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Small Details You Missed In The New Official Trailer For The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power

With just days to go before "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" hits Prime Video's streaming queue, the studio has gone and dropped yet another full-length trailer for fans to anxiously digest as they await the release of the show's first two episodes. These are slated to go live simultaneously in the States at 9 p.m. ET on September 1st.

The path to what is likely to be the final installment of a lengthy summer-long marketing campaign has been interesting, to say the least. For its first teaser, the streaming studio started off with a bang by scooping up a full 60-second commercial segment during the third quarter of the Super Bowl back in February. A very long promotional hiatus followed this until the summer rolled around. Since then, the teasers, trailers, and promotional clips have come at a rapid pace — presumably ending with this final, two-minute and forty-second trailer.

The newest trailer is filled with a lot of visuals. We see a montage of heroes and villains, all set to the backdrop of "Breath" by Ex Makina, which is ... an interesting choice. As always, we've dug past the initial exterior and looked for those little nuggets of interest to anyone serious about their Middle-earth experiences. So, without further ado, here are a few small details you may have missed the first time you took in the new footage.

Something greater

As has been the case throughout the marketing up until now, a heavy dose of the focus here is focused on the need to "find oneself." It's an appropriate message for the Second Age of Tolkien's world. Keep in mind that this is a period of time after the original Dark Lord Morgoth was destroyed (at the end of the First Age) and before his second in command — a fellow named Sauron — rises to take his place. For the peoples of Middle-earth, it's a time of relative peace, but also a period of resettling and redefining life as they know it. The interesting thing to note in this latest clip is that the need for the "Rings of Power" characters to find their place in the world is set within the framework of something bigger.

Early in the clip, Galadriel can be heard in a voice-over, saying "Stand with me. Ours was no chance meeting. Not fate, nor destiny. Ours was the work of something greater." A little later in the footage, she's also heard saying, "Choose not the path of fear, but that of faith."

While it remains to be seen what these references to "faith" and "something greater" could be, our guess is that this could be a veiled reference to Tolkien's all-powerful Creator, Eru Ilúvatar. Also known as "The One," this is the all-mighty monotheistic God equivalent in Tolkien's universe. Throughout all of his writings, Tolkien heavily hints at the fact that Ilúvatar is always aware of what's happening and is guiding everyone's journey. When Galadriel refers to "something greater" than either fate or destiny, there's a good chance that she's talking about The One who is responsible for the creation and story of Middle-earth.

Miriel and Pharazôn ... facing off?

Roughly a minute into the clip, we see the Queen Regent of Númenor, Miriel, standing in what is likely the throne room of her country, facing a crowd. A moment later, we see a shot of another bearded figure, standing in a similar position, except for the fact that he's facing what appears to be the back of the same crowd. This is Pharazôn, a power-hungry figure that plays a critical role as an antagonist in Tolkien's island world.

Pharazôn and Miriel are both members of the royal family. However, while Miriel is directly in line for the throne (hence the whole "Queen regent" bit), Pharazôn is just another member of a royal family offshoot. The two have a significant impact on the future of their country, a dynamic that could take a few different forms based on Tolkien's own unfinished drafts of the story. They could end up working together or working against one another — and we have to say, based on the "opposing sides" tone of the two shots, "Rings of Power" may be setting these two characters up for some intense family-unfriendly jockeying for power.

Elves in the Southlands?

In a recent interview Looper had with "Rings" actors Ismael Cruz Córdova and Nazanin Boniadi, the two characters discussed the situation playing out in the Southlands of Middle-earth as the show starts. In the conversation, the two actors outlined an unpleasant scenario in which the Men living in the south (who originally chose to fight on the side of the Dark Lord Morgoth) are still paying penance for their deeds a millennium later. How is that happening? Through an occupation of the area by a group of Silvan Elves.

The idea of Elves overseeing Men is a new concept for fans of "The Lord of the Rings." However, those who are familiar with books like "The Silmarillion" and "Unfinished Tales" know that Elves aren't always the quiet, fading race that we meet in "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" books. They're still numerous and powerful during "Rings of Power."

All of that said, we're willing to bet that, just after the one-minute mark of the trailer, we're seeing a shot of this occupation in action. An Elvish-looking figure (Arondir, maybe?) is shown walking toward a rough hut of stone. Men can be seen outside of it standing around its muddy exterior. The area generally feels downtrodden. Not the kind of place you'd typically expect to meet one of Tolkien's Faerie folk. Could we be seeing a glimpse into this new power struggle between the stronger Elves and the weaker Men?

What are those things?

At another point in the trailer, a character in dirty rags can be seen confronting a number of strange-looking creatures. The humanoid figure is portrayed by actor Daniel Weyman, and so far the marketing has only called him "the Stranger." This is the guy that we've already seen in a fiery pit in multiple previous trailers. But the attention here isn't on the Stranger. It's on the beasts surrounding him.

At first glance, these appear to be wolves or their sentient Middle-earth counterparts, Wargs. And this is certainly possible. However, when the scene cuts and we see them from the front, they have elongated snouts and don't quite sync up with the general "wolf" appearance. So, if they're not wolves, what on Middle-earth are these things?

For a possible answer, we turn to "The Silmarillion" where we get this line about the fate of Men during the beginning of the Second Age (when "Rings of Power" is set). In the text, it says, "Men dwelt in Darkness and were troubled by many evil things that Morgoth had devised in the days of his dominion: demons, and dragons, and misshapen beasts, and the unclean Orcs that are mockeries of the Children of Ilúvatar." See that bit tucked in there about "misshapen beasts?" If these four-legged pests aren't wolves or Wargs, we might simply be seeing some of these twisted and contorted creatures through the adaptive lens of showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne.

