On March 21, on the set of season 2 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, during rehearsals for a battle scene, a horse died of cardiac arrest. According to Variety, the scene in question involved more than thirty horses.
Shooting and horses
Season 1 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power was captured in New Zealand while Season 2 is currently filming in the UK and the horse 'supplier' for the series is no longer the same . This is a company with a strong resume including Game of Thrones, Wonder Woman and The Crown. In fifty years of existence, this is the first time that the company has recorded the death of a horse.
The Amazon platform obviously issued a press release: “We are deeply saddened to confirm that a production horse died on March 21. The incident happened in the morning while the horse was training before rehearsals. The coach wasn't in costume and the shooting hadn't started yet”.
Animal rights group PETA says, "It seems like living underground with Orcs is normal for the producers of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, because they have the ability to use CGI, mechanical platforms, and other human methods that wouldn't kill vulnerable horses on set. PETA is calling on series creators and all other producers to embark on a new quest without using real horses. If they can't avoid exploiting animals for their art, they should find a new medium, because no one wants to see a TV spinoff that torments animals”.
Last July, the association had already pointed out the death of a horse on the set of the series The Gilded Age for HBO. At the time, a veteran of the area had meant that the horse had died a natural death. PETA's cause is laudable and imperative. However, this is the first death of a horse in 50 years for the English company in question. Will we end up replacing all the animals on set with CGI? Time will tell.