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.

Some secrets are better kept quiet (according to that famous Gandalf quote, the one about anticipating a good meal): “Many folk like to know beforehand what is to be set on the table; but those who have laboured to prepare the feast like to keep their secret; for wonder makes the words of praise louder.” That little gem does not apply here, as TheOneRing.net continues its decades-long quest to separate truth from nonsense behind any Tolkien adaptation coming our way.

For you see–a wild bombshell appeared on 4chan on Jan. 15, 2024, claiming knowledge of fully-detailed plot points and episodes that was quickly regurgitated on our Discord server (now deleted). The contents of this post caused shockwaves on our TORn Discord; as it shocked and dismayed me. But also much of its contents have been corroborated fully by someone close to the Producers who shared more information. Better fasten your seatbelts, dear Ringers, it’s gonna be a bumpy night.

[MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD FOR “TROP” SEASON 2 THROUGHOUT, NO HOLDS BARRED, NOTHING WITHHELD, PROCEED WITH CAUTION]

As the Production Calendar continues apace on Season 2 of Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” (rumor has it Season 3’s halfway written!) certain enigmatic details are clearer while other things remain deeply shrouded. It’s like scrying in the Mirror of Galadriel without any guidance.

Nonetheless, it is now being discussed openly that Amazon secretly acquired the rights to “The Silmarillion” for use in this 2nd Season! This is seismic news! It is even more insane to think something so significant has happened and the Studio has said nothing about it at the time of this article’s publication.

Let’s start with the Big Bad Wolf-Maia himself, the “Halbrand of your dreams” (ooof), that guy who would deign to be THE Lord of the Rings:

SAURON / HALBRAND

TROP Director Charlotte Brändström has said in interviews that the 1st Ep. of the new Season will be a “Standalone episode.” We have been reporting for 15 months on our TORn Tuesday Livestream show that this “Season Opener” will dedicate itself entirely to Sauron, his backstory, and his misadventures prior to what we saw mystery-boxed as the Halbrand storyline of Season 1. We may ultimately find out how and why Sauron took the form of that particular human and how he managed to be in the middle of the ocean at exactly the right time to start his lengthy charade with Galadriel. It goes without saying that Season 1 would have been dramatically different if the Showrunners had used the literary device of Dramatic Irony instead of employing this lamentable mystery-boxing approach.

Why was there such trenchant animosity between Adar and Sauron? Newly leaked info says the conflict between them is fueled by a tragic death: Sauron evidently had a SON — and Adar evidently killed him in cold blood prior to the events of Season 1. Nothing close to this appears in Tolkien’s stories.

Further spoilers: in Season 2 Adar (well-played by actor Joseph Mawle, now replaced by Sam Hazeldine) will surrender to Sauron and become one of his generals, only to betray him again later on. Also, at some point Sauron presents himself to the Dwarves and straight up tells them he “apprenticed under Aulë,” at which point he is immediately accepted in their midst.

Season 2 will conclude with this final shot: the forging of the One Ring by Sauron’s hand, leading one to necessarily assume the other Seven and the Nine will be forged at some point by this Season’s end (unless the Showrunners deem it necessary to keep changing the historical order of things).

RIGHTS TO “THE SILMARILLION” ACQUIRED?!

Most significantly, according to verifiable spy reports Prime Video has secretly acquired the rights to “The Silmarillion” — unbeknownst to us. We are hearing that Season 2 opens with a genesis story more fitting the Ainulindalë! After many years of speculation and hundreds of hours of discussion about this very thing, it comes as a deep shock to me (as a Tolkien fan and generally speaking as an observer of Popular Culture) that the Tolkien Estate has, at long last, allowed the gates to finally be opened and nobody has said a word about it! Ladies and gentlemen, could it be true that “The Silmarillion” has now become an officially licensed property for adaptation?! If so, the hugest of caveats must be stated: this is a singular case for now. Perhaps unique.

