Posted on August 23, 2022

Hot on the heels of the news of HBO’s massive premiere numbers for their Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon, Prime Video has released the final – and most revealing – trailer for their upcoming Lord of the Rings prequel series The Rings of Power. We’re comparing the two shows because – well, how could we not? If they weren’t both premiering within weeks of each other or both serving as prequels to critically acclaimed and beloved predecessors, we might just view them as two fantasy series in a TV landscape that has more than a few of them scattered about, from The Witcher to the Wheel of Time. But like it or not, Tolkien or Martin fans, the two mythologies are at least a little bound up in each other. George R.R. Martin used the A Song of Ice and Fire books to play with a lot of Tolkien’s original toys and the Game of Thrones TV series almost certainly wouldn’t have happened without Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films setting the culture on fire twenty years ago, and this adaptation almost certainly wouldn’t have happened without Game of Thrones‘ runaway success paving the way. Besides, we tend to think this trailer is subtly drawing that comparison in a very deliberate way.





Having been drenched in the blood of House of the Dragon‘s premiere episode, we were instantly reminded of just how brutal a world Martin had created. We’d forgotten just how harsh Westeros can be. It’s absolutely one of the defining factors of that mythology. Tolkien certainly doesn’t shy away from the horrors of war and the destructive power of violence, but when we look at this absolutely gorgeous trailer, we can’t help noting how different the flavor is in this form of fantasy.


Tolkien created a world that literally inspired nearly a century of artwork interpreting it, not just because he fired imaginations, but because he created a world practically drowning in its own beauty. It’s a world of myth and magic; a world in which humans co-exist (more or less) with a whole range of non-human races. Jackson understood that his films needed to be aesthetically stunning first and foremost. This is not a dig against Martin’s world or against Game of Thrones or House of the Dragon. Westeros is full of wonders and pageantry. But it seems to us that you go to Westeros for the stories the wonders tend to hide and you go to Middle Earth for the stories explaining why the wonders exist at all.  In other words, with Tolkien, the wonders are the point. We’ll be podcasting about House of the Dragon starting this week and you can bet we’ll have quite a bit of thoughts about The Rings of Power when it premieres, but for now, we’ll just say that this trailer is a drop-dead stunner and the whole series looks amazing. CANNOT WAIT.


Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, 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. 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 re-emergence 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 furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.


[Stills: Prime Video via Tom and Lorenzo – Video Credit: Prime Video/YouTube]

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