The Trailer for 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' Puts Women Front and Center

Morfydd Clark in "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power" (Photo: Prime Video_

Prime Video's upcoming massive fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, isn't technically British television in the traditional sense. However, its connection to one of the most famous sons of Oxford College — author J.R.R. Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and a Fellow of Pembroke College for the better part of two decades — surely earns it goodwill amongst Anglophiles. Plus, to be fair, it's hard to overstate Tolkien's influence on the fantasy literature that came after him; his hand is visible in almost every similar story you read, regardless of their country of origin. 

Set during the Second Age of Middle Earth, the events of The Rings of Power take place thousands of years before the events of any of Jackson's movies. The series uses Tolkien's dense, lore-filled The Silmarillion as its basis, but as you can see from the latest trailer, quite a bit of the show's plot will be original to its story (i.e., made up from whole cloth). That doesn't mean it'll be bad per see — after all, Arwen's entire arc was made up for the films, but if you're looking for 100% fidelity to the source material, just know going in, you won't find it.

The show will chronicle the rise of Sauron, the forging of the titular rings that will eventually lead so much of the realm into darkness, and the rise of the various historical figures who stood up against him. The new trailer, however, leans pretty heavily into the exploration of Galadriel's (Morfydd Clark) pivotal role in these events, likely because she's one of the few characters who will be instantly familiar to viewers. Here, the death of her brother (likely her elder sibling Finrod) is the catalyst that pushes her (not yet a ring bearer herself) to pick up a sword and fight, determined to convince her Elvish kin that evil is on the march in Middle Earth. Other vaguely familiar faces she'll encounter: Dwarven Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur), who will one day wield a dwarf ring himself, and Nori Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh), who is a member of the vaguely hobbit-adjacent race known as Harfoots.

But what's truly striking about this footage — as lavish and lush as it looks—is how many women are in it. Any other female readers who grew up reading Tolkien know how much we all essentially imprinted on Eowyn of Rohan simply because there were no other women in the story. (Though, to be fair, she is an extremely badass character in her own right. But there can be more than one, y'all.) That does not appear to b a problem that female fans of The Rings of Power will have, as Galadriel is hardly the only woman taking up space here, either on the battlefield or on the field of politics. 


The series' synopsis, which resembles that voiceover narration Cate Blanchett reads at the beginning of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings feature film trilogy, reads as follows.

Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared reemergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains to the majestic forests of the elf capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the farthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.

The ensemble cast is positively massive and also features Robert Aramayo as Elrond, Benjamin Walker as High King Gil-galad, Charles Edwards as Celebrimbor, Maxim Baldry as Isildur, Ema Horvath as Eärien, Lloyd Owen as Elendil, Trystan Gravelle as Pharazôn, Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Queen Regent Míriel, Peter Mullan as Dwarf king Durin III, Charlie Vickers as Halbrand, Nazanin Boniadi as Bronwyn, and Ismael Cruz Córdova as the Silvan-elf Arondir. (And that's nowhere near the entire company list, just FYI.)

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres on Amazon on Friday, September 2, with two episodes, followed by one new episode available weekly. 

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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