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'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power': Is the opening credits sequence inspired by real magic?

A lot of people believed that the opening credit sequence for 'The Rings of Power' was done using VFX, but now, we know how its actually made
UPDATED SEP 14, 2022
Morfydd Clark as Galadriel in 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' (Amazon Studios)
Morfydd Clark as Galadriel in 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' (Amazon Studios)

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ has been enthralling fans for a few weeks now and it has finally started to gather momentum after facing baseless criticisms of having a diverse cast. Set thousands of years before JRR Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’, the Amazon fantasy series takes viewers through the Second Age of Middle Earth, which was relatively peaceful. In the first three episodes, we have been introduced to several important characters that will play an integral part as the story moves forward, but one of the things that have managed to intrigue fans over the course of the first three episodes is the opening credits sequence.

The opening credit sequence is magical and you can see how effects are used to create such wonderful imagery. However, people would be surprised to know that although the sequence was inspired by a magical event, it came to life through a natural phenomenon. Game designer Alexander King, a faculty member of New York University, took to Twitter and noted how the opening credits sequence was inspired by Chladni figures, which are named after German physicist and musician Ernst Chladni.


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A still from 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' Opening Credits Sequence (Amazon Studios)
A still from 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' Opening Credits Sequence (Amazon Studios)

In a Twitter thread, King shared a brief explanation of the Chladni Figures along with several examples. He wrote, “I was watching that new Rings of Power show, and the opening credits have these abstract shapes forming and reforming in the sand. They seemed strangely familiar, and I suddenly remembered I'd seen them before, they're Chladni figures! Because Tolkien's legendarium has all those fictional writing systems, you might think they're just, y'know, magic runes or whatever. And some are sort of familiar, like this tree maybe? But most are abstract and strangely organic.”



In one of his next tweets, he also mentioned that they are organic because it’s a natural phenomenon and shared a video of that magical phenomenon happening LIVE in a video. “It's really magical to see it happening live, these complex shapes seem to just form out of nowhere. Here's a real Chaldni figure produced with a violin bow,” tweeted King.



Fascinated by the thread, the creative director responsible for the sequence, Anthony Vitagliano, responded by confirming that they took the inspiration from Ainur, the magical beings created by Tolkien that sing beautifully. In a blog post, he wrote, “Taking inspiration from J.R.R Tolkien’s Ainur, immortal angelic beings that sing such beautiful music that the world is created from their very sound, we conceived of a main title sequence ‘built from the world of sound.’”


He also noted that this natural phenomenon is known as ‘Cymatics’ which makes sound visible to the eye. Vitagliano concluded by saying, “The sequence conjures an ancient and invisible power, struggling to be seen. The unknowable realms of sound create fleeting visions of conflict and harmony that move in lockstep with Howard Shores’ opening title score.”

The thought process going into the opening credits is so extraordinary as the makers wanted the show to feel grand in every sense and that title sequence is a part of it. No one has any doubts about how beautiful the show looks and it starts from the title sequence that is set alongside the wonderful music given by Howard Shore. Now, whenever you see the opening sequence, you’ll realize what kind of preparations and amazing craft went into making that.


‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ returns to Amazon Prime Video with a new episode on Friday at 12 am EST.