How ‘Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Ties into ‘Lord of the Rings,’ Explained

The world has changed.

The first movie in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy hit theaters almost 21 years ago (wow, that makes me feel really old). Its arrival changed cinema forever. Although it still had some of the problems faced by book to movie projects, the films set a new bar for how to make beloved texts into beloved films. I was one of those people who saw each movie multiple times in the theater, so I can attest to just how amazing they felt.

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Now, Amazon’s long-awaited The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is coming to streaming. We get to revisit Tolkien’s wonderful realm of Middle Earth all over again, in a different time period, with new faces. But how does the new series connect back to the original movies?

Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.

At the beginning of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the elf Galadriel gives us a brief overview of the history of Middle Earth. During the Second Age, rings of power were forged. Three went to the elves, seven to the dwarves, and nine to the kings of men. But the evil being known as Sauron was jealous that he wasn’t included in their super cool ring club. So he forged his own evil version to lord over all the others—”the one ring to rule them all.”

Sauron rose to power with his new corrupt jewelry, which led to the Last Alliance Between Elves and Men. During the battle, Isildur cut the One Ring from Sauron’s hand and severed the evil lord’s power. But, as we know, Isildur couldn’t destroy the ring because he was a flawed man. Eventually, Frodo would inherit the ring from Bilbo and start his journey to destroy it. A lot of trouble would have been saved if Isildur had just dropped the ring in Mount Doom when he had the chance. But then Legolas and Gimli wouldn’t have had their meet cute—you win some; you lose some.

I was there three thousand years ago.

With The Rings of Power, they will flesh out Fellowship‘s brief history lesson into an entire series. This way we get to see the fabled rings made. We will see Sauron’s rise and the epic battles to defeat him. Figures of legend will be characters we can watch come to love or hate, such as King Elendil, his doomed son Isildur, and elf king Gil-Galad.

Because elves can live an insane amount of time, the show will feature several younger versions of elves from the movie trilogy. Robert Aramayo plays a young Elrond, not yet angry with men after the utter failing of Islidur in Mount Doom. (But will he wear a cool tiara like Hugo Weaving did in the movies??) Galadriel (played by Cate Blanchett in the Rings movies and the Hobbit films) transforms from a wise, guiding force to a young warrior. Morfydd Clark plays the new sword-wielding version of Galadriel. Plus there will be loads more elfish, dwarven, and pre-hobbit cultures. Now, I can watch Rings of Power, then the Hobbit movies, then the Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended versions, obviously) to watch the entire story—and never leave the house again.

(feature image: New Line Cinema)

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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.