The fallen elf and leader of Uruks has a new vibe, thanks to a new actor named Sam Hazeldine.

Entertainment Weekly got an exclusive interview with the actor taking over the role of Adar, the main antagonist for the first two seasons of The Rings of Power. Hazeldine comes fresh off the huge success of AppleTV+ show Masters of the Air (he’s in the final three episodes as the leader of the Air Force troupe) and it seems that he’s relished the opportunity to play in the fantasy world of J.R.R Tolkien.

“The hardest thing was I had to go straight into speaking Black Speech on day one,” the actor says. “It is hard on your throat, and it is hard to remember because it doesn’t really follow the elvish languages, which have roots in real languages like Welsh and Finnish.” He even had the show’s Tolkien lore experts rewrite some of his lines from English into Black Speech, in order to give Adar the proper gravitas.

EW, quoting Sam Hazeldine for S2

Staffer Demosthenes here. Just quickly, there’s another quote from Hazledine that is ridiculously thought-provoking.

Viewers will also see how previous confrontations between Adar and Sauron unfolded.

“There was an offer for power and for something else, which you’ll find out later on in the show, and Adar willingly took the deal,” Hazeldine says of Adar’s origin. “It’s kind of like he took a red pill and was duped. He was horrifically tortured and maimed.”

EW, quoting Sam Hazeldine for S2

What is that “something else”? Is it the chance to redeem all orcs? Would that be enough to convince Adar to follow Sauron? Is Adar one of those mentioned in The Rings of Power and the Third Age who believed Sauron had “abjured his evil deeds”? What sort of power would be a lure for Adar anyway?

We’re hoping to explore these questions and provide some grounded speculation over coming weeks. Anyway, back to Justin!

We previously shared a Tolkien scholar’s opinion on the invented character Adar with this post after Season 1. Overwhelmingly, fans embraced the character and this new interview has generated a ton of hype going into Season 2, and even Adar fan cams!

Watch TORN Tuesday explain the Adar news (from 1:18:30 on) then join thousands of fans who talk Tolkien daily in our Discord!

A spy report sent in by a fan confirms, for the first time, that Tolkien’s great antagonist of the Second Age will have the name that fans have been hoping and waiting hear — Annatar.

Annatar arrives for his adaptation debut

The July 2024 issue of EMPIRE Magazine hits newsstands this week featuring an exclusive new interview with Lindsey Weber, Executive Producer of The Rings of Power on Prime Video. Grab a copy (or two!) if you can find one (Ed: you can subscribe online and Mac junkies can also apparently get the article via Apple News.). But let’s not bury the lede: for the first time in official marketing or messaging, Prime Video has let loose the heralded name of Sauron’s alter-ego that has fans on edge of their seats:

Meanwhile, Sauron still has (counts fingers, runs out) 16 more rings to usher into being, not including the One that will in the darkness bind them. It’s taken him eight episodes just to get to three. He needs to get cracking. And that’s certainly what he does in Season 2, adopting a new identity as blond-locked elf Annatar and becoming besties with the worryingly pliant Celebrimbor. (emphasis mine)

Empire Magazine, July 2024

There are a lot of juicy tidbits from Lindsey Weber in this piece so let’s highlight one of the most important storylines for Season 2:

“The relationship between those two characters — and those two actors Charlie Vickers and Charles Edwards — is something we’re so proud of. It is a spectacular performance from both of them and a really compelling story that’s very much at the heart of what we’re doing this season. Sauron wants to control all of Middle-earth, and he knows he needs rings to do it. And he needs the greatest of elven smiths to make those rings.”

Lindsey Weber, EP of TROP

Fans immediately took to twitter after seeing the exclusive reveal during TORN Tuesday this week.

and finally…

Watch the reveal happen at 1:38:30 in the middle of the show, or watch the whole episode which has so much MORE news about The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and other adaptations.