THE MUSIC OF THE AINUR (quoting from the original post): “The opening scene of Ep. 1 is Eru [Ilúvatar] using the Secret Flame to create Melkor, and Melkor watching as Eru creates all the Valar and the Maiar. Eru is a disembodied voice vaguely human shaped but no characteristics can be made out. The Secret Flame is golden, as are all the Valar and the Maiar. The Valar are larger than the Maiar, but they are bathed in a golden light and completely naked. The actor playing Mairon in this realm is NOT Charlie Vickers or Gavi Singh Chera–it is a third actor. Gave Singh Chera will play Sauron in his battle form and his Annatar form.” We can now fully confirm that a grand total of three actors shall play Sauron in different forms. Additionally, the two actors playing Melkor and Ungoliant in the Ainulindalë shall appear LATER in Season 2 as different incarnations.

I mean — just wow!

Further details are exposed: “A whole episode is dedicated to Sauron’s backstory leading up to the breaking of the First Silence. After the Fourth interruption of the song [Theme], several Maiar meet and discuss Melkor’s discord. Mairon/Sauron alone speaks: ‘The One has blessed me more so than all of you to see the potential of His creations, and what better way to forge their mettle than by allowing them to face Melkor’s discord and grow beyond what they think capable!’ You will see Mithrandir [Olórin] in this scene. Mairon almost converts him. Almost.”

Four Themes? There were only Three, as we all know, so perhaps this is a typo. Or perhaps the most obvious thing that would happen to “The Silmarillion” being adapted is that it would be unnecessarily changed.

Artist credit: Alystraea [annamare.deviantart.com]

Seasoned readers of Tolkien will probably be agape at this ambitious retelling of “The Music of the Ainur” but newcomers who have never read a speck of the original book may be mystified. It seems clear now that the intention of this show is to explore the earliest mythological roots of these immortal characters: a narrative consideration never previously afforded to any Valar / Maiar characters.

This still doesn’t explain the “meteor man” thingy that suddenly brought Gandalf / Olórin / The Stranger into the Second Age, but why quibble?

The further impact of this reality should be weighed carefully, for it represents a point of no return with those tales. The Quenta Silmarillion, the tragedy of Beren and Luthien, the Fall of Gondolin: all of which may now be adapted for T.V. or Film or other media if the Estate allows and arrangements are made. What a tremendous thing. It opens up a whole new era of possibilities.

GALADRIEL & CELEBORN

The fact that Celeborn has been kept offstage in Season 1 as a red herring (you know, that bit about him being supposedly dead yet Galadriel doesn’t know a thing about it) simply does not ring true to Tolkien’s original works. The Professor re-wrote and revised the story of G&C many times, but never do we see a hint leaning towards this in the Appendices, nor in “Unfinished Tales.” Beyond this fumble in the narrative of Season 1, we have now confirmed that our “dearly departed” Celeborn IS INDEED NOT DEAD (as readers of Tolkien already knew) but will show up in Season 2 being impersonated by Sauron.

Indeed, one of Sauron’s disguises to return to Eregion (how many can there be, beyond Annatar?) is the form of Celeborn. We assume this plan is to dupe Elrond, Celebrimbor, and Galadriel at the same time.

More subterfuge! The chicanery at Galadriel’s expense continues apace. This portrayal of the Lady of Light as one who keeps getting duped over and over by Sauron–when Tolkien never once allowed that to happen in his accounts– is certainly a choice, and one that has drawn much criticism. Personally it is one of the first things that comes up in friendly conversation about TROP: I am forced to explain that Galadriel was never fooled like that!

I wonder where they will go with that, ultimately. How long will Galadriel continue to withhold the truth of her Season 1 relationship with Halbrand, and why did the Writers put her in such an untenable position with the other Elves? One assumes it is a ploy wherein Sauron might return and blackmail her if she has not been forthcoming about it. Remember that look Elrond gave her after he saw the parchment of Southland genealogy? “There’s no basement in the Alamo!” And there’s no Halbrand! Some ugly business lies ahead with Celeborn being impersonated by Sauron.

