Just a week over the drop of the full length ‘teaser’ trailer from Prime Video, today fans were treated to a FULL trailer (3min long) for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Timed for release in the midst of San Diego Comic-con – and dropping during Prime Video’s Hall H panel – this trailer certainly sweeps away the coy hinting, and gives us a real look at what the story of Rings of Power may be; at least in the first season. But it may also pose more questions than it answers. Take a look:
So what do we see?
As with the last trailer, we begin with Galadriel’s voice over – and this time we see her as well, placing an elven helm on to a HUGE pile of helms. Clearly this is the aftermath of an enormous battle – the ‘war to end all wars’, or so the elves seem to think. (The War of Wrath, the final overthrow of Morgoth?) The background is a wasteland – reminiscent of the trenches from WWI, or of the Dead Marshes. Camera pulls out and we see a wider shot of this aftermath of battle.
VO (Galadriel) ‘We thought the war at last was ended…’
PRIME VIDEO logo (in the shiny, ‘mithril’ look) on black screen
Camera pans over and around Lindon, looking golden and beautiful, as we’ve seen already in previous trailers.
VO (Gil-Galad) ‘Today, our days of peace begin..’
In Lindon – here is Elrond smiling, with another elf standing behind him. He appears to be watching some kind of ceremony; we cut to a shot from his perspective, of Gil-galad surrounded by nine kneeling, armoured and cloaked elves. In the middle, another stands in front of him; cut to another perspective, where we see that this is Galadriel. Gil-galad places a golden coronet of leaves upon her head.
Shot fades to be replaced by an evening scene at Lindon. Elves are seated round what seems to be a celebratory table; and Prince Durin is seated with them, at the head/foot of the table; Elrond is next to him on his left. Durin and Celebrimbor raise glasses to each other. (Gorgeous lanterns hanging over the table – this is very much a scene worthy of the beauty we saw in Peter Jackson’s Lothlorien.)
VO (Galadriel): ‘We thought our joys would be unending…’
Six children dressed in white are running alongside a country river, on a lovely sunny day. They are watching a paper boat sail along the river. These are clearly the ‘days of peace’.
Cut to – men of Numenor unfurling what looks like a sail? On a beach, with more people and boats in the background.
VO (cont): ‘… we thought our light would never dim…’
Cut to – Elves on a ship (this looks like a bigger version of Galadriel’s swan boats). This looks like it is from the same scene as the shot we saw in the last trailer, of Galadriel on a ship, in the same golden light; and again we see the birds flying overhead.
BUT – clearly the peace is not going to last. Cut to – Sadoc Burrows, who tells us, ‘The skies are strange…’ He looks up; cut to a shot of the meteor flying overhead, with (it looks like) Arondir and Bronwyn watching; as the shot fades, she takes his hand.
Cut to exterior – a citadel (in Numenor? The design style is very art nouveau, so reminiscent of the elves; but maybe the men of Numenor based their architecture on Elvish style…). It seems to be some kind of domed building – perhaps a temple – with a tall tower beside it. This does rather look like the round roof tops and tall towers we saw in the city in front of the two trees, which we assume to be Tirion. But IF it is, then the next cut cannot be the interior of this same building; because we’re about to see…
Interior – Galadriel is with Queen Miriel. Miriel pulls off a cloth, to reveal a palantir; she tells Galadriel, ‘It is here, Galadriel; the moment we feared.’
Galadriel places her hand on the palantir. As she does, as if in a vision, we see flashes of much darker times: a raging, fiery battle, then a shot under canvas, with many orcs; another battle shot with an elf screaming in the midst of battle (we’ve seen this shot before); and then – we’re back in the red realm of Galadriel’s vision, which we saw in last week’s trailer. Cut back to Galadriel standing by a body on a bier; close up of Galadriel’s face, with downcast eyes, crying. (The body is that of a short haired elf, with many scars on his arms, and a pommel similar to that of Galadriel’s dagger in his hands. Is this Finrod, from the image with the two trees…?)
Text on screen: ‘Based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien’
We are in Numenor, and here is the white tree. (Presumably this is Nimloth in Armenelos?) In the next scene we see the overhead shot in Numenor, with things falling from the sky (as seen in the previous trailer) – now we realise these are petals falling from the white tree. But not in a good way; it seems the petals/leaves falling from the tree is a bad sign…
VO (Galadriel) ‘Evil does not sleep…..’
Three figures looking down from a precipice. They are robed, priest-like – one holds a strange round object like a shield. (The two behind might be female?) The one in front is hooded and seems to have short hair. He holds a staff – with an image which resembles the Eye of Sauron at the top of Barad-dur… Cut to a fellow with very short white hair – this seems to be the same character we just saw up above. He looks round at the camera. He is very striking (but in a creepy sort of way). Are we finally getting a glimpse of Annatar?
