‘Rings of Power’ Season 2 Will Introduce an Unholy Amount of New Rings

"An evil, ancient and powerful, has returned." That's the tease for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2, which we hear in a new, nearly two-minute trailer (below). "This first-look also reveals the much-anticipated creation of more Rings," states Amazon Prime Video's press release. Audiences also catch a glimpse of Charlie Vickers as Sauron, who has completely shed his Halbrand identity from season 1. It's time for the Dark Lord to bring chaos to Middle-earth.

Rings of Power originally premiered in late 2022 alongside HBO's Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, but the Amazon Prime Video fantasy series will not compete head-to-head in the TV fantasy wars this year. According to the new teaser, season 2 will premiere August 29. Read on for everything we know about what's next for Rings of Power.

What Could Happen in Rings of Power Season 2?

So far, one detail is confirmed: Prime Video has announced that Círdan, one of the oldest and wisest of the elves, will join the story during season 2. Although the role has yet to be cast, Círdan has an important part to play in Middle-earth’s history. During the Second Age, Círdan and his people founded the Grey Havens, where they built ships that carried elves to the Undying Lands. Blessed with the gift of foresight, Círdan wore the elven ring Narya, fought alongside High King Gil-galad in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, and ruled over the Grey Havens through the Third and Fourth ages.

As for where else the story will go, the showrunners offered some clues in an interview with Esquire. For Galadriel, who's been deceived and wooed by Sauron, darkness lies ahead. "I think there has to be a reckoning," showrunner J.D. Payne told Esquire. "Even knowing that Sauron was partially involved in the science behind the making of the rings, we see her give the go-ahead to make the rings anyway. She also has to bear some responsibility; 'I empowered the Dark Lord. I saved his life on a raft. I was party to him coming from obscurity to head an army.' That's a lot she has to wrestle with and be accountable for. I think we can expect to see her having to pick up those threads and see how those decisions impact her various relationships." Showrunner Patrick McKay noted that Elrond has discovered evidence of Galadriel hiding information from him, adding, "Her facing the consequences of that has not ended yet."

Speaking of Galadriel—remember in episode 7 when she offhandedly mentions that she was once married? Sounds like we haven't seen the last of that tidbit, either. "As far as Celeborn goes, we wanted to let people know that this is a part of her that could become important later on," Payne told Esquire. "We didn't take him off the board and say he's dead. She says, 'I never saw him again' and we leave it as an ellipsis. But if and when that comes back, that would be like a freight train crashing into her, if the love of her life is still around. Now that we've spread the foundation of her relationships with Sauron, Elrond, and even Gil-galad, we have the opportunity in future seasons to see how other relationships, maybe including Celeborn, will continue to show other sides of her."

And with Sauron and the rings of power officially in play, the show is off to the races. "Obviously Sauron is now a chess piece on the board," McKay told Esquire. "Now that he's a chess piece on the board, there are a lot of dominoes that start to fall. The ring poem is in a song at the end of the eighth episode sung by Fiona Apple and composed by Bear McCreary. Seven rings, nine rings, one ring—each batch could potentially be a new turn in the story and a new turn in Sauron's development through the Second Age. Right there in the eighth episode, there's some hints as to where we might go next." Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Payne teased a new focus on Sauron in season 2. "Season 1 opens with: Who is Galadriel? Where did she come from? What did she suffer? Why is she driven?" he said. "We're doing the same thing with Sauron in season 2. We'll fill in all the missing pieces."

Charlie Vickers, who plays Sauron, teased the juicy arc that lies ahead for his character. "We know Sauron takes on different shapes in this era," Vickers said. "All I can say is maybe to that. Maybe we're going to do those things. I'm incredibly excited to explore him doing these things that we know he does. He has a shitload of rings to make, and he gets to go to Númenor, and he orchestrates the downfall of Númenor. Then he has to take another form and go and fight in the Battle of the Last Alliance. [But] the showrunners have a really specific plan, and I don't know their plans as to how it'll unfold, but I loved playing him in this repentance stage. Whether the repentance is genuine or not is open to interpretation."

In season 2, Sauron seemingly has a lot of amends to make. He'll have to confront Adar, the corrupted elf who believes he killed Sauron, in a showdown for rulership of Mordor. He'll also have a score to settle with Galadriel, who won't just allow him to go gently into that good night after his grand deceptions. We're guessing that Sauron's repentance isn't all that genuine—so it's safe to expect some blood and violence next season.

