Updated 'Lord Of The Rings' TV Show Map Shows A Middle-Earth Long Before Aragorn Was Born

Amazon continues to tease out hints for its highly anticipated, highly expensive Lord of the Rings TV series with an updated map of Middle-earth. But like so much Lord of the Rings lore, it only makes things more complicated.

Though this series has been cloaked in mystery since its announcement, we had accepted early reports that the series would center around young Aragorn, the noble character played by Viggo Mortensen in Peter Jackson's film series. But the updated Lord of the Rings TV series map suggests that this series could take place long before that character was ever born.

Amazon released a new map of Middle-earth, which fills in the gaps left by the first very plain, very barren initial reveal. Now the Middle-earth map shows the names of several lands and kingdoms rather than blank spaces — most notably, the lands of Calenardhon. For those unversed in Lord of the Rings lore, Calenardhon is the name of the land that would eventually become Rohan, the great kingdom of Men. This would suggest that this map shows a Middle-earth in the midst of the Second Age, the time when the Rings of Power were first created and the evil Sauron first rose to power. Basically, thousands of years before Aragorn ever sexily smoked his first pipe.

Lord of The Rings TV Series Map

The Kingdom of Rohan wasn't founded until 2510 T.A. — setting this map at least 500 years before the birth of Aragorn in 2931 T.A. Other clues enlighten us to this Second Age-setting: Arnor and Gondor, the two kingdoms of Men that bordered each other before Rohan's founding aren't in this map either, while Lindon — the great realm of the high elves — is featured prominently. Other things of note about this map are the prominence of Rhun and Khand in the eastern half of Middle-earth, lands that were not featured quite as much in other Lord of the Rings maps.

What does it mean? I don't know! Though perhaps we'll see more of the Easterlings, who were described as people of color (but also on the side of Sauron and evil).

We saw glimpses of this age in Lord of the Rings lore in flashbacks from the Peter Jackson films — the creation of the rings and the final battle against Sauron in which Isildur, Aragorn's ancestor, slayed Suaron and cut the One ring from his finger. But could this map tease out a more prolonged look at the early age of Middle-earth? It's possible that this map is just laying out the foundations for the Lord of the Rings TV series and doesn't actually indicate the show's setting. But perhaps we'll get to see more of Middle-earth from long before a fellowship walked into Mordor.