Spy reports indicate the REAL Celeborn will appear in the Season 2 Finale and be reunited with Galadriel. He shall be played by Calam Lynch, as reported by Fellowship of Fans and corroborated by others. Thank God for simple truths–because the lad is a dead ringer for a younger Marton Czokas.

THE FATE OF CELEBRIMBOR

Poor Brimby. Everyone loves Brimby. He’s the avuncular surprise (certainly as portrayed by Charlie Edwards) in Fëanor’s genealogical line of stupendously serious Elves. As fond as we may be of his green-robed gentle nature, we confirm now that in Season 2 Celebrimbor’s head gets lopped off and stuck up on a pike. Womp womp! We are getting closer to what Tolkien wrote here, as this is Brimby’s closest proximity to being the Ned Stark of Middle-earth.

I don’t quite get this episode structure–but it seems the final two episodes of TROP Season 2 will be centered on The War of the Elves and Sauron, wherein Eregion is sacked.

TOM BOMBADIL & GOLDBERRY

This is where stuff gets potentially ugly. I don’t like using such words. As previously mentioned, there will be separate standalone episodes presented throughout Season 2; including Sauron’s backstory uniquely told from his first-person point-of-view. All of this is likely to change before the final edit is broadcast. But if this holds true, Tom Bombadil and his love affair with the River-Daughter will be front-and-center in their own episode (there’s even an episode on Felaróf and the origin of Shadowfax)!

Ringers have often opined that bringing Tom Bombadil into TROP would be super cool — and I have personally championed the notion. But at the heart of this matter is how Tolkien utilized the character in “The Fellowship of the Ring,” an approach for others to heed carefully. Tom should have a cameo or a brief encounter with some of our traveling heroes. Admittedly Tom’s presence is superfluous to the real story of the Great Rings of Power. Now imagine this character’s narrative purpose going a big step further and just wildly breaking from the Lore. In the words of our Spy Report:

Artist Credit: [Alexandria Neonakis]

“Tom Bombadil and Goldberry are in an episode. They are played by the same actor and actress as Melkor/Morgoth and Ungoliant. The show will confirm the long-held fan theory that Tom and Goldberry are Melkor and Ungoliant serving out their punishment bestowed on them by Mandos.

Excuse me? There has never been such a “Fan Theory,” not one that I have seen–and if I had heard of this cockamamie idea I would have laughed at the absurdity. To quote the pique and anger of a well-known Tolkien historian who heard this: “This is not a fan theory, this is just Fan Fiction; and it’s really GARBAGE Fan Fiction at that!”

Personally, I would love to see Tom Bombadil show up — if only in the blink of an eye he would be on his merry way. I mean, come on, there is no need to ignore The Professor’s explanation in his “Letters” about Bombadil’s context in his Legendarium. No need to make up stuff about Morgoth and Ungoliant seeking atonement within the Circles of the World.

Pragmatically speaking, adaptations can and will change things from the Lore. This is mostly fine, and expected, within reason. It becomes unreasonable when you play that fast and loose with Tolkien’s original concerns regarding raw story elements. This kind of stuff will, predictably, divide the Fan audience.

… FELARÓF & SHADOWFAX?!

If you were not mystified yet by some of these storytelling choices, TROP Season 2 will have a full episode about the great line of Horses, the Mearas, and how Gandalf “The Stranger” met Shadowfax! Although these characters/animals did not exist in the Second Age, evidently we are getting the story of Felaróf the “Very Valiant,” if not also the story of the father of Eorl, a Man by the name of Léod.

Artist Credit: [Catherine Chmiel]

WHERE IS THE MARKETING?

Here we have a wide range of secrets exposed and an earth-shaking reveal about the licensing of “The Silmarillion.”

Strangely, the Studio behind this billion-dollar T.V. show remains stoic and silent; their social accounts barren since last July, not a single bit of marketing nor a press release has been forthcoming. Tellingly, a huge Amazon Prime commercial aired in the U.S. during the Prime Time Emmy Awards broadcast, without any mention of TROP. Not. A. Single. Word. TROP has also been removed from Prime Video’s FYC awards website.

