The Rings of Power: Our In- depth Analysis of the Massive SDCC Trailer
Elen síla lúmenn’ omentielvo, mellyn
These are exciting days for us Tolkien fans, given the evolution of Amazon’s marketing campaign for The Rings of Power. On July 22, in fact, we not only had a panel full of actors, showrunners and production members, but also a massive trailer. As usual we are here to analyze it in detail, not only to discover the secrets of the show, but also to deepen some aspects of a Middle-earth as ancient in the time as it is new and innovative on the screen. So let’s dive into this wonderful trailer, trying to understand each other as much as possible.
The Rings of Power: in deep analysis of the massive SDCC trailer
“We thought the war at last was ended…We thought our joys would be unending…we thought our light would never dim…”
The trailer opens with these melancholy words from Galadriel, and on the screen we can see her stacking a pile of elven helmets. This is almost certainly a flashback scene, and the battle in question could be the Dagor Bragollach, in which Galadriel lost two brothers. The detail of the scorched ground is not to be overlooked, as in that battle took part Balrogs and Glaurung, and this could be the reason for the burns on the trees and on the ground itself. There is another important detail to analyze: the helmets we see in these first frames are identical to those seen in the first teaser trailer, in which we see Finrod Felagund and his men surrounded by orcs. The first heir of the house of Finarfin also participated in that battle, but was saved by Barahir with a timely intervention. This means that there is a chance to see not only that moment, but also the delivery of the famous “Ring of Barahir”, which will one day be inherited by Aragorn. However, there is another possibility that should not be excluded: The place in question could be the Haudh-en-Ndengin, known as the Hill of the Slain, where the orcs amassed the bodies of dead elves in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. However, according to the books, that hill should have kept a flourishing green, while the ground of this frame appears barren.
“Today, our days of peace begin…”
Here we are again catapulted into the famous ceremony scene that we also see in the first teaser trailer. In this frame we see Gil-galad crowning Galadriel as he announces days of peace, under the satisfied and happy eyes of Elrond and the elven people. We know that the Nolde will later be sent west along with the other elves who receives the investiture from the High King, and she is not happy about it. Who has already seen this scene defines it very intense, and the curiosity that arises is the following: why is Galadriel sent to the west? We will surely find out in September. What we know so far, thanks to one of our leaks, is that in this scene Gil-galad is instructing these elves to set sail for the undyng lands, and that at this very moment he is giving them his blessing.
We are once again in Lindon, and again the scene seems to be very important. We are in front of the beautiful dinner scene also seen in the images of Empire Magazine, in which we see Gil-galad, Galadriel, Elrond, Durin IV, Celebrimbor and some characters from behind (probably elves). This moment could represent the beginning of an alliance between Khazad-Dum’s dwarves and the elves, as both sensed Sauron’s imminent threat. As usual we can see the elegance and great attention to details present in the scene, which promises to be interesting and full of important dialogues. As mentioned in our video analysis, in this dinner the characters could talk about the Mithril, as Celebrimbor and Durin IV seem to raise their glasses as a sign of friendship. The elves were the first to discover this material in Aman, but in Middle-earth it was the dwarves who had the monopoly of it, and taught the eldar to work it. Another very particular curiosity is that this metal will be used to create several important objects or works of Middle-earth, including Nenya, the ring that will one day be worn by Galadriel.
Galadriel’s voice transports us to the past of the elves, in which we see children playing on the bank of a small river. The interesting detail comes in the next frame, as we clearly see an elvish emblem on a blanket. The curious thing is that this mark does not appear in any elven heraldry of Middle-earth, and therefore there are two possibilities. The first is that this is the symbol of the House of Earendil, widely used by Amazon in promotional photos and trailers, while modifying it due to the rights. Another reliable hypothesis is that the production has decided to create a universal emblem for all the eldar, and this would explain its absence from heraldries.
“It is here, Galadriel; the moment we feared”.
We are in Armenelos, and the sequence of frames we are about to watch is crazy. Miriel shows Galadriel a beautiful Palantir, and Finarfin’s daughter puts her hand on it to witness the visions generated by the ancient artifact. This scene is a very interesting gem, as it winks at the books. The seers stones were in fact donated by the elves to Numenor following the events of the First Age, and this allows the production to exploit them in total freedom. We know that Miriel and Galadriel will create an important harmony, and they will likely both share worries about the future of Middle-earth. From our leaks it emerged that Miriel herself has visions on the fall of Numenor, and this particularity represents a further point in common with Nolde, as she too has this type of characteristic.
