In a spy report for the ages, we’re excited to reveal Amazon is already planning an animated spin off from their Rings of Power series.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS (1978)

Anticipating the success of the show, premiering September 2nd on Prime Video, the creative team at Amazon are working on a children’s cartoon series. Here’s what our inside source told us:

The inspiration for the show came from the opening of The Hobbit, when Bilbo first encounters Gandalf. He remarks that the wizard ‘was responsible for so many quiet lads and lasses going off into the Blue for mad adventures. Anything from climbing trees to visiting Elves ­ or sailing in ships, sailing to other shores!’ We thought it would be great to hear the stories of the other Hobbits, who had been on adventures with Gandalf in the past.

With this new series, we’re hoping to make ‘Saturday Morning Cartoons’ exciting, educational and fun again, with wholesome entertainment that is both silly, yet meaningful for the whole family. We’re delighted that Sir Lenny Henry, an actor with a well-known pedigree in comedy and family entertainment, has agreed to voice one of the main characters of the show. With such a distinguished performer already on board, we’re hoping to persuade Sir Ian McKellen to voice Gandalf for us. You really can’t have Gandalf without Sir Ian.

There hasn’t been a final title decision yet. ‘Adventure Hobbits’ was our first thought, but because The Rings of Power is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, we’re featuring Harfoots in that series. So then we wanted to go with ‘Adventure Harfoots’; but of course the Istari didn’t arrive in Middle-earth until early in the Third Age – so can we blur the lines and have Gandalf and Harfoots together? Then of course there is the additional dilemma about whether it should be ‘Adventure Harfoots’ or ‘Adventure Harfeet’… It’s still a work in progress.

Here at TORn we’re speculating that Amazon may also have wanted to create something to go up against Warner Bros.’ animated Middle-earth tale, The War of the Rohirrim, which is slated for release in April 2024. Now Amazon will have their own animated adventure from Arda. There hasn’t been a cartoon Hobbit since the days of the Rankin/Bass movies; we can’t wait to see the first images from this upcoming show.

Bilbo as he appeared in the Rankin/Bass ‘The Hobbit’ animated film (1977)

Staff from TheOneRing.net will be at Wondercon this weekend in Anaheim and this project is one of many we will be discussing in our Middle-earth! Coming to your TV this Fall presentation. Look for us tonight in room North 200A at 4:30 pm, tickets are still available online and at the door. 

It’s here. If you haven’t seen the Rings of Power teaser already, check it out below! It’s shorter than I’d hope, but raises plenty of questions. And it looks pretty excellent!

A glimpse of Númenor from the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Superbowl teaser trailer.

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

EXCLUSIVE: At the beginning of the week, Amazon announced that we will see the first TRAILER for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power TV series tomorrow, Sunday, February 13th – Super Bowl Sunday in the United States. We followed that announcement with the news that TORn is partnering with Prime Video, to host the OFFICIAL Trailer Watch Party live stream.

We are now the first to reveal WHEN you’ll see the Rings of Power trailer.

Prime Video have let us know that it will debut early in the third quarter of the game. That gives us a rough window of time during which it will play. For those of you not watching the Super Bowl, the trailer will be posted on the internet almost immediately as it airs on tv; find it on Prime Video’s youtube channel. Be sure to be watching:

Feb 13th 5.35-5.40pm Los Angeles; 8.35-8.40pm Boston; Feb 14th 1.35-1.40am London; 2.35-2.40pm Wellington

We will go live from 5.15pm PT Sunday 13th; please join us across all social channels, all around the world! We’ll have guests including the Tolkien Professor Corey Olsen; artist Colleen Doran; music expert Doug Adams; and a host of Tolkien influencers and fellow fans! Not to mention TORn staffers who have been around since the First Age…

What must I do?

