The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Teaser Returns Fans to Middle-Earth
Following a promotional build-up that included a title reveal, character posters and a teaser for the teaser, Prime Video released the first footage from The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power during Super Bowl LVI.
Clocking in at 60 seconds, it's a teaser in the literal sense, opening on an awe-inspiring shot of a city that's almost certainly in Numenor, the kingdom whose fabled downfall helped to shape the world of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, before cutting to the by-now familiar landscape of New Zealand, which has long stood in for Middle-earth. From there, the footage jumps among the series' sprawling cast of characters -- Elves, Men and Dwarves alike -- some familiar to fans of author J.R.R. Tolkien's works, namely Galadriel and Elrond, and others created for The Rings of Power.
Set during the storied Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the Prime Video series follows the ensemble cast of characters as they confront the long-feared reemergence of evil (that is, Sauron). As the trailer hints, The Rings of Power promises to take viewers from the island kingdom of Númenor to the Elven realm of Lindon to the Dwarven dominion of Khazad-dûm, perhaps better known as Moria to fans of director Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings.
Although Jackson's film adaptations fleetingly depict key events of the Second Age -- the forging of the Rings of Power, the emergence of the Ringwraiths, and the defeat of Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance -- much of the era remains unexplored outside of Tolkien's supplemental works. Intended as a 50-hour, five-season series, The Rings of Power greatly condenses the timeline of the Second Age, which may be its greatest departure from the source material, but viewed as a necessity for the multi-season story.
“We talked with the Tolkien estate,” co-showrunner J.D. Payne told Vanity Fair. “If you are true to the exact letter of the law, you are going to be telling a story in which your human characters are dying off every season because you’re jumping 200 years in time, and then you’re not meeting really big, important canon characters until season four. Look, there might be some fans who want us to do a documentary of Middle-earth, but we’re going to tell one story that unites all these things.”
The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power announced its full cast in January 2020, and wrapped production of Season 1 in New Zealand in August 2021. Future seasons will be filmed in the United Kingdom. The series will premiere Friday, Sept. 2 on Prime Video.