from Peter Jackson's The Two Towers. [44] Also featured were Dunlendings and a Mûmak,[28] who in one shot is used to tear down Edoras' palisade even as the tower it carries catches fire. The beast's presence is based on mentions of attacks "from the East" in Appendices A and B of The Lord of the Rings. Boyens had since clarified that the main antagonist Wulf turns to Haradrim mercenaries for aid, although its unclear whether their forces amount to a single Mumak[42] or several, as Boyens seems to imply.[29] The character "Lord Frygt" (Danish for "Fright") had been argued to possibly be a Dunlending or "some non-human being" - Orc or Wizard, probably - "feared by either the Dunlendings, or by the Rohirrim." [45]

By February 2022, announcement of the voice-cast (by casting director Andy Brierley, assistant Puashali Banik, and Associate Seth Mason)[11] was said to be "imminent"[28], and after its announcement in June, Boyens admitted they had been "sitting"[29] on it for a while. On social media, one of the cast members, Shaun Dooley, gave the impression that he had already recorded his role.[46] Boyens said they eventually decided to feature Miranda Otto's Éowyn as a narrator for the story, being a "familiar" voice that "passes the tale on."[29] Otto, having been approached personally by Philippa, had recorded her role sometime before May 2023, she said she would record more "in the next six to 12 months", remarking that "There is not an enormous amount I have to do."[47]

On the strength of Kamiyama's prior work with him and Philippa's second-hand accounts of his performance in Titus Andronicus,[29] Brian Cox was cast in the role of Helm Hammerhand. Cox had previously been considered for a Dwarf in The Hobbit[48] and read an audiobook of Tolkien's The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun. Gaia Wise was cast as his daughter, who is unnamed in the appendix but had been named Hèra[43] and given a "fiery" role that Boyens equates to that of the historical Æthelflæd, who served as a queen and military leader who built forts and led campaigns against Viking attacks on Mercia in the ninth century.[29] Although Hera had been described as a lead character,[15] Boyens had also described Helm as "the driver of our story."[44]

Also cast were the aforementioned Shaun Dooley as Freca, Luke Pasqualino as his son and main antagonist Wulf, Laurence Ubong Williams as Helm's nephew Fréaláf Hildeson and Alex Jordan as "Lord Frygt."[49][50] Also cast are Lorraine Ashbourne, Yazdan Qafouri, Benjamin Wainwright, Michael Wildman, Jude Akuwudike, Bilal Hasna, and Janine Duvitski.[28][43] Of the two female members of the cast, Ashbourne (Mrs. Serkis, who had a cameo in Jackson's King Kong) and Duvitski, one is in all likelihood playing Hild, Fréaláf's mother and Helm's sister.


Publicity indicates that the events of the film are either either 183, 200, or 250 years "before the events chronicled in the original trilogy of films"[43].[51] 250 years would be most consistent with Tolkien's lore, in which the events of The Two Towers film take place between TA 2754 and 2759, shortly prior to the events shown in the prologue of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The timeframe within which Éowyn is relating the story, and to whom, are still unclear: it has been suggested she may be passing the story to her grandson Barahir after the events of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, or to someone else in the midst of the events of the films. Otto said it was interesting to "try to think of the character older."[47] While it is not divulged how much of Rohan's backstory will be delivered by Eowyn's narration, Boyens promised the complexities of the historic conflict with the Dunlendings will feature into the film.[29]

Philippa had outlined the movie's plot, taken from Appendix A but expanded on, revolving around the "hot-headed" Helm and the political marriage of his daughter Hèra to Wulf, son of the part-Dunlending lord Freca in TA 2754. Reports from Annecy suggest the film opens with a map transition fading into a scene of Hera (red-headed with a messy braid) riding up the hills and throwing a piece of meat at a passing Giant Eagle. Later she engages in a debate with her cousin Frealaf about the historic role of the Shieldmaidens of Rohan.[15][52]

Freca, described as a wide and "tragic but also comedic"[15] character, is ostensibly using the marriage to make a play for the throne. Boyens, however, questions his son Wulf (who was designed to look exceedingly handsome[15]) and his motivations: "What was driving him?" asked Boyens, "Was it just his father demanding that he do this? Was it his ambition?"[29] Helm, however, sabotages the marriage by fighting Freca in a fist-fight that results in the latter's death.

