We finally received a teaser trailer for the much anticipated Lord of the Rings prequel series coming to Amazon Prime later this year, ‘The Rings of Power’.
The overall takeaway of the teaser trailer is the emphasis that this is a prequel as the text on the screen constantly reminds us that it is in fact a prequel ‘before the king’, ‘before the ring’. The second major takeaway is the increase in diversity throughout the trailer.
Opening with a shot of a young girl shows a potential shift in the show with how female characters are portrayed. Although there were iconic women in the original such as Galadriel and Aowen they still didn’t take on a lead role. With young Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) actually being shown in action sequences, flighting, being shipwrecked and climbing a mountain this is a drastic contrast to her portrayal in the trilogy.
The diversity in the cast and the trailer again immediately put ‘The Rings of Power’ apart from its sister productions. Both ‘The Lord of Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ famously had an almost entirely white cast and across the six films, the only character of colour with a speaking role is Lurtz the Urak-Hai.
Despite most people being excited for the new original story and show there was backlash around the diversity of the cast, with many accusing the show of ‘forced diversity’.
Executive producer Lindsey Weber told Vanity fair how: “it felt only natural to us that an adaptation of Tolkien’s work would reflect what the world actually looks like, Tolkien is for everyone. His stories are about his fictional races doing their best work when they leave the isolation of their own cultures and come together.”
British actress Sophia Nomvete will become the franchise’s first female dwarf as well as the first black woman to play a LOTR dwarf with her character Princess Disa.
Lenny Henry is also part of the cast. He spoke to Radio 4 about his role as a Harfoots (the ancestors of Hobbits): “We’re an indigenous population of Harfoots, we’re hobbits but we’re called Harfoots.
“We’re multi-cultural, we’re a tribe not a race, so there are Black, Asian and brown, even Maori types within it.”
A notable absence from the trailer were hobbits and wizards with the series not focusing on the adventures of these fan favourites. With a lot of new characters being introduced in the trailer, it is difficult to keep track but there was a potential shot of young Elron as well as a fan theory that Tom Bombadil’s hands were in shot at one point.
There were clear similarities as well, with the first season being shot in New Zealand like the original trilogy and the Hobbit trilogy. The continuation of the familiar scenery will be a pleasant nostalgic nod, however, this is the last we will see of New Zealand in the Lord of the Rings world.
It has been confirmed that all following seasons of ‘The Rings of Power’ will be filmed in the UK as part of the collaboration with the Tolkien Estate. Going forward the show be filmed in the original place that J R.R Tolkien was inspired for his work.
The series hits Amazon Prime on September 2 and it will be interesting if it lives up to what was a very lively and action-packed trailer as well as justifies the enormous budget for the show. With the following four seasons already confirmed, can ‘The Rings of Power’ replicate the wonder and beauty of ‘Lord of the Rings’ pleasing old fans and bringing in new ones?
Featured image credit: Vanity Fair/Amazon Studios