Make of that what you will.

IN CONCLUSION — TOLKIEN BOOKS VS. ADAPTATIONS

As is the reality with a huge T.V. production, there are further moves to be made, pickups to shoot, tons of post production and editing yet to complete. However, these Spy Reports may or MAY NOT be reliable but we have already known (through our own secret channels) about 40% of this stuff before the big leak on January 15, 2024. With enough of this verified we are at least eager to throw the doors wide open and have some robust discussion. Time for Ringer fans everywhere to discuss, make hay, extrapolate, and poke with a stick.

Do you like what you are hearing? Are you excited or dismayed? Are you wondering as I am why there is stone-cold silence from the Studio after such wildly big moves behind closed doors? What will future horizons look like with “The Silmarillion” now that THAT huge epic is on the table? Or is it just some odd bits of “The Silmarillion” they can use here and there? Time will tell.

This series was always gonna be a mixed bag of familiar lore and newly minted ideas, methinks. TROP ostensibly benefits from being a somewhat separate (albeit huge) piece of Second Age story from the books’ Appendices that can be centered around particular characters and events. There is ample room to breathe within the narrative of the Appendices and yet it is wholly unnecessary to wildly diverge from the source material. What J.R.R. Tolkien intended and what the current Tolkien Estate (headed by Simon Tolkien) has allowed for this streaming program is, shall we say, quite divergent from one another.

It is for Ringers, with their undying love for the original books, to decide if Prime Video executed this effort reasonably and within the spirit of Tolkien’s original. It is also apparent they had a 36% completion rate on Season 1. Speaking for myself, the series started off just fine. I quite enjoyed the atmosphere, production design, a thrilling cast of talented actors, and especially the gargantuan score by Bear McCreary. Lots of stuff to admire there. Indeed there are those who will argue for either side, but in this writer’s opinion, these Spy Reports (combined with further research and reveals from inside the Production) betray significant departures from the Lore of Tolkien’s Legendarium and put the show at risk to be rejected rather than embraced by that less-forgiving portion of our fandom.

Much too hasty,
Clifford Broadway “Quickbeam”

*EDITOR’S NOTE: Clifford Broadway is one of the earliest writers/contributors to TheOneRing.net from the beginning, authoring material in our “Green Books” academic section and also for numerous publications including DeviantArt and Famous Monsters of Filmland. He co-wrote and produced the award-winning feature documentary “Ringers: Lord of the Fans.”

If you have a Tolkien/Middle-earth inspired poem you’d like to share, then send it to poetry@theonering.net. One poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. TheOneRing.net is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.

I feel it in the earth… I smell it in the air… It’s almost time for Middle-earth March Madness 2023!

But what will the theme be this year? Who (or what) will be the 64 competitors who enter the fray, each hoping to win YOUR vote and become the Champion for 2023?

All will be revealed next week. Meanwhile you can take a look at last year’s ‘Battle of the Ages’ here. Get ready to play along; it’s the deep breath before the plunge…

It’s almost time – time for 64 contenders to start out on an epic quest, to discover who (or what) will be the Champion of Middle-earth March Madness 2022!

We’ll be revealing the theme of this year’s contest next week, on TORn Tuesday (March 15th). As last year, we’ll also have a ‘Wild Card’ round, where you can vote between two entries which narrowly missed the cut for the original brackets, and decide which entry the chosen one will replace. Round One of the contest will then begin on March 22nd; and the final round will end on April 4th, in line with the ‘real’ March Madness.

All will become clear next week. Meanwhile you can take a look at last year’s ‘Battle of the Best Dressed in Middle-earth’, here. Get ready to play along; it’s the deep breath before the plunge…

What do we hope for, from tonight’s Teaser Trailer?

