It May Be A While Before Rings Appear In LOTR: The Rings Of Power

Warning: spoilers ahead for The Rings of Power episodes 1 & 2

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power viewers could be waiting a while to see some actual Rings of Power. When Amazon announced its long-awaited, rather expensive Middle-earth TV series would be called “The Rings of Power,” the title immediately conjured images of the mid-Second Age and The Fellowship of the Ring’s history lesson, when Sauron dished out rings to the various races of Middle-earth before attempting to corrupt them using his secret One Ring. The title invited expectations of seeing Annatar, Celebrimbor, and the forging of the titular Rings of Power in Eregion. While that prediction is still looking pretty safe after The Rings of Power episodes 1 & 2, the time frame might be a little longer than anticipated.

As predicted, The Rings of Power begins slightly before the Rings themselves are made. Sauron hasn’t yet resurfaced following Morgoth’s First Age defeat, and the Elves are enjoying some well-earned peace and quiet after centuries of war. The premiere sees High King Gil-Galad introduce Robert Aramayo’s Elrond to Charles Edwards’ Celebrimbor, and the aspiring politician is assigned as the Lord of Eregion’s special assistant for an ambitious upcoming project. When Celebrimbor proudly unrolls the blueprints for this project, the documents depict… a massive forge.

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The Rings of Power viewers might’ve been expecting Celebrimbor’s plans to contain designs for the Rings of Power themselves – or at least some early prototypes before the proper nineteen are crafted under Sauron’s watchful eye. Instead, we get a forge. So, rather than The Rings of Power season 1 explaining how the Rings were made, The Rings of Power season 1 is explaining how the forge that made the Rings was made. Amazon’s narrative now needs to cover Moria’s dwarves helping construct Celebrimbor’s forge before the smiths of Eregion can even begin thinking about designing their magic rings.
It’s Okay If The Rings Of Power Don’t Appear Until Season 2

It’s certainly a little strange that The Rings of Power draws its name from objects that still feel a long way from physically appearing. After all, The Lord of the Rings shoves the One Ring into view almost immediately, while The Hobbit is just a barrage of halflings right from the start. Many would’ve expected The Rings of Power to at least mention enchanted jewelry in its opening episodes, rather than merely having some early discussions about the forge that’ll bring them into creation. But not only is holding off on Celebrimbor’s masterwork absolutely fine, it’s okay if the process of making Middle-earth’s Rings of Power doesn’t even begin until season 2.
Even with only two episodes on the board, it’s obvious how much material Amazon’s The Rings of Power has in its pipeline. Establishing the four major races, showcasing all the big settlements, and exploring the dynamics between each of them could feasibly occupy an entire season alone. Throw in Durin’s mystery box, Sauron’s sigil, Meteor Man, and the weird happenings in Tirharad, and The Rings of Power season 1 already boasts more than enough to be getting on with. Digging into Annatar and the Rings could risk overstuffing Amazon’s debut season – far better to postpone that meaty storyline until the all-but-inevitable second season, where the focus can rest fully upon the Rings’ creation. The Rings of Power’s patience means showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay can also lay the proper groundwork for the title storyline so that new characters and Tolkien lore all sing harmoniously when the time comes.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power continues Thursday/Friday on Prime Video.

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