The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power
Originally published on 5th February, 2022: https://metro.co.uk/2022/02/14/lord-of-the-rings-rings-of-power-trailer-examined-in-finest-detail-16102985/
During the Super Bowl 2022 we were finally treated a glimpse of the greatest show on Middle-earth with the first trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power TV series on Amazon Prime Video.
Claiming the title of ‘the most expensive TV show ever made’, estimated to have cost more than $1billion, The Rings of Power had received the teaser treatment earlier this year, but last night’s preview featuring a minute of new footage will have fans salivating until its eventual release date.
The prequel series is set to take place ‘thousands of years’ before the events of The Hobbit and the original series of Lord of the Rings stories, during the Second Age of Middle-earth. Before the Fellowship and even before the rings of power were ever created, as the trailer kindly informs us.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a wealth of instantly recognisable locations and visual cues that will set off several alarms in the heads of the series’ most passionate followers.
The world built by J. R. R. Tolkien in his iconic novels is absolutely massive — bigger, even, than the huge one depicted across the six live-action movies released so far this century — and this latest reel of footage immediately displays the size, scope, and beauty of it.
We might not receive much in the way of plot detail, but there’s still lots to chew on.
We open on an elegant, sweeping shot of what appears to be Númenor, an island kingdom in the Great Sea, far to the west of Middle-earth. In case you still needed proof of the scale and breadth of this series, there you have it.
Tyra is a Harfoot, an ancestor of Hobbits
A woman’s voice, that of a Harfoot character named Tyra (Markella Kavenagh), speaks aloud: ‘Haven’t you ever wondered what else is out there?’
Yes, we have, dear Harfoot friend, and boy are we glad to see more of this world.
(Harfoots are ancestors of Hobbits, by the way. Do keep up!)
From there, the trailer expands again and again. We’re treated to a shot of two antlered creatures roaming the vast, rolling countryside, followed by cascading waterfalls, elves in combat in dark forests, giant beasts deep beneath the ground, and much, much more.
‘There’s wonders in this world beyond our wandering’, the young Harfoot continues, as though she’s talking directly to us in an effort to definitively state that, whatever we think we know about the LOTR universe, our knowledge doesn’t even cover half of what we’re expected to see once this series hits the air.
The trailer may remind us that the events of this series occurred thousands of years before we met Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, and other fierce friends in the Fellowship, but even entire millennia can’t separate us from certain characters who do appear in the stories from Tolkien that we know best.
We get several glimpses of Morfydd Clark (best known to audiences for her role in 2019 horror movie Saint Maud) in her role as Galadriel, one of the oldest and most magical beings from the original trilogy.
Only, we see a new side to her this time: she’s scaling mountains, she’s riding horses at great speed, and generally surviving dangerous and life-threatening encounters wherever she goes.
If you were concerned that the original Lord of the Rings film trilogy didn’t feature enough women in serious action roles, I don’t think you’re going to be short-changed this time.
Before the trailer cuts to black, we see Arondir (an elf, portrayed by Ismael Cruz Córdova) firing arrows at an unknown entity.
His surroundings, in a deep, dark forest, suggest he is of the Woodland Realm, where old favourites Legolas and Elrond originated.
Though this has not been confirmed officially, many fans believe that the man sporting the gorgeous golden armour is none other than Gil-galad, an elven king who made a brief but important appearance in the prologue of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Speaking of Elrond, Robert Aramayo (fans will recognise him from his role as a young Ned Stark in Game of Thrones) gets a brief appearance in this packed trailer, suggesting that his role may start out in a limited capacity but will likely grow in size and importance across the series.
And as for the two hands clutching together in the trailer’s thumbnail, by process of elimination we can deduce that they are not elves (have you ever seen a muddy elf in this story?), so we’re going to make an educated guess that they belong to a couple of Harfoots.
The Rings of Power arrives on a wave of intense hype and promise. All the trailer can do for now is whet our appetites.
With its impressive special effects, its link between familiarity and the unknown, and the reveal that a major battle might well be taking place before the end of the first season, I imagine we’ll be on the edge of our seats in the months that remain before the premiere.
Lord of The Rings: Rings of Power is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video from September 2.