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Small Details You Missed In The Full-Length Trailer For The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" has managed to keep a tight lid on its marketing content for a long time. But, after months populated by the likes of two brief teasers and a slow procession of still images and cryptic interviews, we finally, officially have a full-length trailer — and it's a doozy. The clip clocks in at just over two and a half minutes, and it's loaded with hints and teases of the journey to come.

The overarching message of the trailer is a struggle between the past and the future. Immortal Elves harken to their ancient past, which is both gloriously well-lit and notoriously dark — more on that in a bit. Men talk of moving forward. Dwarves discuss the dawn of a new era. And Harfoots, well, they just keep on keeping on.

While the focus is on time, which plays a major part in J.R.R. Tolkien's world, that isn't the only thing on display. There are many little details tucked into the corners of the footage as it flits by. From a good look at some of Aragorn's ancestors to winged eucatastrophes and even a disturbing hint at one of Middle-earth's darkest antagonists — here are some of the small details you might have missed in the trailer, roughly presented in chronological order as they appear in the clip.

A Close-Up of the Two Trees

One of the first images that Amazon released for the show way back in August of 2021 was a gorgeous still with a figure in the foreground, a city not far away, and light emanating from a low point on the distant horizon. At that point, everyone and their mother guessed that what we were seeing was a not-so-subtle Easter egg of the Two Trees of Valinor. This time, we get a close-up that leaves no room for speculation.

As the clip begins, Morfydd Clark's Galadriel can be heard narrating. She starts the references to the past saying, "There was a time when the world was so young there had not yet been a sunrise. But even then there was light." At this point, we see a close-up of two gigantic, glowing trees. One is gold-colored (it's called Laurelin) and the other is silverish-white (that one's Telperion). These two hallowed living light posts provided light to the world for a long time early in Middle-earth history. They aren't the first source of light, but they're pretty nearly so.

Not only do we see these awe-inspiring arboreal wonders in glorious detail, but Galadriel also mentions that "there had not yet been a sunrise." This is another subtle reference to the trees. How so? Well, when they're destroyed (which is a story long enough for a post of its own) they deliver two fruits before they fully perish. These become — you guessed it — the sun and the moon.

Is that an Eagle?

Not far into the trailer, there is a series of sweeping clips that show off some stunning Middle-earth landscapes. (The first season was filmed in New Zealand, after all.) We see two lines of tiny individuals — Elves, maybe? — who are running across the screen. The last clip shows the column high up on a mountainside, walking through the snow (or if they're Elves, perhaps on the snow?), about to cross through a gap in the mountainous peaks.

As the camera pans beyond them and sweeps through the pass, there's a bird shown flying. At first, it just looks like any airborne fowl. But upon further investigation and when compared against the mighty backdrop of the mountains, this bird turns out to not be any ordinary creature. It appears to be enormous. Could it, indeed, be an Eagle?

The Eagles of Middle-earth are famous. They save Gandalf, Bilbo, and their Dwarven companions when they escape from the Misty Mountains in "The Hobbit." They also show up at the end of that story as a last-minute eucatastrophe to save the day at the Battle of the Five Armies. Then their chief saves Gandalf from Orthanc in "The Fellowship of the Ring" and they arrive in the nick of time at the battle before the Black Gates in "The Return of the King."

Suffice it to say, they are a consistent presence throughout the stories that we already know and love. But the history of the Eagles isn't limited to the Third Age. It goes back practically to the beginning of time. They're created along with the Ents to help protect the land, and they serve the spiritual guardians of Middle-earth called the Valar. The fact that we've already seen an Eagle this early is interesting. Maybe they'll have a bigger part to play in "Rings of Power" than anyone initially expected.

We see glimpses of multiple important places

Several portions of the trailer are filled with quick shots that provide little glimpses of different Middle-earth dwellings. One of these just before the 30-second mark shows a gorgeous glimpse of a stronghold that looks very similar to Rivendell. It's an Elven-looking city with tall, slender buildings, clustered onto a range of tall mountains or hills. While the optics looks similar, though, there's no way it's Rivendell. Why? Because Elrond's peaceful fortress doesn't exist when the "Rings of Power" story begins. What's more likely is that this is a city in the Elven area called Lindon. There, Gil-galad is king, and Elrond operates as his right-hand man before he branches off on his own.

Immediately after this shot, we get a stunning second or two of what has to be Moria. If the words "stunning" and "Moria" sound wrong in the same sentence, let us remind you that the ill-fated mines weren't always home to corpses and Balrogs. The word Moria literally means "The Black Pit," and it's used to describe the subterranean kingdom after it gets thrashed. In the era of "The Rings of Power," the area is called Khazad-dûm, and it's literally referred to as a Dwarven mansion, one that is teeming with life and light, no less. We see the underground kingdom at multiple points throughout the trailer, and it certainly looks like better real estate than in "The Lord of the Rings."

