The Significance Of Eregion In The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Explained

Even those with only a passing familiarity with fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien's work know what to expect from an adaptation by now: lots of walking, scene transitions and fade-outs intercut with nerdy fantasy maps, and a dense collection of character names and locations that will likely make anyone's head spin. No production bearing the name of "The Lord of the Rings" is for the faint of heart, and "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is no exception.

The first two episodes of the new Prime Video series debuted last night and already seem to have garnered widespread praise, successfully translating Tolkien's writings about the Second Age of Middle-earth into something palatable, fresh, and yet familiar enough for broader audiences — many of whom only have Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy as a frame of reference. Still, even with the various deep-cut references and teases littered throughout these two episodes, "The Rings of Power" still manages to introduce a buffet of material lifted from Tolkien's work that we've never seen rendered in live action before.

One such aspect is the kingdom of Eregion, which serves as the backdrop to the pivotal meeting between the elves Elrond (Robert Aramayo) and Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards). Although neither have yet achieved all the accomplishments that will one day mark their names down in Middle-earth history, it's already clear that the pair are destined for something much larger than either of them can foresee. Though only just introduced in the second episode of the series, Eregion comes with all sorts of fascinating lore and significance that will surely be explored further in "The Rings of Power."

Warning: Potential spoilers for "The Rings of Power" (taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth lore) ahead.

What to know about Eregion

This isn't the Middle-earth you may remember. Whereas both Tolkien and Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" stories depicted the world as one that's well past its prime, marked by crumbling ruins that only hint at the magnificence and splendor of the land when it was still young, "The Rings of Power" brings us thousands of years into the past to explore the realm when it was at the absolute peak of its grandeur. Dwarves still flock to their thriving underground cities and elves still build cities and architectural wonders throughout Middle-earth ... with more yet to come.

Eregion marks the location where its ruler, Celebrimbor, intends to construct a great forge to use in order to cement his legacy — the same forge where all but one of the rings of power will eventually be forged. Celebrimbor is the elven-smith who was responsible for forging the rings, using instructions from Sauron, who sought to corrupt and gain control of Middle-earth. The only ring not created by Celebrimbor was the One Ring, which was forged in secret by Sauron in the fires of Mount Doom.

A look at the writings left behind by Tolkien provides more important context for this truly one-of-a-kind kingdom. Described in the series as the "Realm of the Elven-Smiths," Eregion was founded by a highly respected group of elves called the Ñoldor, renowned for their knowledge of lore and craftsmanship. This realm further set itself apart from others like it, such as the capital city of Lindon, due to its proximity to and openhanded trade relations with the dwarves of Khazad-dûm, which Elrond seeks to mend when he visits the jilted Prince Durin (Owain Arthur).

"The Rings of Power" airs news episodes on Prime Video every Friday.