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Amazon's Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Character Posters Are Extremely Revealing

Amazon's upcoming "Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" series is starting to pick up steam. Just a couple of weeks after an epic title reveal (made with practical effects, no less), the studio has revealed a much larger chunk of content hinting at the upcoming show. On February 3, the studio released not one, not two, but 23 character photos.

This sounds like really exciting news — and in a way, it definitely is. The only problem is the fact that, well, none of the images have heads. Or character names. Or actor names. Each one is shrouded in mystery, only revealing a still image that captures each individual from roughly below the neck to their midriff. Clearly, the reveal is meant to stoke speculation rather than make any splashy, set-in-stone announcements.

Fortunately, there is no lack of details. On the contrary, the nearly two-dozen images are brimming with little gems that are clearly designed to entice speculation. And you can bet your bottom dollar that Tolkien fandom is up to the task, as are we. We've combed over the images and found some of the most intriguing bits of information hidden therein. Here are our findings, along with some of our own speculation about who and what the show is hinting at.

There are some dark, villainous vibes

One of the images that attracted the most attention was a dark shot of a black-armored hand grasping a black sword. While there are no rings visible, there do appear to be a few jewels in the pommel of the sword. The individual is wearing what seems to be chain mail armor above its gauntleted hands, while hard, dark plate armor adorns its chest. The sword handle design is thin and spidery, too.

While there is a lot to see here, there's no clear indication that it is any one person. The initial shot gives off vibes of a smaller version of Sauron from Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" films. This is possible, as Sauron spends at least some time as a warlord throughout the era covered by the show. However, there are also many other potential options.

For instance, it could be one of the Ringwraiths early in their state of evolution into their wraith-like selves. Some of the Nazgûl also come from a group of Númenórean rebels called the "Black Númenóreans." This evil iteration of Men is rich and powerful, and could easily sport a leader with a black suit of fancy armor.

Some fans are even speculating that it could be Morgoth, the original Dark Lord. However, the Second Age focus of the film (Morgoth is from the First Age and earlier) as well as the smaller size and appearance of the person makes us think this isn't likely.

Is that a scepter we spy?

One of the pictures shows a person who is wearing a light brown robe. While they're mostly covered, it isn't the person that we're looking at, anyway. It's what he's holding: a golden rod. The overpriced baton is intricately carved and appears to have a building or possibly even a portion of a city carved on the top of it.

While the clothing may not look royal, our guess is that we're looking at the scepter that all of the Kings of Númenor used to mark their power. In the appendix to "The Return of the King," it explains that the scepter "was the chief mark of royalty in Númenor." We know from the show's synopsis and other announcements that the powerful and tragic island nation of Númenor is going to play a critical role in the show.

There are other important scepters throughout Middle-earth's long history. Aragorn even inherits one when he becomes king. But that's the silver Scepter of Annúminas — which could still also show up in the show. This one, though, is gold, and it seems to point straight to the kingly leadership of Númenor itself, more than anything else.

A very special dagger

One of the pictures shows us a character with full plate armor on. This is ribbed and delicately shaped into a flowing pattern. They're also seen wearing light chain mail under the armor. Only one hand is shown, and it's holding a dagger pointed downwards.

First off, it's hard not to get strong Elven vibes from this picture, and we're willing to bet that we're looking at an Elven lord, like Gil-galad, Celebrimbor, or possibly even Elrond. If that's the case, the lightweight chain mail could also be our first glimpse of Mithril (the extremely rare metal that Bilbo and Frodo's chain mail is made of) in the new show.

The big takeaway here, though, is the Two Trees. The handle of the dagger is cunningly wrought out of gold and silver, with what appear to be metal leaves and inlaid pearls at the top of the hilt — pearls are a classic favorite for Elven lords, by the way. But the bottom of the handle is clearly shaped into two trees — one gold and the other silver. This is a callback to the Two Trees of Valinor, which Amazon already hinted at in their first series image way back in August of 2021. The pair of trees provide light for the entire world before the sun and moon are created from their fruit, and they are an iconic part of Elven lore. While they won't be part of a Second Age story, it looks like we've got a good chance of their coming up at least as a callback item at some point.

Gold everywhere

One of the images from "Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" shows us someone with hands clasped in front of them. Their hands are covered in rings and they themselves are wearing bright gold clothing. There are even multiple sunburst pendants adorning their garments. The overwhelming display of glorious colors immediately reminds us of one of the most dastardly characters of the entire Second Age: Ar-Pharazôn, the last king of Númenor.

