A single minute—not even. That’s the length of the look we finally have at Amazon’s massive Lord of the Rings gamble: an estimated $250 million on the rights alone, and uncounted millions making at least two seasons of a show based on Tolkien stories that most casual fans don’t know anything about.
So it makes sense that they made this minute look like Middle-earth’s Greatest Hits Vol. 7: Stuff What Looks Cool and Kind of Familiar. Orcs! Riders on horseback! And, most compellingly, a younger Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) who is not holed up in Lothlórien but out there in the world doing things. A lot of things.
Galadriel on a raft! Galadriel climbing a mountain while wearing some very threatening gauntlets! Galadriel on horseback! This is pretty clearly an ensemble show, but Galadriel is the big name and gets much of the spotlight. We also see Elrond (Robert Aramayo), who looks rather conniving; a man who might be Isildur, doing some adventuring; the human Halbrand (Charlie Vickers), on a storm-tossed raft; dwarf princess Disa (Sophia Nomvete); dwarf prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur); the new character Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) doing some fancy bow-work; a harfoot woman, who may or may not be delivering the voice-over; and some lovely landscapes and cities, likely both elvish and human.
The trailer lingers on a small hand holding a larger one, at the end, but without any clues as to what we’re seeing, we can only speculate: harfoot and human? Harfoot and wizard? A trusting grasp or a tentative one?
Amazon’s summary is not big on details:
Amazon Studios’ forthcoming series brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and 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 the greatest villain 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 re-emergence 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 furthest 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 premieres September 2nd.