The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power returns with Season 2 on August 29 and we have our first official glimpse with a teaser trailer and a behind-the scenes preview.

TORn Discord Moderator DrNosy has the lowdown on what it all could mean.

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April showers bring May flowers and, with it, the much-awaited return of the second season of Amazon Prime’s The Rings of Power (TROP). The official marketing has kicked-off with an enticing teaser and a captivating behind-the-scenes look. Brace yourselves, as the series is set to return on August 29th of this year.

Stealing the spotlight and the most intriguing development is the return of our Lord-and-not-Savior, Sauron, portrayed by the talented Charlie Vickers. Sauron’s appearance in this teaser unveils Vickers in a dual role, as both Halbrand (Sauron disguised as a Man) and a character that die-hard Tolkien fans have long yearned for, the Annatar, where Sauron takes the form of an Elf and infiltrates Eregion.

The arrival of Annatar and his relationship to Celebrimbor is one of Tolkien’s greatest stories, but it was never entirely penned as a literary epic. The little we know of Annatar comes from the Letters of Tolkien, Unfinished Tales, and a short essay in The Silmarillion, “Of the Rings of Power.”

From today’s teaser, the Annatar makes his appearance after the events of “Alloyed” (S1.E8), where Sauron as Halbrand reveals himself to Galadriel. Though this encounter momentarily stifles Galadriel, she and the others proceed with the creation of the three Elven rings: Vilya, Nenya, and Narya.

Following the TROP storyline, Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards), the genius and talented maker of the Elven rings and the others (lesser) that followed, has now become Lord Sauron’s prime target. The threat he faces from Sauron is imminent. Unbeknownst to Celebrimbor, when Sauron comes knocking on your door, he always comes bearing gifts.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Annatar.
Annatar, who?
Annatar. I am an emissary of the Valar. I have come bearing gifts.

(If you were expecting a knock-knock joke, I have deceived you. The Annatar on your doorstep is not a laughing matter.)

The siege of Eregion, led by Adar (Sam Hazeldine) and his army of Orcs, will be catastrophic to the city and its vast forests. Will Galadriel, Elrond (Robert Aramayo), and the other Elven warriors be able to defend this Elven kingdom? Will King Durin (Peter Mullan) and the Dwarven warriors of Khazad-dûm come to their aid? Well, those answers probably depend on whether or not the ring the Dwarves have received is already tainted with Sauron’s evil influence. Compared to what I expected the last season, there are now more rings to keep track of than ever before.

What I find pretty delightful to observe is the three Elven rings that have made their way onto the hands of the first-ever Ring-bearers: the High King of the Elves, Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker), Galadriel as the Commander of the Northern Armies, and the wisest Elf that ever Elfed and his lovely beard we have yet to witness, Círdan (who will be portrayed by Ben Daniels).

We also witness other moments with rings, particularly with King Durin caressing a massive blue-crystal jeweled gold ring that might rival the Arkenstone. Also, what appears to be a consequence of the siege’s mayhem, we are teased with a moment where Celebrimbor seems to be destroying rings in a furnace. We also see him missing a hand. (That probably has many Silmarillion fans wondering if this is something to do with the Silmaril-mithril connection (S1.E5), how Beren lost his hand, and… Alright, alright, I won’t go there!)

With these rings and the return of Sauron, now comes all the things I find myself scratching my head over. As a horror genre fan, I could not ignore the highly spooky vibes of this teaser. I’ve often said that to understand the eucatastrophe described by Tolkien, you must also (sometimes) recontextualize what he wrote in the framework of existential nihilism. For a Tolkien-inspired television series, this recontextualization can translate to the screen as (seemingly) unrelated horror moments. As far as this teaser goes, I have no Tolkienian clue what is happening with the tar creature, the Rhûn moth witch, the creeping vines, and the horrifying Cthulhu-shark. All I can say is that I’m disturbed, unnerved, and distressed, and this is precisely the feeling I want when Sauron comes to visit.

The image of an Orc-licking a blood-soaked dagger… BRING IT ON, HERUMOR! DEAAAAAAATTTTHHHH!

Finally, I would like to make a statement. Fans of fantasy television can debate ad nauseam about which show is better, The Rings of Power or The House of Dragon. Regardless, I would like it settled once and for all that there is only one Lord (of the Wigs), and he does not share fashion power!

An addendum. For the few who know me and my fondness for Númenor and Pharazôn (Trystan Gravelle). There is much I can speculate about Númenor, but I will not do so. (I’m still sore about Season 1.) What I do offer, however, is one hypothesis that Pharazôn will most definitely be riding an eagle this season. He absolutely has no ill intentions toward any of Manwë’s beloved creatures. Given his beard, I’m sure that makes him look ultra-friendly to the giant birds, who have always loved helping out other bearded dudes in the Third Age.

The artist behind Pharazôn Rides An Eagle is Stickybeebae. You can follow (and tip) her on Instagram.

About the author:

DrNosy is a scientist (physical science), scholar, and Tolkien enthusiast. Her primary interests lie in review and analysis of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. She is an active contributor and Moderator on TheOneRing.net Discord where she also hosts live open-forum panel discussions on The Rings of Power, The Silmarillion,  and a variety of Tolkien-related topics. You can reach her on Instagram.

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.

Just six weeks ago, it felt like a Rings of Power drought. Now every day there’s a new batch of interviews and reveals. These are via Time Magazine writer Eliana Dockterman. Dockterman was able to shadow and interview the showrunners and key cast at San Diego Comic-Con.