Ar-Pharazôn is a nasty dude who forces his first cousin to marry him so that he can take over the throne. He's greedy for immortality and ends up being thoroughly corrupted by Sauron. His willful rule is also the catalyst for the destruction of his own kingdom. But why do we think this guy, in particular, is Ar-Pharazôn? Because the villain rules under the name "Ar-Pharazôn the Golden," and hey, if the shoe fits, right?

Of course, it could be others, too. Some have guessed that the rings on his fingers could point to the Elven smith Celebrimbor, who helps create the Rings of Power. It could also be Sauron in his guise as Annatar, "Lord of Gifts." It could even be the High Elven King Gil-galad. But at the end of the day, it's really hard to get past the whole "the Golden" moniker. Just sayin'.

Are we already getting Hobbit vibes?

Like it or not, the show has already confirmed that there are going to be Hobbits — or at least an early iteration of the Little People. In fact, Sir Lenny Henry has already confirmed that he's playing the role of a Harfoot, one of the three original groups of Hobbits.

The pictures reveal a couple of characters who could very easily be Hobbits. One image looks like it might be Henry himself, holding a rolled-up map. Another shows a character with dirty hands and rough, Hobbit-like clothes. Their dirty hands are grabbing what the descriptive text says "appears to be a primitive farm implement of some sort." The mention of "farm implement" clearly invokes the little people, who love their quiet, rural lives.

However, it's also worth noting that the "implement" has a sharp claw attached to it, as well. This more violent, rough-and-tumble feel is much less Hobbit-like — at least for those who are used to Hobbits during the late Third Age. Earlier in their history, though, Hobbits were much tougher. They hadn't spent centuries living in the Shire yet. In fact, in the prologue to "The Fellowship of the Ring," Tolkien explains that the earlier Hobbits had to deal with "a shadow that fell on the forest" of Mirkwood, as well as intruding Men. They even undertake what the book calls "a hard and perilous crossing of the [Misty Mountains]" to eventually reach the area of the Shire.

Hobbits clearly weren't always soft. And yes, they technically only appear in the text around the middle of the Third Age of Middle-earth. But Amazon has decided to take some creative liberties to include them in the Second Age, and it appears that we may have already gotten our first glimpse of what these "proto-Hobbits" will look like.

What's with all the fruit?

One of the oddest things about all of the images from "The Rings of Power" is that several of them sport some kind of fruit or nut. One has a handful of acorns. Another has some raspberries. Yet another has an apple. None of these images has any specific thing in common. However, they do all appear to be more worn and rugged individuals. One has a gray beard poking down from above. All of their clothes are rough and tumbled.

But none of this explains why so many of the pictures would have fruits as a centerpiece. It's not like they're supposed to be subtle. They're front and center, and provide vibrant red and green splashes of color.

Perhaps the rustic look of each picture implies that we're seeing even more Hobbits? Or maybe these are supposed to be agricultural hints pointing to many of the more rural groups of Men who live in Middle-earth at this time? During the Second Age, many of the Men of the continent are part of poor, wild, wandering tribes. Many of these are either dominated by Sauron or the Númenóreans (who start as saviors for these Men and then go bad after a while.) Whether it's Hobbits, Men, or anyone else, the whole fruit element is definitely baffling, to say the least.

Are there two Dwarves in the group?

One group of people that don't get much attention during the Second Age is the Dwarves. And yet, if you read the source material, they're there, quietly doing their thing in the background, the whole time. In fact, Moria, which is called Khazad-dûm at the time, is at its height, and its lords have never been richer.

The Dwarves also help fight Sauron, save an army led by Elrond at one point, fight on both sides in the War of the Last Alliance ... oh yeah, and they also get their Dwarven rings. Sure, Sauron gives them out in the hopes of controlling them as he does with the Nazgûl, but in the book "The Return of the King," it states that the only power that the rings had over the Dwarves "was to inflame their hearts with a greed of gold and precious things ..." It adds that they steadfastly resist domination and "though they could be slain or broken, they could not be reduced to shadows enslaved to another will ..."

