If you watched The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power, You’ve sat through a few episodes by now and seen the show’s surprisingly calm intro sequence. If, like me, you’ve been wondering what exactly the deal is with all those shapes and all that hopping Sand, turns out there’s a very universal explanation for this.
Game designer Alexander King recently wondered the same thing before realizing it: the shapes that formed weren’t seals or coats of arms, but Chladni figures, named after the German physicist and musician Ernst Chladni. Basically, these are shapes formed by something light (like sand) when sound resonates through them on a flat surface.
After his Twitter thread blew up, the creative director of the credits team, Anthony Vitagliano, answered by saying yes, that’s what they were before they said that the reason this process was chosen for the sequence is related to Tolkien’s works.
As this blog explains about the credits:
Inspired by JRR Tolkien’s Ainur, immortal angelic beings singing music so beautiful that the world is created from their sound, we conceived a main title sequence “built from the world of sound”.
Cymatics is a natural phenomenon that makes sounds visible to the eye. Fine particle vibrations on a flat surface show striking symmetrical patterns reflecting audio frequencies. Cymatics is understood by physicists and mathematicians, but to us mere mortals it is nothing short of magic.
The sequence conjures up an ancient and invisible force struggling to be seen. Symbols form, flow, jostle and disappear as fast as they came. The unfathomable soundscapes create fleeting visions of conflict and harmony that move in step with Howard Shores’ opening title score.
Here we go. If you thought they were a bit slow or boring, maybe this week you can approach the credits armed with that deep cut and appreciate them a little more?
https://kotaku.com/lord-rings-power-amazon-tv-credits-explained-cymatics-1849528150 Rings of Power credits sequence explained