TIME sat down with five cast members of Amazon Studio’s new Lord of the Rings prequel series “The Rings of Power.” The show will cost over $1 billion to develop. Cast members Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Markella Kavenagh, and Charlie Vickers talked to TIME about their characters, filming in New Zealand during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what it means to join an iconic franchise. The series premieres September 2.