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Small Details You Missed In The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Teaser

It's official: Amazon's expensive, endlessly hyped, years-in-the-making Middle-earth series has a first clip. It isn't a trailer, per se. In fact, it can hardly be called a teaser. It's simply a title announcement. Is it short? Sure. Is it primarily designed to reveal the show's name? Absolutely. But with years of waiting for this hotly anticipated return to Middle-earth already behind us, we'll drool over anything we can get.

The teaser primarily follows a series of fog-covered trenches that initially look like a wild landscape in the desert. However, as the clip plays out, liquid fire starts to pour out into the screen. The camera backs out a bit, and we start to see that we're not looking at a panoramic view of a landscape, but rather a close-up of a piece of wood with carved grooves. These grooves continue to fill with liquid fire that, as it cools, eventually reveals the metallic outline of the show's title: "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power." Throughout the clip, the famous Ring Verse ("Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky," etc...) is dramatically read by Morfydd Clark, who has been cast to play a younger Galadriel in the show (per Variety).

Even with a short, seemingly banal clip like the one that Amazon released, there are still plenty of deep cuts and tip-of-the-hat elements worth looking for. Here are some of the small details you may have missed during "The Rings of Power" title release.

Galadriel finishes what Gandalf started

In Peter Jackson's films, we're treated to a double-header of Gandalf reciting a portion of the Ring Verse. The wizard first says those words in "The Fellowship of the Ring" when Frodo initially sees them show up on the fire-heated Ring. Gandalf declares them again later on in the film, in the Black Speech, during the Council of Elrond. In this case, it's the last part of the poem that Gandalf is reciting. This is the part that reads, "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."

In the new teaser, Galadriel recites the same poem — but a different part. She specifically says, "Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die," then she ends with the ponderous "One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne In the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie."

Keen listeners will notice that the two verses don't overlap. That's because they're two halves of the same poem. Galadriel's lines in the teaser constitute the first half of the Ring Verse, while Gandalf's lines about the One Ring end it. Starting the new show by completing the Ring Verse from Peter Jackson's films is a great way to quietly draw those lines between the iconic films and the upcoming show.

Galadriel is a ring bearer

Gandalf may have been the one to speak the Ring Verse lines in Peter Jackson's films, but he isn't a character during the Second Age when the show is supposed to be set. That said, having Galadriel narrate the verse is hardly random. The choice to have this character, in particular, speak the lines is a quite clever nod to a couple of different things.

First, the narration brings to mind Cate Blanchett's version of Galadriel as she narrated the opening minutes of Peter Jackson's films. This is a famous introduction that has gone down as one of the great fantasy opening scenes of all time (per Inside Hook). That's right, keep making those connections to Jackson's films, Amazon.

Even more important, though, is the fact that Galadriel herself is a ring bearer. No, that doesn't mean she wears the One Ring. However, she's famous as the keeper of Nenya, the Ring of Water. Galadriel receives her ring during the Second Age — which means we'll probably see her get it during the show. Having one of the ring bearers narrate the first official clip of a show about the Rings is clearly the best way to kick this whole thing off.

The music clearly reflects Howard Shore's original score

Howard Shore is the defining element of on-screen Middle-earth entertainment. The master composer helmed the scores for all six of Peter Jackson's films (via IMDb) and has become an iconic part of the Middle-earth experience. That's why, when Deadline reported back in September of 2021 that Shore was in talks to compose music for the new series, the world rejoiced.

Now, just to clarify, the report claimed that he was "in talks," and as of this writing, there hasn't been a confirmation that we can see to confirm that fact. However, whether Shore's involved or not, this teaser clip clearly shows how much his legacy will influence the content. Right from the get-go, the music screams classic Middle-earth cinema.

The background voices, the strings, the wind instruments ...and the sudden, terrifying use of music to set the tone (jump 10 seconds into the clip if you want to know what we're talking about), all of these sound like vintage Shore compositions. Whether they are or not remains to be seen, but there's no doubt that the production crew is pulling all of the strings (and winds, and percussion) to make sure this one has musical callbacks to the Jackson-verse.

Sauron is referenced in the title

The primary goal of Amazon's clip was to reveal the title, and they did that with about as much drama as you could ask for. Calling in Galadriel to help set the stage was also a good move. But there's another character who's referenced right in plain sight in the clip: Sauron himself.

While all we get is the Ring Verse and a shot of the title, it's the latter that ends up revealing how important Sauron will be — yet again. What are we talking about, you ask? Why, the beginning of the title itself, of course. Amazon invented the "The Rings of Power" part for their show, but they start the title off with the good old-fashioned "The Lord of the Rings" moniker. And that isn't just the name of the best book series ever penned — It also refers to Sauron, the Dark Lord and the Lord of the Rings.

While everyone and their mother suspected that Sauron would be the primary antagonist in the show, his immediate presence right in the title confirms that we can expect a lot more of the Dark Lord to come. Even so, it'll likely be quite a different iteration of the villain thanks to the fact that, during this period of Middle-earth history, he spends most of his time going around blending in with the Elves by changing his physical appearance to the hunky version of himself named Annatar. Yeah, this is going to be a lot of fun.