Join the most active LOTR and ROP daily discussion on our Discord at https://discord.gg/theonering

On May 14 we got a (long-anticipated) first-look at Season 2 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power from Amazon Prime Video. TORn has already posted a staff trailer reaction and some from-the-hip analysis. There’s still much to dissect from both teaser trailer and the accompanying behind-the-scenes video.

Today, however, TORn Discord regular Webcrawler is eager to analyse some scenes from the teaser trailer that hint at the S2 plot of Númenor, starting with one question…

***************

Why is Pharazôn standing in front of an Eagle with a drawn sword?

by TORn Discord Regular Webcrawler

Some here at TORn have speculated this doesn’t bode well for the eagle, nor for Númenor. After all, Pharazôn isn’t one of the Faithful, and wouldn’t hold them in the same sort of respect. But connecting some dots through other scenes and the lore may provide a clue about what’s truly occuring.

Pharazôn draws his sword in front of an Eagle of Manwë.

The Eagles lived in the northern regions of Númenor, in the northern cape of Forostar. Up until the time of Tar-Ancalimon, there was also a nest of golden eagles at the summit of the tower in the King’s Palace. This would be the same tower where Tar-Palantir was held in The Rings of Power Season 1. Plus, there were three Eagles, known as the Witnesses of Manwë, that lived near the peak of the Meneltarma.

“The Forostar was the least fertile part; stony, with few trees, save that on the westward slopes of the high heather-covered moors there were woods of fir and larch. Towards the North Cape the land rose to rocky heights, and there great Sorontil rose sheer from the sea in tremendous cliffs. Here was the abode of many eagles.”

The Fall of Númenor

We have seen the King’s Tower in Season 1 of The Rings of Power, and there was no indication that any eagles currently nested atop the tower. This is because in Season 1 the Númenoreans no longer hold faith in the Valar and had let go of the old ways. So this could mean the Eagle comes from either the far north, or from the summit of Meneltarma.

“To the great eagles that were held sacred to Manwë, and never afflicted, until the days of evil and the hatred of the Valar began. For two thousand years, from the days of Elros Tar-Minyatur until the time of Tar-Ancalimon son of Tar-Atanamir, there was an eyrie in the summit of the tower of the King’s palace in Armenelos; and there one pair ever dwelt and lived on the bounty of the King.”

The Fall of Númenor
The King’s Tower in S1E8 with no sign of an Eagle’s nest to be seen.

In S1E3, “Adar”, Miriel makes a passing reference to the ban of elves by Tar-Atanamir. This would have marked the beginning of Númenor’s rejection of the Valar. The text above indicates that starting from the time of the reign of Tar-Atanamir’s son, there would no longer be an Eagle’s nest in the King’s Tower as well as a ban on the elves.

So, does this mean that Pharazôn means to take it one step further, and kill an eagle? To answer that we need to examine another moment revealed in the behind-the-scenes video.

Miriel, dressed in a white gown, and with either a circlet or a crown on her head, descending down the stairs in the palace court in Armenelos.

Upon closer inspection of the picture, it seems like Miriel is wearing the same circlet she wore in Season 1. Clearly, upon returning to Númenor from the expedition, she hasn’t lost her status as Queen Regent, nor as possibly the future Queen. The white outfit however is new, and looks quite ceremonial. A brief description in The Fall of Númenor explains that the King would wear a white ceremonial outfit when it came to offering prayers at the Meneltarma.

“Thrice only in each year the King spoke, offering prayer for the coming year at the Erukyermë in the first days of spring, praise of Eru Ilúvatar at the Erulaitalë in midsummer, and thanksgiving to him at the Eruhantalë at the end of autumn. At these times the King ascended the mountain on foot followed by a great concourse of the people, clad in white and garlanded, but silent.” [Ed.: emphasis added]

The Fall of Númenor

This is the same royal court we see in Season 1, and we have another picture of Pharazôn in this location wearing his new red outfit. All these images are from the same single scene. Clearly, these seems to be a ceremonial event taking place; instead of at the Meneltarma, the show has decided to do it in Armenelos. The text also tells us that three eagles circle the Meneltarma during the prayer offerings, and this is seen as a sign of a blessing from the Valar.

