Three rings for the Elven kings under the sky… Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone… Nine for mortal men doomed to die… One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne…
So goes the rhyme from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings about the Rings of Power forged (mostly) by Sauron in the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the story most of us know. Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings series is set during the Second Age. The show comes out later this year, and Amazon has just revealed the title: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Watch the very elaborate title sequence below:
What happens in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?
We don’t know who’s narrating the title reveal, but it’s probably Morfydd Clark as Galadriel, one of the few characters from the original Lord of the Rings story who will also show up in this one, since as an elf she’s immortal. Other familiar faces who could show up include Elrond and of course Sauron himself, who during the Second Age had more of a physical form. They’ll all be part of a large cast.
J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, the showrunners on the series, made a statement about the news:
"This is a title that we imagine could live on the spine of a book next to J.R.R. Tolkien’s other classics. The Rings of Power unites all the major stories of Middle-earth’s Second Age: the forging of the rings, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the epic tale of Númenor, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Until now, audiences have only seen on-screen the story of the One Ring – but before there was one, there were many… and we’re excited to share the epic story of them all."
Sauron forged the rings to gain control over all the peoples of Middle-earth, but it really only worked with human beings; the nine men who took the rings were corrupted and eventually became the Ringwraiths we know from The Lord of the Rings. The rings drove the dwarves to be more reclusive, but the elves caught on to Sauron’s game pretty quickly and hid their rings away; in The Lord of the Rings, the elven rings are wielded by Galadriel, Elrond, and Gandalf.
As for “the epic tale of Númenor,” Payne and McKay are referring to the island nation off the coast of Middle-earth where dwelt the Númenoreans, a long-lived race of human beings from whom Aragorn is descended. They were once the most powerful force in the world ... until Sauron corrupts their society from within and things get ugly. It could be a good story if the show pulls it off.
The Second Age ends with the Last Alliance of Elves and Men and an epic battle against Sauron at his stronghold in Mordor, which is depicted right at the start of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. This new series has a lot of ground to cover.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres on Amazon Prime Video on September 2, 2022.