Darkness comes for Middle-earth

A new look at the upcoming Amazon Prime series

Darkness comes for Middle-earth
Image: Amazon Prime Video

There's a moment in The Two Towers that has long spoken to me, when Gandalf confronts Gríma Wormtongue in Rohan's golden hall. Wormtongue, operating with the fallen wizard Saruman the White, had corrupted the king of the Rohan, Théoden, effectively removing the kingdom and its riders as a threat when while Sauron worked to expand his influence across Middle-earth.

It's a powerful, relevant scene (it's particularly well done in Peter Jackson's film), because it speaks to the corruptibility of power, the fallibility of men, and the ease to which a few choice word can influence the direction of an entire nation.

With Amazon's Middle-earth series Rings of Power coming up later this year, one of the things that I've been curious about is not so much how well this series will draw from J.R.R. Tolkien's mythos and world (that's certainly important), but how well it'll retain the sense that Tolkien's words remain relevant in 2022, rather than just playing out a weekly fantasy adventure for fans to consume.  

After a week of teases, Amazon released a new, full trailer that helps signal some of that intent, and what I didn't expect was that what looks like a major theme of the series will be around the idea of a darkness that's gone underground, waiting for the next opportunity to strike.