"Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" Preview

Everything you have to know about the launch of the new Amazon series

by Pierre Lorenz on February 9, 2022

On January 19, the time had finally come, and we were able to watch the first teaser for the new Amazon series "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power". Here, of course accompanied by epic music, the logo of the series was forged before our eyes, so to speak, and the official title was revealed for the first time. Unfortunately, teasers often don't show scenes from the upcoming project, but are only meant to whet the appetite for more. For this, Amazon released a brand-new teaser trailer at the Super Bowl last Sunday, which of course will also come up in our original. We also talk about the content, the cast, the production and recent pictures so you'll be up to date afterwards. So, read carefully and have fun with our latest Original. 


First and foremost, of course, is the question of the storyline. As we already know, the series will not be a remake of a previous story but will stand completely on its own. There will be a clear gap of about 3000 years between Frodo's adventures and the upcoming series, which is why one can speak of a kind of prequel. Resourceful fans of the franchise will know that we are thus in the Second Age of Middle Earth. The most important indication for this – besides the little information about the story – are a total of four maps of Middle-Earth published on Twitter, which also reveal some hints about the setting. For example, you can recognize the fortress Minas Ithil, which was taken in 2002 of the Third Age and renamed Minas Morgul. Another place marked on the map is Minas Anor, the capital of Gondor, which was later renamed Minas Tirith and has existed since the year 3220 in the Second Age. You can also see the small island Tolfalas at the lower end of the coast. It was destroyed after the Númenóreans were wiped out in the Second Age, making it barren and hilly, as can also be seen on the map if you look closely. We've also known about the official plot details from Amazon itself for quite some time. According to them, the heroic legend of the legendary Second Age will be revived. The series is supposed to bring the viewer back to an era of great powers, falling and rising kingdoms, and unusual heroes, and reveal the greatest villain that ever came from Tolkien's pen. Meant is probably Sauron, although Melkor would probably object to that. It follows, that the evil will grow stronger in a time of peace and will have to deal with an ensemble of old and new characters. In addition, more or less the whole map is to be explored. Again, there are a few theories in this regard. One of them is that we can expect breathtaking open sea adventures above all. That's not unlikely, after all, the island kingdom of Númenor is in the far southwest of the map at a point that only ships can reach by sea. The plot of the first of probably five seasons will also be told in eight episodes of still unknown length. In the teaser, Galadriel speaks the first lines of Tolkien's famous One Ring poem. It says: "Three rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, Seven for the dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for mortal men doomed to die, One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne; In the Land of Mordor where the shadows lie." So far, we only know the story of the one ring from the movies, but the series wants to show us all of them in the course of the story. The showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have summarized it quite well in a press release: In the series, all the important stories of the Second Age are told, i.e., the forging of the rings, Sauron's path to power, the exciting story of Númenor and then, of course, the final alliance of Elves and Men, which, by the way, is said to have been one of the largest and most glorious armies in the Tolkien universe.


Also not to be neglected, of course, is the cast. At least three familiar roles have already been officially confirmed for the series. On the one hand, there the elf Galadriel, who will no longer be portrayed by Cate Blanchett, but by Morfydd Clark. She is certainly one of the most famous figures from Middle Earth and now gets a significant rejuvenation thanks to 32-year-old Clark. Also present are Elrond and of course the villain Sauron, with Elrond this time being embodied by Robert Aramayo. It is also very likely that Sauron – as once in the book – will make use of his ability as a shapeshifter. One of these figures is the character Annatar, who comes across as very friendly but only serves the sole purpose of convincing the elves to forge his rings. Most of the cast consists of relatively unknown faces. There are, for example, Markella Kavenagh, who is to take on the new character Nori, and Joseph Mawle, who embodies the villain Oren. Meanwhile, several dozen actors are known but most of them haven't had any major appearances yet. 


