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Everything You Missed In The New The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Trailer

Amazon Prime has taken a "go big or go home" approach with its "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" San Diego Comic-Con promotions. The studio wrapped the city with its presence (literally, several buildings were plastered with posters from the show) and booked the extraordinary Hall H for a special unveiling on July 22, 2022. That quiet Friday morning was disrupted by a presentation that simultaneously rivaled and reminded Tolkien fans of Peter Jackson and company's Comic-Con presence two decades ago as they amped up coverage for their then-obscure "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

Amazon Prime's presentation was filled with plenty of fanfare, music from the show's principal composer, the presence of the series cast, and plenty of other treats for those who were willing to fight for a seat in the sold-out room. It also featured an action-packed new trailer. In fact, the SDCC trailer for "The Rings of Power" was, by far, the most exciting clip we've gotten yet. It's loaded with a dazzling procession of exciting scenes from Second Age Middle-earth — the era that the show will be exploring.

While the clip is emotionally stirring, it's also jam-packed with details. So many, in fact, that it's easy to lose track of some of them as they flit by like Elves wandering through the woods of the Shire. Never fear. We've taken the time to break down some of those little details in order to hash out what they are, what they could mean, and what kind of implications they could have for this upcoming adaptation.

We finally (kind-of) learn about Sauron

Sauron is a pretty big deal in J. R. R. Tolkien's world, and the importance of the Dark Lord of Mordor hasn't been lost on the creators of Amazon Prime's blockbuster series, either. In fact, the official "Rings of Power" synopsis literally refers to Sauron when it says: "Hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien's pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness." And yet, even though Sauron's overarching importance has already been recognized, the villain had yet to be identified ... or even mentioned.

Now, thanks to the new trailer, we know a bit more. At one point in the footage, an old fellow is shown asking the Southlander Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) if he's heard of Sauron. This is the first time we've publicly heard the name of the villain mentioned — and it doesn't look like it's brought up in a positive or even an inviting manner. The scene ends with the questioner disappearing in a jarring and discomfiting manner.

Later in the trailer, we see a character that very well could be the Dark Lord himself. If not, they are definitely channeling the Dark Lord's vibes. Either way, the takeaway here is that Sauron is already well on the way toward his first rise to power. Since the setting of the show is roughly 1,000 years into the Second Age, this makes sense. According to the source material, Sauron should already quietly be building his strength at this point. He even starts setting up shop in Mordor around this time, too. It's eye-opening to know that the show will already feature a Sauron with a hardcore reputation that sends chills down the spine.

A Morgul-ish blade

One of the more terrifying weapons in "The Lord of the Rings" isn't big or scary. It's a little knife — and we're not talking about Sting, either. The Witch-king of Angmar wields a Morgul-knife when he attacks Frodo on Weathertop. He stabs the Hobbit and the notch of the blade breaks off, beginning the slow process of working its way to the Ring-bearer's heart. Critically, when Aragorn picks it up afterward, the weapon disintigrates in his hand, disapating into thin air in a manner of seconds.

What does this have to do with "The Rings of Power"? We're not quite sure. But there's one moment in the trailer that screams "Morgul-knife" or some Second Age equivalent. Partway through the footage, Theo is shown holding an ancient sword hilt. This has already been shown throughout the marketing process. In fact, the image of the hilt was used for the SDCC badges. What's new here is the fact that, as he holds the sword, it reappears, forming into a blade ... within a matter of seconds. Sound familiar?

Theo's sword is a cryptic part of the "Rings of Power" story thus far. There isn't a clear connection to any source material (although we have some guesses). Whatever it might be, the spontaneous assembly in the trailer seems to point toward a sinister connection if past Middle-earth writings and adaptations bear any weight on the issue.

Do we get some early inspiration for the Mirror of Galadriel?

At one point in the trailer, the Queen Regent Míriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) reveals a round stone, which she shows to Galadriel (Morfydd Clark). The globe is clearly one of the palantíri, the seeing stones, of which only a few survive until the time of "The Lord of the Rings." One of these is infamously owned by Saruman, who shows it to Gandalf in "The Fellowship of the Ring" in a very similar manner to Míriel's reveal in the trailer.

