Warning! This article contains spoilers about J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, including myths that are the basis for the plot of Rings of Power
Amazon finally releases a trailer teaser for the much-anticipated product. After dropping images and a teaser over the Super Bowl, Amazon now has the full trailer. Lord of the RingsSpinoff Series Rings of Power.
It was set in the Second Age thousands of year before the actions of The Lord of the RingsThe Rings of Power Spins an epic story involving many people, elves and hobbit ancestrals. (Spoiler alert: It’s Sauron!) This teaser features familiar faces such as younger versions of immortal elves as well as brand new characters made just for the series.
Patrick McKay, and J.D. Payne went through all the annexes in search of the right words. Lord of the RingsBooks to locate mentions characters, wars and kingdoms from the Second Age. They used Tolkien’s lore as a guide and filled in the gaps, condensing the long history of the era to create one action-packed show. Amazon will probably spend more than $1 billion on five seasons to make, so that’s a significant cost. Rings of Power The most expensive television series. It’s also one of the most highly anticipated: Its first teaser became the most-watched Super Bowl trailer of all time.
Continue reading: The Lord of the Rings Movies Are Now Holiday Movies. Here’s Why
Below is the breakdown of this teaser trailer.
Galadriel is one of the young versions for elves.
Morfydd is shown as Galadriel, played by Cate Blanchett. Lord of the Rings films). Rings of Power is set millennia before Frodo or Aragorn are born, but elves are immortal, so we’ll get a few familiar faces, including Galadriel and Elrond (who is, technically, half elven).
The text of THe Lord of the RingsGaladriel, in a way, is an old stateswoman. Galadriel is still young and ready to go to war. An earlier teaser showed her scaling a dangerous mountain of ice. We get an idea of why she would undertake such risky missions in this trailer.
In a voiceover, she says, “There was a time when the world was so young there had not yet been a sunrise. But even then, there was light.” We flash to an image of the elven city of Tirion and the Two Trees of Valinor which brought light in ancient times. The show takes serious Tolkien history seriously.
Amazon has gone the distance.
There are a number of images of travelers and warriors moving over majestic terrains. The first one looks like it’s men walking across a river. Another looks like Galadriel or other Elves in snow. The Super Bowl trailer was not without controversy. Rings of Power would be CGI-heavy and lack the practical effects of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films. Amazon assures us with this statement that the film was shot in New Zealand, complete with extras and prosthetics.
This isn’t an idle fan concern: Jackson relied heavily on distracting CGI for his prequel Hobbitfilm, particularly when dealing with the orcs. Instead of relying on his cumbersome, but still effective, prosthetics and makeup, he relied upon them in the films.
Fans and critics criticized Jackson for using too much CGI in The Hobbit to make the orcs. This was in contrast to the makeup and prosthetics that so effectively rendered them in. Lord of the Rings.
Reintroducing Middle-earth’s people
Next, the trailer sets up some scenes to remind the viewers of Middle-earth’s different inhabitants. “Elves have forests to protect,” says an unseen narrator. “Dwarves, their mines. Men are their grain fields. But we harfoots have each other.”
The forebears and forefathers of hobbits are the harfoots. These harfoots are also small but have big feet. The harfoots seem to have an isolationist approach. They keep each other safe and avoid the path of elves, dwarfs and men. From the Super Bowl teaser we learn that Nori, a harfoot, dreams of adventure in Middle-earth. She is not like a hobbit, who will embark on his great journey thousands of years later.
“We’re safe,” the harfoot narrator concludes—a sentiment that is immediately undercut by a menacing meteor flashing across the night sky. Nori observes as the meteor falls.
Set up of the threats
We now have to deal with the threat. Elrond (Robert Aramayo) tells Galadriel, “You have fought long enough, Galadriel. Put up your sword.” It sounds like Elrond is pressuring Galadriel to retire. She objects: “The enemy is still out there. The question now is where.”
Scene-setting: Sauron was the Big Bad of the Old Testament Lord of the Rings In stories there was another villain named Morgoth. And while Morgoth and his orc army were defeated, Morgoth’s servant Sauron disappeared. Galadriel is convinced that Sauron still exists and poses a threat in Middle-earth, according to Galadriel. Her mission is also one of vengeance: Galadriel’s brother Finrod died in the fight against Sauron.
Flashbacks which (may) refer to earlier Tolkien lore
Both elves argue on.
Elrond: “It is over.”
Galadriel: “You have not seen what I have seen.”
Elrond: “I’ve seen my share.”
Galadriel, slowly this time: “You have not seen what I have seen.” Galadriel is, of course, right. Elrond is much younger than she. But they’re both very old and have seen plenty of murder. We then see Galadriel, in an absolutely horrible place. The sight of bodies floating in red water makes her look up. It’s unclear what moment this is depicting, but it could be a flashback to the War of Wrath, which marked the end of the First Age and involved dragons. Many people lost their lives when Morgoth fell, but many were saved.
The rise and fall of Númenor
We get a flash of what’s probably a city of Númenor, a realm on the sea inhabited by men. The rulers of Númenor are descended from Elrond’s half-elven brother Elros and have elongated lives (though they are not immortal). Aragorn is a descendent of the men of Númenor though the kingdom itself is long gone by the events of The Lord of the Rings. The rise and fall of the Númenor is a major moment that we have yet to see onscreen and can likely look forward to seeing in this show.