Middle-earth and Numenor

Trailers do the heavy lifting in helping get butts in seats in theaters or on the couch watching your big-screen television. A good trailer will indicate what the story is, introduce the main players and toss in some action or comedic dialogue, all depending on the genre. Movie trailers and television trailers are very different simply because a film has one big story arc, while a television show will have many, and the idea is usually to tease your first episode or two and maybe some vague hints for later episodes. 

So, what do we all want to see from this trailer running during the Super Bowl today, early in the 3rd quarter? Well, the main consensus is MORE, of everything. More characters than those already introduced in photos, more costumes, more weapons, but especially, more Kingdoms. 

Below are the wish lists from a few of our staff members, starting with this writer’s own list.

Garfeimao’s comments:

1. I want to see Arondir, the Silvan Elf, being more Elf-like and to see if he’s mostly alone or part of a community of Elves in the forest. And I especially want to see if that chest plate with the face and leaves is actually made of wood or something else. 

Silvan Elf Arondir

2. Dwarves, give us miners, builders, fighters. I just want to see something that indicates the scope of their realm and culture. 

3. Why is Galadriel adrift at sea, was she on a ship that sank, or do we start with her in Numenor at the time it of its sinking, and then everything else is a flashback? 

4. More Lindon please, and more of the Elves there.

5. How do the Two Trees factor into anything? Will there be any action there, or is it just a short flashback of sorts? 

Our first glimpse of The Rings of Power, but not in the 2nd Age

Elessar’s comments:

I just want to see things in motion. This will help let us know if what we saw in the photos (quality of things) translates when it moves. 

Seeing folks talk and interact will help let us know if they can carry the weight of things or if they just look good in photos. 

These things will be important to me as I’ve already folded my cards on one of my big must haves for this show.

I’m going to classify these next two as “the Season/Series aspirations we hope that the Teaser Trailer will hint at”.

Madeye Gamgee’s comments: 

Recognizing that this is a “teaser” trailer, and that I’ll likely be left wanting a LOT more under any circumstance, my main interests fall under two main headings. It will be great for the teaser to:

  1. Dispel concerns. My summarizing “angst” may be hard to pin down, but I’d express it as “Tolkien faithfulness.” I’m not looking for elusive adherence to “canon” (there’s precious little, given the paucity of real substantive narrative to draw from — all we’ve really got are timelines and very limited narrative sketches versus the fully developed narratives of The Hobbit and LotR). I also fully appreciate that the visual medium is vastly different from the written form, and must have adaptive room to breathe, both visually and in its development of plot. Dwarves that must be presented with memorable and distinctive personalities and appearances (versus merely polychromatic capes) is an illustration. Visual forms inflexibly enslaved to written source material more often than not simply results in bad storytelling  (see the early Potter movies, for example). So what does faithfulness to Tolkien mean? Respect for characters. Resistance toward commercial tropes that became so evident with studio intervention in The Hobbit (like love triangles). No violence and sexuality that is gratuitous. Not failing to integrate the themes that Tolkien really cared about: fellowship, hope, faithfulness, unity and resilience in the face of evil, transcendent sacrificial love, characters infused with honor and history and realism in their struggles. I could go on. I want to see this teaser trailer and, just like when we saw Gandalf riding up to Bag End in Fellowship, feel deeply that, “yes, they’re getting Tolkien right” versus merely, “ok, they’re playing in Tolkien’s sandbox.”

