“The tides of fate are flowing.” Those are words the elven queen Galadriel once shared with a brave young Hobbit named Frodo—and similar fateful currents converged on Friday at San Diego Comic-Con, where Amazon’s upcoming The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power TV series sought to make its biggest splash yet. In a 90-minute panel hosted by Middle-earth super-fan Stephen Colbert, the creators of the show based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s vast pre-history presented their cast, a new trailer, and exclusive clips to thousands of sci-fi and fantasy obsessives gathered inside the convention center’s legendary Hall H.
There is no harder room in geekdom. This crowd waits for hours, sometimes camping overnight, to gain access to the airplane-hangar-sized auditorium. Given that this is the first time the summertime convention has been held since the pandemic started, that anticipation has been pent-up for two years.
Colbert and company walked the crowd through the timeline of the Prime Video show, first detailed in February in Vanity Fair‘s exclusive: Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings Series Rises. But if any crowd of fans is already aware that this show is set thousands of years before the events depicted in Tolkien’s trilogy of novels and Peter Jackson‘s Oscar-winning films, it’s the one gathered at Comic-Con. Showrunners Patrick McKay and JD Payne had to prove to those who are most familiar, and most invested, in the original tales that this will be a journey worth taking.
To do that, they presented the most expansive clips yet from the series, which debuts Sept. 2, along with an array of new art and a live rendition of its score from composer Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander), performed by a full orchestra and 16-person choir. While much of that was geared exclusively toward tantalizing the people of Hall H, the new trailer was released to the world.
Now the reactions will be forged—along with countless dissections and analysis from the world of Tolkien aficionados.
Morfydd Clark plays Galadriel, who at this point in her lifespan was more of a dauntless warrior than an ethereal royal. She’s one of the few who sense that an evil once spread by the godlike Morgoth and his apprentice Sauron has not been fully stamped out. Elsewhere in Middle-earth, two hobbit ancestors known as the harfoot (Megan Richards and Markella Kavenagh) care for a strange bearded man who seems to have fallen from the sky in a fireball. In the human-controlled southlands, a watchful silvan elf named Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) and a healer named Bronwen (Nazanin Boniadi) detect unsettling clues that something is going awry in the natural world.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will show some familiar faces and places from Middle-earth, including Robert Aramayo as the elven diplomat Elrond (originated in the Jackson films by Hugo Weaving) attempting to re-establish an alliance with the dwarf princes and princess (Owain Arthur and Sophia Nomvete) in the underworld of Khazad-dûm. By the time of Frodo, this subterranean metropolis is an abandoned tomb, but in this earlier era is a thriving metropolis.
One region from Tolkien lore that has never before been seen onscreen is the island of Númenor, which the author presented as a lost kingdom of great wealth and technological advancement, similar to our world’s myths of Atlantis. The star-shaped island not only makes an appearance in the new show, but is a critical part of the story. It’s where Galadriel and a castaway named Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) find themselves confronting some of the key figures who will one day face down Sauron and his all-powerful ring.
That outcome is thousands of years—and perhaps several seasons of television—away at the moment. Given the massive expense, the intense cultural significance, and the passion of a mercurial fandom, the first quest for The Rings of Power will be winning over viewers from the hallowed halls of Comic-Con.
The post The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Trailer Throws Down the Gauntlet appeared first on Vanity Fair.Last Update: Fri, 22 Jul 22 14:49:19