Which J. R. R. Tolkien Book Is 'The Rings of Power' Based On?

J. R. R. Tolkien is a legend of the fantasy genre and he is most notable for his works The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, both of which have been adapted into films by Peter Jackson.

Now, fans of Tolkien's writing and Jackson's films will be able to return to Middle-earth, the world that the British author created for his novels, in Prime Video's new series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

Those interested in exploring Tolkien's work after seeing the show may well be wondering exactly which book they should refer to. Here is everything you need to know.

Which J. R. R. Tolkien Book is 'The Rings of Power' Based On?

Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power
An orc in "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power." The new Prime Video show draws from several works of author J. R. R. Tolkien to create a story set in the Second Age of Middle-earth. Prime Video

The Rings of Power is set thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings, and it follows a number of characters across Middle-earth during its Second Age.

It is not set on any one book by Tolkien, but instead draws from a number of different works he wrote, some of which were published posthumously by his son Christopher.

Prime Video's fantasy juggernaut draws from the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, which sets out the events that led to the creation of the titular Rings of Power, and the re-emergence of Dark Lord Sauron.

As well as these appendices, which amongst other things includes a timeline of key events in the Second Age, the show also draws from The Unfinished Tales and The Silmarillion.

Published by Christopher Tolkien following his father's death, The Unfinished Tales is a collection of stories set in Middle-earth including tales of Númenor during the Second Age and what happened to lead to its fall.

The Silmarillion, meanwhile, predominantly focuses on the history of Middle-earth from its creation to the Third Age, but it does contain stories that are relevant to The Rings of Power in the book's concluding section.

In this section are tales of Sauron's re-emergence in Middle-earth, how he manipulated Celebrimbor to create the Rings of Power and secretly created the One Ring, and how this led to the War of the Last Alliance between elves and men led by High King Gil-Galad and Elendil.

For those looking to pick up just one book after watching The Rings of Power, well, the Tolkien estate has you covered, because a new book is set to be published on November 10, 2022 which collects all of Tolkien's writings from the Second Age of Middle-earth, titled The Fall of Númenor.

Edited by Brian Sibley and illustrated by Alan Lee, the book will use "The Tale of Years" from The Lord of the Rings appendices to create a complete history of The Second Age.

Showrunners J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay have spoken about adapting Tolkien's work in an interview with Empire Magazine, per Collider, saying: "It was like Tolkien put some stars in the sky and let us make out the constellations.

"In his letters, Tolkien talked about wanting to leave behind a mythology that 'left scope for other minds and hands, wielding the tools of paint, music and drama.'

"We're doing what Tolkien wanted. As long as we felt like every invention of ours was true to his essence, we knew we were on the right track."

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power airs Fridays on Prime Video, the show's first two episodes are out now.