VO (cont) ‘It waits.’
Cut to doors opening in front of a silhouette in a helm – possibly a dwarf guard? Then we see Elrond arriving in Khazad-dum – including the same shot we have seen before, of him being lead in by two dwarves guards. We then see King Durin, by what looks like some kind of stone altar. Then we see King Durin speaking to Prince Durin; both look sombre.
VO (King Durin) ‘Beyond the darkness, tempting shadow – to bury us all beneath the mountain…’
We are back in Galadriel’s red vision. Close up of an eye, covered in some kind of ash. [This reminds me of Smaug’s eye under his golden treasure in The Hobbit movie…] The eye opens – it is Galadriel. She is in the red horror wasteland. We see what looks like a burning village – looks similar to Tirharad?
VO (Galadriel): ‘He has not one name, but many.’
We see a dark fortress by night, clearly a seat of some evil power. Could this be Thangorodrim? Cut to a dark cave – ice reveals a symbol in stone. It appears to be the three pronged symbol seen on the sword hilt in one of the ‘hands’ posters.
We are in the realms of men; looks like some kind of market place? Presumably Tirharad, in the south. A creepy old man is talking to Bronwyn’s son Theo, clutching his arm; he asks him, ‘Have you ever heard of him, lad? Have you heard of Sauron…?’ Cut to Bronwyn hiding in a cupboard, as something – or someone – climbs out of the floorboards in the room in front of him. This ‘thing’ has long, spiky fingers – almost looking like the black armour and spiked gauntlet we’ve seen in PJ’s films. Could this be Sauron himself…? A vision of him? Or just some particularly gruesome orc creature?
Text on screen: DISCOVER THE LEGEND
Theo is holding the ‘broken heirloom’ we’ve seen before – the sword hilt marked with Black Speech. As he stares at it, the blade begins to reassembled before his eyes – doing the opposite of the Morgul blade which dissolved in Aragorn’s hand in Fellowship of the Ring. I guess now we know for sure, this is an evil sword…
Text on screen: THAT FORGED THE RINGS
We’re back in the ice cave with Galadriel and her scouting party. They find a mark on stone, revealed by ice – it’s that three pronged mark again. (This is clearly the ‘Dark Mark’ of Rings of Power… therefore the mark of Sauron?)
VO (Galadriel): ‘If the evil rising is left unchecked, it will take us all.’
The elves in the ice cave are armed with bows and arrows. A huge ice block comes hurtling towards them, and crashes into their midst.
Cut to a Numenorean boat burning on the water. People on the dock watch, as the boat bursts into flames.
VO (Bronwyn): ‘Find the light, and the shadow will not find you.’
Bronwyn anxiously clasps Theo to her. Cut to a dark, sinister figure entering the space under canvas which we glimpsed earlier. Hooded orcs cower before him.
Cut to Halbrand on steps in Numenor, in front of a great building, with Numenorean guards (complete with sun motif shields) either side of him. This appears to be the same spot as where we saw Pharazon in last week’s trailer.
VO (Bronwyn): ‘Together…’
Cut to Bronwyn rallying people to fight, on some kind of wooden scaffold. Arondir is with her.
VO (cont): ‘…we can survive this!’
Amongst the crowd (of men?) we see an arm holding a sword aloft. Cut to that shot from last week’s teaser, of elves in armour drawing swords together (in Lindon?). Night sky behind them.
Cut to Galadriel in armour, boarding a ship, where there are Numenorean guards. [This is clearly the coming together of the various races, to fight against the darkness.]
VO (Galadriel): Fight with me. [Very Aragorn-like…]
We see two hands clasping in solidarity – Galadriel, and possibly Elendil.
Arondir leaps down from a high tower [Legolas-style shenanigans…] onto a stone walkway, ready to do battle with orcs. We see an explosion in some night time setting.
Cut to Miriel wearing a sunburst crown, holding something in her arms – a baby? White petals fall around her.
VO (Miriel): ‘Each of us must decide…’
Brief shot of Disa singing, surrounded by dwarves. Cut to Durin holding up a gem – or is it a mithril fragment? [We saw this shot in last week’s trailer.]
VO (cont): ‘…who we shall be.’
Arondir looks tenderly at Bronwyn.
Cut to charging horses – Numenorean troops. We see they are led by Galadriel. Close up on her – she draws her sword. Cut to orcs running through a dark wood.
Cut to Galadriel shipwrecked, swimming away from a massive sea monster.
VO (King Durin): ‘There can be no trust between hammer and rock. Eventually one or the other must surely break.’
[Clearly King Durin is going to be the one who does NOT want to form an alliance with elves and men; in the previous trailer he told us, ‘I am sorry, but their time has come.’]
