Amazon has revealed the first official image from the long-awaited “Lord of the Rings” TV series, along with revealing the premiere date of 2022. The artwork in issue sparked debate among fans since it looks to portray Valinor prior to the First or Second Ages of Middle-earth.
However, Amazon offered no extra information with the image’s release, making it difficult, to say the least, to deduce the scene’s context. That includes an individual that stands in the foreground of the image with their back to us, making it very impossible to figure out who they are.
But that doesn’t rule out the possibility that the mystery character is a “Lord of the Rings” character.
While the first image in the series doesn’t have an official caption, it does disclose enough information to give us a sense of what we’re looking at.
The artwork clearly depicts a city in Valinor — most likely Tirion — with the Two Trees of Valinor (Laurelin and Telperion) standing proudly behind it. That is, whatever scene the image depicts before the destruction of the Two Trees, and hence before the Years of the Sun and the First Age of Middle-earth.
So whoever is standing in the image must be a character who was not only canonically alive during the Years of the Trees, but also someone who could have visited Tirion and seen them before Laurelin and Telperion was destroyed. Thankfully, a few well-known Tolkien characters meet these criteria and are either confirmed or expected to feature in the series.
For starters, the “Lord of the Rings” image may very well be a youthful Galadriel. The figure, who was played by Cate Blanchett in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, is the only one who has been confirmed to appear in the series, and we even know that Morfydd Clark, who played Saint Maud in the film, will play her. Galadriel was also born during the Years of the Trees, and it’s possible that she’s the character staring at them in the newly released image.
Galadriel would make sense as the protagonist, especially if the series pays respect to Peter Jackson’s Fellowship of the Ring film by beginning with a prologue scene narrated by Galadriel, as some fans believe.
Alternatively, the character could be Celebrimbor, the famed Elven smith who was duped into assisting Sauron in the forging of the Rings of Power during the Second Age of Middle-earth. While little is known about Celebrimbor’s early years, he is claimed to have been born during the Years of the Trees, suggesting that he may be the guy depicted in the artwork.
Given Celebrimbor’s significance during the Second Age of Middle-earth, when the Amazon series is set, it would also make thematic and narrative sense for the image to feature Celebrimbor. That potential is dependent on how prominently the figure appears in the show’s early episodes, but his involvement in the creation of the Rings of Power is so significant that we wouldn’t be surprised if a portion of the show’s prologue, from which this image is widely rumoured, is devoted to him.
Other notable villains, like as Melkor and Sauron, are suspected by some Lord of the Rings enthusiasts to be the figure depicted in the image. Even yet, there are some reasons to believe it isn’t one of those bad guys. It’s also worth noting that the mystery individual could very well be someone who serves as a vessel for us to see Valinor through, rather than someone who is actually important or well-known to us.
However, it is a legitimate option; it would be odd if the first image Amazon released from the series was of a minor character. So, for the time being, we’ll just assume the unknown figure is someone like Galadriel or Celebrimbor, both of which are significant figures in the “Lord of the Rings” universe.