There are glowing words... in the words

As the clip comes to a close, we get the final moments before the reveal of the title itself. At this point, we've seen the "trenches" that are really wooden grooves fill with molten metal. This has cooled off into a steely-looking material that is shaped in a series of letters. As the camera goes moves up and backs out to show the name, though, there's a quick flash where we see orange glowing in the metal. At first, this just looks like spots of uncooled material, but on closer examination, it clearly looks like an Elven script ...a lot like the one used on the One Ring. In fact, the letter in the title that they're showing happens to be the "O" in the word "Power." In other words, they include a glowing ring of words that wrap around a circular metal object. Sound familiar?

Interestingly, we've compared it to the Elvish version of Tolkien's Ring Verse (via Tolkein Gateway), and while it seems to be the same language, it doesn't appear to line up. Until we can get an Elvish linguist on staff, we may never know just what the new inscription says. Regardless, there's no doubt that there are real words written on the sides of the letters. It looks like Amazon Studios has more to say about their fancy new title than we may think.

The show will be in a lot of different languages

Okay, this one's a little bit unfair, since it doesn't actually take place in the teaser itself. However, within a few hours of the teaser being released, Amazon Studios uploaded another even shorter clip to its @LOTRonPrime Twitter account.

This one starts keeps the epic music rolling. It also opens with the title, "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," this time in a clean, silvery script with a plain black background. A few seconds in, the same title is shown in Portuguese. Then Spanish. Then German. From there, it launches into a rapid-fire reveal of many, many different languages before ending on the title in Elvish.

The clip is just 14 seconds long, but it reveals the massive scale that this show is targeting. The fact that they made the point about the show's vast number of language options right after the title reveal echoes a sentiment that Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke expressed back in May of 2021. In a roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Salke explained the enormous cost of the show, pointing out that "As for how many people need to watch Lord of the Rings? A lot ... A giant, global audience needs to show up to it as appointment television, and we are pretty confident that that will happen."

With this kind of a splashy announcement, Amazon is definitely putting itself in a position to make that happen.

The teaser is real, not CGI

At first glance, the entire teaser clip is loaded with CGI. As it starts, the footage dupes viewers into thinking they're looking at some sort of fictional Arrakis-like landscape with deep ravines and sand dunes. As reality sets in, it becomes clear that the scene is happening in a forge, with molten metal flowing through the gorges carved into a wooden template. Throughout the bait-and-switch experience, it seems very clear that we're looking at one of the first commercial uses of the show's astronomical budget in the form of some really fancy, impressive CGI.

But it turns out, that isn't the case. The entire thing is an actual, real-life prop on set. Mic drop.

IGN produced a video that was published shortly after the primary teaser was released. In the clip. We see another view of the teaser from the production side of things. And there, plain as day, is a real-life wooden board. Cameras swing around getting close-ups while fog is pumped onto the lumber and someone carefully comes up and starts pouring red-hot metal into the mold. Water is even poured down a carefully staged ramp to ensure that it splashes across the hot metal in as dramatic a fashion as possible.

It's a wild shot that is as mesmerizing as it is revealing. The truly impressive thing, though, is that it shows just how much of the clip was filmed in real-time and then slowed down after the fact. It demonstrates the lengths to which the producers are going to make sure the show isn't a massive CGI crap-fest ...as some have dubbed the Hobbit films from a few years ago.

Our only question that remains is if they actually imbued the mold with that magical lettering on the side of each letter. Because if they did, then we're looking at some serious craftsmanship right there.

The 'mortal men' line foreshadows a catastrophe

It may have taken years to figure out, but at this point, we're aware of the fact that the show will visit or at least reference the Kingdom of Númenor. This is exciting news for fans, as the epic story arc of the island nation is a captivating narrative that starts in glory and ends in disaster — specifically an Atlantis-like sinking of the entire nation. This fits the bill for Tolkien's proclivities, as the author had a self-proclaimed "Atlantis complex" (Letter 163). In fact, this isn't even the first time part of the author's world sinks beneath the ocean.

What does all of this have to do with a title reveal teaser? Let's fast-forward 30 seconds into the clip, shall we? At that point, we hear Galadriel say the line "Nine for Mortal Men, doomed to die." As she utters the phrase, we see a distinct shift from the fiery, molten images that have been on the screen up to that point. Instead, we see a flood of water come washing over the cooling metal letters.

On the surface, this looks cool. It's part of the smithing process and would make any Dwarf feel right at home. But it would seem that there's more going on here than the simple forging of a title while someone recites a poem. The water is shown cascading over the letters in a violent, flood-like manner that reminds the viewer of nothing so much as the destruction of Númenor. 

To combine it with the line "mortal men doomed to die" seems too perfect to be an accident. We prefer to lean on the side of an Easter egg, ourselves. After all, we know that there are going to be quite a few mortal men dying via waterborne destruction in the show.