Amazon Prime Video Coming Soon Lord of the Rings The series is certainly exciting for fans of the franchise, but with source material as dense as JRR Tolkien’s work, there could also be some confusion. The events of The Hobbit Y The Lord of the rings they cover less than 100 years of the author’s tradition over many millennia. Amazon’s prequel will take place between 3,000 and 6,000 years before Bilbo finds the One Ring, but due to the rise and fall of the kingdoms and the lifespan of the characters, parts of the series will seem familiar while others will be entirely new. . For more context, here are the Four Ages of Middle-earth and the major milestones that each mark.
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The First Age: The Old Days
The Elder Days refers to the most distant time in Tolkien’s Legendarium, but because the origin of time can be somewhat difficult to quantify, even in fictional world-building, so is the beginning and end of the First Age. . The easiest way to think of this era is as everything that happened before the start of the Second Age, although even this long period of time is divided into prehistoric events and recorded history, with some overlaps.
The novel The Silmarillion It begins with an account of the Ainulindalë, or the creation myth of Arda, Tolkien’s substitute for Earth. The divine figure of Arda is Eru Ilúvatar, whose “children of thought”, the Ainur, are begotten by his consciousness. Some, who are known as Valar and Maiar, are sent to fill the void. They give it shape and geographic characteristics. They eventually create the Two Trees of Valinor, which provide light. An Ainur, named Melkor, is more powerful than the others, but he also seems rebellious and prone to evil from the start. Melkor will repeatedly attempt to rule the new world as his own kingdom, but the Valar and Maiar resist. He eventually returns to wreak more havoc.
Ilúvatar also populates Arda with more “children”: the elves and then humanity, who “awaken” in this age. Elves are almost immortal; many travel between Middle-earth and Valinor in the land of Aman, where the Valar live. Humans arrive later and have much shorter and more vulnerable lives. Other famous races of Middle-earth, such as Dwarves, Eagles, and Ents, are created by other Ainur with the blessing of Ilúvatar.
An elf named Finwë leads a clan called Noldor, famous for their wisdom and skill. His son, Fëanor, makes three Silmarils, or jewels, in the light of the Two Trees of Valinor. Meanwhile, Melkor has begun to interfere in the affairs of the Elves, sowing mistrust and corrupting some of them into Orcs. He lusts after the Silmarils and forges an alliance with an evil spider spirit named Ungoliant. Together they destroy the trees and Melkor kills Finwë and steals the jewels. The other Valar are able to rescue the last blooming flower and fruit, and turn them into sun and moon. The years before this event, known as Valian time, are significantly longer than the solar years that occur afterward.
Fëanor, eager to avenge his father’s death, bestows a new name on Melkor: Morgoth. He attempts, at first in vain, to mobilize forces against Morgoth, and is ultimately killed by Balrogs in battle. Morgoth is held back by the siege, and generations of Elves are born, including Lord of the Rings characters Galadriel and Elrond. Human and dwarf clans establish their territories, and there is as much competition for land and power as is to be expected in any good epic. In particular, Sauron becomes Morgoth’s servant. This era ends with the War of Wrath, in which the Valar, Elves, Men, and Dwarves unite to defeat Morgoth and return him to the void. The three Silmarils are hidden; one in heaven, one on earth and one in the sea.
The second was: the rise of Sauron
The Second Age, which lasts 3441 years, is when the titular Rings of Power are created, and it is also when the new Amazon series takes place. After the fall of Morgoth, Sauron flees and hides. The elves are welcome back to the Eternal Lands, although some begin to found new kingdoms like Eregion. The dwarves leave their ancient strongholds near the ruins that had been the site of the War of Wrath and travel to join the People of Durin in Moria. These are the same bloodlines and places that will appear again in The Hobbit. Men are given the island of Númenor in the middle of the Great Sea, where they become skilled sailors and live longer than average humans. For a time, they respect the order of things, but over time they become envious of the Elves’ immortality.
A craftsman named Annatar, who is actually Sauron in disguise, emerges, calling himself the Lord of Gifts. He teaches the Noldor Elves, including their Lord Celebrimbor, a descendant of Finwë, ringcraft magic. Unbeknownst to them, he is also building Barad-dûr, the dark tower that will become his stronghold in Mordor. Sauron helps in creating nine rings for men and seven for dwarves, while the elves create three on their own. At Barad-dûr, in the fires of Mount Doom volcano, Sauron creates the One Ring to rule them all in secret. As soon as he wields it, the Elves realize that they have been deceived.
