Lord of the Rings villain Sauron is poisoning Middle-earth in first look at Rings of Power season 2, as fantasy show’s return date is confirmed

Rings of Power trailer
(Image credit: Prime Video)

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2 has got its first trailer, and it’s seriously epic. The Prime Video fantasy series is set to return on Thursday, August 29, and if the first look is anything to go by, things are going to get much darker for Middle-earth. Watch it below.

The trailer picks up right where we left off in season 1, as we see Sauron looking on at Mount Doom in flames. "An evil, ancient and powerful has returned," Durin IV warns as Galadriel, Elrond, and the other elves prepare to fight something in the shadows. The first teaser is very Sauron-heavy all around as we see glimpses of his malevolence lurking throughout.

We also get the indication that he’s been hiding in plain sight too. "I think he has been here, I think he’s been here among us all along," a concerned voice rings out as Celebrimbor looks at a fiery figure. In J. R. R. Tolkien's novels, one of Sauron’s main alter-egos is Annatar, which is called his "fair form" – and given Halbrand’s Elven-looking disguise in this first look, it seems certain we’ll meet him in season 2.

Elsewhere, you get the sense that the whole of Middle-earth is in grave danger as Khazad-dûm is under attack, cannons are fired at Númenor, and Elrond leads troops into battle. There are some new cast members in the trailer too, including Sam Hazeldine as Adar, who takes over from Joseph Mawle, and some new Elven characters. The trailer ends with a chilling shot of what seems to be Mordor, confirming that darkness awaits in season 2.

Rings of power trailer

(Image credit: Prime Video)

While this is a pretty meaty look at the new season, there still remains a lot unanswered. Chief among our big questions is, ‘What’s going on with the Harfoots?’ as they don’t feature at all in this first look. There’s only a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it look at The Stranger too while we see barely any of the newly announced cast members. One thing is for certain: it’s going to feel like a long wait until August.

That’s not all either, as we also have our first official synopsis for season 2. This reads: "Sauron has returned. Cast out by Galadriel, without army or ally, the rising Dark Lord must now rely on his own cunning to rebuild his strength and oversee the creation of the Rings of Power, which will allow him to bind all the peoples of Middle-earth to his sinister will." The new details also tease that "as friendships are strained and kingdoms begin to fracture, the forces of good will struggle ever more valiantly to hold on to what matters to them most of all… each other."

For more on all things fantasy, here’s our guide to how to watch The Lord of the Rings movies in order and our guide to The Lord of the Rings timeline.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.