Details regarding the Amazon Lord of the Rings series have been kept under strict lock and key. Released plot details have been kept to a minimum, and there have even been reports that a false show was being filmed on fake sets to distract potential spies. All fans know is that the series will cover the Second Age of Middle Earth. Considering the amount of money being poured into the show, Amazon’s caution is downright reasonable. However, one major character from J.R.R. Tolkien’s account of the Second Age is rumored to be missing from the first season - and it’s a name fans are sure to recognize.
Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings will cover the Second Age of Middle Earth, an era that came and went thousands of years before the events of the The Fellowship of the Ring (which took place in the Third Age). Readers of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion will know that there is a character that plays a major role in both the Second Age and The Lord of the Rings - but possibly not in the first season of Amazon’s show. According to rumors via Spy Report, Sauron, known to the Elves of the Second Age as Annatar and LOTR movie fans as the flaming eye in the sky, will reportedly not make an appearance in the first season of the show.
If the rumors are true, then why might Amazon omit such a major character from the era, especially one so familiar to LOTR fans? There are various possible explanations. For one thing, the Second Age of Middle Earth covers a huge span of time. While Sauron plays a large role in that section of The Silmarillion, this is J.R.R. Tolkien we’re talking about - there’s plenty of additional content to flesh out the story. It’s entirely possible Amazon is adapting a Sauron-free storyline.
Amazon could also be biding its time. The company has already renewed its LOTR show for a second season, so it could be waiting to unveil Sauron at the perfect moment. This decision could also convince viewers to keep watching, even if they aren’t thrilled with the first season. The target audience for this show is probably original LOTR fans, many of whom will be looking forward to seeing a familiar character. Amazon could also use the first season to lay the groundwork for Sauron’s storyline in Season 2. Netflix employed a similar strategy when making Season 1 of The Witcher.
Whether or not Sauron makes an appearance, LOTR fans are sure to be thrilled to revisit Middle Earth. Season 1 of The Lord of the Rings is reportedly slated for a mid-2022 release on Amazon Prime, although the series is currently still in production. In the meantime, you can stream The Lord of the Rings on HBO Max.