Subtle hints at Halbrand's importance continue

In one scene halfway through the footage, the character Halbrand is shown speaking, apparently through prison bars. The mysterious individual has been showing up in promotional footage from day one, but no one knows what he's doing or why he's around. Halbrand is an original personality invented for the show. At least, that's what we've been told. In interviews — including one with Looper — Halbrand actor Charlie Vickers has also clarified that his character is avoiding something in his past.

In the new footage, Halbrand is shown saying to an unknown audience "I am not the hero that you seek." A moment later, we see Galadriel sitting in armor next to Halbrand saying "Whatever it was that you did, be free of it." This continues to amp up the vague fact that Halbrand has a significant past that will factor into the story on some level. The obvious question is, what happened in his past? What on earth is such a big deal that it isn't just influencing Halbrand's conversations in the future, but even this speculative conversation right now? Is he a hero struggling to overcome his past mistakes? Or is he a villain hiding in a world where antagonists have been defeated?

Is that Adar we spy?

A minute and a half into the trailer, we're shown a shot of a dark landscape populated with a long line of twinkling lights. It's eerily reminiscent of the images of Mordor from Peter Jackson's trilogy, with the brooding, blackened landscape only lit by torches. In that case, who is wielding those torches? Why Orcs, of course. And in the "Rings of Power" footage? Well, those are precisely the folks that we see in the next shot.

A line of Orcs holding flames can be seen in the distance. But there's someone much closer to the screen. It's a figure with long, black hair who doesn't look quite as warped and corrupted as an Orc. Our guess is that we're looking at Adar. The character is played by Game of Thrones alumnus, Joseph Mawle, and he is rumored to be an "Elf, tortured, corrupted, turned [into] warlord." Adar is supposed to be one of — if not the — primary villains in the first season, a character that sets the stage and paves the way for Sauron to come along in later seasons. We may have seen Adar in previous clips, but if so, it was just his hands or the figure from a distance. If this is indeed Adar, this would be the first time we really see him close up and personal in the middle of the action.

Big hearts ... bigger feet?

Toward the end of the trailer, we see the Harfoot Largo Brandyfoot for a brief moment. Played by actor Dylan Smith, this character hasn't featured much in the footage to date. In this instance, we don't just see Largo. We hear him as he delivers the uplifting and endearing line, "We stay true to each other, with our hearts even bigger than our feet."

Cute, right? Hobbits are famous for their exceptional feet, which are so tough and hairy that they don't require shoes. In fact, the Prologue to "The Fellowship of the Ring" describes these feet by saying, "They dressed in bright colours, being notably fond of yellow and green; but they seldom wore shoes, since their feet had tough leathery soles and were clad in a thick curling hair, much like the hair of their heads, which was commonly brown."

It's a fun feature, but there's one inconsistency here. Tolkien doesn't say that Halfling feet are big. They're hairy, yes. They're tough, sure. But they're not big. It would seem that, by giving their Harfoots big feet, "Rings of Power" has gone and emulated the oversized tootsies of Peter Jackson's Hobbits. The show doesn't have direct rights to connect the two stories, but the visual parallel is definitely striking. Hey, if the shoe fits, right? Or, in this case, if it doesn't.

The cavalry of Númenor

In the promotional footage we've seen thus far, we've seen a lot of Númenor and its people. At this point, we've specifically seen quite a few Númenórean soldiers suited up in a fantastic "fish-scale" looking armor design. Interestingly, in the final pivotal moments of the trailer, we see a large group of fish-scale-armored horsemen riding down a group of Orcs in a disciplined fashion.

We've seen these horsemen a couple of other times now, too. They look like Númenóreans, but what are sea-based people doing on horseback? For the answer, we turn to Tolkien.

In the book "Unfinished Tales" the Middle-earth creator describes a particular affinity that the Númenóreans have for horses. The text reads, "In Númenor all journeyed from place to place on horseback; for in riding the Númenóreans, both men and women, took delight, and all the people of the land loved horses, treating them honourably and housing them nobly." It goes on to say that there were even stories of Númenóreans calling their favorite horses by thought alone. So, while Númenor will clearly be focusing on the seafaring element, it's cool to see that the creators are also including the people's close connection with equines, as well.

Galadriel finding herself?

The last line in the trailer is Galadriel saying, "Without it, what am I to be?" This is presumably in response to a line uttered by Elrond earlier in the trailer, when the half-Elven hero says, "You have fought long enough, Galadriel. Put up your sword." It's an interesting element to focus on for the future Lady of Lorien — and it has some grounds in Tolkien's own works and words.

At one point, "The Silmarillion" describes why Galadriel leaves the Blessed Realm in the west to return to Middle-earth. Without going into detail (basically, she doesn't agree with the terrible motivations of some of her fellow Elves who are also leaving the heavenly realm headed east), the book explains that "Galadriel, the only woman of the Noldor to stand that day tall and valiant among the contending princes, was eager to be gone. No oaths she swore, but the words of Feanor concerning Middle-earth had kindled in her heart, for she yearned to see the wide unguarded lands and to rule there a realm at her own will."

So, Tolkien himself had Galadriel leave heaven on earth in pursuit of power and prestige, adventure and excitement. Apparently, this is a theme that the show will be exploring, albeit from the perspective of a character who has become unable to find any identity outside of that violent, adventure-prone tendency that initially started her story.