Helm then decides to persecute the "ruthless and clever"[43] Wulf, who escapes and, over the following four years, is galvanized into rallying the Dunlendings to Isengard,[15] from where they launch a "sudden"[43] attack against Rohan. Using his father's substantial wealth to acquire the services of Haradrim mercenaries, this results in "quite large-scale battles" before the Rohirrim are defeated outside Edoras, which Wulf takes over at the end of the first act,[15] leaving Fréaláf retreating to Dunharrow: the fate of his mother Hild, Helm's sister, is not divulged. At some point in the proceedings, Wulf "commits himself to a course of action he cannot turn away from", says Boyens,[29] perhaps ordering the executing of Helm's son Haleth. Footage, probably from this battle, was shown at Annecy and described as "a bloody battle, blood pouring down an elephant’s buttocks and an archer shot in the head by an arrow which emerges the other side of his skull."[53]

With his son killed, Helm retreats into the Hornburg for winter, during which his people are also menaced by Orcs of the White Mountains and his son Hama is killed at an excursion from the fort.[29] It had been theorized that Deeping Wall could be erected at this time.[42] Consistently described as a "bloodsoaked"[54][15] story, the film shifts into a "ghost story"[29] revolving around Helm's excursions to the Dunlending camp, which end in tragedy, and Hèra's own efforts to "lead a resistance." Of the latter, Boyens asked "how you save your life when you have very little to work with?" pointing again to the historical Æthelflæd, who famously built forts and defences.[29]

The next year, Helm's cousin Fréaláf leads a small force which attacks Wulf at Edoras, where Fréaláf faces him; with Gondor having recently overcome a Corsair attack, Fréaláf joined by Gondorian forces that push the Dunlendings back to their lands and the adjacent Isengard. Subsequently, there had been speculation (seemingly corroborated by Boyens[15]) about a cursory role for Saruman in the film,[55] who in the book convinces Fréaláf to grant him Isengard. If he is in the film, its unclear which of the cast members would be playing him. Boyens said Sauron and the Ring are "very peripheral" to the story, and suggested Gondor's own tribulations with the Corsairs would not be featured.[29]


