'Lord of the Rings' Amazon Prime Series Set in Sauron's Second Age, Atlantis-esque Numenor Explained

An interactive map of Middle-Earth tied to the Amazon Lord of the Rings series depicts a lost continent which could indicate when the show will be set: in the age before the Lord of the Rings movies and novels, depicting the events that culminated in the battle with Sauron when the One Ring first found its way to the realms of men and hobbit.

"Welcome to the Second Age," a post from official social media account The Lord of the Rings on Prime reads, linking to an interactive map of Middle-Earth affiliated with the series. The Amazon Lord of the Rings account also posted a familiar quote that could indicate the focus of the new series set in the Second Age: "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie."

The Lord of the Rings Amazon Prime Series Setting Explained

The Second Age is a multi-millennium span of time before the events of Lord of the Rings, which is set in the Third Age (the Fourth Age, the Age of Men, is where Tolkien's fictional history begins to blend into our own, as magic fades from Middle-Earth). We only see a small sliver of the Second Age in The Lord of the Rings movies: the battle between the last alliance of men and elves, which ended with Sauron's first defeat, depicted in the prologue to 2001's The Fellowship of the Ring.

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A map of Middle-Earth released by Amazon points to the setting for their "Lord of the Rings" series. Amazon

Crucially, the Middle-Earth map affiliated with the Amazon adaptation depicts a location central to the history of the Second Age and the rise of Sauron, suggesting exactly what the new series will center around: the lost island kingdom of Númenor.

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Could this be the setting for Amazon's Second Age "Lord of the Rings" series? Amazon

The story of Númenor is told in The Silmarillion, specifically the fourth (of five) parts in J.R.R. Tolkien's posthumous ancient history of Middle-Earth, called The Akallabêth.

Númenor was an island magically raised from the sea and gifted to the race of Men. It was during the Second Age that men first sailed from Númenor and began populating Middle-Earth. As the power of the Númenóreans grew, a threat rose in Middle-Earth, as the Dark Lord Sauron tricked elven smiths to forge the One Ring. Sauron quickly overtook the kingdoms of the elves and the Númenóreans came to their aid, pushing back the armies of darkness.

However, the king of Númenor, Ar-Pharazôn, lusted for eternal life. Sauron poisoned his mind and the Númenóreans began worshipping Sauron's master: Morgoth, the first Dark Lord. Sauron turned the Númenórean against the Undying Lands far to the West—a place ruled by the powerful, angelic beings against whom Morgoth (then known as Melkor) and Sauron first rebelled. These beings, known as the Valar, called upon the creator god of The Lord of the Rings, Eru Ilúvatar, who then made the flat Earth round and sunk Númenor beneath the sea.

The sunken Númenor became known, appropriately enough, as Atalantë. Only nine ships escaped to form the kingdoms of men in Middle-Earth. The descendants of the Númenóreans became the Dúnedain, which suggests rumors of an Aragorn series were half-right: the Amazon Prime series will likely feature Aragorn's ancestors.

The focus on Númenor and the origins of the One Ring suggest the Amazon Lord of the Rings series will be set in the age before The Lord of the Rings , following the kingdoms of men before their greatest downfall.

'Lord of the Rings' Amazon Prime Series Set in Sauron's Second Age, Atlantis-esque Numenor Explained | Culture