The Palantir transports us to Galadriel’s past, where we witness some dark and painful moments in his life. The first frame shows us a great battle, in which we see a powerful sudden blaze: this leads us to think about the possible presence of dragons, and therefore it is reasonable to think that it may be the Dagor Bragollach, since we also see Finrod in the same frame as the first teaser. Subsequently we see again the scene with the bodies floating under water, which at this point it is not excluded that it may refer to the future, even if for now it is more likely that it is a past event. The last fragment of the vision takes us to the corpse of Finrod Felagund, Galadriel’s elder brother and heir to the House of Finarfin. It is essential to dwell on this last frame, given the importance of the character and the bond between him and Galadriel. We can see the scratches on the elven king’s body, caused to him by the large wolf he faced to defend Beren, and this may lead us to think that we will probably see Finrod’s death in the show. One of our leaks gives us a very interesting idea connected to this scene: it seems that Galadriel, in fact, will go to his brother’s tomb to take the dagger we see in the promotional poster, and in fact we find the same dagger in the hands of Finrod himself in this scene. It is therefore certain that Galadriel inherited it as the last heir of the house, and, based on our leaks, we will see this scene in the first episode of the show. Given the bond between her and her brother, this moment will be intense and touching, and this image shows us powerfully why Galadriel is so eager to find evil and destroy it.
Here we are probably facing Nimloth, the white tree of Numenor. From the books we know that this plant was donated by the Elves of Tol Eressëa to the numenoreans, who planted it in the royal garden of the capital Armenelos. For thousands of years this tree was a symbol of friendship between the elves and the people of Numenor, as well as a sign of faith in the Valar. This shot of the trailer makes us understand that the white petals seen in the frames with Miriel are those of Nimloth, and given the expression of the future queen it would seem to be a sign of something negative. From the Unfinished Tales we know that Tar-Palantir prophesied that the line of kings would find its end when Nimloth died, and this could be a not indifferent gem.
“Evil does not sleep…..It waits.”
Yes, he fooled us all … this character is not Sauron. We are probably dealing with some adepts of the cult of Melkor, and this can be understood not only from their disturbing looks, but also from their clothing. These shimmering white robes, scepters and precious objects reminds of a religious sect, and it is no coincidence that the background phrase is connected to evil. These characters will be among the main mysteries of the first season, since so far they have not appeared in any of our leaks, and it is currently impossible to understand what their plans are. Most likely they are preparing the ground for the arrival of Sauron himself, and it is not to be excluded that they may be the ones who begin to corrupt the hearts and minds of free peoples.
“Beyond the darkness, tempting shadow…to bury us all beneath the mountain…”
Even Durin III, lord of Khazad Dum, also seems to sense the return of darkness at some point in the first season. This trailer shows us the first perceptions of evil by the peoples of Middle-earth, and in this dialogue we distinctly note the worries not only of the dwarven king, but also of his heir Durin IV. In these frames we can also admire other splendid glimpses of the majestic Khazad Dum, which is once again extraordinary in detail and style.
We are still facing the destruction scene seen in the last trailer. Galadriel finds himself in a village burned and enveloped by fumes, and there are two possible hypotheses to this. One is that this scene is part of that famous battle that takes place in the first season between Numenor and the orcs, while the other is that it may be the village of Tirharad, set on fire by the forces of Adar. The third and last possibility is that this scene is a flashback of the past, but at the moment is really difficoult to give a final interpretation for these images.
“He has not one name, but many…If the evil rising is left unchecked, it will take us all.”
Galadriel’s party arrives at what appears to be, in all likelihood, an ancient fortress of Morgoth. The fact that it is located in the far north of Middle-earth suggests that it may be Utumno, and many illustrations portray it exactly in this way, but this is just speculation. We then see the group of elves entering the fortress and receiving a “warm” welcome from the ice troll. The most interesting element of this series of frames, however, is the sign that we find on a rock placed on the scene, which clearly depicts a symbol of evil. At this point there are two hypotheses: the mark could represent either the eye of Sauron in an older version, or the iron crown of Morgoth, but the certain thing is that evil is returning to Middle-earth, and fears they begin to grow.
‘”Have you ever heard of him, lad? Have you heard of Sauron…?”
This is a very, very important scene. We see the young Theo grabbed by an old man, who asks him if he has heard of Sauron. Thanks to Comic-Con interviews we are aware of new and fundamental information about Theo and his people, which helps us a lot to understand the meaning of this scene. We see a mark on the boy’s arm, which probably causes him suffering. This is due to the fact that the ancestors of Bronwyn and Theo, during the first age, allied themselves with Morgoth, and for this they were banished and forced to rebuild their lives in the southlands. Therefore it is very likely that Theo and Bronwyn and are Esterlings, a people who have always been allied to the dark forces, and specifically they could be descendants of the people of Ulfang, who secretly betrayed the sons of Feanor by allying with Morgoth. Most likely the mark Theo has on his arm reacts to the presence of evil, and the fact that it hurts him could indicate that the Dark Lord is getting closer and closer.