Below are summaries and links to four articles that emerged from that for your reading pleasure.

The Secretive, Extravagant, Bighearted World of The Rings of Power, the Most Expensive Show Ever Made

Tears are streaming down Ismael Cruz Córdova’s chiseled cheekbones. Somehow, hardly anyone notices. I’m at San Diego Comic-Con, halfway through 96 hours spent shadowing the cast and creators of The Rings of Power, Amazon’s highly anticipated Lord of the Rings prequel series. Tomorrow, franchise superfan Stephen Colbert will debut a trailer for the series to 6,500 screaming attendees, many wearing pointy wizard hats. But tonight, at a private dinner, journalists are getting an early preview of the video in a golden faux forest constructed by Amazon for the occasion.

After a day spent among the convention crowd in 80-degree heat, sweaty, sneaker-clad members of the press mingle with actors dressed in cocktail attire: Córdova has chosen a sharp suit with a black leather harness pulled tight across his chest. A 16-person choir and 25-piece orchestra—fronted by a violinist decked out in Middle-earth regalia—perform music from the series.

Read More

11 Rings of Power Secrets We Learned From the Cast and Creators

Spend some time in Middle-earth and you’ll learn a lot of secrets. I shadowed the cast and creators of the much-anticipated Lord of the Rings prequel series, The Rings of Power, for four days at San Diego Comic-Con in July. During my conversations with the showrunners, executive producer, and several members of the cast, I did my best to pick up clues about where the series may be headed—along with details about the immense production behind the epic saga.

and…

If you want to watch the series without knowing anything about what might happen in the show, know that this story contains minor spoilers. Stop reading now. But if you want some background on the series and how Payne and McKay cooked up a story from Tolkien’s notes, forge ahead. I’ve seen two episodes of the show, and the information in this story comes primarily from the appendices.

[Editor’s note: Having read the article, I don’t consider any of this to be much of a spoiler for anyone who’s been casually following press reports and has a passing knowledge of Middle-earth’s Second Age.]

Read More

The Rings of Power Exclusive: Producer Says Fan Theories About Sauron Are Wrong

Fans have spent months speculating when and how he might appear in the show. They’ve combed the various trailers and publicity shots. Some theorize that fans have already seen his image—or at least his Annatar guise. But executive producer Lindsey Weber told TIME the prevailing fan theories may be on the wrong track.

[Editor’s note: This is potentially a spoiler, though I think fandom very quickly discarded the Sauron identity theory that Weber discusses with Time. It would have been much more interesting to address the other (much more compelling) rumour that’s doing the rounds right now. Unfortunately, they don’t even touch on it.]

Read More

This Fan-Favorite Character Is Joining the Second Season of The Rings of Power

McKay and Payne leaned heavily on the appendices to The Lord of the Rings, which trace the rise of Sauron, the creation of the one ring, and the battle between Sauron and the last alliance of elves and men for the soul of Middle-earth. Elves are immortal in Tolkien’s world, so Lord of the Rings fans can expect to see familiar faces like Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo). (Both characters also appeared in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy.) But a fan-favorite character has been missing…

[Editor’s note: I guess this could be a minor spoiler for some so I’ve hidden the character’s name behind the link below just to be safe!]

Read More

TIME Rings of Power cover

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:

Continue reading “New FULL Rings of Power trailer: so much revealed, and more questions posed?”

Theo, played by Tyroe Muhafidin, has joined the list of characters now confirmed as denizens of the Second Age of Middle-earth in Prime Video’s upcoming Rings of Power series. Living with his mother, Bronwyn, in the village of Tirharad, we still know little about Theo’s story or character. We do know, though, that whatever is to come will be entwined with one of the more menacing weapons that Amazon has also revealed: a broken sword and possible family heirloom.

Tyroe Muhafidin as Theo. Credit: Ben Rothstein, Amazon Prime Video

We have seen this sword before, revealed in a series of hands-centric posters that Prime Video released in February. We are still left to speculate about the origin and nature of this broken heirloom – possibly marked by Black Speech – and how Theo and his mother come to possess it. Could this have been crafted by Sauron/Annatar during his seductive stay on Númenor? A remnant of a past migration of Black Númenoreans as they colonized Haradwaith to the south of Gondor? A family heirloom from an absent father, now consumed by a piece of jewelry more powerful than he bargained for?

Credit: Amazon Prime Video

With Theo’s arrival, we are beginning to see some facets of a fuller family in this branch of the storyline that the Rings of Power writers have been crafting. Bronwyn, played by Nazanin Boniadi, is a single mother and village healer, living in apparently rustic conditions with her son well to the south of more familiar Lord of the Rings landscapes. But we know there must be more, even without that broken sword. Bronwyn has a romantic connection with the Sylvan Elf Arondir, played by Ismael Cruz Córdova. (How does Theo feel about that?) And now we also know that Nazanin Boniadi can strike a classic “New Zealand is Middle-earth” pose with the best of our Second Age heroines.

Nazanin Boniadi as Bronwyn. Credit: Ben Rothstein, Amazon Prime Video

And again, we’re left with more questions than answers. Where is Bronwyn headed? Does her regal robe reveal that “village healer” is only a part of her story? Can we get some GPS coordinates for this shooting location? How many cosplay homages will this photo inspire?

Tyroe Muhafidin is a 16-year old Australian actor who has appeared in an array of short films and television series, including Dusk (2018) and Caravan (2019). This will be his first appearance in a major role.

Tyroe Muhafidin

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. The series will launch on September 2, 2022.