We see soldiers marching – men or elves? Cut to Prince Durin with dwarven soldiers marching behind him. Cut to brief glimpse of The Stranger in his crater, grasping Nori by the arm; then Arondir chained by the ankle, fighting hooded orcs. Close up of white-hooded orc screaming. Cut to a village burning – Tirharad again?
Cut to close up of Galadriel in armour, sword on her back, ready for battle. Ash swirls around her.
Cut to that pale haired figure (Annatar?) – [looking kind of like the pale Satan in The Passion of the Christ] – wearing his white hood. He blows embers and black ash/swirling powder from his hand.
VO (Annatar?): ‘You have been told many lies of Middle-earth…’
A mallorn leaf drops down onto the rocky ground – and bursts into flames, and is consumed.
Arondir stands against vines (or roots?), knife in hand, breathless and defensive. Long fingered hands reach through the vines and pull him in.
Text on Screen: THE LORD OF THE RINGS THE RINGS OF POWER [as logo]; New series Sept 2
Prime Video logo appears on blue background as music sweeps to a finale – but don’t stop watching…
The blue screen is replaced with black, and out of the darkness emerges – a balrog….! [Wait a minute, this is pretty much EXACTLY PJ’s balrog! Were they able to use this because John Howe designed it and Weta created it, and both worked on Rings of Power? This is the MOST direct lift from PJ’s films we’ve seen thus far – should reassure the fans who wanted to have visual continuity.]
As ever, we’ll bring you discussion and speculation from TORn staff reacting to this trailer, soon. Meanwhile, here is the official press release from Prime Video:
Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Thrills San Diego Comic-Con Audiences With a Massive Hall H Panel, a New Exclusive Trailer, and Many More Exciting Surprise Moments
The Stephen Colbert-moderated panel included 21 members of the ensemble cast, Showrunners J.D. Payne & Patrick McKay, and Executive Producer Lindsey Weber, making it one of the largest single-series panels in SDCC history.
In addition to an exclusive San Diego Comic-Con trailer, sneak peeks of several scenes from the series were revealed, and in a Hall H-first, fans were treated to a live orchestra and choir performance, conducted by legendary Emmy® award-winning composer Bear McCreary
Watch Official San Diego Comic Con Trailer HERE
SAN DIEGO—July 22, 2022—Today, San Diego transformed into Middle-earth, as Prime Video showcased its highly anticipated and epic upcoming series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, for a dazzled Hall H audience at San Diego Comic-Con. The series’ creators and ensemble cast assembled on the prestigious Hall H stage, thrilling 6,500 fans who packed the convention center hall after camping overnight on the streets of San Diego in hopes of witnessing the history-making event. Their efforts to be part of the series’ Comic-Con debut were rewarded with the unveiling of an exclusive trailer, and a sneak peek at several scenes from the series, as well as many other only-in-Hall-H surprises!
- In a surprise and delight moment, The Late Show host—and Tolkien superfan—Stephen Colbert was revealed as the panel’s moderator. He joined series Showrunners J.D. Payne & Patrick McKay, Executive Producer Lindsey Weber, and 21 members of the ensemble cast for a panel that was among the largest for a single-series in San Diego Comic-Con history.
- During the epic 90-minute event, the cast and creators interacted with fans in person for the very first time, discussing their love of J.R.R. Tolkien’s incredible legendarium and the gratifying process of bringing the beloved author’s fabled Second Age to life—from the series’ new and legendary characters, to the incredible realms of Middle-earth, including the island of Númenor, which has never before been seen on screen.
- A plethora of exclusive sneak peeks and surprises were shared with Hall H fans, including the premiere of an all-new San Diego Comic-Con trailer, which was introduced by Showrunners Payne & McKay. The thrilling trailer focuses on the long-feared reemergence of evil in Middle-earth and gives a first look at some of the spine-tingling characters that the series’ heroes will be battling.
- In a special Hall H-first moment, Emmy® award-winning composer Bear McCreary, who created the series’ episodic score, took to the stage with a 25-piece orchestra and 16-person choir to treat the audience to an exclusive live performance of highlights of the never-before-heard series soundtrack.
- Additional highlights from the panel include:
- The exclusive reveal of five scenes from the series.
- Over 22 pieces of special character art, which will also be available HERE
- The participating cast members were: Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Trystan Gravelle, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Lloyd Owen, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, Daniel Weyman, and Sara Zwangobani.
The eagerly awaited The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories around the world in multiple languages on Friday, September 2, with new episodes available weekly.
Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and one of the greatest villains that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared reemergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the farthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.
The series is led by showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne & Patrick McKay. They are joined by executive producers Lindsey Weber, Callum Greene, J.A. Bayona, Belén Atienza, Justin Doble, Jason Cahill, Gennifer Hutchison, Bruce Richmond, and Sharon Tal Yguado, and producers Ron Ames and Christopher Newman. Wayne Che Yip is co-executive producer and directs, along with Bayona and Charlotte Brändström.