Just as with Peter Jackson's trilogy, they chose the beautiful New Zealand as filming location. Unfortunately, as with many other productions, not everything went smoothly due to the pandemic. Filming had to be paused, so that up to 800 crew members were sent home and production came to a standstill for weeks. For a project that is supposed to cost over 1 billion US dollars as it is, this is of course no trifle. Fortunately, however, production was resumed as soon as possible and is still in full swing. By the way, the large-scale project is not filmed chronologically, but very efficiently with always several scenes at one location. Of course, this is only possible if the script for season 1 is finished, because with this production variant it is extremely difficult and costly to re-shoot scenes later. Season 2, however, means saying goodbye to New Zealand, because it will be produced in Great Britain. The responsible actors behind the camera are on the one hand, as already mentioned, John D. Payne and Patrick McKay, who both act as series developers and are the creative minds behind the project. The director responsible for at least the first two episodes was Juan Antonio Bayona, known from "Jurassic World". In the subsequent episodes, Wayne Yip and Charlotte Brändström will take their places in the director's chair. Who definitely will not return is Peter Jackson, who refused to take a leading position in the production. He is only to be available in an advisory role. What will also interest fans, is the budget, which has already been hinted at. Because calculated at 1 billion US dollars, the "Lord of the Rings" series will become the most expensive series production of all time. The filming rights alone are said to have cost 250 million US dollars, not to mention the huge budget for season 1, which is said to be 465 million US dollars. On the other hand, Amazon will certainly receive a nice sum from the New Zealand government, because the streaming giant is entitled to an estimated 116 million US dollars from a national subsidy fund due to the local jobs generated.

Current Pictures

Amazon is a true master of secrecy, which is why the rumor mill has a particularly hard time finding valid information. However, the streaming giant provided one itself in the form of 23 pictures that were posted at the beginning of February. Discussing every single one in detail would of course go beyond the scope, but there are at least a few clear pictures that we don't want to withhold from you. First, there's the image with the silver and gold dagger and armor that alludes to the tress of Valinor. It is an elf. You don't have to think long about the picture where the figure is leaning on a big hammer. At the latest in combination with the red beard and the golden dust on the fingers, it is clear, that we are dealing with a representative of the dwarves. A third pictures raises more questions, because we see the staff of a wizard, which is supposed to represent a broken sword. If this is really a wizard, one wonders how he made it into the Second Age. After all, they didn't actually appear until the Third Age. The same applies to the figure with the scale armor and the sword with a horse head. Here, one immediately thinks of a warrior from Rohan, although the realm did not emerge until thousands of years later. Last but not least, a closer look reveals a person with spiked gloves and the sword of Sauron – you can probably guess who that could be. Furthermore, some more pictures were published shortly after, showing impressions of the new actors of Elrond and Galadriel, as well as some new characters developed for the series. Furthermore, there are some behind-the-scenes pictures, which is definitely make you want to see more!

Trailer from the Super Bowl

Last Sunday, on the occasion of the 56th Super Bowl, there was finally a first trailer to see, because Amazon, in competition with Disney and Netflix, of course did not miss the opportunity to show the first scenes of their upcoming "The Lord of the Ring" series. Finally, we'll give you some background information that will surely make you enjoy the new trailer even more. First, we see footage of the island kingdom of Númenor, as well as the voice of a young girl who turns out to be a representative of the so-called Harfoots, played by Markella Kavenagh. These are one of the three original Hobbit tribes and even the largest in terms of numbers. Subsequently, it becomes clear that during the series we will get to know many places that have not yet made it to the movie screen. The characters that are now seen are called "Nomadic Hunters" and look quite like vampires with bat-like wings. Are these possibly remnants of a race from the First Age? We also see Galadriel, played by Morfydd Clark, in moving pictures for the first time. She seems to be quite reckless, for example fighting, riding or even climbing. In one scene we also see her with a new character, a forest elf named Arrondir. In fact, his appearance did not cause enthusiasm everywhere, as the dark skin color of the Puerto Rican actor is very much at odds with Tolkien's original conception of the Elves – certainly debatable decision for Tolkien hardliners. In general, the trailer bristles with short, fast-cut scenes that feature a monster-like creature alongside flaming arrows and, presumably, the elf Celebrimbor. Actor Owain Arthur plays Prince Durin IV, a friendly-looking dwarf and son of Durin III, King of Khazad-dûm, also known to many as Moria. Slowly, we approach the end of the trailer and can catch a first glimpse of young Elrond kneeling next to a large rock and the dwarf princess Disa. In the next scene, we must look very closely, because we briefly see two male characters, one of whom seems to be naked. The inferno around them strongly reminds us of Mount Doom in the northwest of Mordor and many speculate that Sauron can be seen here. The trailer finally ends with two dirty hands touching, which of course rules out the involvement of the extremely clean Elves. The left hand could be from the mysterious Tom Bombadil, a being somewhere between hobbits and humans. His origin is a mystery through and through. He says of himself in the first "The Lord of the Rings" book, that he is older than any other creature in the world. All in all, the Super Bowl gave us some great impressions of the series. The makers didn't shy away from using a lot of CGI, which might not be to the liking of some fans. 

That's it again with our latest Original. We hope you are now up to date on the latest developments and perhaps even a bit more anticipation for the Amazon series than after watching the trailer. Amazon's mega-project "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" will be released this late summer on September 02, 2022 exclusively on Prime Video. 

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