Gather round, Tolkienheads. After months — no, years—Of starving for even a lembas crumb of information about Amazon’s The Rings of Power, we finally have sixty seconds of footage to pore over. The teaser trailer that aired during tonight’s Super Bowl was, well, a tease, packed with breathtaking visuals, some stressed-out looking Middle-earthians, and not much else to go on. We’re breaking down everything we saw tonight for clues about what to expect from The Rings of Power.
The trailer opens with a ship sailing into what’s likely the Gray Havens harbor (Lord of the Rings movie fans, you’ll remember the Gray Havens as the port city from the end of Return of the King). Knowing what we know about how The Rings of Power will count the elf kingdom of Lindon among its many settings, it seems safe to guess that what we’re seeing is this important Lindon city. Founded at the beginning of the Second Age, the Gray Havens were frequently visited by the Númenoreans; they were also the site of a key battle in the War of the Elves and Sauron. With this Second Age-era show assuredly set to contain both Númenoreans and Sauron, the Gray Havens will no doubt be an important setting.
Next, we see some winged wanderers in a valley, who look awfully familiar. These two were recently featured in Vanity Fair‘s first look preview of The Rings of Powerwhich described them as “nomadic hunters.” The trailer then cuts to a young woman with a tellingly curly mop, who’s got to be one of those canon-noncompliant hobbits firing up the Tolkien fandom.
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And then, behold — it’s action hero Galadriel! The Lady of Light herself is Free Solo-ing it up the side of an icy mountain. The Vanity Fair preview revealed that, when we meet Galadriel, she’s hunting down the dastardly agents of big baddies Morgoth and Sauron with the goal of avenging her brother’s death. Perhaps what we’re seeing here is Galadriel in her revenge phase.
Then, lots of quick cuts: Halbrand, one of the new human characters invented for the series, is marooned on a raft in a stormy sea; Arondir, another new character, this one a Silvan elf, lets loose an arrow in a dark forest; Some sort of flaming projectile streaks across the sky, while a man (or perhaps an elf) in gold armor watches; Horses and riders charge into battle; next, someone faces off against a roaring cave troll. A screensaver-worthy Elven vista (we’re guessing more of Lindon) gives way to close-ups of canonical characters looking worried, including Elrond and Prince Durin. Another new character, the Dwarven princess Disa, lifts her voice in song or prayer. On that raft at sea, where we know from the Vanity Fair preview that Galadriel and Halbrand will face danger together, a hand (presumably Halbrand’s) pulls back Galadriel’s hair to reveal her pointy Elvish ear. Two people reach out to one another in a fire; a dwarf cleaves a giant rock in two with his ax; a warrior takes a flying leap; someone cries out during what looks like a battle from the War of the Last Alliance. Is this found poetry, or a trailer breakdown?
The trailer ends, portentously, with a small hand curling into a bigger, dirty-looking hand. Could this be a small hobbit hand, joining up with an elf or a human (then again, when are elves ever dirty)? An average-sized person holding hands with a giant? Hard to say.
Oh, and about the soundscape: beyond the bombastic score, there’s just a tidbit of voiceover in this otherwise dialogue-free trailer. “Have you ever wondered what else is out there?” a woman muses aloud. “There’s wonders in this world beyond our wandering. I can feel it. ” The dialogue airs over shots of Galadriel and our new hobbit friend, so we’re guessing it’s one of them speaking.
Is your blood pumping yet? Are you ready to go back to Middle-earth? We sure are. Stick with us in the months to come, and get ready for when The Rings of Power lands on September 2.
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