“If anyone approached the summit, at once three eagles would appear and alight upon three rocks near to the western edge; but at the times of the Three Prayers they did not descend, remaining in the sky and hovering above the people They were called the Witnesses of Manwë, and they were believed to be sent by him from Aman to keep watch upon the Holy Mountain and upon all the land.” [Ed.: emphasis added]

The Fall of Númenor

However, the text also says the eagles do not descend during the prayers, so why does it do so here? We know from the lore that Tolkien’s eagles are wise, and are messengers of Manwë. So is it possible it’s come down to give the Númenoreans a message?

One major plot point that could be covered in Season 2 of The Rings of Power is the Battle of Gwathló, or the arrival of the Númenoreans in Middle-earth to aid and defend Lindon after the Siege of Eriador. We’ve mentioned previously that set leaks have shown the Siege of Eregion is happening in Season 2. We see images of the siege of Eregion in the teaser trailer. In the text the siege and further attack on Eriador by Sauron’s forces takes place long before Elendil’s time, but obviously for the show the timeline has been rearranged and condensed.

1697 Eregion laid waste. Death of Celebrimbor. The gates of Moria are shut. Elrond retreats with remnant of the Noldor and founds the refuge of Imladris.
1699 Sauron overruns Eriador.
1700 Tar-Minastir sends a great navy from Númenor to Lindon. Sauron is defeated.
1701 Sauron is driven out of Eriador. The Westlands have peace for a long while.

The Lord of the Rings. Appendix B. The Tale of Years.

So it’s quite possible, given that the elves of Middle-earth and Lindon have no communication with one another, that the eagle of Manwë is used as a messenger to call Númenor to arms once again. There is another leak by Fellowship of Fans that mentions a “Telperiën Bay” as a location.

Fellowship of Fans “Telperien Bay” rumour.

There is no Telperiën Bay in the Legendarium, but there is a Tar-Telperiën, the tenth ruler of Númenor and the second ruling Queen. Here is what it says about here rule in the Unfinished Tales:

X Tar-Telperien
She was the second Ruling Queen of Númenor. She was long-lived (for the women of the Númenóreans had the longer life, or laid down their lives less easily), and she would wed with no man. Therefore after her day the sceptre passed to Minastir; he was the son of Isilmo, the second child of Tar-Súrion. 8 Tar-Telperien was born in the year 1320; she ruled for 175 years, until 1731, and died in that same year.

Unfinished Tales: The Line of Elros: The Kings of Númenor

It was during her rule that Tar-Minastir sent the Númenorean forces in 1700 to help Lindon against Sauron’s forces. So it is quite possible this “bay” is a sly hint to Tar-Telperiën’s actions in lore. Thus we could infer the formation of a Númenorean naval force to come to the aid of Lindon.

And who could lead this force? Well, maybe, the person drawing the sword.

We know that eventually Pharazôn arrives with an army at Umbar to assail Sauron. At this point, Sauron surrenders himself. But that happens long after Tar-Minastir’s time. And so, having condensed the timeline of the show, what seems most likely is that the show is moving Pharazon’s fleet arriving in Middle-earth to right after the Siege of Eregion, during the War of the Elves and Sauron just as Sauron’s forces assail Lindon.

So why does Pharazôn draw his sword? If he meant to attack the Eagle, he would draw it towards the eagle; but he draws it while facing his fellow Númenoreans with the Eagle behind him. Lindon calls for aid. And well…

About the author: Webcrawler is a full-time data analyst and a part-time Tolkien aficionado who frequents the TheOneRing.net Discord Server. When he’s not working or in the discord, Webcrawler is horsing around on Twitter.

