While there’s obviously no one in the series’ credits with the title of “Bird Poop Overseer,” the series’ set decoration is overseen by Megan Vertelle and Victor J. Zolfo, while production designers and a team of art directors also worked to make sure the show’s sets were just right for filming. According to Cynthia Addai-Robinson, one of the crew members, in particular, was responsible for the prop bird droppings that littered parts of the city.
As Addai-Robinson points out, the team behind the series paid such close attention to the realism on set that they even worked hard on things we as viewers may not have gotten to see. “It just goes to show that there really was that effort, even for areas that the audience wasn’t necessarily going to see or even the camera was going to see,” she says. While I’ll admit I wasn’t keeping an eye out for bird droppings on my first watch-through of the series, I do think the scale of the city sets is obvious. There’s a flatness to many modern TV shows and films that comes from recording on under-decorated sound stages or with a green screen as an ill-fitting substitute for actual props. “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” has none of that.
Addai-Robinson says the sets helped actors get in the zone, too. “To be able to walk through a set like that, it really does help you just be there, really be thrust into that environment,” she shared. It’s good that the details were helpful because season 2 seems likely to include even more discord within Númenor, so that bird poop situation’s bound to keep getting worse.