Will ‘The Rings of Power’ Be Powerful Enough to Lure the LOTR Fandom?

For fantasy lovers and geeks of all levels of society, get ready to stamp your nerd passport back to Middle-earth because Amazon Studio’s long-awaited “The Rings of Power” is coming!

There have been many rumors about this prequel series:

  • The alleged $1 billion price tag for production (yes, billion)
  • The relatively unknown cast
  • The concept of eras before Saruman and Gandalf clashed staffs,
  • The characters who will be joining us
  • And when in the hell is it going to be broadcast?!

Thanks to the sneak peek teaser Prime Video dropped, we know very little and have even more questions. On the oft-chance, you were in a coma, visited friends in an Amish community, or were fasting from technology, here is the stellar teaser:

There it is: A time in Middle-earth set more than 3,000 years before the trilogies of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. But will it be worth all the hype? What power will those rings still have in our lives? Great questions amid the foggy peaks of the Misty Mountains and the scalding lava of Mount Doom.

Here are some answers as you prepare for this journey.

Amazon’s ‘The Rings of Power’ Sets to Bring Fans Full Circle

Source: New Line Cinema/WingNut Films

Showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay (screenwriters for Godzilla vs. Kong) shared how the 20 rings of power were created and the source of evil behind them.

“[The Rings of Power] unites all the major stories of Middle-earth’s second age: the forging of the rings, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the epic tale of Numenor, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.”

CNN.com (01/19/2022)

If you listened carefully to the teaser, you are already familiar with the dulcet tones of Galadriel (played by Cate Blanchett then and now, the stone-cold Morfydd Clark of Saint Maud and His Dark Materials fame).

If you appreciate a solid A24 indie film, then you should be thrilled about Clark in this captivating role. She is mercurial and mesmerizing. (Seriously, Saint Maud was one of the sleeper hits last year.) But now, she is a mystical elf with incredible sway and importance in one of those fascinating and successful franchises ever.

The Fellowship of the Ring was the third age of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s majestic universe, and this will be centered far into the past from that moment. If you remember, FOTR began with the fabled Sauron and why the wars started to fight over the power the Ring yielded. We followed the Middle-earth explorers of Frodo, Samwise, Aragorn, and Gollum.

Somehow, this journey into Middle-earth will take us up to that point. And that is about all the similarities we will get between where Peter Jackson took us and where Amazon Studios will begin, which sets course on September 2, 2022.

Will This Story Become a Vicious Circle of Elven Folklore?

Source: Amazon Studios/New Line Cinema

How do you add a film or TV series to that stunning Academy award-winning work Peter Jackson provided us? The bar is already so high you need a pole vaulter to reach those standards. And, in case you were wondering, Jackson has already confirmed he won’t be involved but is happy to offer some insight. It turns out Mortal Engines was taking all his attention.

And we all know how that ended up. Moving on…

Since that background doesn’t ring a bell among the Tolkien faithful, many believe we are staring at the horizon in the island kingdom of Numenor. Seeing that beautiful vista means we are getting some of the same picturesque journeys we saw in the films (even though the production left Auckland for London).

The intrigue of this series begins with the title–we aren’t focused on a singular ring. There were others forged together to control the kingdoms Sauron wanted to conquer. Pay attention to the voice of our favorite heavenly Elf:

“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie…”

Galadriel (Morfydd Clark, The Rings of Power)

Think about those shadows. A journey with one fabled Ring was at the heart of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It was full of shadows. Those elves found them around every valley, mountain, and depth on the way to a fiery abyss that would shape their lives.

In theory, the end of this five-season series from Amazon Studios will culminate with the end of the Second Age–otherwise known as the beginning of The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.

Consider the alluring power of the One Ring. The elves didn’t flock to it; they ran from it. They had an inkling of pain and pestilence that awaited them in possession of that single Ring. And now, we have the Dark Lord Sauron chasing after 20 of them. What the Elf?!

This Prequel Series Prophesied its Own Beginning

You may want to get this back out, gamers.
Source: Sony/WB Games/Monolith

Speaking of shadows, does anyone remember the 2014 video game “Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor”?

In that short-lived on-the-shelf video game, we were introduced to an Elf Lord and enigmatic blacksmith named Celebrimor. He is the one who discovers Sauron’s focus as it pertains to these “Rings of Power.” Yes, we have stellar hints of a 2022 series left for us in these two video games as a trail of prophetic Easter Eggs leading us into the Second Age.

If Amazon delves far into that Second Age of four that Tolkien created for the history of Arda, we will meet a sardonic being who makes Sauron look like an armor-clad Mr. Rogers named Morgoth.

He is Sauron’s malevolent mentor and has a name that means “Dark Foe of the World.”

The Second Age should begin with Sauron attempting to crystallize his power to fill evil in all the gaps Morgoth’s absence left in its wake. This dude is fierce and if we get to meet him, fasten your seat belts!

And if you are worried that The Rings of Power will face the same fate of the last season of Game of Thrones, don’t.

We all know George R.R. Martin didn’t supply the material for the last season of GoT, which is why many believe the season and series ended with that fart-and-fall-down moment.

However, the Second Age and its 3,500-year-span was taken from Tolkien’s posthumous works The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth.

This success of this series will make Prime Video one of the top streamers on the planet. And, from what we have determined, they aren’t messing around with the connective tissue to previous or later versions of the source material.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “And so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Frodo and Gandalf, Fellowship of the Ring

So, what have Amazon Studios done with all the time given them (and the extra time, thanks to Covid)? It seems they have done much more than expected already. Anticipation, eagerness, and delirium? You shall not pass!