Hey Dol! Merry Dol! Bombadil is Coming!

Vanity Fair have today revealed that one of Tolkien’s most beloved characters to ever hit the cutting room floor will finally make his on-screen debut, courtesy of Prime Video’s second season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

The Age of Iarwain Ben-Adar, Oraid, and Forn is finally upon us!

Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow! Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow! Now let his song begin! But what is he after? Fighting off some barrow-wights? Or a masked ring crafter?

To this point, Jolly Tom’s fandom footprints have been largely limited to readers’ imaginations, audio book embellishments, an iconic Hildebrandt Brothers 1976 calendar (seen below), and an occasional illustration on collectible card games. He’s even made a Weta-crafted live action appearance that only made it as far as a long out-of-print Decipher CCG card.

All of that is about to change as Rory Kinnear steps into the role of Middle-earth’s Eldest and Master. An Olivier Award-winning English actor and playwright, Kinnear is perhaps best known for his roles in the Imitation Game, Penny Dreadful, the Daniel Craig era of James Bond movies, and most recently as Churchill in the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. Vanity Fair’s article also includes an interview with the man about to fill these large yellow boots.

Continue reading “Tom Bombadil is Coming to Amazon’s Rings of Power Season 2 – Vanity Fair Exclusive”

It’s Friday 17 May 2024 – and a seismic shift in The Lord of the Rings adaptations has been felt around the world. Here’s all the news you may have missed:

Rings of Power S2 gets a trailer, a date, and a BTS video

Prime Video unveiled season 2 of The Rings of Power at their UPFRONTS, an advertising industry event designed to lure more advertisers to buying commercials during shows. Prime also updated the show’s social media handles from LOTRonPrime to @TheRingsOfPower and released a 3 minute Behind-the-scenes look at S2.

Season 2 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power debuts Thursday August 29, 2024 with a 3-episode premiere, then settles into weekly episodes for the remaining 5 weeks.

LEGO Barad-Dur tower date and price

The 5,471 piece set is available June 1 for $459.99.

Andy Serkis to direct The Hunt for Gollum movie

The first movie in the new WB LOTR license is The Hunt for Gollum, directed by Andy Serkis, who also will play the character again. Produced by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, with a screenplay by The War of the Rohirrim writers Phoebe Gittins and Arty Papageorgiou. Read more about how they landed on this particular story in the Legendarium.

In a technical slip up, the automated YouTube and WB copyright system temporarily took down the 15-year-old fan film The Hunt for Gollum, which was back up within hours and is still free to watch.

Rohirrim preview in June while scoring continues remotely

Exec Producer Jason Demarco announced a “big chunk of the film” will be screened at Annecy animation festival in June, and shared a new logo for the movie.

Composer Stephen Gallagher continues to post updates on the scoring of the new Anime LOTR movie coming this December.

Other LOTR news

Middle-earth Enterprises owner Embracer Freemode shared an in-depth interview with CEO Lee Guinchard, where he lays out the strategy going forward to build The Lord of the Rings into a premium, high quality brand that is collaborative and fan-first.

LOTR Executive Producer Mark Ordesky has teamed up with the Blair Witch creators to launch a new fantasy project: an omni-channel disc-world universe with a dice game on Kickstarter.

Black Milk Clothing has finally restocked its official LOTR apparel, including this Arwen dress.

Christopher Lee feature-length documentary, featuring a brand new interview with Peter Jackson, enters its final Blu-ray pre-order days with a Dracula inspired premium box set.

Prime Video released the first trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power second season. And TORn staff have thoughts! Take a look at the trailer, and read our reactions below…

greendragon says:

0.08 – is Durin talking about Sauron, or could he be referencing the Balrog?

0.11 and 0.26 – seems Sauron can take on all kinds of forms; worms, butterflies, even a very pretty Elf…

0.20 – do Elves ever draw a weapon without a flourish?!

