Full spoilers for The Rings of Power episode 8 follow.
The Rings of Power cast have opened up on how the creation of the titular rings will affect their characters heading into season 2.
Speaking exclusively to TechRadar ahead of The Rings of Power episode 8, Morfydd Clark, who plays Galadriel, revealed that the elf warrior's hand in their forging, and the fallout from The Rings of Power season 1 finale's events, will leave a lasting impression on her. So much so, in fact, that Galadriel might start exhibiting the traits and abilities that Lord of the Rings fans have come to expect from the ethereal being we see in Middle-earth's Third Age.
Before Galadriel becomes the powerful, all-seeing elf we've seen in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, though, she has to overcome further obstacles. Namely, owning the ring called Nenya and the responsibility that comes with keeping it safe, and coming to terms with the key role her brother Finrod's dagger played in their creation.
"I'm looking forward to exploring her gaining power, from having a ring, while not feeling powerful herself," Clark tells TechRadar. "And what that kind of duality would be is very interesting.
"Throughout season 1, we've seen parts of Galadriel's ethos, as an elf, just existing. She's not connected to any part of being elvish apart from Finrod's dagger. That isn't healthy, it wasn't good for her and she was kind of fading away. She was becoming as much of a memory as her brother. So I felt grateful that she was getting to free herself of that.
"There's a great sadness she feels in letting it go but also there's a freedom to that moment. She's doing it to save her people as well – she's made huge mistakes, but she's still compelled to save lots of people. Now, she's coming back to her elf-ishness, and being around them again is eventually going to lead her to become the more secretive, Lothlorien elf we see in the Third Age."
What of the rings' actual creator, aka Celebrimbor? The elven smith has a major role in their forging in J.R.R. Tolkien's source material and the bid budget Prime Video series. How, then, will he feel after making the trio of powerful pieces of jewelry? And, given who Celebrimbor's ancestors are, will the creation of the elven rings help him to fulfil a long-held desire to eclipse what his forebears forged?
"I imagine he'll hit a post-performance slump," Charles Edwards, who plays Celebrimbor, tells TechRadar. "He's made the rings. Now he has to wait and see what they will do. Will they have the desired effect [to save the elves]? Either way, Celebrimbor won't want to leave his workshop. He's got a lot of other work to do. I think Halbrand piqued his interest and has ignited something within Celebrimbor. Being the creative person he is, you go with it and see where it takes you.
"Obviously, it hasn't been explicitly said that he's Feanor's grandson. He has Feanor's hammer but he doesn't refer to him in a familial sense. So there's a battle between trying to better his grandfather. Celebrimbor's been living in his very long shadow and has been trying to outdo him. I think creating the rings does that, but there's still lots of coloring in to do with his character in season 2."
Speaking of Halbrand – or, rather, Sauron as we learn in episode 8 of the Prime Video show – inadvertently has a role in their creation. While he isn't explicitly involved in their forging, it's Sauron's idea to combine the mithril with other metals, and then create two items instead of one, that leads to the first of the titular rings being made.
For Charlie Vickers, who plays Halbrand/Sauron in Amazon's Lord of the Rings, the forging of the iconic pieces of jewelry – and Sauron's involvement in that – is ultimately sets the Dark Lord on the path to realizing how he can "heal" Middle-earth.
"Their creation is similar to what we see in Tolkien's lore," Vickers says. "They're made with his influence and guidance, but he doesn't directly make them. They've been made independently of his physical touch. So even if they are susceptible to the One Ring, they can't be controlled by the One Ring he eventually makes. As soon as he puts that ring on, the elves immediately know he's created one because of his influence in their rings' forging."
So, can we expect to see the legendary One Ring forged in the fires of Mount Doom in season 2? Vickers doesn't confirm as much, but it sounds like it could be a possibility.
"When Sauron is walking down that cliff face into Mordor, he has a plan," Vickers teases. "He's always five to 10 moves ahead on the chessboard. Now, we'll really get to see his actual character. The showrunner have a very clear plan, some of which I'm privy to at this point. We'll really see him transform into that character that's always thinking ahead. We've seen it already but, in season 2, it'll be really pronounced."
Ready to read more exclusive coverage on The Rings of Power? Read up on which deep-cut dwarf character Edwards wants to see in the show's second season. Alternatively, find out when Vickers learned he was playing Sauron, or how the villain's reveal was almost ruined in episode 2. Lastly, get the lowdown on when the show's cast found out about who The Stranger was.
Sign up to receive daily breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the world of tech.
As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.
An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.
Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.
Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.