The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power is almost here, and Amazon Prime Video has been kicking the marketing for the exciting new J.R.R. Tolkein adaptation into high gear this month. It was just nine days ago that we got to see the thrilling teaser for the show, and earlier today we saw the debut of a brand new trailer at San Diego Comic-Con. But while that footage made its way officially online, today’s presentation in Hall H for the anticipated series featured much more than just that widely released spot.
In addition to debuting the trailer, the San Diego Comic-Con Hall H presentation for The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power – hosted by LOTR superfan Stephen Colbert – also showcased five exclusive clips just for fans who were in the giant room of the San Diego Convention Center. And while this footage won’t be made available online until the show actually premieres in September, I’ve broken down what was shown for you below.
Elrond vs. Durin
The first clip shown centered on Elrond (Robert Aramayo) taking a trip into foreign territory – namely the mines of Moria for a meeting with the dwarf leader Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur). As the elf enters a large chamber filled with dwarves, he smiles and looks happy, though the feelings in the environment don’t seem to be totally mutual. As a horn blows, Durin enters the room, and while his arrival is met with cheers, he is able to silence them immediately by simply raising a closed fist.
Without ever directly addressing Elrond, Durin addresses the room, and tells all of the dwarves that he and the elf are going to have a test of endurance. The two of them will break rocks until one of them cannot break rocks anymore, and the stakes are high: if Elrond loses, he will be banished and never allowed to return; if he wins, Durin agrees to “grant a single boon.” It doesn’t seem like a fair contest really, but Elrond never demonstrates a lack of confidence.
With the blow of another horn, the contest begins, and a pair of rocks are brought out to smash. Cheered on by his fellow dwarves, Durin lifts a hammer and brings it down with force on the rock – splitting it in two. Elron prepares to do the same, lifting the hammer he has been given… but the scene cut to black before showing if he was successful.
Discovering The Stranger
Switching things up from elves and dwarves to the harfoots of Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power, the second clip focused on Nori (Markella Kavenagh) and Poppy (Megan Richards) – whom we see approach the crash site of a meteor.
At first we just see Nori approaching the space rock, which is dug into the ground and is surrounded by a ring of fire, but Poppy (fittingly) pops up behind her and shocks her. In the middle of the site is not just a meteor, but a large naked figure who has been only identified as The Stranger (Daniel Weyman) thus far in marketing materials. The Stranger is a giant compared to the harfoots, but Nori shows no fear. As she gets closer, she even discovers that the fires that are burning aren’t actually hot for some mysterious reason. Poppy admonishes Nori, but the latter persists.
Getting up to The Stranger, Nori tries to see if he is alive… and she gets more than she bargains for. The “man” wakes up, and while we can’t hear him say anything, all kind of weirdness erupts in the area, including the fires being extinguished, the wind blowing and rocks floating in the air. When The Stranger goes unconscious again, the fires return and the rocks drop.
Poppy tells Nori that “your mom is going to kill you,” but Nori isn’t done. She insists that they can’t just leave The Stranger out there, but Poppy objects. Nori explains that it’s not who they are to not help, but Poppy returns with a good question: how are they supposed to carry a giant? Before an answer can be provided, the clip cut to black.
Arondir And Some Fellow Prisoners Attempt An Escape
The third clip of the Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power presentation was far more action heavy than any of the others. This one put the spotlight on Arondir (Ismael Cruz Cordova), who we see is being held as a prisoner in some kind of orc-run labor camp. Along with some others in chains, the elf attempts to stage a mini rebellion to try and escape.
The chains are both a hindrance and a weapon, as while the prisoners are able to whip them to attack their guards, they are also shackles that stop them fleeing (one individual tries, but it results in him getting an axe in the back). An attempt to break the bonds doesn’t work, and eventually the prisoners find themselves in a kind of tug of war with the orcs.
Seizing an opportunity, Arondir spots another axe on the ground, picks it up, runs, and leaps into the air toward the orcs. At first it appears as though his plan is to drive the blade into one of the monster’s heads, but he has a different idea. The hatchet instead smashes into a canopy that is providing the orcs shade, and when the sunlight hits their skin, they start to sizzle. Sadly, the clip cut to black before we could see the end result of the sequence.
Elrond And Galadriel Have A Chat
The fourth clip (and the shortest of the bunch) felt like it was designed specifically as a gift for Lord of the Rings fans, as it featured a peaceful moment between two characters with whom fans of the franchise are very familiar: Elrond and Galadriel (Morfydd Clark). Together in a beautiful, sunny forest and surrounded by trees with gorgeous yellow leaves, they comment on a mural of a sailing ship, and Elrond reflects on how much Galadriel has changed from childhood – now the commander of the northern armies.
Elrond comments that he expected that he would next see her caked in grime and mud, but she instead says that it was more like frostbite and troll blood. He urges her to tell him everything… but then the scene cuts to black.
Galadriel Arrives In Númenor
Wrapping up the footage, the fifth clip also centered on Galadriel, but in a sequence more about environment than anything else. The royal elf is featured aboard a boat, but she appears flummoxed about the vessel and doesn’t know who she is with or where they are going – and though she is told she is safe, her questions go unanswered. She asks the sailors to what port they are sailing, and it’s merely explained that they are nearly there.
When they do arrive at the port, they first see giant faces that have been carved into the natural stone walls, and it’s a place of extreme beauty. Galadriel, still not knowing where they are, asks what the place is, and a compatriot says there there is only one place it can be: the island kingdom of Númenor. It’s a gorgeous, expansive paradise that we see in a wide shot, mirroring some of the epicness of Peter Jackson’s movies. The editing allows us to take it all in – but the scene cut before cutting to the boat actually docking.
Based on the footage alone, it was difficult to get a full sense of the show that Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power is going to be, as the material didn’t have any kind of throughlines that provided a sense of the actual stories that are going to be told. That being said, the Amazon series does look breathtaking, and it looks like a powerful effort was made to echo the aesthetics of the modern Lord of the Rings blockbusters (while it’s also still very clearly trying to be its own thing). The footage didn’t totally sell me on the series, and I’m not quite at a point where I’m feeling utterly confident that it will match the scope and majesty of Peter Jackson’s films, but I am more interested than ever before.
After years of development, The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power is now almost here – set to arrive on Amazon Prime Video on September 2. In the meantime, you can use your Amazon Prime subscription to discover a number of other great TV shows on the streaming platform (and you can rewatch all of the Middle-earth movies by signing up for HBO Max.)
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NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.