Prior to the airing of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’s initial episodes, Prime Video presumably released the final complete trailer on Monday. Many of the plots continue to be purposefully elusive, simply hinting at some broader threats or evil characters at work, but most of it fills in plot details that have previously been suggested or conjectured. The motivations and character arc of Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), the main character of the narrative, are most clearly established in the new video.
The trauma that drives Galadriel’s search for the enemy’s slaves is explored in the trailer’s opening moments: the passing of her brother Finrod (Will Fletcher). The provenance of her dagger, which has a gold and silver tree pattern, is also alluded to here because it appears to have belonged to Finrod before he passed away. This will probably play a significant role in Galadriel’s unwavering objective at the start of the series. When Finrod and Sauron squared off in the original text, Finrod lost the fight and perished in Tol-in-Gaurhoth, Sauron’s stronghold.
The fight depicted in the trailer, which has already appeared in other previews, is probably the “Dagor Bragollach,” or “Battle of Sudden Flame,” in which Morgoth unleashed the first of Middle-great earth’s dragons while striking from the fortress of Thangorodrim with rivers of fire. During this combat, Barahir, a mortal man, spared Finrod from death. In return, he gave Barahir his personal ring, which was eventually handed down through the generations until it was in the possession of Barahir’s descendant, Aragorn, and served as a symbol of the aristocracy of his family.
This will undoubtedly contribute to Galadriel’s emotional stakes in any chase or run-in with Sauron. Galadriel holds Sauron personally accountable for her brother’s death, making him the main antagonist of Middle-earth after Morgoth. This makes her search for him not just a quest for evil but also a personal vendetta against her arch-enemy.
As more scenes of Galadriel in Nmenor play out in the video, the voiceover adds that “Ours was no chance encounter” and that instead of fate or destiny, it was “the work of something bigger.” The statement’s context is unclear, but the line itself is evocative of the Lord of the Rings books: one of the central themes of the narrative is the recurring, subdued effect of a kind of Divine Providence that moulds some of the encounters of the narrative. This remark seems to suggest that the TV series’ plot would operate with a similar awareness of the influences of the Valar, despite the fact that it is rarely direct and frequently presents possibilities rather than forcibly modifying events.
Following this, there are a number of quick shots that tease the story’s bigger world and the intriguing storyline lines implied by that idea. The strange and mysterious white-robed Sauron (or Morgoth?) worshippers make a brief appearance, though their significance to the plot is still unclear. There are hints of additional stories: In the scene where the Stranger from the meteor meets the Harfoot Nori, they are both surrounded by what appear to be nasty warg-like animals. The trailer appears to reinforce the widely held belief that the Stranger is most likely a member of the wizard order; at one moment, the Stranger appears to be summoning a wizardly force to stir the winds nearby.
The drama in Nmenor is another significant plot point that is alluded to here. The Regent Mriel (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) makes an appearance and addresses the audience while making a speech on choosing “who we shall be.” Although the context is still unknown, the staging is telling: The Numenorean leader is contrasted by Mriel’s advisor Pharazôn (Trystan Gravelle), who is depicted standing beside her in a similarly exalted position. While Mriel appears to be giving an energising speech, the remark about “who we shall be” in the context of Pharazôn becomes incredibly gloomy and portends a bleak future for the vast island kingdom.
The majority of the remaining portion of the film appears to expand the colour pallet and allude to Middle-uncertain earth’s future. Prince Durin (Owain Arthur) is reminded of his duties to his future reign by Disa (Sophia Nomvete), while the Elf Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) flees with a group of companions while purportedly being followed by an army of orcs through a dark forest. Following that, we have a glimpse of the evil leader of presumably the same mob, Elf Adar (Joseph Mawle). More action shots of Galadriel are shown, and the viewer sees her confrontation with a sea monster while she is shipwrecked.
Galadriel’s character drama, which appears to be the overarching topic of the entire video, is brought back in the closing scenes, and her final dialogue offers a preview of her eventual plot development. She says, “Without it, what am I to be,” in response to Elrond’s command for her to lay down her sword. She appears to be admitting her lack of certainty in the line; she is unable to let go of the main motivating factor that was caused by her brother’s death and her need for vengeance.
In the last scenes, Galadriel’s character drama—which seems to be the main subject of the entire video—is revived, and her final dialogue provides a sneak peek at her upcoming plot development. When Elrond tells her to put her sword down, she responds, “Without it, what am I to be?” She seems to be acknowledging her lack of confidence in the direction; she can’t get over her brother’s death, which served as her primary driving force, and her need for vengeance.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres September 2 on Prime Video.