Although fans of The Lord of the Rings likely already knew that the new series on Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service would focus on the Second Age of Middle-earth, and serve as a prequel of sorts to the movies, there was some doubt as to whether the rise of Sauron, the main villain of J.R.R. Tolkien’s main trilogy, would be central to the story. Now with the title revealed as The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, it has become clear that the corruption of the races that began with the magical rings will necessitate an appearance from the future Dark Lord of Mordor.
“This is a title that we imagine could live on the spine of a book next to J.R.R. Tolkien’s other classics,” said showrunners J. D. Payne & Patrick McKay in a statement. “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 Númenor, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Until now, audiences have only seen on-screen the story of the One Ring – but before there was one, there were many… and we’re excited to share the epic story of them all.”
In the teaser trailer released to announce the series title, viewers watch as the words The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power are poured as fiery molten metal into hand-carved wooden ravines shaped to the letterforms, each inscribed with lines of Elvish script just like the rings themselves. The accompanying voiceover also serves as a reminder of how the rings were created, as we hear lines from Tolkien’s famous “Ring Verse,” describing the intended recipients of the 20 rings over which Sauron’s One Ring will rule:
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.
It seems likely that The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will feature at least some if not all of the leaders of each race who receive a ring. The audience will of course be in on Sauron’s plan from the start, but the story of the corruption of those who will eventually become Ringwraiths will provide the main conflict of the new series. The official description from Prime Video is as follows:
“[The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power] will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and one of the greatest villains that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared reemergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the farthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power stars Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow), Trystan Gravelle (A Discovery of Witches), Benjamin Walker (Jessica Jones), and Peter Mullen (Cursed), among many others.