Amazon’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Set During Second Age
Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings television series will be a prequel to the first book/film, showcasing the events leading up to the War of the Last Alliance, depicted in the prologue of The Fellowship of the Ring.
If you need a refresher, the War of the Last Alliance served as the backstory of the trilogy of The Lord of the Rings books and their film adaptations. Long story short: Rings of Power were forged, Sauron forges an extra-powerful one and tries to take over Middle-earth with an army of orcs, an alliance of free races tries to stop him in a desperate final battle, and the heroes win, but Sauron’s ring is not destroyed and goes missing, and the possibility of his return hangs over the world for nearly three millennia, leading to the start of the story proper after it ends up in Bilbo’s hands after he steals it from Gollum during the events of The Hobbit. You can see how Peter Jackson adapted this part of the story below:
Of course, J. R. R. Tolkien ended up creating tons of lore for his Middle-earth setting that would only end up getting vaguely referenced in the novels and films themselves, so that leaves Amazon tons of room to explore in their series. They’ve decided that the best place to put their focus on is the initial conflict with Sauron, the fiendish Lord of the Rings himself. So they took to Twitter to confirm fan speculation that yes, the series is set in the Second Age, an era that spans nearly three and one half millennia of history.
Welcome to the Second Age: https://t.co/Tamd0oRgTw
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) March 7, 2019
So that doesn’t necessarily narrow things down, but the mention of the Rings of Power reveals that the story should start around the time of the year 1600 of the Second Age. The battle that results in Sauron’s defeat happens in year 3441. Yeah, the Lord of the Rings lived for a pretty long time, which means that there’s plenty of room to justify telling a long-form story about the history of this world. Certainly more justification than there is to turn The Hobbit into an entire trilogy of films, at least.
J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay will serve as the showrunners for this ambitious series. Amazon have committed upwards of $500M for the first two seasons of a five-season series, and it’s expected that they’ll spend upwards of $1B on the entire series. It remains to be seen if all five seasons will be set in the Second Age or if other eras of history will be explored as well; with the Lord of the Rings license at their fingertips, there are plenty of room for spin-offs if the Tolkien Estate is willing to cooperate.
Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings does not yet have a release date, but Amazon have previously stated that they would like to get the first season on Amazon Prime in 2021.
Grant Davis is a freelance writer who has covered entertainment news for more than four years. His articles have frequently appeared in Star Wars News Net as well as as other entertainment-related websites. As someone who grew up on Star Wars and comic book movies, he’s completely thrilled with the current era of genre entertainment.