Amazon Releases An Entire Army Of Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Character Posters

There might be only One Ring to rule them all ... but that doesn't mean we can't expect nearly two dozen separate character posters to help drive that point home. Marketing for "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" appears to be kicking off in earnest, only a few weeks after we finally learned the actual title of the upcoming Amazon series

Considering how dense and challenging the original material by author J.R.R. Tolkien can be to even the most seasoned fans, it should come as little surprise that the title reveal alone itself provided enough context clues to fuel some hefty speculation. In the same spirit, Amazon has debuted 23 total character posters for "The Rings of Power" season 1. The series is expected to detail the initial rise of Lord Sauron, who would eventually plague the denizens of Middle-earth thousands of years later, as seen in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" trilogies.

The official "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" Twitter account released several of the new character posters in a surprise (and lengthy!) social media thread earlier today, which you can peruse above or over at the official Instagram account. Given so many posters to pick and choose from and only a bare minimum of recognizable features to help us pinpoint exactly who or what these characters are meant to represent (Amazon cheekily left out any names, character descriptions, or, uh, the actual heads of each actor) we've been left to our own devices, with only our own knowledge of the tiniest details of Tolkien's source material combined with what we remember from previous "Lord of the Rings" adaptations to help us figure out who's who and what's what. By all means, join me on a trip down this fantasy rabbit hole so we can try and make some sense out of these new "The Rings of Power" character posters.

Bring in the Ringers

While the actual scope of each respective poster may prove frustratingly narrow to many, the attention to detail through costume and prop design practically jumps off the page. Rather than lay out all 23 posters in a long, seemingly unending blur of hands, swords, rings, and a surprising variety of fruit, we'll start by running through the posters with characters prominently sporting various rings ... some of which may even hold some tantalizing clues about their bearers' identities. First up, we'll focus on the gaudiest one. 

Set thousands of years before the events of "The Lord of the Rings" and likely concerning the rise and subsequent fall of the island nation of Númenor (where Aragorn's ancestors and the race of Men who would later found the kingdom of Gondor in Middle-earth hail from, for a bit of context), we'd pin down this character's display of extravagant wealth and prosperity as a reflection of the heights that Númenor reached at the height of its powers. The ring on his pointer finger appears just different enough to perhaps represent one of the 20 total Rings of Power that Sauron himself commissioned to secretly ensnare the races of Elves, Men, and Dwarves. Could this be one of the Nine that eventually transformed a group of kings into the terrifying Ringwraiths?

Speaking of royalty, this next character poster certainly comes with a kingly or knightly air surrounding it. The ornate armor and sword are littered with designs of a sun, possibly pointing to our first big clue of who this might be. Fans of "The Lord of the Rings" will remember that Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) struggled with overcoming the flaws of his ancestor, Isildur, who neglected his chance to destroy the Ring once and for all after defeating Sauron on the field of battle. The Peter Jackson movies left out the fact that Isildur had a brother named Anárion (fun fact: the massive Argonath monuments seen in "The Fellowship of the Ring" actually depict both brothers), whose name loosely translates to "Son of the Sun."

We're doubling up on these two posters, both of which seem to depict two more royal characters — one bearing a distinctive scepter with a city at its head (which may symbolize Númenor itself) and the other with more sun emblems, hearkening back to the previous poster.

Guess Who's Back

Of course, few could possibly miss the most sinister addition to this lineup of "The Rings of Power" posters. Though we'd be remiss not to mention the possibility that this could represent one of his evil lieutenants, we're opting for Occam's Razor here and guessing that we've received our best look yet at a much younger (but arguably even more powerful) Sauron. With the sole exception of the opening prologue to "The Fellowship of the Ring," we've never seen the Dark Lord take on physical form the way he inevitably will in "The Rings of Power," long before that pesky Isildur cut off the Ring from his hand and banished him to ages of wandering as a malevolent spirit in the wind.

That said, we don't expect Sauron to look quite as outwardly evil as he does here. After all, the villain managed to fool many of the wisest Elves into trusting him and going forward with his plan to forge his Rings of Power, and he likely couldn't do that by running around in some of the most obviously villainous armor you've ever seen. Though he could very well don this look later in the season, we'd bet on Sauron — then known under the beguiling name of "Annatar" — taking a page out of Frodo's (Elijah Wood) handbook, amusingly enough. If you remember, Frodo and his Hobbit friends struggle to trust the mysterious Strider/Aragorn when he first joins up with the small group. But as Frodo shrewdly points out, "I think a servant of the Enemy would look fairer and feel fouler." In other words, prepare yourselves now for an attractive Sauron, folks.

Feel free to peruse the rest of these "The Rings of Power" posters at your leisure, which are filled with even more hints and teases for the most observant fans to catch. As you may have noticed once or twice while poring over these posters, "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" will debut on Amazon Prime Video on September 2, 2022.