A orc invasion
The rest of the elves must, eventually, come around to Galadriel’s worldview. We get a glimpse of High King Gilgalad (Benjamin Walker), one of the elves. A very short glimpse was given of Gil-galad during the ceremony. Fellowship of the Ring film during the prologue. He reigns over Lindon in the Second Age and is one of the bearers the three elven ring. Later, he becomes one of the founders of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men along with the human king of Númenor, Elendil. They defeated Sauron together.
Here, we see Gil-galad tell Elrond that “darkness will march over the face of the earth. It will be the end not just of our people, but all peoples.” And we get our first glimpse in the trailer of menacing orcs.
We may be able to peek inside the Undying Lands
A glimpse of Galadriel is captured on board a ship, looking towards a bright light. The possibility exists that Galdriel is at this moment traveling to the Undying Lands. The fans of Lord of the RingsFilms and books may have reminisced that many elves set sail for Middle-earth, leaving behind their homeland to travel to lands far from the reach of men. We know from previous teasers that Galadriel gets involved in some sort of shipwreck—and we’ll see that storm again later in the teaser—so maybe this is the precursor to that moment.
The queen regent Míriel
We get a glimpse of Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), the queen regent of Númenor. Recent Entertainment Weekly piece suggests that when we meet Míriel she is overseeing the region. Since Míriel is a woman, her cousin, the warrior Pharazôn (Trystan Gravelle), also has a claim to the throne. In the books, Pharazôn becomes the last king of Númenor and eventually leads the island kingdom to its doom.
The Kingdom of Khazad-dûm
Elrond explores what appears to be a mine for dwarfs. This is possibly Khazad-dûm, the great underground kingdom beneath the Misty Mountain. The Balrog of Morgoth emerged from the mountain after the Dwarves became too greedy. Moria became a dark and dank land after the dwarves abandoned its mines. This is where the fellowship of the ring encounter the Balrog, and Gandalf gets to perform his epic “You shall not pass” line.
But here, Khazad-dûm is still flourishing, free of evil monsters. A cool fact: One interesting note is that the dwarves may be using light beams through windows to grow greenery. It was briefly discussed in the Fellowship book.)
We see an older dwarf say to a younger dwarf, “I am sorry, but their time has come.” Presumably this is the king of the dwarves, King Durin III (Peter Mullan), speaking to his son, Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur). It sounds like they’re deciding that someone must be killed or expelled. It’s probably not Elrond considering we know he makes it to the Third Age. Next, we get a shot of Durin IV smashing rocks like the dwarves.
There are a few new characters
Many characters are shown to us in flashes. The above picture shows Halbrand (Charlie Vickers), probably in some type of court. He’s a new human character, a guy fleeing from his past and hiding a secret. You can enjoy his low-key Viggo-ass-Aragorn vibes.
The elf Arondir is Ismael Cardova. His forbidden affair is with Bronwyn (Nazanin Booniadi), a human character. There’s a long history of fraught elf-human romance in Tolkien lore, which includes Beren and Luthien, Tuor and Idril, and eventually Aragorn and Arwen.
“The past is with us all,” Arondir tells an unseen figure. The trailer’s main theme seems to revolve around characters such as Galadriel or Arondir, warning people not to repeat history. We know that the history of Middle-earth and, well, the entire earth is about people ignoring the signs of rising evil while Cassandras shout in the wind.
A young Isildur
Speaking of history repeating itself, let’s pause on a very important character. Following more shots of action like Galadriel riding on horseback and Nori hugging fellow harfoots, Halbrand in a sinking ship, we finally see Isildur, (Maxim Baldry). Fans may recall that Isildur is the Númenórean who eventually slices the ring from Sauron’s hand but quickly falls under its corruption himself. The ring is too heavy for him to toss into Mount Doom. Isildur, meanwhile is still a young seaman.
A young(ish) Elendil
“The past is dead,” says another person, possibly Elendil (Lloyd Owen), Isildur’s father. “We either move forward or we die with it.” Elendil, again, winds up joining forces with Gil-galad in the clash with Sauron, so he will become another important player in this story. Here is Elendil and Galadriel riding horses along the shore.
Pharazôn gathering a following
We then get a shot of Pharazôn, the man who will try to usurp the throne from his cousin, Míriel.
An easter egg from Mithril?
“This could be the beginning of a new era,” says the dwarf Prince Durin, holding something in his hand. It’s possible he’s holding Mithril, a fictional metal that is both stronger and lighter than steel. By the end of the Third Age, Mithril is extremely rare and only found in Khazad-dûm.
Escape the orcs
Additional action shots: Below, Arondir is wearing a necklace on one leg to keep him from being eaten by the giant wolf. It is likely that Arondir, who we know Sauron prefers evil wolves to be deployed by him, has been taken hostage here. Galdriel appears to be fighting a troll.
Mysterious meteor dude
The Stranger (Daniel Weyman), an elusive man that appears to have been landed on Middle Earth via a meteor, is another. If the man touches the ground the rock begin to move upwards, which indicates that he may have some form of magic. Some fans speculate this man might be a wizard. Some speculate that it could be a wizard, but others see the meteor dude at the centre of a fire-y eyes: Maybe this Sauron.
The final shot of the Harfoots
End on the harfoots. Frodo, the unexpected hero of the Tolkien story is one of its most striking aspects. Frodo, a brave and courageous hero from the smallest people who is underestimated by his powerful enemy, ultimately becomes the one to carry a horrible burden and defeat the greatest weapon of all time. Frodo was more than just an audience member, who learns about the marvels of men, elves and wizards like the audience, but he also became the unlikely hero to open doors for Harry Potters or Jon Snows. So, of course, in keeping with Tolkien’s themes, the Harfoots must play a major role in this saga. We will never know what that role looks like.
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