The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Recalls One The Scariest Scenes In The Original Trilogy

Spoilers follow for the first two episodes of "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power."

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" sets its own path in adapting the dense source material, but it still closely adheres to the visual style of Peter Jackson's original trilogy. The series boasts an epic scale never seen before on the small screen, delivering on the vast nature of its millennium-spanning narrative. The aesthetic pays homage to those film adaptations through its wardrobe, sound design, and musical score. Still, the streaming show brings new ideas to the table without untethering itself from "The Lord of the Rings" movies. One scene, in particular, recalls the horror factor of Jackson's work while pushing the boundaries of the fantasy genre.

"The Rings of Power" boldly delves into the events of the Second Age, set thousands of years before the events of the trilogy. The story tackles the return of evil to Middle-earth and the subsequent rise of the Dark Lord Sauron and his army. A staple of the films, the orcs make their debut in the second episode of the series. In one of the scariest scenes in all of "The Lord of the Rings" history, an orc makes its presence known to the protagonists in terrifying fashion.

A killer orc appears

After unsuccessfully warning the townsfolk about the impending return of evil, Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi) returns to her now-ravaged house to find an orc infiltrating it through the flooring. Hiding in a closet, Bronwyn witnesses the hideous creature rummaging through her house, slowly making its way to her. The shot composition and editing are distinctly horror-tinged, intentionally reminiscent of the slasher genre. When the jig is up, Bronwyn and her son Theo fight the unhinged orc with their limited surroundings. The tense nature of the sequence is upheld by the desperation of its heroes, who fight and claw their way to victory by cutting the head of the orc. With some gory evidence at her side, Bronwyn is able to convince her neighbors of the evil presence.

In the first appearance of the orcs, "The Rings of Power" makes it clear they are willing to tap into the scarier side of the canon. The scene is genuinely tense and does not rely on cheap tricks to scare the audience. Moreover, it recalls a certain sequence from the original trilogy that is equally, if not more, frightening than what the streaming series has delivered thus far.

Hiding in plain sight

In "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," Frodo Baggins and his band of hobbits are tracked down by the Nazgûl before the creation of the fellowship. In the sequence, the hobbits hide by a tree while a very ominous (and scary) Nazgûl soldier attempts to sniff out their exact location. A chase ensues, forcing the hobbits to retreat on a boat — by the skin of their teeth, no less. The shot composition masterfully positions the Nazgûl as an overwhelming presence, one that could strike the hobbits at any moment. Although most of the scene occurs in broad daylight, the darkness the Nazgûl exude is effectively weaponized against the characters.

Before diving into the big battles of "The Lord of the Rings," Peter Jackson takes a moment to show just how terrifying the Dark Lord's forces are up close and personal. The scene is not only reminiscent of a horror film, but it arguably serves as the scariest moment in all of the original trilogy. Jackson digs deep into his filmmaking roots to produce a truly unsettling setpiece that fits right into the often dark and gloomy nature of "The Fellowship of the Ring."

"The Rings of Power" pays homage to this scene by opting to re-introduce Sauron's army through the use of a singular soldier. By allowing us to get familiarized with the gnarly nature of the antagonists, we get to appreciate just how vicious the orcs can be outside of full-on war. The series may deviate from the source material at times, but it is not afraid to borrow and expand upon what made the original films so beloved.