Ever since Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy introduced the live-action world of Tolkien’s Middle Earth, audiences have been clamoring for more adventures in the fantasy world. It seemed like The Hobbit was going to be fans’ last look at Middle Earth, but that all changed with the announcement of a new Amazon TV show set in the Lord of The Rings universe.
The series is set in the second age, placing it some three to seven thousand years before the films. This means that most of the characters fans are familiar with wouldn’t have been born yet. But there will be plenty of nostalgia to be had through visiting the iconic locations of Tolkien’s work. Just like with Tatooine in The Mandalorian and the Borg Cube in Picard, these fantasy places will thrill fans if they should make it into the show.
10 Fangorn Forest
An iconic location from The Two Towers, this is where Merry and Pippin met Treebeard and his fellow ents. The giant walking trees famously defeated Sauroman at his fortress of Isengard at the end of that film.
Fangorn Forest would be much larger in the second age, encompassing everything from the Shire to Rohan. And the ents will surely be there, having been around since ancient times, so get ready for conversations that take a long time to finish.
9 The Shire
The Shire in the second age looked very different from the one Bilbo and Frodo Baggins lived in. Hobbits didn’t settle in the area until the mid-third age. Even at that time it was mostly forest and belonged to the Kingdom of Arnor, used primarily as a hunting grounds.
But in the second age, there were no hobbits there, meaning there’s no chance of seeing the iconic hobbit-holes of Bag End in the show. That doesn’t rule out the appearance of hobbits, but the original hobbit communities lie far to the west. The closest recognizable landmark from the films would be Weathertop, 200 miles west. However there is one character Frodo met in the nearby old forest still waiting to make their Hollywood debut; the enigmatic Tom Bombadil, he’ll be around somewhere in middle earth at the time of the show.
This magical forest was visited by Frodo and his companions in The Fellowship of the Ring. The elven realm was ruled by Lady Galadriel and her husband Celeborn, who gave a gift to each member of the fellowship.
Galadriel and Celeborn came to Lothlórien during the second age. Galadriel enchanted the forest with her magic and planted the gold-leaved mallorn trees. Swedish actress Morfydd Clark is set to portray Galadriel in the show, meaning Lothlórien is almost certain to appear.
7 Helm’s Deep
Helm’s Deep was the site of one of cinema’s most epic battles in The Two Towers. Here a desperate band of Rohirrim held out against an overwhelming force of orcs, and eventually triumphed after the arrival of Gandalf and reinforcements.
At the time of the show, Rohan wouldn’t have been founded yet. Instead, we may get to see the early men of Gondor who built the great fortress known as the Hornburg. This is said to have transpired sometime in the second age, possibly placing it within the timeframe of the show.
This is the ancestral home of the Dúnedain, the line of kings which includes Isildur and Aragorn. Similar to the legend of Atlantis, Númenor was an island kingdom of men to the west of Middle-Earth. By the time of The Lord of the Rings, the island was submerged beneath the sea, but in the second age it was home to the Númenóreans, one of the most powerful kingdoms of Middle-Earth.
Tolkien devotees will be familiar with its tale from the “Akallabêth” portion of The Silmarillion. Although this island itself was never shown in the films, there was a little bit of it on Middle Earth. The White Tree of Gondor seen in The Return of the King is descended from the Númenorian tree Nimloth the Fair, it’s seedling brought to Middle Earth by Isildur.
5 Minas Tirith And The Fortresses Of Gondor
The capital of Gondor during The Return of the King, Minas Tirith was known as Minas Anor during the second age. A multi-level city built on a hill on the side of a mountain, it is one of the most iconic locations of The Lord of the Rings.
These locations will only appear if the show takes place in the late second age. Minas Tirith was only built in its final decades, so too Gondor’s then capital Osgiliath. Another Gondor fortress built around the same time is Isengard, which was ruled by Sauroman at the time of the films.
This thriving second age dwarf civilization was located in what was later known as the Mines of Moria. This is the place where the Fellowship of the Ring journeyed in the eponymous film and encountered the terrifying Balrog.
The flame of Udûn who faced Gandalf in the famous “You shall not pass” moment will probably not appear in the show. Tolkien’s writing put its unearthing some ways into the third age. But there will be plenty of Durin’s Folk, the ancestors of Gimli, Thorin Oakenshielf, and the dwarves of The Hobbit.
3 Barad-dûr And The Fortresses Of Mordor
If Sauron is to play a role in the show, one can expect to see plenty of Mordor. Several of Mordor’s structures featured prominently in Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and would be perfect for the show since they were all built in the second age.
The entrance to Mordor is protected by the massive Black Gate where the final battle of The Return of the King took place. There’s also Minas Ithil, a fortress of Gondor until conquered by The Witch-King of Angmar and rechristened Minas Morgul. And last but not least, Sauron’s home Barad-dûr, a colossal tower at the top of which sat the Eye of Sauron at the time of the films.
The home of Elrond and Arwen sits in a beautiful valley just west of the Misty Mountains. Visited by the heroes of both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Rivendell is culturally and politically important to Middle Earth.
It was at Rivendel that the Council of the Elrond took place in The Fellowship of the Ring. This was the pivotal scene where Frodo decided to take the ring to Mordor and the fellowship was formed. Elrond is a character who may be alive during the events of the show and fans may just get to see him establish his iconic home.
1 Mount Doom
Orodruin as it is known is located at the heart of Mordor and is the most important location in The Lord of the Rings franchise. It was in the fires of this volcano that The One Ring to rule them all was both forged and destroyed. The stories of Frodo, Sam, Gollum, and The Ring culminated here in one of the most legendary scenes in all of fiction.
The forging of the ring is an event that takes place midway through the second age, making its story a prime candidate to be adapted. Additionally, The second age of middle earth ended with the battle of Dagorlad on the slopes of Mount Doom, as depicted in The Fellowship of the Ring.
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