Amazon Prime has launched the final trailer for its Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series in the lead up to its imminent arrival on September 2. While the series is clearly overflowing with visual splendour – it’s reported to be the most expensive TV show of all time – 11 years after Game of Thrones first rocked us with its gritty approach to fantasy world-building, this can’t help but feel somewhat toothless.
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Set thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the show will follow a plethora of characters including Galadriel – previously portrayed by Cate Blanchett, who is here replaced by Morfydd Clark – as they “confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth,” according to the show’s synopsis. We’re assuming that can only mean Sauron’s rearing his ugly head, or fiery eyeball, or whatever form he’s choosing to take this time around – it doesn’t really matter as he’s a nondescript force of evil without a shred of nuance or character to make him even remotely interesting at this point.
The trailer certainly shows off a lot of beautiful imagery, but doesn’t really give much of a sense as to what the narrative thrust of this whole venture will be. There seems to be a lot of talking in Lord of the Rings-isms that don’t really seem to mean much without context (and to be honest, they sound like they might not even mean much with context). Absolute nonsense like “Choose not the path of fear, but that of faith,” and “Each of us, every one, must decide who we shall be” are delivered with such absolute seriousness that they wind up sounding like a parody of fantasy epic dialogue, making it hard not to respond with an eye-roll.
Perhaps we’re being a little harsh. As we said, the show is undeniably stunning in terms of its imagery and we’ll definitely be giving it a fair shake when it launches on September 2. With House of the Dragon off to a strong start, we’re hoping our fears around The Rings of Power are unfounded and we’re instead entering a golden age of fantasy TV.