Did we just get another tantalizing clue to the content of the upcoming Amazon Prime series on Middle-earth? Earlier today, Amazon tweeted a map of Middle-earth from their The Lord of the Rings on Prime site. The map itself has geographical features, but no text: no names of regions, mountain ranges, etc.
Upon further examination, something that struck me immediately is that the map extends much further east than looked familiar. Sure enough, when I compared it to the maps in several of my many editions of The Lord of the Rings, the mountain range to the east of the Sea of Rhun doesn’t exist in Tolkien’s maps. I corroborated this with maps from Karen Wynn Fonstad’s ‘The Atlas of Middle-earth,’ and Brian Sibley’s ‘ The Maps of Tolkien’s Middle-earth,’ (did I mention I have a respectably geeky-sized collection of Tolkien and Tolkien-related books?). No where could I find that mountain range, and what appears to be a forest next to it, on Tolkien’s maps. That, I believe, *is* the clue.
The fact that there is no text describing any geographical features is probably part of the tease. Putting a name to those regions is more than they wanted to give away just yet. Could this dovetail with a previous clue that suggested the new series might follow a young Aragorn. We know from the text and appendices of The Lord of the Rings that Aragorn traveled extensively in his younger years. The only text of the tweet that accompanies the map was: “Three rings for the Elven-Kings under the sky” which, of course, is the first line of the Ring-verse. Could that mean that Elves are connected to the new region? Or, since Sauron is the one who first uttered those words, does it imply Sauron will make an appearance?
Examine that map and let us know your theories!