Amazon Studios The Rings of Power is six months away. We want all Spoilerites to have the best viewing experience possible and have the widest knowledge base about the Second Age of Middle-Earth. This is a weekly Let’s Get Nerdy article series highlighting a different piece of Tolkien I think you need to know about!
In past articles I have answered the question:
- What Are the Rings of Power?
- What is Númenor?
- What is the Second Age?
- Who are the Harfoots?
- Who is Prince Durin IV?
- What is Khazad-dûm?
- Who is Celebrimbor?
- What is the Last Alliance of Men and Elves?
- Who is Elendil?
- New Pics! Who are Bronwyn and Theo?
- What is Rivendell?
- The Rings of Power First Reactions Are In!
- What is Lindon?
- What are the Nine Human Rings?
Last week Empire Magazine debuted their exclusive covers for The Rings of Power. Empire Magazine is famous for the amazing cover spreads they put out for major movies – and are particularly beloved among genre fans. Empire Magazine has even featured various other installments in The Lord of the Rings media franchise gracing its cover in years past. For me, the Gandalf cover, in particular, is iconic. Seared into my child brain as an image I had taped to my wall in celebration of the film trilogy.
On June 1st, 2022 the first television offering in the Tolkien sphere made their debut and I am here to explore what there is to see! We’re about three months out from The Rings Of Power streaming debut on Amazon Prime and there is still very little known about the series. I’m excited for any clues which there may be to be had.
First up of the “three collectible covers” is series star Morfydd Clark in the role of Galadriel. The Rings of Power series Galadriel is much more ready-for-combat than the ethereal Cate Blanchett take of the character from The Lord of the RIngs: The Fellowship of the Ring.
While there may not be much revealed in this image of Galadriel, the second cover from Empire Magazine actually does have some new information for curious Middle-Earth fans. The caption per Empire:
Secondly, we have Dwarf Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur) and Princess Disa (Sophia Nomvete), the rulers of Khazad-dûm.
Up to this point, as I’ve mentioned in past Did You Hear? features, we haven’t now for Princess Disa is. Given the caption and the actors’ clasped hands in the image I think it’s very clear Princess Disa is Prince Durin IV’s wife. Wife may be premature, perhaps betrothed, girlfriend, clearly something romantic. Canonically there is nothing written by Tolkien about Prince Durin IV’s romantic life. There’s a lot of possibility in having a female dwarf be one of the principle characters in The Rings Of Power show. We know so little about them – even within book canon. For fans who may only know The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies what we know about dwarf women comes most famously from an intoxicated Gimli quote:
“It’s the dwarves who go swimming with little hairy women.”
The third cover is all harfoots all the time! Remember, from a previous Did You Hear? the Harfoots are ancestors of the Hobbits we think of when we conjure up images of Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin. This cover features from left to right: Poppy Proudfellow (Megan Richards), Elanor ‘Nori’ Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh), and Sadoc Burrows (Lenny Henry).
All three of these characters are non-canonical and original to The Rings of Powers. So much so, in fact they don’t even have tradition Tolkien Hobbit/Harfoot surnames.
For example, there’s no “Proudfellows”, but there are “Proudfoots”. There are no “Brandyfoots”, but there are “Brandybuck”. There are no “Burrows”, but there is a Tolkien character named Sadoc Brandybuck who is a Hobbit rather than a Harfoot. The Brandybuck is a three-time Great Uncle to Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck, who actor Dominic Monaghan portrayed in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
There’s little likeliness this book Sadoc inspired The Rings of Power Sadoc. There’s also an Elanor in The Lord of the Rings book canon. Elanor Gamgee is the daughter of Samwise Gamgee. We actually see Elanor in the end of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and she’s played by Alexandra Astin, the real life daughter of Sean Astin who portrayed Samwise.
Despite the promise of three there are actually four Empire Magazine covers. The fourth, per Empire shows:
Plus, we have our subscriber cover – featuring an exclusive piece of art by legendary concept artist John Howe, depicting a fearsome snow-troll.
Where will snow-trolls come in? My bet? Khazad-dûm. We’ve seen in previous Lord of the Rings movies just how much snow these mountain ranges can drum up. Including this piece of concept art does leave me to wonder if snow-trolls will play a more important part than an initial glance may lead one to believe. Trolls are integral storytelling devices in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, beginning with J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing. So much so characters in The Lord of the Rings come upon the very trolls Bilbo Baggins bested during the events of The Hobbit!
… or perhaps this is one fan reading too much into a piece of concept art easily accessible and large enough to print on a magazine cover when a subscriber variant was requested. Cash me outside with my fan theories, Spoilerites, because I’m still so excited to know a little bit more about Princess Disa!
The Rings of Power debuts on Amazon Prime September 2nd, 2022.