These images are a real reference to the words of the writers released to Empire Magazine in recent weeks. In fact, JD Payne and Patrick McKay, speaking of action scenes, said: “What’s it like to have an orc in your face or in your kitchen?”, And the meaning of the words is very clear. In fact, in the show we will see not only great battles, but also many duels and scenes of raw realism on sharing the world with similar creatures, and scenes of this type will be very present. The detail of this creature, which is probably an orc, lies in its monstrous hand, which could mean that he belongs to a very distinct category, and judging by the following frames it would appear to be a stalker or a hitman.
We are once again together with Theo, and finally we have the opportunity to see in greater depth the mysterious sword linked to his character. In the second frame we see the blade rebuilding itself in front of his eyes, and the dynamic is very reminiscent of the pulverization of the morgul blades in Jackson’s films. Another key detail is that this weapon is probably the relic that Adar is searching for, as reported by our leaks. This leads us to think that the fallen elf will attack Tirharad precisely to get hold of this mysterious artifact.
This scene is not easy to understand, but we will try to give a couple of interpretations anyway. In the frame we see some Numenorean ships exploding in flames, but it is difficult to think that such an event could happen in Numenor itself, so there is a hypothesis to consider. Miriel and the Numenorean army will set sail for Middle-earth at some point in the first season, along with Galadriel and Halbrand, probably with the intent of facing the threat spreading from the est. This scene could therefore represent an orc attack on a port of Belfalas, which is very near to Theo and Bronwyn village, according to the map. This is just my interpretation of course, but as I said a few lines above, it seems rather complicated for the Numenoreans to set fire to their own ships and in their kingdom, and the only travel we know so far is the one towards Tirharad.
“Find the light, and the shadow will not find you.’”
These frames are also very significant. In the first shot we find Bronwyn trying to encourage her son Theo, who seems to be slowly falling into darkness. The other two frames show us a speech by the healer to the people of her village (“Together we can survive this!”), Who are probably preparing to face Adar’s assaults. Our leaks tell us about several orc attacks in Tirharad, which will lead to the destruction of the village at the end of the season.
We do not see his face, but we understand very well that it is him, not only from the glove he wears on his left hand, but also from the way in which the orcs kneel to him. We have a beautiful scene where Adar, the absolute villain of the first season, passes among his evil warriors. Also in this image the Orcs appears beautifully realized, and seeing them wearing skulls or helmets picked up around makes them faithful to the books and very effective on the screen. It should also be noted that these orcs wear long robes, probably to cover themselves from the sunlight.
In the following frames we see Halbrand and Galadriel intent on joining forces once again, through a meaningful handshake. The two characters will spend a lot of time together in the first season, and will overcome several complicated situations, which is why the mutual respect that will be created will lead them to fight together in Middle-earth, at least for now. The scene of the second frame probably represents the departure of Galadriel from the port of Numenor. One of our most recent leaks, in fact, specifically says that Finarfin’s daughter will leave for Middle-earth together with Miriel, Elendil, Isildur and the army of Numenor. The destination of this journey is now understood by this trailer, which shows us how these characters will go to Tirharad to face the threat of Adar.
I have always found the frames concerning Numenor full of charm and beauty. In these two images we see first the beautiful Miriel engaged in some ceremony, while in the second we find the army performing in a parade, presumably before setting sail for the middle earth. If we notice well, some of the soldiers have different helmets, and this could be a sign of a higher or different military rank. The armor is confirmed to be white fish scaled, while the helmets have a white horse tail style. This aesthetic is based on the love of the Numenoreans for horses and obviously on the fact that it is a kingdom of the sea, and this mix drives me crazy. Thanks to our leaks we know that the Numenoreans will be very happy to go to war, as for them it means going towards glory, and their departure towards middle earth is described as the exact opposite of the scene in which Faramir leaves Minas Tirith for the desperate reconquest of Osgiliath.
This is another very significant frame. We see a group of dwarves with Disa in the center, intent on singing. The scene in question could be connected with the famous collapse that occurs in Khazad-Dum in the first episodes of the show, and which will see the death of several dwarves. These characters could then sing in some sort of funeral ceremony, but that’s not the only option we have. This could also be an auspicious song dedicated to Aule for the search for Mithril, but I lean more towards the first option, as Disa and the others look up in a very serious and pained way. Once again we see the maniacal care with which the dwarves were made, and this makes me more and more anxious to see them on the show.