The antler men are at it again

The first teaser trailer of "The Rings of Power" dropped early in 2022 during the Super Bowl. It prominently featured two strange-looking men with giant antler-like appendages strapped to them as they traversed the gorgeous New Zealand — er, Middle-earth landscape. Everyone wondered who they were, and why they were carrying such ridiculously awkward-looking baggage.

As of the release of the new trailer, a new question has to be asked: do they matter at all? On the surface, there's no connection to any in-canon characters. More importantly, in the new footage, we see them from behind for a split second, although they're not easy to make out. About 35 seconds into the clip, they can be seen away in the distance as they're watched by some seemingly suspicious Harfoots. They walk away, over a hill, and the camera stays focused on a cleverly disguised Halfling in the foreground, who seems about to blow some kind of warning whistle.

If this is the case, the antler men may be little more than a way to introduce us to the secretive world of the nomadic Harfoots as they reticently move from one place to the next. Then again, maybe the antler men serve a greater purpose. Perhaps they're a connection to the wild, unexplored (even by Tolkien) world of Second-Age Middle-earth men. Only time will tell.

Elrond has seen his share of stuff

As the clip approaches the one-minute point, Galadriel is shown being encouraged by multiple people to stop fighting. One Elf tells her she's fought long enough. Another tells her to put up her sword. In fact, this second pointy-eared fellow is none other than Elrond himself, played here — in a much younger form than we're used to — by Robert Aramayo. The two verbally spar over the pacifistic remark, with Galadriel claiming Elrond hasn't seen what she has seen. The latter's response is that "I have seen my share."

While Galadriel ends up playing a trump card on Elrond's past experiences a moment later, the half-Elven hero isn't blowing smoke. Even by this early point in his life, Elrond has actually seen some pretty rough stuff. When he is just six years old, he's a victim of an Elven civil war called the Third Kinslaying. The future leader of Rivendell and his twin brother, Elros, are spared amidst the carnage, but even then, they think their mother has committed suicide by jumping into the ocean rather than being captured by her attackers (spoiler: she survives).

While this does give Elrond some serious past experiences, though, it pales in comparison to Galadriel's trials and tribulations, as we'll see elsewhere in our details breakdown. Still, it's an interesting little point that Elrond really does have some past scars, some of which he obtains as a very, very young Elf.

Galadriel has, like, really seen her share of stuff

A little over a minute into the footage, Elrond tries to coax Galadriel into laying down her aggressive, war-oriented lifestyle. When he mentions that he's seen his share of fire and slaughter, though, Galadriel immediately pulls rank by pointing out that "you have not seen what I have seen."

The line is interrupted by a horrifying shot. To paint a discomforting word picture, we see what appears to be a scene filmed from a subaqueous perspective. Dead and impaled bodies are floating everywhere, all set against a fire-red backdrop as buildings burn up above the surface.

The harrowing scene in question isn't made clear — and maybe that's due to rights issues or some other technicality. However, there is one very clear guess in our minds: the First Kinslaying. Also known as the Kinslaying at Alqualondë, this horrifying event takes place just before the First Age of Middle-earth begins. It involves a faction of the headstrong group of Elves called the Noldor, led by their intractable leader Fëanor, who attack and murder a bunch of their fellow Elves in order to steal their vessels and sail back to Middle-earth. It's a tragic part of Middle-earth history ... and it's something that Galadriel witnesses firsthand.

Fortunately, she comes in on the right side of history here. In the book "Unfinished Tales," Tolkien tells us that when Galadriel "fought fiercely against Fëanor in defence of her mother's kin." Of course, just because she chose the right side doesn't mean she wasn't scarred by the ordeal. And that's just one of several acutely distressing past events that are likely to be fueling this passionate character when the "Rings of Power" story begins.

Is that the Grey Havens that we see?

At the minute and a half mark, the High King Gil-galad can be seen speaking words of ill omen. The leader says, "Darkness will march over the face of the earth. It will be the end, not just of our people, but all peoples." As these uber depressing words are uttered, the shot flits from the prescient king to his trusted lieutenant, Elrond, who is shown suddenly looking back over his shoulder with concern written on his face.

At that moment, we get a split second of the setting behind the young Elf, and it's worth a closer look. The nighttime scene is dark, but there is enough light to see that away in the distance two steep mountain ranges can be seen. They rise up sharply, and both have a cluster of lights at their feet. In between the ranges is a complete darkness that is very reminiscent of the sea. This gives the appearance of an inlet of water nestled between two peaks.

