Earlier this week, TheOneRing.net EXCLUSIVELY brought you the official show synopsis for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series TV show. In case you missed it, here it is:
Amazon Studios’ forthcoming series brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.
Staffers from TORn have been poring over this, wondering what every tiny scrap of information could mean; and we’ve been gathering their reactions, to share with you.
Mithril: I’m intrigued by the phrase “unlikely heroes”. It’s reminiscent of how the Hobbits are referred to. Who will this be? Characters created by the show runners? Elendil, Isildur, and Anarion riding the waves to establish kingdoms in Middle-earth? Galadriel discovering the truth of Annatar, Lord of Gifts? They aren’t exactly “unlikely” heroes. The range of the synopsis covers so many characters and so much territory! It sounds like we’ll see Khazad-dûm and Eregion when the West Gate is open. I would love to see Annúminas and Osgiliath in their prime. And seven Palantíri! All possibilities for fantastic storytelling.
Tookish: We savor this tasty morsel of synopsis from Amazon, yesss we do! With so much content of the Second Age devoted to humans, I’m eager to see how much storyline is devoted to elves, dwarves, and others. There was only one ‘kingdom’ of humans, yet many amongst other races. Also how will the Valar and company manifest, as well as the Undying Lands? Who will we find in those, “… further reaches of the map…”?? We wonders, yesss Precious, we wondersss!
greendragon: characters confronting a return of evil to Middle-earth? Sounds to me like Annatar will be central to the plot. I’m looking forward to seeing dwarves and elves as friends and allies; and the forging of the Rings of Power. ‘…to the furthest reaches of the map’ intrigues me – are they going to attempt to take us into the West? The main question for me is how the story will be spread out; if, for example, the plot covered 1000 SA to 1697 SA (establishment of Imladris), would that be one season, or spread out over all five? Will the final season of the show take us all the way to the destruction of Numenor?
Garfeimao: One way we could see lands across the broad expanse of the Map of Middle-earth is through the 9 Kingdoms with 9 Kings of Men before, during, and after they receive the newly forged Rings of Power. Not just Angmar and the Witch-King, but others to the North, South, East, and maybe even in Numenor. And then it would be interesting to see if all those Kingdoms fall into ruin because of their now corrupted King, or if any of them survive the experience.
Saystine: Tolkien created such a vibrant and full backstory for Middle-earth. It’s full of wonderful characters and stories that I hope this series brings to life. I, for one, am really looking forward to the series putting a spotlight on the less known writings of The Professor. To bring a literary work mainstream is no easy task, and I am sure there will be hiccups along the way, but I am excited about the new energy this series will bring to our beloved fandom. Here’s hoping for Emmy Parties in the future!
Altaira: One of the things that excites me the most about the synopsis is the word ‘epic.’ To me that word captures the essence of Tolkien’s stories of the Second Age, from the rise and fall of kingdoms to the rise and fall of Tolkien’s greatest villain (who in this case I’m guessing is Sauron, as Morgoth was no longer in the picture after the First Age). The challenge for all those involved will be to successfully weave in ‘unlikely heroes’ and connect the dots across the vast geography of Middle-earth and a timeline that covers thousands of years. Call me intrigued, (and more than a little impatient now too)!
Elessar: As I said on TORn Tuesday, I’m excited again. They seem to understand this needs to be epic. I’m eager to see new, as well as potentially familiar, places; all while having my imagination come to life in some form. The keys to what I think will make it a full-on success are: the show has to have substance (fidelity to Tolkien); look/feel it’s in the same sandbox as PJ’s films; and deliver on the faith we’re putting into it.
And finally, Demosthenes looks at some possible story details:
> Beginning in a time of relative peace
What is a time of relative peace in the second age? Possibly anywhere up to SA1000 when Sauron begins building Barad-dur, after Numenor starts flexing its power in Middle-earth? That’s about when Menedlur resigns the sceptre to Aldarion because he feels not up to the challenge.
> as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth.
Sauron, duh. But who feared it? Gil-galad? Thought: the history of Galadriel and Celeborn is pretty confusing, but one iteration has Galadriel being pushed out of Eregion. She then (eventually) moves to Lorien to turn it into a bastion, and tries forging alliances with the dwarves of Khazad-dum.
> From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains
Folk of Durin. Potentially orcs wars for flavour (but remember Azanulbizar is a late Third Age event.) There are dwarf-orc wars that push the dwarves out of Mt Gundabad; and Khazad-dum is also besieged/assaulted from the western side by Sauron after Eregion is conquered and Ost-in-Edhil is sacked. (That was, of course, ultimately unsuccessful – the west gate was shut and impassable.)
> to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon
Gil-galad is THE power in the west of Middle-earth in the early Second Age. I don’t think even Eregion can match that although obviously they have Celebrimbor experimenting with advanced elf-tech.
> to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor
Numenor! – but no mention of Akallabeth.
So .. do we go from circa SA1000 (Baradur) to SA1700 when Saruon is shoved out of the wreck of Eriador by Tar Minastir and Gil-galad/Elrond? That could be an uplifting end-point that includes the rise and fall of Eregion, and the creation of the Rings of Power. Celebrimbor and Sauron would be key figures. But that is also a loooot of years to cover.