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel and have notifications turned on! We want to see all your comments, reactions and thoughts when the trailer drops. So grab a pint of miruvor and a plate of spicy balrog wings, and be ready to tune in! #LOTRTrailer

Meanwhile, check out the characters which have been revealed so far, here and here. Which will we see in the trailer? Even the wisest cannot tell…

Partially hidden behind the show title on one of the new Amazon Prime The Lord of the Rings–The Rings of Power posters is a hammer handle bearing Cirth runes. They appear to say “AWAKE SLEEPING STONE”, which is appropriate since the poster seems clearly to portray a Dwarf, hands permeated with gold dust.

The words on the sword seem to translate as “Awake Sleeping Stone”

Perhaps the meaning behind these words can be discovered in The Silmarillion. When Aulë, one of the Valar, created the Dwarves in secret “in a hall under the mountains in Middle-earth”, he preempted Eru Ilúvatar’s desire that the Elves, the Firstborn of his design, be the first sentient beings in Middle-earth. Instead of destroying Aulë’s creations, Ilúvatar granted them life, but not until after the Elves were awakened. Ilúvatar tells Aulë:

“They shall sleep now in the darkness under stone, and shall not come forth until the Firstborn have awakened upon Earth; and until that time thou and they shall wait, though long it may seem. But when the time comes, I will awaken them…”

J.R.R Tolkien, The Silmarillion, Of Aulë and Yavanna

Or it could be that the inscription on the hammer refers to the Dwarves’ love of delving deep under the earth, awakening the stone to its potential to become vast and glorious halls, such as Menegroth, the realm of King Thingol and Queen Melian, and Moria, or as it is called in the Dwarven tongue, Khazad-dûm.

In regards to the runes that appear on the hammer, they are a system of writing called the Cirth, or the Angerthas. They were created by Tolkien and appear in a chart in the Lord of the Rings in ‘Appendix E: Writing and Spelling’. Historically, runes were used across Northern Europe during the Middle Ages by the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. Tolkien borrowed from these sources and others to create his own unique set of runes. In Tolkien’s legendarium, the origins of the Dwarven runes as we know them date back to the Sindar and Noldor Elves, and the Dwarves did not come to learn them until the beginning of the Second Age, which fits in with the show’s timeline. The Elves later abandoned Cirth for Tengwar, used commonly to write Quenya and Sindarin. Cirth only represented the sounds of Sindarin, and were primarily used for engraving into stone, metal, or wood, the reason for the straight edges and angles of the letters. The Dwarves of Moria added to and expanded the Angerthas to serve their own language and purposes.

In translating the poster, there were two runes that confused the meaning at first. The first was the rune used for “ng” in “Sleeping”. The poster uses the rune for “nj” instead of “ng”. According to the LotR appendices, the “ng” rune was one of the newer cirth introduced by the Dwarves of Moria, though it does not say at what date. It does say “This Angerthas Moria is represented in the tomb-inscription.” Assuming this references Balin’s Tomb, the “ng” rune might not have been in popular usage until later than the series may portray. The second thing that tripped me up was the rune used for the silent “e” in “Awake” and “Stone”. The symbol for the silent “e” is given a value of “*” on the chart in the appendices, and it was only through further research that I was able to confirm the corresponding letter and sound.

It’s really wonderful to return to Arda! There is so much to look forward to when The Rings of Power airs this fall – and even sooner if these posters are any indication.

EXCLUSIVE: This morning Amazon announced that we will see the first TRAILER for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power TV series this coming Sunday, February 13th – Super Bowl Sunday in the United States. We’re very excited to announce that TORn is partnering with Prime Video, to host the OFFICIAL Trailer Watch Party live stream!

Join us – and a host of guests – on Sunday 13th February to watch the trailer together, and then dissect it frame by frame! An epic analysis befitting of the Second Age of Arda. You’ll be able to find us streaming on all the socials… Stay tuned for more announcements – including specifics of timing – later this week. In the meantime jump into the new TORn Discord at https://discord.gg/theonering to chat with hundreds of other fans leading up to the big trailer… quest… thing.

What must I do?

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel and have notifications turned on! We want to see all your comments, reactions and thoughts when the trailer drops. #LOTRTrailer

What is the show about?