In this case, the stone isn't presented as a tool for evil, though — and with good reason. The seeing stones are originally created (likely by the Elvish leader Fëanor) and seven of them are gifted to the nation of Númenor, where Míriel is ruling during the show. The fact that Galadriel is present, though — and uses the stone, no less — is something new. The Elvish leader isn't associated with the stones in the source material. But she is connected to a different "far-seeing" apparatus: her mirror.

It's a clever connection to have Galadriel use a seeing stone early on in the series. This sets the stage for her later use of a mirror when she's the Lady of Lorien, too.

A possible sea serpent

Galadriel has been shown in a boat multiple times in previous trailers and images. We've seen enough before the new trailer to know that she's sailing somewhere (possibly the Blessed Realm or Númenor) and her boat is destroyed. There have also been some images of a shipwreck in a storm, and it appears that the character may even meet the newly invented character Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) in the midst of the sea-borne destruction.

The new trailer adds a critical and terrifying new detail to this upcoming water-based adventure: a sea monster. In the middle of the trailer, we're shown a very quick shot of Galadriel swimming feverishly through the water. Behind her, a gigantic form (or at least its tail) can be seen leaping out of and back into the water. Its body crashes onto what must be the remains of Galadriel's ship, showering the Elven hero with water as she swims. Interestingly, Halbrand is nowhere in sight. Does Galadriel's original ship get destroyed and then she's picked up by Halbrand's group, only for his ship to go down in a storm?

This addition of a Middle-earth sea monster is very interesting, too. While there isn't any direct correlation with J. R. R. Tolkien's own writings, it's completely within the realm of reason to assume that giant mythical creatures like this could exist in Middle-earth's oceans as well as on, and under for that matter (see Durin's Bane), it's land masses. It tracks with much of the Northern European lore that inspired Tolkien's original world, too.

Is that ... Durin's Bane?

Gandalf's duel with the Balrog on the Bridge of Khazad-dûm is one of the most memorable, stirring, and spine-chilling moments in all of "The Lord of the Rings." It's a scene that is set up when the Dwarves infamously delve too greedily and too deep and wake the slumbering demon in its subterranean lair. Of course, all of that happens in the Third Age, long after the events of "The Rings of Power" take place.

And yet, at the end of the new trailer, we see the downright terrifying image of a Balrog (in a very Peter Jackson-esque form, no less) surrounded by shadows and bellowing in the dark. The scene is very brief — just one fiery moment before it cuts away. But there are a couple of details worth noting here.

First off, the Balrog doesn't have any existing source material about its Second Age history. The whole waking, destruction of Moria, and subsequent duel with Gandalf all happen thousands of years after "The Rings of Power" story is set to end. So, what is this Balrog — which, from the looks of it, is likely the same one that later on haunts Moria and is called Durin's Bane — doing in the trailer?

While nothing is made clear, it's worth noting that the Balrog may feature heavily in the original story during the Third Age, but the demonic creature is ancient by that time. It has a backstory that goes way back before Middle-earth history. So, while J. R. R. Tolkien's own sources about the Balrog of Moria's story primarily address its history either before or after "The Rings of Power," the character does exist throughout that era ... and will apparently be making its presence known in the series.

Do we see Utumno in the northern waste?

The promotional footage up to this point has featured a lot of cold, icy shots, including snow trolls, frozen lairs, icy waterfalls, and large barren wastes. All of these are likely part of the Forodwaith, the vast, chilly wasteland in the north of Middle-earth — and one of the new scenes from the SDCC trailer seems to show us a little more of the bone-chilling region ... with one big addition.

At one point in the trailer, we see a brief flash of a tall fortress in the snow. At first glance, this feels like it could be Sauron's infamous tower of Barad-dûr, and it's possible. However, the fortress should only be partly built at this point, if it's even started at all. More likely, we're seeing a glimpse of the ruins of the original Dark Lord Morgoth's fortress of Utumno. This is a very old (and by the Second Age abandoned) fortress that features heavily in the earlier eras of Middle-earth history. The fact that it could be tied into the show is curious. Perhaps Galadriel and her party are searching for signs of the new evil that she fears by visiting the ancient ruins of evils that have scarred the past. Only time will tell.