Elsewhere in Middle-earth, we last saw Nori and the Stranger heading out for the faraway land of Rhûn in search of information about his origins. Markella Kavenagh, who plays Nori, tells Inverse that her character is on a private journey of her own: "There's a greater purpose she feels for herself, and potentially for the Harfoots, to find a better quality of life and to help them find a solid home. I think she's got that in the back of her mind. It's in the back of my mind as well.” Sounds an awful lot like Nori is searching for the Shire, doesn't it? Rings of Power could be making moves to explain how the nomadic Harfoots eventually evolved into homebody hobbits.

Meanwhile, in Khazad-dûm, we'll likely see Prince Durin suffering the fallout of his conflict with his father, King Durin. But as Durin and Disa discussed in episode 7, not even the will of the king will stop them from mining for mithril. After all, canonically speaking, we've only seen the beginning of mithril's usefulness—there's still so much partnership to come for the elves of Eregion and the dwarves of Khazad-dûm, with elven smith Celebrimbor and dwarven smith Narvi set to collaborate on the West Gate of Moria. (You may recall it from Fellowship of the Ring—remember those glowing doors requiring the fellowship to "speak, friend, and enter"?) No doubt there's more in store for cross-cultural besties Elrond and Durin, but their respective peoples are in for a real ride: the fall of Eregion lies ahead, along with the sundering of friendly relations between elves and dwarves. Somewhere along the way, this crew will have to find time to forge the rest of the rings, too. No pressure! New on-set photos of an elven town under construction have fans speculating that this set may be Eregion, fanning the flames of these suspicions about where the story will head in season 2.

Who Will Star in Rings of Power Season 2?

A new fellowship has been announced for season 2, and it just keeps on growing. First, Amazon announced seven new actors joining the cast in recurring roles. Those newbies include Gabriel Akuwudike, Yasen “Zates” Atour, Ben Daniels, Amelia Kenworthy, Nia Towle, Nicholas Woodeson, and Sam Hazeldine. Nothing is known about their characters, except for Hazeldine, who will play season 1 baddie Adar. Yes, you read that right—Adar has been recast. When the casting news was first announced, Prime Video offered no explanation for the departure of Joseph Mawle, who played the character during season 1. Mawle cleared things up with a heartfelt tweet suggesting that he's moving on to other projects, saying, "As an actor it remains my wish, my job description to explore new characters and worlds."

Then Amazon announced another new batch of recurring actors joining the cast. This time, it was eight new faces, including Oliver Alvin-Wilson, Stuart Bowman, Gavi Singh Chera, William Chubb, Kevin Eldon, Will Keen, Selina Lo, and Calam Lynch. Could any of these newbies be playing Círdan or Celeborn? It's too soon to say, but given what Prime Video has hinted about Celeborn and outright confirmed about Círdan, it seems like a promising bet. This fellowship of newbies could also include Glorfindel, a famed elven hero who fought in the fall of Gondolin and died in battle against a Balrog, only to be reincarnated and sent back to Middle-earth during the Second Age.

Amazon also announced that those 15 (!) new actors will also be joined by Ciarán Hinds (Belfast), Rory Kinnear (Men) and Tanya Moodie (Empire of Light). The three new additions also arrive with undisclosed roles. (Though Ciarán playing a character named Círdan would be pretty spot-on.) Eventually it would be exciting to learn who all these new actors are going to play.

Who's on the Creative Team?

Payne and McKay are returning, of course, and they're calling in reinforcements. Prime Video has announced the three directors who will be at the helm during season 2: Charlotte Brändström, Sanaa Hamri, and Louise Hooper. Brändström, who directed season 1's "Udûn" and "The Eye," will direct four episodes and also serve as co-executive producer for season 2. Hamri and Hooper, for their part, both bring fantasy street cred to the table: Hamri is fresh off directing and executive-producing The Wheel of Time, while Hooper's credits include The Sandman and The Witcher. Aside from Hazeldine taking over duties as Adar, the dark elf, the entire cast is returning for season 2 in Middle-earth.

Watch this space for updates—we'll continue to expand the story as we learn more.

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