To say I’m ecstatic about Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings prequel, The Rings of Power, would be an understatement. It is undeniable how stunning the costumes, set, and stories are. The first thing I thought while watching was, “How does this fit into J. R. R. Tolkien’s timeline?”
During The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premiere, you may have noticed some familiar names. Amazon’s highly anticipated show is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before Peter Jackson’s trilogy begins. We know based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s lore that Middle-earth has four ages. The First Age consists of creation and each age ends in a significant battle against evil.
We finally get the story that led us to Frodo’s journey in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
How does The Rings of Power fit into The Lord of the Rings timeline?
Being set a few thousand years before Frodo and Sam’s journey, we see the earlier lives of some familiar characters. Amazon is showing us what happened to get us to the prologue portion of Jackson’s films.
According to Popsugar, “The showrunners […] confirmed that the show’s timeline will compress the events of the Second Age as laid out by Tolkien, fitting it all into about the length of one human lifetime.” Expediting the timeline allows us to meet everyone we need to for the forging of the rings.
Will We Recognize Any Names?
Some returning names in The Rings of Power include Galadriel, played by Morfydd Clark. She is seeking to avenge the death of her brother who died during the First Age of Middle-earth. You may recognize her character, previously played by Cate Blanchett, who helped guide Frodo on his journey to destroy the ring.
We also see Elrond, played by Robert Aramayo, thousands of years younger who was originally played by Hugo Weaving in the trilogy. Elves have the longest lifespan, which is why we see them in both Amazon’s prequel and Jackson’s trilogy.
Metro reported, “The Rings of Power will cover the entire Second Age, covering the forging of the rings, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the epic tale of Númenor, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.”
Maxim Baldry takes on the role of young Isildur. In the trilogy’s prologue scene, Isildur defeats Sauron with his father’s sword. Instead of destroying the One Ring, he keeps the ring for himself, thus ending the Second Age and beginning the Third. Aragorn, played by Viggo Mortensen in the trilogy, is a descendant of Isildur.
What’s Next for the Series?
There are a lot of moving parts to get us through the Second Age to line up with the Third Age we’ve already explored. The first season is set to run 8 episodes. Amazon committed to a five-season run for the show. Filming for the second season is expected to begin in October 2022.
Catch up on the first two episodes of The Rings of Power and catch a new episode Fridays on Prime.