Six thousand lucky Comic-Con attendees got to visit Middle-earth on Friday, thanks to Amazon Prime Video's surprise-filled panel for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
The hour-long event, moderated by surprise guest/Lord of the Rings superfan Stephen Colbert, featured the upcoming fantasy series' impressive ensemble cast, a brand new extended trailer and opened with a musical performance conducted by series' composer Bear McCreary.
The series is set thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, movies — before those storied rings were even forged — all based on a lesser-known part of author J.R.R. Tolkein's Middle-earth lore: the Second Age.
Elven warrior Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) is featured prominently in the extended trailer, as is a mysterious young character that could be the future villain, Sauron. The new footage essentially teases the action-packed arc of the show and all its players which, in a nutshell, will reveal what happened in Middle-earth to spark the forging of — you guessed it — the Rings of Power.
The fan reaction to the trailer was exceedingly enthusiastic, particularly at the end when a familiar, ferocious LOTR foe turns up: a Balrog.
amazon studios The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
In addition to Clark's Galadriel, the series also features Elves Elrond (Robert Aramayo) and High King Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker); Harfoots Marigold Brandyfoot (Sara Zwangobani), Elanor 'Nori' Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh), Poppy Proudfellow (Megan Richards) and Sadoc Burrows (Sir Lenny Henry); the Dwarves King Durin III (Peter Mullan) and Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur), as well as The Stranger (Daniel Weyman), Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) and Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova).
The Rings of Power co-showrunner Patrick McKay previously told EW he and partner JD Payne chose to focus their storytelling on Tolkein's lesser-known writing because they "were not interested in doing a show about the younger version of the same world you knew, where it's a little bit of a prequel."
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prime studios The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
"We wanted to go way, way, way back and find a story that could exist on its own two feet," said McKay. "This was one that we felt hadn't been told on the level and the scale and with the depth that we felt it deserved."
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres globally Sept. 2 on Prime Video.