Whoever is handling the marketing for Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series — whose full title, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, was unveiled in January — is thinking outside the proverbial box. On Thursday, Amazon released over 20 characters posters for The Rings of Power, with one crucial thing missing: a single face. Of the nearly two dozen character posters thrown up on the official Instagram account for the upcoming series, not a single actor’s face can be seen. The posters also each show the date for the series’ premiere — September 2.
In each case, we are shown the hands of the actor, usually grasping something that acts as a clue to their identity. An apple, acorns, a sword, or a staff. For anyone familiar with Peter Jackson’s adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, many of the posters give plenty of clues as to — at the very least — the cultural background of the characters. For example, the poster below is almost certainly of one of the Dwarves. We can see the beginning of a reddish beard, dirty hands resting on a war hammer, and the hammer itself has Dwarven letters carved into the handle.
Likewise, we can tell that the character below is most likely a warrior from Rohan — the country in which the Battle of Helm’s Deep takes place in 2002’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Not only is the armor similar to those worn by the Rohirrim, but the hilt of the character’s sword ends in the carving of a horse. Often found on horseback, the people of Rohan are usually compared to Vikings with horses instead of ships. Below that is almost certainly an elf, or someone who really likes dressing like an elf.
The problem with trying to narrow any of these posters down to a specific character is time. We know that The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is set during the Second Age of Middle Earth (the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings film trilogies take place during the Third Age). As Den of Geek points out, according to J.R.R. Tolkien’s canon, the Second Age spans over three-and-a-half millennia: 3,441 years. So even if you’re the kind of Tolkien fan who knows every corner of Tolkien’s vast mythology, how can you tell — with over 3,000 years to choose from — exactly which fictional guy from Rohan is holding a sword in that poster?
There is at least one character poster, however, that doesn’t seem to be subtle about who it’s for. The top poster on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power‘s Instagram page shows a hand encased in black, spiked armor grasping a sword. This is almost certainly the character poster of the “Lord” in the title of the whole thing: Sauron, the master of the One Ring.
Then there is the poster of a man holding a very severe-looking, but broken, sword. Well, there’s one very famous broken sword in The Lord of the Rings which is later remade for use by Viggo Mortensen’s Aragorn. The sword is probably Narsil. As we learn in the prologue of 2001’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Narsil is the sword of Elendil, the High King of the Dúnedain who Sauron kills on the battlefield. Elendil’s son Isildur takes up his father’s sword and cuts the One Ring from Sauron’s hand, ending the battle. It’s Isildur who is urged by Hugo Weaving‘s Elrond to destroy the One Ring, but refuses. If the sword pictured below is Narsil, then its owner is likely either Isildur or his father Elendil.
These posters and many more are likely going to inspire every Tolkien fan waiting for the series to do exactly what we’ve been doing — speculating, guessing, theorizing, and posting it all on the Internet. So, brilliant advertising? Yeah, in most likelihood, whoever came up with this idea is getting a raise. Or, at least, they deserve one.