J.R.R. Tolkien fans rejoiced as the cast and creators of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” took over San Diego Comic-Con on Friday.
Social media was buzzing with excitement as people awaited new sneak peeks at the "Second Age of Middle-earth," set to launch Sept. 2 on Amazon Prime, and they were not disappointed.
“The Rings of Power” is set thousands of years before the events of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.” The eight-part series will explore how the great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory, fell to ruin, and how the greatest villain threatened to bring darkness into the world.
“LOTR” fans will recognize familiar characters as the series dives into the lives of the younger versions of elves Galadriel (Morfydd Clark, played by Cate Blanchett in the movies) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo, originally played by Hugo Weaving).
Here are the biggest highlights from “The Lord of the Rings” panels at Comic-Con.
The Famous Hall H
The event kicked off with Emmy winning composer Bear McCreary, who created the show’s score, taking the stage with a 25-piece orchestra and 16-person choir for a live performance of snippets from the never-before-heard series soundtrack, according to Amazon Prime’s press release.
The cast and creators
Tolkien superfan Stephen Colbert was introduced as the surprise moderator and spoke with showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay and executive producer Lindsey Weber about the creation of the multi-season drama.
They were joined by 21 cast members: Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Trystan Gravelle, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Lloyd Owen, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, Daniel Weyman and Sara Zwangobani.
The big reveals
Attendees were treated to an epic new trailer, which includes a look at the reemergence of evil in Middle-earth and a look at the island of Númenor, which had never before been seen on screen.
Viewers believe that they got a look at an earlier Sauron, who “LOTR” fans know as the original films’ antagonist in search of the One Ring and is capable of disguising his appearance. Actor Anson Boon transforms into a mysterious pale figure.
And a quick look at the Balrog — the demonic monster from an encounter in “The Fellowship of the Ring” — is seen as the new trailer concludes.
Some fans also believe the trailer showed a faint look at Morgoth, the first Dark Lord of Middle-earth and master and predecessor of Sauron. In one brief clip, they think he can be seen destroying trees.
Additionally, five scenes from the series were shown, as well as 22 pieces of special character art was unveiled during the presentation.
Cast Q&A Livestream
Patton Oswalt moderated the livestream for Amazon Prime for those who weren’t at Comic-Con. He was joined by Morfydd Clark (Galadriel), Charlie Vickers (Halbrand), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Queen Regent Míriel), Trystan Gravelle (Pharazôn), Maxim Baldry (Isildur), Lloyd Owen (Elendil), Ema Horvath (Eärien) and Leon Wadham (Kemen).
Each actor went down the line, teasing a bit of their character's situation when fans first meet. Clark marveled over the costume design and cosplay.
“It’s been just a dream, and I grew up with these books and these stories and definitely pretended to be like most of the characters in the films at different times,” Clark said, before touching on the designs. “When we were making Galadriel’s armor, Kate Hawley who’s designed it all. She loves all that stuff. And she was like, ‘I’m gonna make it difficult for them. I’m gonna make them really how to work.’ And so when I see this cosplayer, like, I know what a feat is. And yeah, it’s such an honor.”
Vickers spoke about the training that went into the role, while Addai-Robinson teased the queen’s specific line in the trailer, and Wadham described Kemen’s family life.
Horvath, who plays Isildur’s sister Eärien, spoke about learning how to write Númenórean, while Owen and Baldry teased their father-son dynamic.
“It is a complex relationship between father and son,” Baldry said, with Owen adding, “All I can say is, don’t always blame the parents.”
Before they wrapped, Oswalt asked what fans can expect, with Addai-Robinson perfectly stating: “I think it’s going to really run an emotional gamut. Because, even for us, we finally, recently have started to see some of the footage ourselves. You’re gonna laugh. You’re gonna cry. You’re gonna be shocked, you’re going to be an awe.”
“And to me, the best stories really capture the full range of human emotions,” she continued. “So I think you’re gonna have all the feels.”
“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” will launch Sept. 2 on Amazon Prime.