Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is set thousands of years before the Lord of the Rings movies and story, as well as The Hobbit. Amazon first announced plans to develop a Lord of the Rings TV show nearly five years ago, but finding the right story to tell from the works of JRR Tolkien and guiding the series throughout Preparing for and producing Season 1 – not to mention making sure the show can portray Middle-earth as perfectly as the Peter Jackson movies – has been long and arduous. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power release date is set for 9/2/22, and Amazon has released multiple trailers, so where does Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show fit in the timeline LOTR?
Amazon invested over $1 billion in the project (it’s no exaggeration, the first season alone cost $462 million to produce) and guaranteed multiple seasons and spinoffs of it. Work on Season 2 is already underway in the UK, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that Season 3 could be in production by 2023/2024. However, while The Rings of Power should be a global phenomenon, thanks in large part to the branding of the franchise, there’s the question of how the story ties into the Lord of the Rings films. The Rings of Power is not officially linked to the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings films. They are both based on Tolkien’s work, however, and The Rings of Power took on a clear spiritual and aesthetic influence from Jackson’s input. It is set, however, in a very different time in the history of Middle-earth, the one shown in flashback sequences during The Fellowship of the Ring – namely the alliance of men and elves in the first great battle against Sauron. The Rings of Power are set in the Second Age and will most likely follow the creation of the titular Rings of Power, including the One Ring. Comparatively, the Lord of the Rings story and trilogy is set in the late Third Age and tells the story of the War of the Ring. Although the specific years of the TV show have yet to be revealed, LotR’s rings of power were created between 1500 and 1600 SA (the entire Second Age lasted 3,441 years).
The events of The Lord of the Rings begin in 3018 TA (Third Age), meaning The Rings of Power TV show takes place a minimum of 4,959 years before The Lord of the Rings. Even knowing this and its inspiration from the Silmarillion and other collected appendices, the date doesn’t reveal much about the time period. The cast list also offers surprisingly few clues. The casting of Charles Edwards as Celebrimbor hints that it could take place before the titular rings are forged. That still leaves plenty of room, however, since the Rings of Power were created over a thousand years before Isildur finally severed the One Ring from Sauron’s finger and ended the Second Age. Isildur was also chosen (Maxim Baldry) and unlike Elves, humans are not able to live for thousands of years. The trailers hint at several possible time periods for Amazon’s LotR show, so here’s everything known so far about when, in the incredibly expansive Lord of the Rings timeline, the Rings of power will be defined.
Rings Of Power will take place millennia before LOTR
There is one solid piece of information about The Rings of Power that is undebated – it will take place thousands of years before The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The prequel is set so far before the Jackson trilogies that even long-running characters like Gandalf won’t make an appearance. Only immortal borderline elves like Elrond and Galadriel are present, but even then they are much younger and different from their Third Age counterparts. The prologue sequence of The Fellowship of the Ring, in which Isildur defeats Sauron and takes the One Ring, takes place at the end of the Second Age. It’s this time period that The Rings of Power will supposedly cover, meaning it will take place at least 3,000 years before the main events of the Lord of the Rings movies.
How many millennia ago, however, is not known. Some believe it could be thousands of years before Isildur defeated Sauron. The Rings had already existed for millennia before the Last Alliance of Men and Elves at the end of the Second Age (something lost in translation in the Fellowship prologue, which makes it seem like the rise of Sauron has was relatively quick). The Rings of Power were forged in the year 1500 of the Second Age. Isildur was born in the year 3209 SA, some 1700 years later. The trailers appear to depict events detailing the rise of Sauron and a Middle-earth in which ordinary people only know of his coming due to muffled whispers and dark hearsay. The canonically does not correspond to the time in which Isildur lived, by which time Sauron’s name was known and Mordor an ever-present threat.
Prime Video is keeping the story beats of The Rings of Power close to the vest, only now beginning to reveal bits about the characters and story. It’s likely that the full timeline for The Rings of Power won’t be clear until the show airs. The only guarantee is that no Lord of the Rings characters except Elrond and Galadriel will be present (although they have both been named as central to the plot of The Rings of Power ). The source material that Amazon partially adapts for The Rings of Power, The Silmarillion, spans thousands of years, but ends long before the events of The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. Whenever The Rings of Power takes place, it will be millennia before the birth of Frodo, Bilbo, or even Legolas (he would not have been born until nearly a century after the Third Age, in 87 TA).
Power Rings Timeline: How many years will the show cover?
The Rings of Power adapts several books by JRR Tolkien but will draw mainly from The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, as well as various appendices and letters written by Tolkien which were not intended for publication. Unlike Peter Jackson’s movies, which tell the events of the War of the Ring in chronological order as they happen, The Rings of Power doesn’t have a cohesive traditional narrative to adapt. As mentioned, the Second Age spans thousands of years (3,441 years to be exact). The Silmarillion is not so much a novel as a history textbook for Tolkien scholars. This left Amazon with two choices: condense the events of the Second Age into a shorter time frame, or create a show that spans thousands of years of history.
Both are plausible. If The Rings of Powers spans thousands of years, that would be an unorthodox direction for a TV show. However, most settings don’t have immortal characters like Tolkien’s elves. A series spanning the entire Second Age could easily use Galadriel, Elrond, or even Sauron as wireframe characters to underpin and connect the various snapshots of Middle-earth at different points in history. If The Rings of Power shows both the forging of the titular rings and Isildur in any capacity, it will have to take action like these. Sauron forging the rings and Isildur destroying it have almost as much time between them as Isildur losing the ring and Smeagol/Gollum finding it millennia later. A show that begins with Sauron forging the rings and ends just before Isildur takes the throne of Gondor might work, but only because characters like Galadriel and Elrond are present throughout.
The second, equally likely option is for Amazon to condense the events of the Second Age into a much shorter but more narratively coherent timeline – a timeline acceptable to modern audiences with preconceived ideas about story structure. . Tolkien never intended books like The Silmarillion to be adapted into digestible tales. It’s no exaggeration to say that the books could be considered non-fiction about a fictional world rather than a narrative work like The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. The closer audiences get to The Rings of Power’s September 2022 release date, the more likely that option seems.
He could even use flashbacks of Elrond or Galadriel to describe events prior to the Second Age, linking them to the “present” of the Rings of Power. The drowning of Middle-earth Kingdom Numenor in 3319 SA is confirmed to be a major plot point in Amazon’s LotR show, as is Celebrimbor forging the Rings and the beginnings of Isildur. Some images from the trailer also hint at Sauron’s presence during his time as High Priest of Melkor in 3299, more than a thousand years after the first war between Mordor and the Elves but still half a century before. his defeat at the end of the Second. Age. For The Rings of Power to cover everything the cast list, trailers, and source material suggest, it’s a guarantee that Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show will have an incredibly unique take on the timeline and of the scale.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere on Prime Video on September 2, 2022.
How Long Before LOTR Movies, Ring Of Power TV Show Is Set | Pretty Reel