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  1. 1.0 1.1 Deadline - ‘Lord Of The Rings: The War Of The Rohirrim’ Release Delayed Until December 2024 By Anthony D'Alessandro August 24, 2023 3:01pm
  2. [ ‘Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim’, Annecy Film Festival
  3. Christopher Marc, UPDATE: ‘Lord of The Rings’ Standalone Anime Film ‘War Of The Rohirrim’ Heading To Theaters; Focuses On King Helm Hammerhand, The Ronin, 12 June 2021. (All links last retrieved 5 May 2023)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Matt Kim, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim Anime Movie Announced, IGN, 10 June 2021.
  5. Adam B. Vary, ‘Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim’ Anime Feature Set for April 2024 Release by Warner Bros. (EXCLUSIVE), Variety, 14 February 2022.
  6. Alex Jordan @AEJORDAN, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be voicing the character of Lord Frygt in The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim. In theaters April 12, 2024. Twitter, 15 June 2022.
  7. Cynthia Littleton, ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ Film and Gaming Rights Up for Sale (EXCLUSIVE), Variety, 9 February 2022.
  8. Cynthia Littleton, Warner Bros. Flexes ‘Lord of the Rings’ Muscle Amid Conflict Over Film Rights, Variety, 16 February 2022.
  9. Sara Mir, “We still have the right to do The Lord of the Rings movies”: WB Chief David Zaslav Teases More LoTR Movies After Amazon’s Rings of Power Disappointed Fans, Fandom Wire, 4 November 2022.
  10., Embracer Group Enters into Agreement to Acquire IP Rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Literary Works by J.R.R. Tolkien, 18 August 2022.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 Internet Movie Database, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim (2023).
  12. Jaron Pak, Warner Bros. Urged To Cast Their Lord Of The Rings Movie Rights Into Mount Doom, Looper, 30 January 2023.
  13. Aaron Couch, Borys Kit, New ‘Lord of the Rings’ Movies in the Works at Warners, New Line, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 February 2023.
  14. Christopher L. Iona, How Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Went From Massive Risk to Beloved Anime Classic, IGN (29 October 2022).
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 Demosthenes, The first in-depth look (with SPOILERS!) at LOTR: The War of the Rohirrim, The One Ring, 13 June 2013.
  16. @Clarknova1, Uhhh The War of The Rohirrim is not a NETFLIX ADAPTION, A/V Club. It’s a THEATRICAL FILM from New Line. Hahahah and “MORE” new LOTR movies. My movie is still happening too! Lol., Twitter, 24 February 2023.
  17. The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, Rotten Tomatoes.
  18. Silent Jay, Le Seigneur des Anneaux : un nouveau jeu coopératif dévoilé, jeuxvideo, 30 January 2023.
  19. Mads Team, „The War of the Rohirrim“: Was Fans sich vom „Der Herr der Ringe“-Prequel versprechen, MADS , 10 February 2023.
  20. James Osborne, The Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim release date, The Digital Fix, 27 October 2022.
  21. @Clarknova1, Can’t say anything at the moment other than it’s going very well and is a ton of hard work, lol, Twitter, 11 December 2022.
  22. Discussing Film, The first look at ‘THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE WAR OF THE ROHIRRIM’ anime film will debut at the Annecy Film Festival in June. Twitter, 28 April.
  23. Megan Peters, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim Will Soon Launch First Preview, Comic, 27 April 2023.
  24. JPD, Producer Of THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE WAR OF THE ROHIRRIM Film Announces Debut Of Film This Summer.
  25. Melanie Goodfellow, Annecy Unveils 2023 Competition Line-Ups & First Details Of Studio Sneak Peek Presentations, Deadline, 27 April 2023.
  26. Kyle Kruske, The Lord of the Rings: Should Middle-Earth Be a Cinematic Universe? MovieWeb, 21 January 2023.
  27. Borys Kit, ‘Lord of the Rings’ Anime Movie in the Works From New Line, Warner Bros. Animation, Hollywood Reporter, 10 June 2021.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 Adam B. Vary, ‘Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim’ Anime Feature Set for April 2024 Release by Warner Bros. (EXCLUSIVE), Variety, 14 February 2022.
  29. 29.00 29.01 29.02 29.03 29.04 29.05 29.06 29.07 29.08 29.09 29.10 29.11 29.12 Demosthenes, Exclusive: Philippa Boyens talks The War of The Rohirrim with,, 28 June 2022.
  30. Archyde, The Lord of the Rings: Has Peter Jackson chosen his camp between the Amazon series and the future animated film? – News Series, Archyde, 15 February 2022.
  31. Peter Jackson, War of the Rohirrim - Casting News, Facebook, 15 June 2022.
  32. @Clarknova1, Honestly my main issue with the show is just the story. The music, photography, effects, cast, everything else was above average to excellent. But it all has to be in service of a story that… makes sense. Twitter, 15 October 2022. @Clarknova1, I am under no professional obligation to not talk about my engagement with art. Twitter, 15 October 2022. @Clarknova1, I thought it had a lot of potential and did a lot of things right. And they blew it. Twitter, 12 December 2022.
  33. John F. Trent, ‘The Lord Of The Rings: The War Of The Rohirrim’ Producer Trashes Amazon’s ‘Rings Of Power’ Series, Bounding to Comics, 12 January 2023.
  34. Matt Villei, 'Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim' Anime Film Rides in 2024, Gets First Concept Art by Weta Workshop', Collider, 15 February 2022.
  35. u/diabir, response to u/THESILENTPRINCESS06, "I had no idea this pleas in the works. Just stumbled upon it. What do we think?" Reddit, 26 November 2022.
  36. MovieScore Wire (@moviescorewire), @wbpictures has confirmed to @moviescorewire that Stephen Gallagher, music editor on the @TheHobbitMovies, will score next year's #animation "The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim", Twitter, 4 February 2023.
  37. Chen, Stephen Gallaghar said to be the composer for The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, Fellowship of Fans, 5 February 2023.
  38. Fellowship of Fans, 'BREAKING: IMDB states that Academy Award Winner Alexandre Desplat will be the composer for Warner Brothers ‘The War of the Rohirrim’, Twitter, 1 June 2022.
  39. Alexandre Desplat, Internet Movie DataBase.
  40. Rafael Motamayor, The Lord Of The Rings: The War Of Rohirrim Gives Us Middle-Earth Anime, And We Can't Wait [Annecy 2023], Slash Film, 13 June 2023.
  41. Eric Pedersen, Jason DeMarco Named SVP Anime & Action Series/Longform For Warner Bros Animation & Cartoon Network Studios, Deadline, 10 August 2021.
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 Nerd of the Rings, War Of The Rohirrim First Look - Lore, Breakdown, & Theories | The Lord of the Rings Anime, YouTube, 19 February 2022.
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 43.4 43.5 Anthony D'Alessandro, ‘The Lord Of The Rings: The War Of The Rohirrim’: Anime Voice Cast Counts Brian Cox, Gaia Wise, Miranda Otto & More', Deadline, 15 June 2022.
  44. 44.0 44.1 u/VarkingRunesong, This is Helm Hammerhand, the driver of our story and one of the main characters. Reddit, 10 June 2021.
  45. Demosthenes, Alex Jordan to perform original role in The War of the Rohirrim,, 21 August 2022.
  46. Gravemaster, The Witcher Actor Joins ‘The Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim’ Animated Film, Redanian Intelligence, 16 June 2022.
  47. 47.0 47.1 Pierra Willix, The Lord of the Rings star Miranda Otto thinks it might be strange for her to watch The Rings of Power, Metro UK, 18 May 2023.
  48. Owen Williams, Brian Cox To Play A Dwarf In The Hobbit? Empire, 16 November 2009.
  49. Demosthenes, Alex Jordan to perform original role in The War of the Rohirrim,, 21 August 2022.
  50. For more information about the cast members see Shane Fraser, All ‘The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim’ characters and voice cast, We Got This Covered, 18 August 2022.
  51. Anthony D'Alessandro, "‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Goes On: Anime Film ‘The War Of The Rohirrim’ In Works At New Line" Deadline, 10 June 2021.
  52. Marc, Preview: War of the Rohirrim, CloneWeb, 13 June 2023.
  53. John Hopewell, ‘Fionna and Cake,’ ‘Gumball,’ ‘Batman: Caped Crusader,’ ‘War of the Rohirrim’ Dazzle at Annecy, Variety, 16 June 2023.
  54. Nicole Carpenter, Lord of the Rings anime slated for April 2024 release — here’s the first look, Polygon, 14 February 2022.
  55. Demosthenes, Saruman and The War of the Rohirrim,, 20 March 2022.

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