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Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’s Costumes and the Challenge of Reimagining Tolkien’s Unseen Second Age


“I think we approached [everything] in a very organic way to relate more to the First and Second Age feeling that we were wanting to create. It has a sort of rawer quality to it,” she says. 

As we’ve already seen on the Prime Video series, the Second Age is also the period during which the great Rings are forged, and although only three of them exist on the show so far, they’re hardly the only significant pieces of jewelry onscreen. And that’s a choice that’s quite intentional.

“There are the Rings, which are obviously the main part of the world, but there are all these supporting elements too—all of Tolkien’s work and references to the characters, it’s obsessed with jewelry,” Hawley explains. “You look at the elves and Valinor and the vanity and everywhere you read there’s talk of jewelry and discussion about it. He talks about elves being born on shores of pearl and he doesn’t necessarily mean that in a literal way, but he’s always talking about ways to reflect the light and those qualities. There’s jewelry everywhere woven into clothes.”

Much of the elves’ clothing, specifically, in Rings of Power is meant to “heark[en] back to the world of Valinor” and help illustrate just how different these particular immortal beings are from the ones we meet later on in Lothlorien and Rivendell during The Lord of the Rings

“We were trying to find those things that would make it a unique language that they would come up with, [and] also suggest age and time past,” Hawley explains. “Gil-galad—those particular elves, have been there since the First Age, so you’ve got to reference that world, and it was quite full on when you read some of the descriptions of it.”

The elves of Rings of Power aren’t the only race from the world of Tolkien that looks a bit different than modern audiences might remember from the movies. Though dwarves play key roles in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, we don’t see much of the world these characters inhabit, something that is absolutely not the case on the Amazon series.



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