Durin IV

2. Create a hunger to see and hear more. Of course I’ve got lots of specific things I’d like to know about. What’s the target time span within the 2nd age? What’s getting compressed as far as the timeline? Will we see Sauron, and in what guises? Who are the recipients of the rings, and how do those rings affect them? Will we see the some specific characters that we don’t yet know about, like Elros, Erendis, Aldarion, Celeborn, Anárion, etc.?  More generally, who will be the protagonists and antagonists? What’s the overarching story arc and how will it be handled (particularly since it’s not likely to be the Quest architecture as with LotR and The Hobbit)? How deftly will new characters be woven in with established, iconic ones? Will we see “payoff” moments this season, like the forging and distribution of the rings, or Elros and the Númenóreans arriving on Elenna-nórë/Andor, or Galadriel and Celeborn planting Mallorn trees in Lórien, or the discovery of mithril and rumblings of the Balrog in Moria, etc., etc.? As a Tolkienite, will these stories both draw from those elements that we know, and build these worlds and characters in ways that we care about (including with screenwriting language worthy of Tolkien, as we almost always received with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens)? Or will the writers be more interested in advancing their own independent narratives, divested from the deep history that Tolkien left us? I’m fine with new stories. But just as we see with Tolkien in LotR, I am eager to see and experience these ancient echos of Middle-earth even in the newest of narratives. Like Tolkien’s extension of the “Man in the Moon” song at Bree, that’s what I long to see and experience: great writing that gives me fresh perspectives and insight and delight in ways that enhance rather than compete, dilute, or distract from Tolkien’s rich world.  

Bronwyn’s Apothecary

Mithril’s comments: 

What do I want to see in the trailer? Everything that Madeye Gamgee said, and….

Númenor and when in the timeline it is. I hope in the series we get to see it both before and after the fall. Could we see Elves from Tol Eressëa? Isildur stealing the fruit from the White Tree, Nimloth. Isildur, Elendil, and Anárion together, having a conversation. The 7 Palantíri working as a system of long-distance communication. Though I doubt we’ll see them in the trailer: Annúminas, the building of Minas Anor and Minas Ithil –I’ve long wanted to see Osgiliath’s Dome of Stars

Gil-galad, the last King of the Ñoldor! Khazad-dûm in its glory when the West-gate is open and Hollin is flourishing with lots of Elves and Dwarves working together. Durin IV and Disa! I’m sure we’ll see Galadriel and Elrond, just curious in what contexts. I want to hear some of the political intrigue Elrond is crafting. And speaking of crafting, Celebrimbor! The greatest craftsman since Fëanor. I want to see him creating something, even if it’s not one of the rings, and possibly some other of the jewel-smiths, the Gwaith-i-Mírdain. So curious to see the fair form that Annatar takes, though I doubt we will, or if we do, we won’t know it’s him.

The “secretive” Hobbits, what their community looks like, do they live in Hobbit holes? Harad and the Southland. Inside Bronwyn’s apothecary–I always like looking at those types of details, jars and bowls filled with native flowers and herbs, potions. A snippet of conversation between her and Arondir. A closer peek at Halbrand who looks like he could be an ancestor of Faramir. Will we find out what he’s running from and how it ties in with the story?

I also want to see more costumes, sets, weaponry…do we get to see the Númenoreans steel bows? And I’m curious about how the actors will sound–will there be different accents? Dialects? Will there be Elvish/Dwarvish/Adûnaic spoken with subtitles in some places? And I’m more than a bit intrigued to see some of the magic the Vanity Fair article mentions. What form will it take? Who will wield it? Could there be Wizards?! Not a lot to ask….

Join us and a hosts of guests at the #LOTRTrailer Official Watch Party, from 5.15pm PT today, Feb 13th. Share your reactions to the trailer at #LOTRFans. So it begins!

Once upon a time, there were two Happy Hobbits who were watching a trailer. They recorded their reaction; and this is what happened next…

That’s TORn’s own Happy Hobbits, reacting to The Desolation of Smaug trailer – and being watched by three lovely elves.

Now we want to see YOUR reactions, to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power trailer! Tomorrow, Feb 13th, sometime between 5.35 and 5.40pm PT, be ready to watch the first trailer, either during the big game or on Prime Video’s YouTube channel. Record yourself as you watch, and share your reaction videos with us! Tweet them to #LOTRFans – we want to see how the FANS enjoy this first glimpse of a new vision of Tolkien’s world.

Then join us on our YouTube channel and across social media, to chat, analyse and dissect! We’ll be watching for your reaction videos at #LOTRFans, and may share some of them during our live stream. Middle-earth awaits – we’re going (there and) back again! #LOTRTrailer #LOTRFans