Battle scenes at last! Here we are faced with a part of Numenor’s cavalry intent on charging the enemy. Galadriel appears to be in charge of the army and this brings us back to one of our leaks. As I also told in the analysis of the previous trailer, during the first season there will be a violent battle between Numenor and the Orcs, and probably the fight in question is just that. The peculiarity of this scene, based on how it is told in the leak, is that on the set there were catapulted rocks, flames and many fake dead horses. In the third frame we have some Orcs running in a forest. In the images released by Empire Magazine some time ago we saw Arondir running away with Theo somewhere, and that forest appears to be the same as that image. Also in the first teaser trailer we see Arondir firing back an arrow, and even there the forest looks very similar to this. It is therefore possible that some Orcs are sent to kidnap Theo, since he is probably in possession of a relic that he wants Adar, and Arondir is trying to bring him to safety.
Surely you have wondered “What is this?”. Well, my dear free folks, we are probably in front of a Sea Serpent, one of the most fascinating and mysterious creatures of Tolkien’s mithology. In many maps of middle earth we see sea monsters drawn in the great Belegaer, and Tolkien himself said “There are many monsters in the Sea …”. This type of creature are mentioned in The Lost Road, The Adventures of Tom Bombadiland and in some other elvish writings, and its translation into Quenya is lingwilóke. Such monsters have never played a central role in the story, but they exist and are part of this magnificent world, and I personally can’t wait to see it on screen. That said, we notice Galadriel swimming away from the creature, which is probably the main cause of the famous shipwreck, or has simply attacked the raft of the Nolde.
“There can be no trust between hammer and rock. Eventually one or the other must surely break.”
Durin IV and some armored dwarves are probably preparing to welcome someone in the kingdom of Khazad Dum, probably Elrond, who in the first season will be engaged on a diplomatic mission in the majestic dwarven kingdom. The important thing to note is the closer look the magnificent war masks worn by the dwarves, who wink strongly at the Silmarillion. These days I was struck by some important statements made by J.A Bayona, who made it clear that the show will take dwarves very seriously, as they are a people rich in history, spirituality and culture. I think I need to see the dwarves represented in the right way, and I hope the show will give me that satisfaction.
Arondir’s presence in this trailer is massive, and in most cases are action scenes. The Silvan Elf has been assigned to watch over the people of the southlands, and as the threat of evil will spread from there, it is reasonable to expect that we will see him very often in combat scenes. From what we have seen so far, it seems that the character will face several dangers and will also be captured, but of course we cannot know at what time of the season. Being a lover of battles and fights, I can’t wait to see him at work. There is another observation that I would like to make: the Orc we see in the second frame has been shown to us many times, and this could mean that the character is not a simple soldier, and it cannot be excluded that he could be one of Adar’s captains.
This is a very strange scene, and it is worth trying to deepen it. The famous Meteor Man seems to be out of his mind at that moment, and is hitting something on the ground in anger. The curious thing to note is that there are some hidden hobbits nearby. We could link this frame to one of our leaks, which is about a character attack on the harfoots community. Could the “Stranger” be the cause of this attack? We will find out during the show.
We are in the village of Tirharad, a place that will be targeted by Adar and his orcs. From the image you can understand that the place is probably experiencing one of those moments between a clash and another, since there are people hurt and the situation seems quite worrying. Soon after we see an explosion that could start the battle, and Galadriel’s expression makes us understand how dejected she is to discover that she was right: evil has survived, and has returned to dominate Middle-earth. The most interesting detail is found in the first frame, in which we also see Arondir and other characters from Numenor among the people of the south. We are therefore certain that Galadriel and Miriel (probably guided by their visions) will sail to this place to investigate about their premonitions, and will find themselves helping and supporting the people of Tirharad.
“You have been told many lies of Middle-earth…”
Adar’s cryptic phrase takes us to the last two images of this huge trailer. In the first we see once again the priestess from before, this time intent on burning a leaf with an incandescent breath, which could be something purely symbolic, but nothing should be excluded. Some speculate that this character may be in Khazad Dum at some point in the first season, but we currently have too little material to understand that. Probably this sect will begin to prepare the ground for the arrival of Sauron, and it is not excluded that they can perform evil works already in the first eight episodes. The trailer closes with a creature that has a nostalgic value for us fans: a Balrog of Morgoth. Surely you will remember the one seen in The Lord of the Rings, which looks aesthetically very, very similar to this. The difference that is noticed is in the curvature of the horns, but otherwise it looks identical. It is very unlikely that this balrog is Durin’s Bane, as the Moria disaster occurs in the Third Age. For now it is more likely that it is a Balrog that appears in a flashback of the first age, but in any case we are all delighted to be able to re-admire such a creature.
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) July 26, 2022
Our long journey inside the trailer ends here, and leaves us full of hype and questions. Evil finally returns to take the stage, and this trailer focuses on the threat looming over middle earth. The atmospheres are dark and sometimes creepy, and the images that follow one another are full of mystery and epicness. September 2nd is approaching, and we are all eager to return to our favorite universe, to our home. For the moment, I greet you, and thank you for reading this analysis.
Tenn’ enomentielva. mellyn