animal rights

A Horse Died on the Set of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Photo: Prime Video/YouTube

A horse has died on the set of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. “We are deeply saddened to confirm that a production horse died on 21st March,” an Amazon Studios spokesperson told Deadline. According to the Amazon rep, the horse was being exercised before rehearsals. It was one of 20 horses that were prepping for a battle scene. Neither the horse nor its trainer were in costume. “Both a veterinarian and a representative of the American Humane Association were present at the time. The independent necropsy has confirmed that the horse died of cardiac failure.” The horses were provided by The Devil’s Horsemen, who also have supplied horses to such productions as Wonder Woman, Game of Thrones, and The Crown. They’re new to the Rings of Power production this season, as production has moved from Aotearoa New Zealand to the U.K. According to Deadline, “everyone was asked to leave for 30-45 minutes while the body was removed. After that work resumed.”

The ethics of using live animals in TV and movie production is an ongoing discussion in the industry. Most famously, the HBO show Luck ended after too many on-set horse deaths. RRR bragged about that film’s digital animals in a title card before the film, which read “No animals or birds were harmed during the making of the film. Horses, oxen, birds, tigers, wolves, bears, leopards, deer, fish, and snakes shown in the film all all computer generated.”

A Horse Died on the LOTR: The Rings of Power Set