If this is the case, this could very easily be a shot of the Grey Havens and its surrounding geography. We're talking about the port area where Frodo and Bilbo set sail at the end of "The Return of the King." Located in northwestern Middle-earth just left of the Shire, these havens are ancient by the time we see them in "The Lord of the Rings." If this is indeed them, though, they aren't the ancient Elvish haven we're used to seeing. They would be fairly new at this point, as they were established right at the beginning of the Second Age, not long (at least for immortal Elves) before the "Rings of Power" story begins.

Where is Galadriel sailing to?

The trailer gives us more footage of a shot that was already seen in an earlier teaser, in which Galadriel and a group of apparently Elvish companions set sail in a swan-shaped boat for ... a place. In the previous footage, and again in this trailer, we see the boat sailing in darker waters toward a steady, sustained light away in the distance. In our initial breakdown, we suggested that this was likely one of two places: either the Blessed Realm away in the West or the island of Númenor.

After taking in the new footage, it's still difficult to make a decision. But we're leaning toward the Blessed Realm side of things, thanks to another shot that takes place right after the boat is shown again. Here, Galadriel is depicted in a blaze of light that seems to be coming horizontally from the left. Could it be the sun? Sure. But the orientation of the boat seems to be pointed west, which would make it a setting sun. If that's the case, the brightness of the hues seems too yellowy to be the end of the day.

Instead, the light seems to be coming from somewhere. Could it be the Blessed Realm? If so, unless it's a flashback, the light can't be coming from the Two Trees, as they're long gone by the time of "Rings of Power." Could Galadriel be facing someone like Varda, the Queen of the Valar, herself? Varda is brilliantly described in "The Silmarillion," where it says "Too great is her beauty to be declared in the words of Men or of Elves; for the light of Ilúvatar lives still in her face. In light is her power and her joy." It's a wild guess, but it just might be possible.

Did we just see Durin III?

The marketing for the Dwarves in "Rings of Power" has thus far been focused on two distinct characters: Prince Durin IV and Princess Disa. Both seem likely to figure prominently in the story — but Prince Durin is just a prince for a reason. Presumably, his father, Durin III, is still the King of Khazad-dûm at this point, although we haven't heard much about the venerable leader yet.

In this trailer, we finally see a character who appears to clearly be the Dwarven king, as played by Peter Mullan The character moodily says, "I am sorry, but the time has come." to someone standing in front of him (likely his heir, Prince Durin IV) and then the camera cuts away. While it's difficult to guess what the royal figure is talking about, it's fun to think that we've finally seen the leader of a rich and thriving Khazad-dûm.

Durin III is likely to play a pretty crucial role — even if it's largely seen through the eyes of his princely son. According to the source material, Durin III is the first Dwarf to get one of the Rings of Power, too ... and according to Dwarven legend, he is even given it by the Elven lord and craftsman Celebrimbor, not Sauron. While that last part is likely untrue, it doesn't change the fact that we should see quite a bit more of Durin III as the "Rings of Power" story plays out.

We finally get a good look at some Númenórean royalty

The second teaser, which was released not long before the full-length trailer, finally provided some images of the critically important island nation of Númenor. However, this latest trailer really sheds some significant light on the island people — specifically focusing on several members of their royal line. At different points throughout the second half of the clip, we see multiple Númenóreans who — based on the source material — will play critical roles as both antagonists and protagonists over the course of the story.

At one point, we see a flash of a young figure on board a ship. The character is a young Isildur, played by Maxim Baldry. A moment later, we see Isildur's famous father, Elendil, played by Lloyd Owen. The pair are key figures in Aragorn's family tree and are members of an offshoot of the royal house of Númenor — which is why they are able to claim the kingships of Arnor and Gondor later on in the story.

We also see a longer clip of the royal family member Miriel, as played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson. The Queen regent is directly in line for the throne of Númenor both the show and the source material. She should factor in as a protagonist, although some earlier versions of Tolkien's writings did spin her as one of the bad guys.

Finally, we get a shot of another cousin of the royal house, Pharazôn, played by Trystan Gravelle. He is a major antagonist in the story, and it appears that his power-hungry character starts off already riling the masses. After months of silence from Prime Video's marketing team, it's great to finally start putting some faces on some of the most important Númenórean characters in the story.

Does Durin IV hold up Mithril?

After two whole minutes of narrative comments focused on the past, we finally get some positive, forward-thinking words from none other than Prince Durin IV. The Dwarven prince is shown holding up something small and shiny and saying "This could be the beginning of a new era." While nothing is explicitly stated, we're willing to guess that he's talking about mithril.

Mithril is an extremely rare metal from Middle-earth. In "The Fellowship of the Ring" book, Gandalf explains that "The wealth of Moria was not in gold and jewels, the toys of the Dwarves; nor in iron, their servant." He goes on a bit later to say that the wealth of the subterranean kingdom came from Moria-silver, aka: mithril. He adds that "All folk desire it. It could be beaten like copper, and polished like glass; and the Dwarves could make of it a metal, light and yet harder than tempered steel."