0.38 – Celebrimbor and Sauron – the two great forgers of rings, going toe to toe?

0.46 – cool to see Sauron in his Annatar form

0.54 – is this the sea monster we encountered in S1? Who is in the water?

0.58 – what is causing destruction in Khazad-dum? Surely it’s not the Balrog already?

0.59 – Yay Elendil! One of my favourite characters from S1. Lloyd Owen does a fantastic job.

1.07 – dwarven rings! So are these the rings we will see forged in S2, having seen the Elven rings in S1?

1.12 – the eagles are coming! Also, Trystan Gravelle (Pharazon) is SO good.

1.16 – pretty good job for Adar continuity, given that it’s no longer Joseph Mawle in the role, but is now Sam Hazeldine. And what is he flanked by here? The creature on his right looks very skeletal; a Barrow-wight, perchance…?

Overall – lots to think about, and it’s pretty compelling. I’m excited for August 29th!!

Look closely, there are Numenoreans halfway down that cliff

Garfeimao says: 

The final scene from Season 1 of Sauron arriving in Mordor opens the trailer, showing that not a moment has passed between the two seasons. 

Durn IV is first narrator, speaking of the return of an Ancient Evil

The Black Mass that is moving on the ground looks like a pile of deadly worms or vipers and emanates evil

Whose hands have blood on the palms, is this one of the Mystics using blood magic?

Tree roots reaching for someone (Celebrimbor maybe) in the dark before we see a bunch of orcs marching through the woods with torches

A portal opens in Celebrimbor’s chambers, is someone walking through?

Galadriel’s narration says “he’s been among us all along”

Sauron as an Elf in a black-feathered outfit walking calmly as other elves are running

A black-haired woman in the water and a sea monster, could she be a version of Sauron, a human sacrifice, or a nightmare? 

A cataclysm in Khazad-dum with parts of the stone ceiling crashing on one of the bridges in the city. 

Elendil struggles through a mob of people

Gil-Galad, Galadriel and Cirdan

The Three Elven rings on the hands of Gil-Galad, Galadriel and is the third Cirdan? 

Durin III with a Ring (oh crap)

Arondir, doing the awesome Elf acrobats, shows up to help Isildur

A Giant Eagle lands behind Pharazon, who then unsheaths his sword, this doesn’t bode well

Theo is crying, gotta wonder what has happened to make that happen

A cascade of fire bombs heading toward a city (Eregion?)

The Stranger is standing by a well in the middle of the desert and pounds his staff on the ground for power and a windstorm

Someone is holding onto a rope trying not to fly away in strong winds full of dust (are these two scenes connected or just red herring editing?)

A bloodied elf dropping a handful of rings into a fire, is it Celebrimbor injured? Is it a version of Sauron? Is it just a random elf? Are they trying to destroy those rings, or will they land next to the fire and not in the fire? 

WeeTanya says:

My initial reaction:

Thematically, it’s picking up exactly where it left off. Sauron is overlooking his realm. The Harfeet are still a-wandering, the mystical cults from the East are still mystically culting, and a lot of this feels the same. But there’s also a time shift — Durin recognizes that the Balrogs have awakened, and Galadriel and Action Elrond are in a sickly green forest fighting some unseen foe, Numenor seems to be on the way to falling, and the rings are very definitely being forged. I wonder if this backtracks a bit into season 1 to pick up some of Celebrimbor’s story with Halbarad — we hear Celebrimbor saying, “He worms his way inside your mind, and the rest of him slithers in.” 


But then there’s blond, long-haired Sauron who has been “there all along” with…Celebrimbor? Creating the rings? I mean, canonically he does this, and Galadriel is suddenly confused by it — does this mean Sauron has been playing several roles throughout Season 1, but we just never saw him in his fair Elven form? Also, at one point Elf-Sauron flexes his arms and something goes “boom” — does he reveal that he’s been turning Ost-in-Edhil into his own evil fortress all along, or does darkness descend all at once?