So where are the Dwarves in this new release of images? How about a couple of the first ones published? They show two characters, one with what seems to be a long gray beard (or possibly just odd clothing) that is bedecked with golden trinkets. The other has a tied-off red beard above two rough hands resting on a giant hammer clearly marked with Dwarven runes. Both characters also have gold dust on their fingers. Yeah ...

Could the wood elves be involved?

One of the pictures shows a curious image of someone holding an arrow in their fist. This immediately hints at Elves, even though Men and Dwarves clearly use arrows, too. Still, the signature Elvish weapon has a couple of other things to make us think Elf ... and not just any Elf, either.

See, the person is also wearing a fancy piece of armor that is covered in carvings of leaves. At the top, a carved face can clearly be seen peeking out from the leaves before it's cut off by what looks like a green or gray cloak. This has many people guessing that what we're looking at isn't just an Elf, but a wood elf. Perhaps even an Elf straight out of the Woodland Realm in Mirkwood.

If that's the case, we could be looking at one of a couple of important people, namely a member of the royal family of the realm. If that's the case, this is most likely Oropher, a king of the Elves of Mirkwood, the founder of that kingdom, and Legolas' grandfather. Oropher has an epic part to play in the War of the Last Alliance and could be a big character in the show. Then again, it could also be his immortal son Thranduil ... or even Legolas, who doesn't technically have a Tolkien-bequeathed birth date.

A broken sword ... again?

When we hear about a broken sword in Middle-earth — heck, even when we hear about a broken sword anywhere else — the first thing that comes to mind is Aragorn's sacred blade, Andúril. Well, it appears that we're in for Andúril round two when it comes to Amazon's show, as one of the pictures shows a person in a robe of fur and animal skin holding the hilt shard of a broken sword upright in their hand.

And let's be honest, there's no way that that isn't on purpose. "Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" doesn't have too many connection points with Peter Jackson's trilogy as it is. The ability to toss in a call back like a broken sword had to be too good to pass up.

Anyway, the question is, what is this mysterious sword? It looks very decrepit and could easily be a sword that was just found in a ruin somewhere along the way. At least, there isn't a clear and obvious "broken sword" element in the existing Second Age source material that we're aware of. That said, some fans are postulating that this could be none other than the remains of Gurthang, a deadly sword owned by the First Age tragic hero Turin Turambar. The sword is used as a tool for both good and evil. Turin uses it to kill a dragon and the weapon even speaks at one point. While that blade does break the last time it's seen, though, it would be a big leap to have it show up in a show set hundreds of years later in the Second Age, especially since Tolkien never felt the need to resurrect it.

The Riders ...not of Rohan?

Rohan is a pretty new kingdom during "The Lord of the Rings." In fact, it's just around 500 years old — which is practically infancy in a world where many of the beings, let alone their kingdoms, are thousands of years old and more. That said, there's no way that Rohan, as a nation, has anything to do with anything during Amazon's show.

Even so, like Hobbits, the ancestors of the Rohirrim have a rich backstory. In fact, they come from the same region of the map that the proto-Hobbits eventually migrate from. They have stories of run-ins with dragons and Dwarves, and clearly live a very exciting life before they head down south and become besties with the Gondorians.

No one really had the horse lords on their radar before this group of photos was revealed. But then, hey, presto! One of the images shows an armored person holding a sword that clearly has a horse head for the handle. In fact, the description literally describes the pommel as "a white horse with a golden mane." While we won't know for certain for a long while, it appears that the hooves of the horse lords just might find their way into "The Rings of Power" after all. Then again, it's not like there aren't plenty of other Elves and Men who also ride horses and are even well known for their equestrian exploits. Maybe we're just seeing one of those.

There are lots of rings ... lots of them

It's hard to scan past so many pictures of hands and not notice the abundance of rings, especially with a show that literally has that word in the title ... twice. We see golden rings, plane rings, simple rings, bejeweled rings. Some appear to be worn on Dwarven hands. Others on Elven hands. Still others on the hands of Men.

Even one of the apparent Hobbits is wearing a ring on a necklace. And the most obvious elf of the lot — the picture of a character with clean hands and a dagger with two trees intertwining together on the hilt — deliberately has one of their hands out of the picture. The missing appendage is so obvious that it makes us wonder if the character is none other than the High King Gil-galad himself, as he possesses not one but two of the Elven Rings for a while before he passes them on to other owners.

Regardless of the specifics, there's no doubt that rings are going to be important to this show. And it's a fact that is being reinforced in spades on the first character photo dump.