How LOTR: Rings of Power Opening Credits Are Made With Real Magic


Game designer Alexander King breaks down how The Rings of Power‘s evocative title sequences were inspired by a magical but natural phenomenon. The Prime Video fantasy series adapts J.R.R. Tolkien’s various writings on the Second Age of the fictional world of Middle-earth. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power began airing on Amazon’s streaming service on September 2nd, 2022.

Taking place almost 5,000 years prior to Frodo’s (Elijah Wood) quest to carry the One Ring into the depths of Mordor and cast it into the fires of Mount Doom, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power explores the origin of the magical rings gifted to the powerful figures of Middle-earth, Sauron’s rise, and the early days of familiar characters like Galadriel (Morfydd Clark). While he didn’t return to develop the series’ score, Lord of the Rings composer Howard Shore did contribute to the series by composing a new theme song for the Prime Video series that evokes his work from Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth saga. Alongside Shore’s theme song, the series features a distinct title sequence that features fantastical and evocative imagery that was created with an incredible natural process.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

In a thread composed of 11 tweets on his Twitter account, King explains that he recognized that the shifting sand imagery used in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power title sequence was inspired by Chladni figures. In his thread, King offers an informative breakdown of the sequence, including a brief explanation of Chladni Figures along with various examples. King then explains how it works thematically with Tolkien’s Middle-earth mythology, before sharing a response by the sequence’s creative director, Anthony Vitagliano. Check out King’s fascinating thread below.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power opening credits dive into Middle-earth’s history through its imagery, telling the story of its creation to the many conflicts that will consume the realm. While no explicit meaning is given to the imagery and is left to the interpretation of dedicated fans of The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien’s writings, the imagery of nine rings and two tree-like formations could be interpreted as telling the tales of the nine rings handed to the kings of man, as well as the symbolism of Two Trees of Valinor that can be seen in imagery associated with Gondor. Meanwhile, the visuals of dark grains of sand could be interpreted as the growing darkness of Morgoth, and later Sauron.

With The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power delving into the earlier days of Middle-earth and following unexplored characters like Maxim Baldry’s Isildur, the series is taking a deep dive into the foundations of Tolkien’s lore. As such, the title sequence’s wonderful, mesmerizing imagery helps evoke a sense of wonder while also carrying deeper meaning. And while The Lord of the Rings franchise is no stranger to magic and sorcery, King’s thread shows how real-world magical phenomenons and processes helped inspire the Prime Video series.

Source: @LiterallyAKing

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