Sauron’s dark rise is front and center in The Rings of Power S2 teaser

reader comments 15
[embedded content]
Charlie Vicker's Sauron is front and center in the teaser for S2 of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

Amazon's Prime Video made a major investment in The Rings of Power when it acquired the rights to the source material from the Tolkien estate, even committing to multiple seasons upfront. The casting was strong and the visuals were quite spectacular (including the opening credits). But while the first season had its moments, personally I found it a bit plodding, often more concerned with establishing this rich fictional world and the characters within it than moving the story forward.

Showrunners J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay have said that this was deliberate. They wanted to avoid a "villain-centric" story in S1 but promised they would be delving more deeply into "the lore and the stories people have been waiting to hear." That would be the rise of Sauron (Charlie Vickers), the forging of the titular rings of power, and the last alliance between elves and men to defeat Sauron's evil machinations. Judging by the teaser that dropped today, we'll be getting lots more action in S2, with the shape-shifting Sauron now handily disguised as an elf. Bonus: There's an accompanying behind-the-scenes preview of the second season.

(Spoilers for the S1 finale below.)

Pretty much everyone guessed long before the S1 finale's reveal that Halbrand (Vickers), king of the Southlands, was really Sauron in disguise. Fans even dubbed him "Hot Sauron." He took advantage of the fact that the elvish light of Valar was fading, putting the race of elves in danger of extinction unless they returned to Valinor to preserve their immortality. The discovery of the precious ore mithril gave the elves another option championed by Elrond (Robert Aramayo), Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), and the elven smith Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards).

But there was only a little mithril available since King Durin III (Peter Mullan) refused any further mining. Unfortunately, Galadriel unwittingly brought Halbrand into the fray, and he suggested bonding the mithril with another metal, claiming it would amplify the mithril's power—when the opposite was true. The season ended with the forging of the three elven rings out of an alloy of mithril and the gold and silver of Valinor: Narya (the Ring of Fire), to be worn by Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker); Nenya (the Ring of Water), to be worn by Galadriel; and Vilya (the Ring of Air), to be worn by Elrond.


Sauron fled before that forging when his true identity was discovered, but Adar (Joseph Mawle in S1, Sam Hazeldine in S2), future father of the orcs, had already brought about the explosion of Mount Doom to create Mordor. So the initial phases of Sauron's master plan are now in place.

S2 will explore the consequences of Galadriel's actions in the finale. We also know that the Harfoot Nori and The Stranger will travel to the land of Rhûn in the East of Middle-earth, a new setting for the series, and apparently there will be a "massive" two-episode battle. And is that a shot of "Hot Elf Sauron" creating Barad-dûr toward the teaser's end? Per the official premise:

Sauron has returned. Cast out by Galadriel, without army or ally, the rising Dark Lord must now rely on his own cunning to rebuild his strength and oversee the creation of the Rings of Power, which will allow him to bind all the peoples of Middle-earth to his sinister will. Building on Season One’s epic scope and ambition, the new season plunges even its most beloved and vulnerable characters into a rising tide of darkness, challenging each to find their place in a world that is increasingly on the brink of calamity. Elves and dwarves, orcs and men, wizards and Harfoots… as friendships are strained and kingdoms begin to fracture, the forces of good will struggle ever more valiantly to hold on to what matters to them most of all… each other.

The second season of The Rings of Power premieres on Prime Video on August 29, 2024.

[embedded content]
Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power: A look inside Season 2.

Listing image by Prime Video