The elven rings are untainted by Sauron’s evil, and he has a hard time summoning the dwarves, though the rings have made them more greedy. However, he is able to lure the nine men to his side with the promise of immortality, but, like the rings themselves, it is more of a curse than a gift. They become his Nazgûl or Ringwraiths, attached to the One Ring as servants of Sauron. These are the same entities that appear in The Lord of the rings trilogy too. The Elves hide their rings to prevent Sauron from gaining more power.
The War of the Elves and Sauron pits Celebrimbor and his allies against the Dark Lord and his forces, who quickly lay waste to Eregion. Elrond founds Rivendell as a refuge, but the Elves are no match for Sauron. The Númenor arrive and together, Elves and Men are able to defend Middle Earth. However, peace does not last long. Sauron is held prisoner by the Númenor, and poisons their minds just as Melkor had done to the Elves. Emboldened humans turn hostile to the Valar and seek to fight them for eternal life. As punishment for his arrogance, Númenor is flooded and the world becomes round instead of flat.
The cities of Gondor and Arnor are established by the surviving men, and they unite with the remaining Elves to face a resurgent Sauron. Isildur, the second generation Great King of Gondor and Arnor, cuts the One Ring from Sauron’s hand, but chooses not to destroy it accordingly.
The Third Age: The Age of Arda and the War of the Ring
This is the part of the Middle-earth story that most readers and viewers recognize, but it encompasses much more than the events of The Hobbit Y The Lord of the rings. Isildur, with the ring still in his possession, is attacked by Orcs. He tries to use it to escape into a river, but the ring breaks loose and he’s swept away, and he’s killed. The One Ring will remain lost for more than 2000 years.
Meanwhile, the kingdoms of men are frequently at war with each other, which combined with illness and their short life, diminishes their influence. Wizards, including Gandalf, Radagast, and Saruman, come to Middle-earth, as do the lowly Hobbits, who settle in the Shire. Elrond marries Galadriel’s daughter, Celebrían, who gives birth to Arwen. The Dwarves thrive until they annoy a Balrog, Durin’s Bane, and head for Lonely Mountain.
So, the hobbit Sméagol finds the ring and becomes its master, giving Sauron the strength to return. Sméagol remains hidden in the Misty Mountains with its “precious” for hundreds of years. When Bilbo joins the Dwarves, led by Thorin Oak Shield, in their quest to retrieve Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug, Bilbo encounters the creature now known as Gollum and ends up with the ring in his pocket.
At this point, it is clear to most that Sauron is once again a threat. Gandalf urges the White Council to act, but in their hesitation, he rallies the Fellowship of the Ring, consisting of Frodo Baggins (Bilbo’s cousin and heir), his Hobbit friends, Gimli the Dwarf, Legolas the Elf, Boromir, the current administrator of Gondor. and Aragorn, a descendant of Isildur who has a legitimate claim to the throne of Gondor. The Fellowship is tasked with destroying the ring and Sauron, whom Saruman secretly serves. Faced with the constant threat of orcs, ring wraiths and other dark creatures, they fight many important battles, and Frodo meets Gollum. In the end, Frodo can’t resist the ring either, but Gollum steals it and falls into the fires of Mount Doom, fixing things.
The Third Age ends with Aragorn, now married to Arwen, on the throne of a reunited Kingdom of Men. Life returns to normal for most, but a badly injured Frodo receives passage to the Eternal Lands.
The fourth age: the age of men
Tolkien wrote the least about the Fourth Age, and that’s because it’s functionally the time when his fantasy world transforms into one that resembles our own. Gandalf, Elrond, and Galadriel return to Valinor with Frodo. Gimli and Legolas venture together for a time. The hobbits extend their reach for a time, but eventually they and all other magical beings also travel to Valinor, or simply vanish, leaving the world to men. Aragorn reigns with Arwen by his side during a period of great harmony until they both die a natural death. Her son ascends the throne and life goes on, with the forces of good and evil equally cyclical and ever-present.
Produced by Amazon Studios, The Lord of the Rings stars Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers and Daniel Weyman. The series is expected to premiere on Amazon Prime in 2021.
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