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Way back in 2017, Amazon secured the rights to J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy The Lord of The Rings. Since the announcement, fans of the series have been eagerly awaiting new details on the show, which is already renewed for a second season. Amazon’s adaptation will be a costly one at $125 million per season, on top of the $250 million rights acquisition. Despite the big budget, Amazon has remained relatively tight-lipped when it comes to show details, outside of casting info. However, recently the official plot of The Lord of The Rings show was confirmed, and fans will be excited to hear that the show will take place in a never-before-seen location.
According to the official synopsis (via TheOneRing.net), The Lord of The Rings series will take place in Middle Earth’s Second Age, thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and Peter Jackson’s The Lord of The Rings trilogy. The show will also take place, at least partly, in the never-before-seen Kingdom of Númenor:
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.
Númenor may be familiar to fans of Tolkien’s writings, as the sunken island kingdom of men is mentioned in The Silmarillion. Due to the timelines (and its tragic destruction) Númenor is long gone by the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The Amazon series will be the first time viewers will be able to see the ancient city, rather than read about it.
Outside of Númenor, the show will be revisiting familiar ground with both characters and locations, such as the Misty Mountains and Lindon. Unfortunately it looks like fans won’t be seeing all of their old favorites as Hugo Weaving, who played Elrond in The Lord of The Rings and two of The Hobbit films, won’t be returning.
Don’t expect to see other big stars from Peter Jackson’s series, either. Elijah Wood, who played the titular Frodo Baggins, won’t be returning --which makes sense given the timeline -- and has even recently taken issue with Amazon’s title choice for the series.
Because of Amazon’s budget and planned duration, The Lord of The Rings has already drawn comparisons to HBO’s Game of Thrones. The studio has even picked up some talent from the hit HBO show, based on George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy series.
Fans eager to see Númenor may still have a bit to wait, as the Amazon adaptation isn’t expected to release until later in 2021. Not all is lost, though. Both The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings trilogies are currently streaming on HBOMax. Now is the perfect time revisit Middle Earth, assuming you have an entire day to tackle the lengthy runtimes. As Gandalf once said, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”