“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” Amazon’s sprawling addition to J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendary fantasy saga, is only a month away from its Prime Video debut. And with the biggest geek culture event of the year taking place in San Diego this weekend, Amazon wasted no time in releasing another trailer. The new footage provides fans with an even clearer look at Amazon’s take on the Middle Earth, and the important ways that it differs from Peter Jackson’s beloved take on the material.
Stephen Colbert introduced the trailer at 2022 Comic Con which showcased Balrog, the infamous villain from the Tolkien novels.
The $450 million series, which has already been picked up for a full five seasons, is one of the biggest financial gambles in the history of television. As competition between streaming services heats up, Amazon has increasingly doubled down on sci-fi and fantasy series. The tech giant notably renewed “The Expanse” for a final season and recently picked up a “Blade Runner” series from executive producer Ridley Scott. If “Rings of Power” is well received, it will go a long way towards establishing Prime Video as the top service for fans of genre cinema.
The series, which hails from showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay, stars Peter Mullan, Benjamin Walker, and Cynthia Addai-Robinson alongside a large ensemble cast that fills out the Middle Earth. Rather than directly adapt Tolkien’s novels and the two trilogies of films they inspired, the series aims to expand the “Lord of the Rings” mythology by fleshing out Tolkien’s appendices and footnotes. If the creative team can exceed the high expectations that will inevitably follow the show, it has the potential to richly expand fans’ understanding of Tolkien’s vision.
Comic Con attendees in the audience at Hall H were already treated to five clips that gave a better glimpse at Payne and McKay’s vision of Middle Earth in the Second Age. The first was of young Elrond (Robert Aramayo) facing off against dwarf prince Durin (Owain Arthur) in a battle of endurance at Khazad-dûm. Next clip was of two harfoots named Nori (Markella Kavenagh) and Poppy (Megan Richards) discovering The Stranger (Daniel Weyman) unconscious at the bottom of a crater that looks deceptively fiery. When Nori goes to help him, he grabs her, possibly passing on a vision, which sparked rumors straight from Colbert that the man may turn out to be Gandalf or Sauron.
The last three clips emphasized two elf characters important to the show: Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) and Galadriel (Morfydd Clark). While the scene of Arondir was an action-packed clip of him whipping around chains and striking down some orcs that have him captive, the two clips of Galadriel served as a reintroduction to the immortal elf first played by Cate Blanchett in the films. She first has a sweet moment with Elrond in elven territory, where he talks up her accomplishments. Then we see her seemingly as a stowaway on a ship entering Númenor, with the camera then giving a full bird’s eye view of the beautiful, doomed island of man.
According to Amazon’s official synopsis, the show takes place in “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.”
“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” begins streaming on Prime Video on September 2. You can watch the latest trailer, which debuted at San Diego Comic-Con, below:
Marcus Jones contributed to this story.