Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Show Is About the Return of Sauron

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Show Is About the Return of Sauron
Guess who's back, back again. (Screenshot: Warner Bros.)

Through scraps of information and even a bit of cartography, we’ve long been able to get a general gist of what Amazon’s massive new Lord of the Rings series is going to be about. But now the company has revealed the first official story details for the series, confirming what we’ve long expected: the prequel will tackle the rise of Middle-earth’s greatest evil.

Confirmed via a synopsis provided to TheOneRing.net, Amazon Studios revealed that the series — currently filming in New Zealand with a cast that seems about as large as the population of a small country on top of that — is indeed set in the Second Age, “thousands” of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The show will concern itself with characters “both familiar and new” as they reckon with the fact that the Dark Lord Sauron has returned to cast shadow and flame across Middle-earth.

Here’s the full synopsis:

Amazon Studios’ forthcoming series brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.

It’s not too surprising — we already knew the setting of the series and the inclusion of key locales like Númenor. And given prior comments that the show is free to, and wants to, use elements from Peter Jackson’s beloved movies, putting those tidbits all together with a bit of Second Age know-how brings the natural conclusion that the show will be tackling the chance to tell a new story, but couch it in just enough familiarity to intrigue fans of the films. “Here’s how you get to Isildur giving Sauron’s hand a quick shave at the Battle of the Last Alliance” provides pretty much the perfect opportunity to do that.

We’ll bring you more on Amazon’s Lord of the Rings as and when we learn it, ahead of its anticipated streaming debut sometime in 2021.