Mithril is the number one commodity for Moria, if only because it's the only place in Middle-earth where the precious stuff can be found. In fact, it's the greedy delving for more mithril that eventually wakes up the Balrog. But that happens much later than the "Rings of Power" narrative, well into the Third Age, in fact. Before that time, it is a source of immeasurable wealth for the Dwarves — and we may be witnessing the realization of that truth in this clip.

Do we get our first glimpse of the Gwaith-i-Mírdain?

Celebrimbor (played by Charles Edwards) is one of the key characters in the "Rings of Power" story. This is the guy who learns to make, like, the actual Rings of Power, thanks in part to the help of a cleverly disguised Sauron. Eventually, Celebrimbor learns his mistake and pays a serious price for being duped by the Dark Lord.

When the story starts, though, Celebrimbor is still a highly respected Elven lord with an impeccable pedigree. In fact, his family credentials go straight back to Fëanor himself. The infamously hotheaded Elven ancestor may have a serious anger issue, but he's also hands down, the best craftsman in all of Middle-earth history — and his grandson, Celebrimbor, inherits his skills, even if he rejects his grandfather's darker sins.

All that to say, Celebrimbor is a masterful craftsman, and in the source material, he assembles a group of smiths known as the Gwaith-i-Mírdain. These fellow craftsmen form a brotherhood that, up until now, we haven't heard anything about.Toward the end of the clip, we see a shot of several Elven individuals drawing their swords, as if in a ceremony. 

The timing here is important, as the brief scene comes just after Durin IV holds up what looks like a piece of Mithril. The Gwaith-i-Mírdain set up shop next to Moria to be in close proximity to the precious metal so they can import it for their crafty work. The timing of the two clips could mean we're seeing that group of smiths for the first time.The other option here could relate to Fëanor himself, as the Elven patriarch is famous for having his sons swear a terrible oath. Perhaps the scene is depicting that oath in action.

The eye ... of Sauron?

The man in the fire has been around since the first marketing teaser was dropped during the Big Game. The character looks like an old male human who arrives in meteor form (sparking the common fan title of "meteor man"), and he has been shown repeatedly engulfed in a crater of flames ...even though he isn't burning.

Speculation of who meteor man is has run rampant since day one, and this latest clip only adds fuel to the fire. One of the last things we see in the trailer is the fiery pit with the man inside, along with one of the Harfoots — likely Nori Brandyfoot (played by Markella Kavenagh). He's shown grabbing the ground, and then many of the surrounding rocks begin to levitate around him, which ...okay. Then the fire quickly disappears, and the scene cuts away.

But just before that happens, we see something. The clip is shown from above for a brief second. Meteor Man is in the center, and flames are spreading outward from him. In fact, they are making a shape, a shape that's very easy to recognize. It looks like a flaming eye. If this isn't a reference to Sauron, we don't know what is.

The idea that the man actually is Sauron is possible, as the future Dark Lord does have a bit of a slow, nearly-repentant start to the Second Age. But that seems so obvious, it could very easily be a misdirect. Perhaps this is a proto form of the eye symbol before it's inherited by the Dark Lord. It's a mystery that is only growing as the premiere approaches.

Is that the Misty Mountains in the distance?

The last shot of the trailer follows a quartet of Harfoots as they make their way down a rolling, green slope. The scenery is idyllic. Iconic Middle-earth stuff. Some trees can be seen here and there, but by and large, the overall feel is one of hilly, rolling grasslands. In fact, it feels an awful lot like the Vales of Anduin, the name of a sprawling area of Middle-earth just east of the northern Misty Mountains.

This is an area that sees a lot of action over the long years of Middle-earth's history. Many men live there, and Elves and Dwarves criss-cross it at different points. Later on, Beorn the Skin-changer's house is located in the area, as is Radagast's home on the edge of Mirkwood.

There's one other group that lives here for a long while before they migrate westward, too: Hobbits. In fact, earlier groups of Hobbit ancestors spend a long while living in the area. The prologue of "The Fellowship of the Ring" even says, "Their earliest tales seem to glimpse a time when they dwelt in the upper vales of Anduin, between the eaves of Greenwood the Great and the Misty Mountains."

Could this be the very beginning of that slow migration into the Vales of Anduin? There's one thing that makes us particularly interested in the theory: the mountains. Away in the distance of the shot, a very long line of peaks can be seen. Could this be the Misty Mountains to the west, with the "eaves of Greenwood the Great" (that is, Mirkwood) behind them in the east? It's possible. But as with many of these details, only time — and the show's September 2nd premiere — will shed more light on the mystery.