“There was a time when the world was so young. There had not yet been a sunrise. But even then, there was light.”
That’s how the first long look we have for The Rings of Power starts.
So, only 50 days before the release of the show on Amazon Prime, we are finally getting a full length trailer for,what has been deemed the most expensive show in the history of television.
After Galadriel’s opening statement (at least, it seems to be Galadriel), we get a nice long statement by Amazon’s new Hobbits, the Harfoots, about how they only have each other. Then there’s some Hobbit cavorting, apparently.
The rest of the trailer leans into the idea that Galadriel needs to “put up her sword” and avoid that toxic masculinity that has defined the Noldor for too long… I guess? Clearly, they’re loving the idea of a warrior Galadriel at Amazon.
Interestingly, throughout the entire trailer we never get a REAL look at the big evil–Sauron. At this point, many are thinking that Halbrand will turn out to be Sauron (there is one shot of him sitting in some sort of Númenorean council as a prisoner)–but there’s no confirmation of that yet.
While Elrond and Galadriel debate how big and how evil the coming times will be, the trailer makes no clearer what that evil is, or what the battle will be (those of us who’ve read The Silmarillion know, of course–but Amazon is taking some pretty broad license with their version of Middle-earth, so who really knows?). Who are they fighting? Why are they worried? Where’s the battle?
We also get some shots of the Meteor Man who arrives on Middle-earth in his fiery crater. There is a shot that makes the crater look like Sauron’s eye from Peter Jackson’s films–could that be a hint that THIS character is Sauron?
All in all, it’s a lot of very nice imagery and looks like a great fantasy show–very reminiscent of Peter Jackson’s films.
But is it Tolkien?
Certainly they’re taking some wide licenses with characters and storylines. They’re leaning heavily on their own characters (Harfoots, Arondir, Bronwyn, Halbrand), while also changing the ones we know from Tolkien’s works (Galadriel, Elrond).
I’m sure it’ll be fun to watch. But, I fear, it won’t be anything like the Tolkien we know. Set your Middle-earth expectations low and look at it as $1 billion fan fiction, and you may not be disappointed.