Creatures We Want to See in “The Rings of Power” Season 2 (Part 1)
In early May, our humble fan site broke the exciting news that Shelob would make an appearance in Season 2 of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” Fans have long speculated on the potential of the arachnid menace showing up in the show at some point, and the news that we’ll get a visit this quickly (albeit briefly) from Her Ladyship is fun stuff. Fun stuff, indeed.
In fact, the impending event has inspired us to look past the eight-legged spawn of Ungoliant and consider what other creatures could crawl, squirm, worm, fly, stomp, charge, lumber, or sneak their way into the show before we hit McPayne’s long-planned final shot of Season 5.
For your humble consideration, here is the first installment in a two-part series that will cover seven different Middle-earth creatures (animals, monsters, and otherwise) that we hope manage to at least get a cameo in the show.
Let’s see Shelob’s spawn migrating to Mirkwood
In “The Two Towers,” as Tolkien narrates the backstory of Shelob, he says, “Far and wide her lesser broods, bastards of the miserable mates, her own offspring, that she slew, spread from glen to glen, from the Ephel Dúath to the eastern hills, to Dol Guldur and the fastnesses of Mirkwood.”
By the time we hear this, it’s all history. In fact, we already met some of her most far-spread children over half a century earlier in the form of the spider colony that the Dwarves and Bilbo bump into on their way through Mirkwood. In “The Rings of Power,” though, we could see these creepy creatures before they ever reached the shadowy haven of Greenwood the Great.
We already know that the show is willing to move around pretty fast. We’ve seen Harfoots in Rhovanion, the Elves in Eregion, the Dwarves in Khazad-dûm, and Men and Orcs in the Southlands. Any of these areas could reasonably have spider populations during the Second Age. These could either feature as permanent residents or nomadic wanderers slowly creeping their way toward the great fastness of future Mirkwood.
Plus, there’s always the chance that we see Oropher, Thranduil, and possibly even Legolas setting up and/or ruling the Woodland Realm. That could also give us a chance to see some spiders in action as they arrive in their future home.
Dragons in the north, you say?
The show literally opened with a lengthy sequence in the Forodwaith away in the frozen wastelands of Northern Middle-earth. So we know that Payne, McKay, and company aren’t afraid of wandering pretty far afield to tell their story. If they’re down for adventures in the northern regions, that also means they could be open to some fiery fun up there, as well.
Dragons feature heavily in the First and Third ages of Middle-earth. Obviously, in “The Silmarillion,” we get a lot of the Worms as the race comes into existence and wreaks havoc both on an individual and kingdom-wide basis. After Morgoth wastes all of his Dragon power on the War of Wrath, the Dragons bow out for a bit. In fact, we don’t hear much more until well into the Third Age, when the Dwarves and ancestors of the Rohirrim run into various Dragons in the northeastern portion of the continent.
Still, there’s one point in the opening of the Akallabêth where we get a single Second-Age mention of dragons. The text in “The Silmarillion” reads, “Men dwelt in darkness and were troubled by many evil things that Morgoth had devised in the days of his dominion: demons, and dragons, and misshapen beasts, and the unclean Orcs that are mockeries of the Children of Ilúvatar. And the lot of Men was unhappy.”
This could be the perfect chance to see some miserable men trying to survive the Second Age as they battle through demon dragons and fight for their very survival. Fire-drakes? Cold-drakes? We’ll take whatever kind of Great Worms the show wants to send our way.
The Eagles are coming! …Or at least they should be
Ah, the Eagles. Tolkien’s eucatastrophic tool of choice. They show up in “The Silmarillion,” “The Hobbit,” and “The Lord of the Rings” at the most pleasantly opportune moments. Will they show up in “The Rings of Power,” though?
Technically, the answer to that is already yes. We saw an Eagle soaring high up above the mountain tops in the travel sequence early in Episode 1 when we see Galadriel’s troop heading into the Forodwaith. We also saw a Dragon-like creature battling a Great Eagle in the “Silmarillion” summary shortly before that point. But that’s it. Just an Eagle on the losing side of an aerial battle and a distant glimpse of some tail feathers. …We. Want. More.
Of course, the Eagles are an interesting item to have on this list. They’re similar to the Dragons and Balrogs in that they’re special, spiritual being operating within the physical confines of Middle-earth creatures. But there’s one major exception: the Eagles are good guys. They tend to show up in tight spots, lend a helping hand, and then duck out again. That’s about it. Otherwise, they hang out way up on the mountain peaks, waiting for instructions from Manwe.
Much like most of the creatures on this list, we get the least Eagle action in the Second Age. However, “Unfinished Tales” does report on the three Eagles called the “Witnesses of Manwë” who live on the Meneltarma on Númenor. The book also tells us that “the great eagles that were held sacred to Manwë” lived on the island for two thousand years, keeping an eyrie “in the summit of the tower of the King’s palace in Armenelos; and there one pair ever dwelt and lived on the bounty of the King.”
Of course, this is before things go south in the island nation — something that’s already well underway in “The Rings of Power” Season 1. The real question with this one is if we’ll see a wise Eagle of Manwë, one of their wilder cousins from “The Hobbit,” or if the only hint of an aquiline presence will be Manwë’s threatening eagle-shaped clouds as he tries to deter the Númenóreans from sailing to Valinor.
Expect tusks, horns, skins, and more in part two!