I'm going to put a *spoiler warning* here just in case people would rather head into Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor without knowing anything of the game's plot - Monolith a story trailer revealing the identity of the mysterious wraith that possesses main character Talion and allows him to master his supernatural powers.
It's none other than Celebrimbor, the fabulously named elf who forged the Rings of Power (including the One Ring) evil overlord Sauron used to dominate Middle-earth.
Under the guise of a servant of the Valar (Middle-earth's gods, essentially) called Annatar, Sauron himself visited the elven master jewelsmith and commissioned him to make sixteen rings, which were then delivered to the kings and rulers of dwarves, men and elves. Once delivered, crafty old Sauron set about dominating each wearer. Annoyingly, however, he couldn't gain control of the elven ringbearers. He captured Celebrimbor and tried to torture him into revealing the location of the elven Rings of Power, but the elf refused to tell him, and eventually died of his injuries. After many, many years he somehow finds himself resurrected as a wraith, bound to the human ranger Talion, who has his reasons to want vengeance against the Dark Lord.
This revelation will probably annoy proper Tolkein buffs, as it's messing around with some key elements of the mythos, but honestly it seems like an interesting development to me. Celebrimbor's guilt and need for vengeance against the creature that tricked him into creating the artifacts that would lead to the deaths of most of his people should make for an interesting character, if Monolith can get the story right.
"He's a character trying to achieve redemption, who is trying to make up for the crimes of his past and recover who he is," the game's design director Michael de Plater . "We also wanted to get away from the over-simplistic perception that The Lord of the Rings is this simple kind of black and white story of good guys and bad guys."
"Celebrimbor is such an interesting character because he's an Elf, but he's so obviously not purely good. Elves aren't purely good, and in working with Sauron as well, that's interesting because Sauron himself isn't purely evil. So I think in terms of the twist it gave us within the story, the authenticity of it within the canon and the idea of the theme of power, he was a really good fit."
Judging by the video players will need to restore Celebrimbor's memory, and by extension his wraith powers, by discovering items and artifacts from his past that trigger hidden memories. It looks like he and the ranger Talion will have their own clashes, too.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will be out on September 30 in North America and October 2 everywhere else for PC and consoles.
Any Tolkein super-fans out there? What do you think of this new development?