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.


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

Related Posts

Aqua Teen Hunger Force: 10 Funniest Frylock Moments

Adult Swim's Aqua Teen Hunger Force was a seriously weird series, but few could deny the absolute hilarity of these 10 Frylock moments.

SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off Review – A Misaligned Mobile Port

SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off is a fun game held back by weird oversights like zero touch screen controls and zero voice over from its characters.

D&D: The Surprising History Behind Three Iconic Classes

Sometimes the inspiration for Dungeons & Dragons classes are easy to spot, but in other cases, there is a history to unpack to learn the truth.

10 Reasons Shrek Is Still One Of The Best Movies Of The 2000s

Shrek, which was released in 2001, is nearing its 20th anniversary. Looking back, it's unsurprising this Dreamworks movie is still a hit.

Freddy Vs. Jason Parody Music Video Turn the Horror Icons Into Best Friends

2003's Freddy vs. Jason was a fun slasher that saw two iconic horror characters duke it out, but a new parody video shows them becoming friends.

Sims 4 Hints Sim Moods Will Soon Light Up Logitech Products

The Sims 4 is collaborating with Logitech to deliver light-up electronic gear designed to replicate the colors associated with moods in the game.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Ending Explained (In Detail)

Sonic the Hedgehog 2's ending promises a big future for the video game movie franchise, as it sets up the next villain and Knuckles' spinoff.

Every Overwatch Year of the Dog Skin

Blizzard released six Legendary Skins for Overwatch to mark the Year of the Dog in 2018. Let's break down the skins that were made available.