Super Bowl 2022

The Rings of Power teaser proves Amazon is very serious about the streaming wars

Amazon goes to the Second Age in the first teaser for The Rings of Power, the Lord of the Rings prequel series.

Originally Published: 
Ben Rothstein, Amazon Studios

The Rams and Bengals aren’t the only ones going to battle on Super Bowl Sunday.

During the championship NFL game, Amazon fired its bow to signal its biggest bet in the streaming wars with the first teaser trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which aired during the third quarter of the football game.

With breathtaking views of Middle-earth that rival the imagery of Peter Jackson’s award-winning film trilogy, The Rings of Power is more than six months away from its September 2 premiere on Prime Video — but it’s already one of the buzziest releases of the year.

Robert Aramayo and Morfydd Clark play Elrond and Galadriel in The Rings of Power.

Amazon Studios

What Happened? — On Super Bowl Sunday, Amazon unleashed the first teaser for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The series is set to premiere on Amazon’s Prime Video on September 2.

Offering more than just the title carved on wood and posters with characters’ hands, the teaser shows off what viewers can expect from the show (which, financially speaking, is the most expensive to date). Of central focus in the teaser is Morfydd Clark (Saint Maud), playing a younger Galadriel that’s been described in Vanity Fair as “angry and brash as she is clever.”

Actor Ismael Cruz Córdova, who starred in the third season of the Epix series Berlin Station and in a 2019 episode of The Mandalorian, also gets a slick, slow-motion shot firing a bow in his role as Arondir, a new character created for the series.

You can watch the teaser trailer in the embed below.

Also heard in the trailer are the disembodied voices of actors Megan Richards and Markella Kavenagh. While little is known about their roles, it’s been revealed in Vanity Fair that they are harfoots, a hobbit predecessor species. “Haven’t you ever wondered what else is out there? There’s wonders in this world,” they are heard saying. “I can feel it.”

In The Rings of Power, these two harfoots meet a mysterious stranger whose true identity is still unknown, but whose significance will reverberate throughout the entire series.

What else populates the teaser for Rings of Power are the usual visuals seen in fantasy epics: strange magical phenomenon, characters giving strong looks, galloping horses before gorgeous landscapes, and giant monsters rendered in CG. And unique to Lord of the Rings, there are the eye-popping colors of forests and fire familiar to fans of the film trilogy. (It should be said Peter Jackson has no involvement with Amazon’s show, but the towering influence of his movies makes comparisons inevitable and homages to it unmistakable.)

Of course, there’s something missing: The Rings of Power. Thankfully, that’s the premise for the whole show. Set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, during the Second Age, The Rings of Power will detail the events that lead up to the forging of the rings that are gifted to dwarves, elves, men, and the One Ring to rule them all.

So the trailer confirms in text: “Before the King, Before the Fellowship, Before the Ring, a New Legend Begins This Fall.”

Ismael Cruz Córdova stars in The Rings of Power as Arondir, an elf who can be seen firing a bow in the teaser trailer.

Ben Rothstein, Amazon Studios

The Inverse Analysis — Amazon is very serious about the content wars. It doesn’t just want to compete but dominate. Debuting the teaser trailer for one of the most lavishly produced TV shows in history in front of the Super Bowl is how you generate attention. After today, your most clueless relatives now know about The Rings of Power.

Not long ago Jeff Bezos was reported to have said “I want my Game of Thrones,” which led to Amazon acquiring the TV rights for Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. At the moment Amazon only has TV rights for Tolkien’s stories, and the IP’s film and video game rights just went up for sale. (Variety reports Amazon is at the “top of the list” to acquire said rights.)

But no amount of money easily translates into quality. Hopefully, The Rings of Power delivers on the spirit of the saga and keeps in mind the corruptive nature of power that Tolkien imbued in his famous story. There are five guaranteed seasons for The Rings of Power. All it has to decide is what to do with the time it’s given.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres September 2, 2022 on Prime Video.

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