I think we see the start of the fall of Moria, which is confusing — shouldn’t this be much later in the 3rd age? Will the dwarves begin to disperse, will we see their exodus? Anyway the dwarven king accepts his dwarven ring. Will TROP go with the thread that this ring poisons the dwarves and makes them blind to the evil in the depths of Moria, and a lot of them stay? I am very curious about this plotline.


Numenor is Numenoring! Why does Ar-Pharazon have a pet eagle? Shouldn’t he want absolutely nothing to do with eagles, as emissaries of the Valar?

Elessar says:

I love that we’re seeing from the jump in this trailer that Sauron’s power is being built in a way that really will emphasize his threat. Hopefully that’s not a trick of the trailer. I also love that we’re going to see Annatar as well and that it’s the same actor from last season. Does Celebrimbor survive season 2? 

I’m also excited to see more of what the some love show to the Númenóreans in this. I cannot wait to see all that goes with these folks. Working towards the formation of Gondor is something I’m very much looking forward to. I’m also excited see more of the Dwarves. Was that the fall of Moria? Am I getting more Balrog? (Please 🙂 )

All in all I’m looking forward to things. 

Kili and Bard say:

My sister was out of town so I filmed a reaction video with my boyfriend Rónán! 

Rings of Power S2 Teaser Trailer Reaction https://youtu.be/lHfH0jNDuAk

Justin says:

Prime Video has released ANOTHER 3 minutes video BTS, which seems equally as thrilling.

The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power – A Look Inside Season 2 | Prime Video

And you can see the full trailer breakdown on TORn Tuesday from last night for more analysis!

Edited to add reaction to the Behind-the-Scenes video

Garfeimao – Season 2 BTS video: 

Morffyd says that Galadriel feels more connected to the peoples of Middle-earth and that it will drive her even more

Gil-Galad looking very somber

Sauron is out in the open, making everything happen

The new Adar is less deathly looking, but then, that might just be the fact it was BTS cameras and not FX treated film showing him. 

Durin IV is adrift, his relationship with his dad is gone and his pride has taken a hit

Ismael says that Arondir has taken a blow to his spirit (there is a funeral pyre, could Bronwyn be dead?) Is that why Theo is crying in the trailer? 

Miriel marches down the stairs in an elaborate gown, has her sight returned, or is she just that good at faking it? 

Emma states that, at least in Numenor, the chess board has been set and the pieces are moving

Ben states that the Gloves have come off in season 2, as far as the Elves are concerned

Gil-Galad orders a watch at every crossing, he must not escape (the search for Sauron is on)

I was wondering who the old, grey-haired elf was, but I can now see the chest armor and it’s Adar, but it looks like this might be a flashback scene because his hair is so different.

The Stranger appears briefly and Markella says it’s great to be back, both continuing their journey

Celebrimbor tells Galadriel that he’s had an unexpected visitor? It appears to be an elf coming through the open portal

Gotta love the comedy duo of Durins III and IV

John Howe is excited by the prospect of new places and territories in Middle-earth to explore

Elendil and other Numenoreans down by the rocky shore, what is everyone looking at? 

Maxim talking about how the set is almost too scary to go into, tunnels filled with spider webs and orcs caught in those webs. Is this Shelob’s Lair? It is one way out of Mordor. . .  

Incredible set design shown, and Bear McCreary talking to the singers about how when they are on this set and in costume, they are going to discover more things to do

And then we see Disa and her trio singing to the stones. 

Robert talks about doing new things that plunge you into the story, as we see him and other Elves in full armor in a battle. 

We see Celebrimbor and Durin IV together in what looks like a part of Khazad-dum (I want Narvi)

Maxim says it’s been a long wait, some bad things have happened and some good things have happened, but we are Back in Middle-earth.