The Rings of Power: Our Breakdown of the New Teaser Trailer
The beginning of July brought renewed hype for The Rings of Power, thanks, in particular, to the content released in the past few weeks, including new interviews and promotional images. The show is less than two months away from the start, and the promotion is nearing its climax. Yesterday Amazon released a new teaser trailer on the app, which shows the reaction of some characters to the fall of the infamous meteor. So let’s dive into the analysis of the most significant frames of the new trailer, trying to explain and analyze with passion the new contents shown.
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) July 6, 2022
The Rings of Power: our breakdown of the new teaser trailer
The first image that appears before our eyes depicts something we already saw a few weeks ago. The observation tower we see in this pic is the same one that appeared in the photos of Empire Magazine, and in fact, during the trailer, we see a frame very similar to that of the promotional image. This place could be strategically important for Arondir, as it is an elf who protects the lands of the south. As we said a few weeks ago, the area may not be very far from what will one day be the land of Mordor, since TirHarad is located on the northern border of the Harad. We know that Adar and his orcs will come into action from those areas, and that tower will be used by the Silvan elf to keep an eye on the situation.
The trailer continues with Sadoc Burrows, struggling with ancient scrolls and manuscripts. This frame is particularly interesting because it shows pictograms dating back to European prehistory, reported in the Burkitt tome of 1925. These signs date back to the Neolithic, and it is extraordinary to see how the production has decided to give the harfoots this characteristic, as they, at the time, seems like a primitive people. This scroll should be the same one that appears in promotional posters, and the fact that Sadoc is the one who reads and interprets the signs makes him, in all likelihood, the leader of the harfoots, as well as the “sage” of his people.
“The skies, are strange”, This is the statement we hear coming out of Burrows’ mouth in this image. Most likely the hobbit leader has a strange feeling looking at the sky, and it is a sign that leads us to think that the meteor has yet to pass. As anticipated by our leaks and as seen in the first teaser, two hobbits will be the first to go to the impact site, and to make the acquaintance of the “Meteor Man”.
We are facing one of the most beautiful frames of the new trailer. What we see is a swan-headed boat typical of elves, and inside it there is also Galadriel. This scene is wonderful because it shows how meticulous and attention to detail the production is. In fact, that boat strongly refers to the illustrations by Ted Nasmith in the Silmarillion, in which the figureheads of the boats are often in the shape of a swan’s head. The detail of the birds is not to be neglected at all, because they are creatures connected to Manwe. In this scene, it is possible that these birds are guiding the boat in a specific direction, but we will delve into this in the next frame.
Here we are with Morfydd Clark (Galadriel) inside the splendid boat seen a little while ago. This is a very important scene, but you need to contextualize it to understand it well. This group of elves is headed west, specifically towards the blessed realm. The elves featured in this frame were crowned by Gil-Galad in that ceremony also seen in the promotional photos, and were sent to Valinor from the high king. The starting point of the trip are probably the Grey Havens, since we are probably in the realm of Lindon.
Durin IV also seems concerned by the passage of the meteor, as evidenced by his intense gaze. The image is eloquent, and clearly shows us that all peoples perceive this particular event negatively. The engravings depicted on Durin’s dress are obviously Cirth (runes), and the translation should be “Deathless”, a reference to Durin the deathless, progenitor of the dwarven race.
Gil-galad walks on the beautiful stone platform seen in the previous trailer and promotional photos. With him is also Elrond, who we know is a kind of “godson” of the high king of the Noldor. The atmosphere of this scene is intense, since Gil-galad is alert and wise, and he will want immediately prepare of a possible new threat.
Let us dwell on this particular image. The scene portrays Elrond and Celebrimbor watching the meteor pass. Together with them are two Lindon guards, dressed in splendid golden armors that are very reminiscent of those of Lord of the Rings prologue. The visual coherence brought by the Weta is confirmed strongly on armors, weapons, costumes and makeup, and this will certainly be a big point in favor of the show.
The direction takes us to the worried faces of Arondir and Bronwyn, who apparently are in a wild area (presumably near the Harad). The passage of the meteor is accompanied by the hands of the two characters, intent on touch each other to give themselves strength. We know that the love story between the elf and the healer will be one of the storylines of the first season, and there is curiosity in understanding how it will evolve. The brooch worn by Arondir strongly references those of Lothlorien in The Lord of the Rings, and which we saw on the cloaks of the Fellowship in the first Peter Jackson trilogy.
We can finally set our sights on Tar-Miriel, played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson. This is the first ever image of a Numenor character, and it’s wonderful that the future queen takes the stage in this trailer. Many fans have expressed their displeasure with the character’s complexion, but even here there is no underlying logical explanation. Tolkien always envisioned Numenor as a civilization inspired by ancient Egypt, although the morphology and history of the nation are very reminiscent of Atlantis, and therefore Ancient Greece. Logic has it that the kingdom of blessed men was therefore intended as a splendid and powerful Mediterranean kingdom, imagined as a mix between Egypt and Greece. In a similar scenario it is therefore likely that there could be people of color, as we can see in many illustrations showing the queens of Numenor, often represented with a darker pigmentation. In this image we see Miriel turning worried, as if she sensed something negative in the air. From our leaks, we know so far that the character will have visions of the fall of Numenor, and it is not to be excluded that that moment could have had one. In the frame we can also see a Numenor soldier, dressed in golden armor and with a shield depicting a sun.
Yes, dear Mellyn, you have seen well: those are ents! This frame gives us the definitive confirmation that in the show we will be able to admire the charm of these wonderful creatures of Middle-earth. What stands out in this image is the presence of an entwife and an enting too, and this is absolutely consistent, as the ents begin to lose their wives during the wars between the elves and Sauron in the middle of the Second Age, a time that has not yet come in the first season.
Finally, here we are at the fall of the meteor, which appears to be taking place in an area close to where Elanor Nori Brandyfoot is at that moment. We know that she and Poppy Proudfellow (Megan Richards) will search for the crash site, and encounter one of the biggest mysteries of the series: the Meteor Man.
The trailer closes with this gorgeous glimpse of a majestic Numenor city. The interesting thing to note are the faces and figures carved in the rock, which look a lot like ancient Greek sculptures. These works could be a tribute to Ulmo, who, among the Valar, represents the seas. Being an island, for the inhabitants of Numenor the sea is fundamental in every aspect of life, and such a homage could certainly be consistent. The city we see in the background winks at some John Howe’s illustrations of Armenelos, which could be an extra clue about the city in question. It cannot be excluded that it could be a port city (like Andunie or Romenna), given the presence of water, while Armenelos, from the maps, seems to be more internal.