Amazon has released their first official description for their upcoming streaming series based on the writings of J R R Tolkien, confirming some details about the show that they had previously hinted at.
The description confirms that the untitled series will take place during the Second Age of Middle Earth, thousands of years before the events Tolkien chronicled in his landmark tomes The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Ring.
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.
Even a casual Tolkien fan can tell you that there is a lot of story that the series can cover here. (Potential spoilers follow.) The Second Age is the era where Sauron – the Big Bad of The Lord Of The Rings – first attempted to gain dominion over Middle-earth. In disguise, he tricks the elves into forging the seven rings of power for the dawrves and the nine rings for the men who would become his chief servants, the Nazgûl or Ringwraiths. He would also establish his fortress of Barad-Dur in the evil land of Mordor where he would forge the One Ring, which would dominate Middle-Earth’s history for much of the next several thousand years. Meanwhile, in secret, the elf Celebrimbor would forge the three elven rings of power.
Sauron would go on to corrupt the rulers of the island kingdom of Numenor, ultimately causing it to be sunk into the sea. The surviving Numenoreans who made it to the shores of Middle-earth established the kingdom which ultimately Aragorn would come to rule at the end of the Third Age. And of course, the Second Age ended with the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, laying siege to Barad-Dur, the temporary defeat of Sauron and the loosing of the One Ring until it is found by Sméagol some 2500 years later.
Of course it remains to be seen how faithful the series will be to Tolkien’s Legerdemain. Some fans can be notorious sticklers for fidelity to the original source material, as still noted by discussion in some Tolkien groups over the Peter Jackson-directed adaptations of The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings. Whether the series winds up staying within the lines established by Tolkien or they chart their own course across Middle-earth will be seen when the series eventually debuts on Amazon either late this year or some time in 2022.