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Sauron, Orcs, a Balrog: They're All in the Latest 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' Trailer

Evil is rising in Middle-earth in Prime Video's new JRR Tolkien-inspired series, which starts streaming in September.
By Sarah Ward
July 23, 2022
By Sarah Ward
July 23, 2022

First, hobbits tuck into breakfast. Then, they enjoy second breakfast. In fact, in both JRR Tolkien's books and the movie adaptations that've brought them to the screen so far, they like their meals frequently and with the smallest of gaps between them. That seems to be an approach that Prime Video is taking to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, its upcoming Middle-earth series, too — at least when it comes to dropping sneak peeks at the long-awaited show.

The Rings of Power seems like it has been in the works forever, because it's now been 21 years since the first of The Lord of the Rings movies had everyone rushing to cinemas, obsessing over hobbits and elves, and saying "precious" too many times — and, it's also been five years since it was initially revealed that a TV series was in the works. The show will drop in September, starting on Friday, September 2, but early glimpses have been as rare as a pacifist orc until this month. Now, in the space of just a fortnight, Prime Video has dropped not just one, not two, but three new trailers.

The latest arrived during San Diego Comic-Con, aka the reason that other big fantasy titles such as Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon and game-to-screen adaptation Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves have also released trailers this week — and it's the longest look at The Rings of Power yet. It also provides the most complete overview of the show's storyline, which jumps back into Middle-earth's Second Age, bringing that era from the LOTR realm to the screen for the first time.

In past trailers — including the initial sneak peek back in February — gorgeous settings, elves, dwarves, harfoots (aka hobbit ancestors), stormy seas, strange skies, cave trolls, raging fires and orc battles have all popped up. This new trailer pieces together more of the plot around them. The focus: the rise of Sauron, how that gave rise to the rings and the impact across Middle-earth. Also seen in the new sneak peek: more orcs, and even a balrog.

The Rings of Power features a young Galadriel (Morfydd Clark, Saint Maud) and a young Elrond (Robert Aramayo, The King's Man), too — and, this time, New Zealand's natural splendours stand in for the Elven realms of Lindon and Eregion, the Dwarven realm Khazad-dûm, the Southlands, the Northernmost Wastes, the Sundering Seas and the island kingdom of Númenór.

Amazon first announced the show back in 2017, gave it the official go-ahead in mid-2018 and set its premiere date back in 2021. In-between, it confirmed that it wouldn't just remake Peter Jackson's movies. Rather, as per the show's official synopsis, it follows "the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth's history," with the action set thousands of years before the novels and movies we've all read and watched.

If you're a little rusty on your LOTR lore, the Second Age lasted for 3441 years, and saw the initial rise and fall of Sauron, as well as a spate of wars over the coveted rings. Elves feature prominently, and there's plenty to cover, even if Tolkien's works didn't spend that much time on the period — largely outlining the main events in an appendix to the popular trilogy.

The series will "take viewers back to 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 the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien's pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness," the synopsis continues.

"Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone," it also advises.

That's a hefty tale to tell, and The Rings of Power has amassed a hefty cast to tell it — and some impressive talent behind the scenes. Among the other actors traversing Middle-earth are Ismael Cruz Córdova (The Undoing) as Arondir, Nazanin Boniadi (Bombshell) as Bronwyn, Owain Arthur (A Confession) as Prince Durin IV, Charlie Vickers (Palm Beach) as Halbrand and Sophia Nomvete (The Tempest) as Princess Disa. There's also Tom Budge (Judy & Punch), Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (The Accountant), Maxim Baldry (Years and Years), Peter Mullan (Westworld), Benjamin Walker (The Underground Railroad) and comedian Lenny Henry.

And, the series is being overseen by showrunners and executive producers JD Payne and Patrick McKay, while filmmaker JA Bayona (A Monster Calls, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) directs the first two episodes.

Check out the latest The Rings of Power trailer below:

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will be available to stream via Prime Video from Friday, September 2, 2022.

Images: Matt Grace / Ben Rothstein.

Published on July 23, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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