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What Surprising Alliances Will We Get In The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power?

Tolkien's Middle-earth stories are often defined by unlikely alliances. Thorin and his companions team up with an unexpecting Hobbit burglar to win back their treasure. The Fellowship of the Ring features Hobbits, Men, Elves, Dwarves, and a Wizard. And, of course, there's the Last Alliance itself, which is a Middle-earth confederation so comprehensive that Tolkien tells us in "The Silmarillion" that it had "some of every kind, even of beasts and birds."

When you zoom in, these leagues of friendship and mutual support often happen on an individual level, too. Frodo and his Hobbit friends are helped by Strider as they flee the Shire pursued by Black Riders. Merry and Pippin stay besties as they adventure "there and back again" across Middle-earth. Even kingly characters like Éomer and Aragorn, end up forming long-lasting brotherly bonds that go well beyond the loyalty owed to an acquaintance.

And, of course, there's always the poster child of bromances that personify the whole "surprising alliances" theme in Tolkien's stories: Legolas and Gimli. The pair start as antagonists before becoming the most unlikely of friends. In fact, they enjoy their camaraderie so much that they even travel together after "The Lord of the Rings." Heck, Legolas even brings Gimli with him to the immortal Elven lands away in the West, where his friend can presumably catch a glimpse of Galadriel again.

No matter what way you slice it, unlikely team-ups are a common occurrence in Middle-earth. This begs the question: what off-the-beaten-path alliances will be featured in Amazon Studios' upcoming "Rings of Power" series? We've come up with a few pairings that would be equal parts surprising and awesome. Here are our guesses for what the most surprising character alliances will be in the "Rings of Power."

Elrond and Durin IV

One of the most obvious pairings comes in the form of a young, ambitious Elrond and the Dwarven Prince Durin IV. There's a ton of stuff to say about Elrond, even in his earlier days of life. When it comes to the Prince of Khazad-dûm, though, there's much less info out there. While we know that he eventually becomes a Dwarven king, we don't know much else about what he did during his life.

This leaves the doors wide open for Amazon Studios to bring these two unlikely allies together in the "Rings of Power" story. In fact, we already know that this friendly connection is probably going to be taking place thanks to the Vanity Fair exclusives released about the show back in February. In one of the articles, the pub (which appears to have had extensive access to behind the scenes information about the show, including interviews with the showrunners) says that "In Eregion, Elrond is working to rebuild damaged alliances with the dwarves, including with his old friend, Prince Durin IV."

This reference to an "old friend" appears to hint at a larger backstory to be unveiled in the show. While Tolkien never wrote about Elrond buddying up with Durin IV, the pairing is perfectly possible, especially if Elrond is destined to play more of a diplomatic role in the show. The thought that he'll have an unexpected friend in the heir to the throne of Khazad-dûm is pretty cool, especially if (based on the brief glimpse we saw in the Super Bowl trailer) we may even get to see them indulging in a high-stakes stone-splitting competition.

Narvi and Celebrimbor

While the writers for "Rings of Power" appear to be creating a new Elrond and Durin IV alliance for the show, there's one Elf-Dwarf bromance that they can tap into, that comes prepackaged right in Tolkien's original writings. That's the surprising alliance between the Elves of Eregion and the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm, particularly Celebrimbor and Narvi, respectively.

The Elves of Eregion live in the area of Middle-earth that the Fellowship of the Ring passes through when they're spied on by a flock of Crebain from Dunland. While the region is empty when Frodo and his companions encounter Saruman's winged spies, back in the first half of the Second Age, the area is full of Elves. They're from a group of Elves known as the Noldor who are famous for being expert smiths. Their leader is Celebrimbor, a guy who loves himself some good smith work. In fact, in the book "Unfinished Tales," he's described as having "an almost 'dwarvish' obsession with crafts..." 

He's also the dude that eventually (accidentally) teams up with Sauron and creates the Rings of Power. While that move is a pretty big mistake, Celebrimbor doesn't have the same luck choosing his other compatriots. On the contrary, the doomed leader also makes many friends with the nearby Dwarves in Khazad-dûm. "Unfinished Tales" specifically informs us that among them, "his greatest friend was Narvi." Narvi is a famous smith of Khazad-dûm who himself is later described as a "close friend of Celebrimbor of Eregion."

This friendship isn't just fun. It's also important to the later events of "The Lord of the Rings." Why? Because this unusual pair of friends eventually teams up to create the famous Doors of Durin — the magical doors that open at the Elvish word for friend. How fitting.

Two Harfoots and a mysterious man

One of the greatest moments in the beginning of "The Fellowship of the Ring" takes place when Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin bump into Strider at the Prancing Pony in Bree. While we probably won't see that formula repeated verbatim in "Rings of Power," it appears that we may get something close in the form of a team-up between a mysterious stranger and two of the show's proto-Hobbit "Harfoots."

In Vanity Fair's initial exclusive report on the show, the publication casually dropped the line that "Two lovable, curious harfoots, played by Megan Richards and Markella Kavenagh, encounter a mysterious lost man whose origin promises to be one of the show's most enticing enigmas." If we were guessing, this "lost man" would probably have some connection to the scene in the trailer that depicts a man in a fiery crater reaching out to presumably take one of the Harfoots by the hand.

It's difficult to comment on this alliance without a bit more information. After all, the Harfoots (at least in the Second Age) are newly invented for the "Rings of Power" show. On top of that, as far as we can tell, there isn't a clear area of Tolkien's text to point to where we can see someone in a fiery crater like this.

One guess is that the old man in the crater is none other than Sauron, fleeing from the disastrous destruction of his master Morgoth at the beginning of the age. If that's the case, chances are the encounter with the two Harfoots doesn't end well. If, on the other hand, it's a less evil character — say a Blue Wizard, perhaps — the encounter could end with a less-then-expected friendship that plays out as the story unfolds.

Galadriel and Halbrand

Halbrand is a human Man who has been invented for the "Rings of Power" story. This makes him a baby in Middle-earth story incubation years. And yet, it appears that he's going to be buddied up next to the thousands-of-years-old Galadriel right as the story kicks off. In fact, this pairing isn't just happening. It's one that we've been shown over and over again ever since the marketing kicked off in earnest.

Per Vanity Fair, we've already heard that Halbrand is a fugitive from his own past who is on the run from ...wherever he comes from. We also find out that Galadriel and Halbrand will have already met "in dire circumstances" by the second episode of the show. What's more, the report adds that the pair have "entwined destinies..." Yeah. Sounds like we'll be seeing this new pairing more than once.

That said, it's not clear if the two characters will be operating as allies or as opponents. In the first teaser trailer for the show, there's a split-second moment where we seem to see someone on a raft whipping back Galadriel's hair to reveal her pointy Elven ears. The future Lady of Lorien doesn't seem pleased. If this is Halbrand, it would appear that the two get off to a rough start.

Still, Legolas and Gimli got over some initial antipathy. While we won't know where Galadriel and Halbrand's waterborne adventure takes them until episode two goes live, there's at least a chance that it ends with the two as allies. Then again, many fans are speculating that Halbrand could eventually become a Nazgûl ... or even Sauron in disguise. If that's true, the biggest surprise will be on Galadriel's face when she realizes that she's been duped by the Dark Lord himself.