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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2 trailer is here, and it's all about the bad guys

Amazon Prime Video subscribers will be able to return to Middle Earth August 29, but they'd better be careful

Image credit: Amazon Prime Video

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It's been a year and a half since last we visited the realm of Middle-earth, when the eigth and final episode of The Lord of the Rings: the Rings of Power season one aired on Amazon Prime Video. Now, Prime is poised to welcome us back with a trailer for season two, and let me tell you, it is just chock full of villains. See for yourself below:

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The central villain (and let's face it, main character of the trailer) is of course Sauron, played by Charlie Vickers. We know from season one that Sauron infiltrated mankind as a character called Halbrand, but in season two, it looks like we're going to learn about him infiltrating the elves - his new duds and ears tell us as much, not to mention Galadriel's line "He has been here among us all along."

Does this mean we'll be getting more of Sauron's backstory this season, detailing his plans to take over the lands of Middle-earth belonging to the elves? Perhaps.

Even beyond Sauron, though, there are quite a few evils littered throughout the trailer, and I'm not just talking about the oily worm creature (for real though, is that Venom?). At the 0:53 mark, we get an image of what really looks to be the Watcher in the Water, then at 1:13, the insidious Ar-Pharazôn appears to be drawing his sword either against the people of Númenor or, even worse, to lead them against the forces of good.

But it's the 0:14 mark that has me most intrigued, and since it's easier to show you, I'm just going to put a picture right here:

Image credit: Amazon Prime Video

There's Galadriel, Elrond, and an elf I don't recognize in the forground, but look in the back. That's right, just between Elrond and Galadriel at the top of the image. Who's glowing eyes are those?

Could they be the infamous Barrow-wights, who didn't make it into Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings cinematic trilogy? Or could their shadowy forms indicate an even more recognizable foe... Sauron's chief lieutenants, the Nazgûl? We'll have to wait until this fall to find out.

This teaser comes in on the heels of another big moment for Tolkien baddies. Just a few days before this, we learned of Peter Jackson's plans to return to Middle-earth by producing The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum, a film slated hit theaters some time in 2026 and feature Andy Serkis returning to the titular role and stepping in as director.

Apparently in Middle-earth, it's a good time to be bad.

The more LOTR news that comes out, the more correct Popverse's Graeme McMillan seems to be about the Second Lord of the Rings Golden Age.