lord of the rings series setting

Only Lord of the Rings could get their fans whipped into a frenzy over a map. But Amazon knows this, and cleverly went with an advent calendar-style release of a map of Middle-earth to reveal…the setting.

The Lord of the Rings series setting, which Amazon confirmed to be the Second Age of Middle-earth, may only be vaguely interesting for casual fans, but for mega-fans, just seeing the word “Numenor” is enough to launch a thousand excited tweets. (Really, just check out the replies on the Lord of the Rings Twitter.) Let’s dive into the significance of the Second Age setting and find out what the hell Numenor actually is.

Lord of the Rings Series Setting Confirmed

Amazon confirmed that the Lord of the Rings series will be set during the Second Age of Middle-earth, which is the era when the Rings of Power were first created and the evil Sauron first rose to power. But what does the Isle of Numenor have to do with that?

The Isle of Numenor is a mythic lost civilization (J.R.R. Tolkien intended it as an allusion to Atlantis) from whom the great men of Gondor are descended. Separated by the Great Sea from the continent known as Middle-earth, Numenor housed the apotheosis of the human race: they were physically perfect and lived three times as long as the average human. Aragorn, who is at the ripe age of 87 during the events of Lord of the Rings in the Third Age, is descended from one of the great kings of Numenor and is one of the few that retain pure Numenorean blood.

After a cataclysmic event that involves a clash with the gods and war against Sauron, Numenor is sunk into the sea, thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings. But their legacy would remain in the kingdom of Gondor, which becomes the great Realm of Men, in the south and the kingdom of Arnor in the north.

So will Amazon’s series take place during the zenith of Numenor and chronicle its ultimate destruction? Perhaps, though it’s most likely that the series will focus on the creation of the Rings of Power, during which Numenor played an essential war in allying with the Elves to defeat Sauron.

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