The Rings of Power is rising: our breakdown of the new images from Empire Magazine
The last few days have been massive in regards to The Rings of Power marketing campaign. After the great silence of the last few months, Amazon has decided to wake up, releasing new exclusive images of the show in collaboration with Empire Magazine. Let’s take a journey through the new images released in the last few hours, and try to give an in-depth analysis of what we have seen.
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Lindon and Elves
The first image that catches the eye is certainly that of the High King of the Ñoldor: Gil-galad, played by Benjamin Walker. As we can see, the character’s aesthetics hook perfectly with that brought by Peter Jackson to cinemas, through the performance of the well-known actor Mark Ferguson. The dark hair typical of the Ñoldor and his regal style made all the fans of Middle-earth fall in love right away, underlining the impeccable visual success of the character. Note the gold crown that surrounds his head, which recalls the ancient laurel crowns worn in ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, which symbolized glory, wisdom and power.
This image perfectly encapsulates the elegance and beauty of the elven costumes. In this scene we see Gil-galad conducting an important investiture ceremony, as we reported in our leaks, and this should be the same scene seen in the February teaser trailer. What is striking about this image is the sumptuousness of the costumes and the solemnity of the moment, enriched by the powerful figure of the high king. These elves dressed in sparkling white could be royal guards, or a prestigious military corps, likely to be assigned missions of great importance.
This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful images ever shown in the marketing campaign. We have an elegant banquet taking place presumably in Lindon, and the characters involved in the scene are Gil-galad, Celebrimbor, Elrond, and Durin IV, along with others we can’t immediately recognize. The details of the scenography are wonderful and well refined, and the musicians that can be seen at the side of the feast further embellish the scene, to underline the importance of music in Tolkien’s works and wink at some scenes also shot by Peter Jackson in The Hobbit. The Second Age is a time when great alliances are forged, and this meeting of characters from different races serves as the perfect emblem for that period of the Middle-earth.
We have a first look at Celebrimbor, one of the most important characters of the show. His appearance came as a big shock to many of the fans, mainly due to the actor’s age. J.D Payne and Patrick McKay wanted to give the character a wisdom-based setting, with a more mature disposition. Charles Edwards is an ideal actor to fill these types of roles, and we’re all curious to see him on screen.
Here we arrive at a view of Robert Aramayo as Elrond. We know from the descriptions that the character is ambitious and pragmatic, but also more positive than the one seen in The Lord of the Rings. His role in the series will be central, as he is destined to become one of the greatest elves ever, and this first season will only be the beginning of his ascent.
This is a scene that appears to be very emotional. Prince Durin IV finds himself together with his partner Disa, in what in all probability is a moment of doubt and uncertainty for the young dwarf. The image shows the importance that Disa has for the future King of Khazad-dûm, and this synergy will certainly be among the greatest of the whole show. It is important to note the length of Durin’s beard, a feature that brings the character very close to the descriptions of the dwarves in the writings.
In this scene we see Galadriel intent on hunting down Sauron, seeking revenge for the death of his brother Finrod Felagund and to destroy the last fragments of evil. In that moment, the future lady of Lorien is probably in the Forodwaith glacier, along with her squad of warriors.
This is now one of the most iconic scenes of the teaser trailer, and one of the very first shown in high definition. The subject of the image is said to be a snow troll, met by Galadriel’s company. The image has already been extensively analyzed, but the graphic work done by the production deserves great praise, as the creature is beautifully recreated from the original John Howe sketch.
Tirharad and Humans
This was one of the first images shown in Empire Magazine’s big roundup. The landscape in question is Tirharad, and in the beautiful watchtower in front of us we can see Arondir. Most likely we are on the border between the Harad and what will one day become the dark kingdom of Mordor, as Tirharad literally means “South Watch”. The territory seems to be rich in fertile countryside, and the tower has a style that refers to the elves, but we know from the writings that the Númenóreans were the ones who frequented that area most. We are therefore curious to understand the origin of this tower, hoping that the show will explain it to us.
In this scene we see Arondir with his sword drawn, intent on fighting orcs or other dark creatures of Middle-earth. The weapon is very similar to the elvish blades seen in Peter Jackson’s films, a detail that strongly recalls Weta Workshop’s involvement in the project. His robes look very different from what was seen in the teaser trailer and promotional images, and this leads us to think that at some point he may lose his armor or part of it, following a capture or a lost battle.
Here we have Arondir, Bronwyn and Theo, presumably in the village of Tirharad. We know that that location, at some point in the first season, will be the victim of the orc raids, and potentially in this scene the imminent danger is being discussed. As we can see, the Silvan Elf is holding the broken sword that we saw in the posters of the show, and behind him appear to be Maxine Cunliffe and Peter Tait, as two secondary characters.
Arondir and Theo are running in a forest. Probably the orcs have attacked and destroyed the village, and they are moving away from the location of the fight. Another version could instead make us think that the two characters are returning to the village after hearing battle calls and noises. We can see Arondir’s beautiful bow, which is very similar to the one wielded by Legolas in The Lord of the Rings.
Here is one of the new characters introduced by Amazon, Halbdrand. We know so far that this man is running away from a complicated past, and during the first season he will run into Galadriel. The two characters will travel together to Númenor, where they will have a confrontation with Pharazôn and Míriel.
We finally come to the hobbits, or “Harfoots”. Here we can see Sadoc Barrows (Lenny Henry), Marigold Brandyfoot (Sara Zwangobani) and another currently unnamed characters, intent on facing a problem, judging by their worried faces. Also in this case the costumes and props turn out to be of a great level, and the attention to detail and colors continue to be impeccable.
We come next to a beautiful image of Elanor “Nori” Brandyfoot, Poppy Proudfellow and Largo Brandyfoot, the latter played by Dylan Smith. The curious thing about this character is that he shares a name with one of the first Baggins in history, who is Frodo Baggins’ great grandfather. In this image we can clearly see the harmony between these characters, and allows us to admire the details on the hobbits’ hair. In fact, we have vegetation, branches and various elements of nature, which probably are decorations and aesthetic elements for the Harfoots.
Here we can set our sights on a hobbit caravan. The Harfoots were a nomadic people, and as such tended to move according to climatic conditions. Regarding the area in question, we are probably in the wilderness near the misty mountains, since this people, even according to the writings, mainly inhabited that area of the Middle-earth.
This is certainly one of the most curious and mysterious images shown so far. We are in a beautiful forest of golden hues, and the hobbits appear to be performing some sort of ceremony. Curious and worthy of attention is the clothing of the hobbit children, as well as the strange crest worn by Sadoc Burrows. We are very curious to understand more about this scene, and the details are once again worthy of great attention, as is the immense image quality.
Elanor “Nori” Brandyfoot is destined to be the main character of this storyline, and here we can see her intent on looking at the sky. The main hypothesis is that she may have seen a meteor falling, and the curiosity will lead her to a rather bizarre encounter.