The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power opening scene features a Galadriel callback you probably missed

Galadriel in The Hobbit
(Image credit: New Line)

Although The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power takes place a few thousand years before the events of Peter Jackson's trilogy, there's a whole lot the two share in common. In fact, the very opening scene of the series, which introduces Galadriel, features a neat minor callback to the first time we met Cate Blanchett's version of the character.

The Rings of Power starts with a young Galadriel, who is later played by Morfydd Clark, building a little origami boat. She's not in Middle-earth just yet, but in the kingdom of Valinor, in a peaceful time before Morgoth's destruction, and much before Sauron ever wielded a powerful ring. However, there's still some disruption, as a bunch of other child Elves tease Galadriel and say her boat won't float. She says it won't float: "It will sail."

Lo and behold, with a minor bit of Elven magic, the boat transforms into a swan. Now, Tolkien scholars will immediately recognize the animal as important to Galadriel: the very first publicity shot from Jackson's trilogy that featured Cate Blanchett saw her riding a swan boat.

Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings

(Image credit: Amazon/Warner Bros)

In Tolkien's books, Galadriel is seen on a swan boat in Lothlórien, the elven kingdom pictured in Jackson's trilogy. Here's a paragraph from The Fellowship of the Ring:

"Sailing proudly down the stream toward them, they saw a swan of great size. The water rippled on either side of the white breast beneath its curving neck. Its beak shone like burnished gold, and its eyes glinted like jet set in yellow stones; its huge white wings were half lifted. A music came down the river as it drew nearer; and suddenly they perceived that it was a ship, wrought and carved with elven-skill in the likeness of a bird. Two elves clad in white steered it with black paddles. In the midst of the vessel sat Celeborn, and behind him stood Galadriel, tall and white; a circlet of golden flowers was in her hair, and in her hand she held a harp, and she sang."

Jackson did an admirable job bringing that paragraph to the screen, and now the showrunners behind The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power have paid homage to Galadriel's love of swans. For more on the Rings of Power, check out our piece on who is the Stranger in the show, and when to expect the next episode of The Rings of Power.

Jack Shepherd
Freelance Journalist

Jack Shepherd is the former Senior Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar. Jack used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film for the likes of GR+, Total Film, SFX, and others. You can now find Jack working as a freelance journalist and editor.