Amazon’s “The Lord of the Rings” series: The first picture reveals more than you might think

For Amazon’s super expensive fantasy series epic “The Lord of the Rings” not only the start date on September 2, 2022 was finally revealed, but also the first picture. And that looks nice – but what exactly do we see there? We clarify.

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The guesswork around the mysterious snippets of information that you get delivered to a long-awaited new series or film project is somehow half the fun to sweeten the waiting time. And with Amazon’s Tolkien adaptation “The Lord of the Rings” it’s still quite long: The first season of the “Lord of the Rings” series will only start on September 2, 2022 on Amazon Prime Video. The episodes will then appear weekly.

More than two years ago, fantasy fans were teased with the release of a map on Prime’s The Lord Of The Rings Twitter channel, which was only gradually filled with information and invited guesswork as to the location and time of the action. And so now we have this very first official picture from the series:

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The official information about it: It comes from the first episode of the “Lord of the Rings” series (which by the way is still untitled and will probably operate under this makeshift title for a while). But what do we actually see in the picture? This invites you to speculate. But some things can be said with almost certainty:

Because the two glowing trees in the background can actually only be the two trees of Valinor. With the creation of the two trees by the Valar, 14 spirit beings who helped shape the world (in short!), the First Age was ushered in. The trees were named Laurelin (green leaves edged with gold) and Telperion (green-silver leaves) and stood on the hill Ezellohar in Valinor.

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stood? Yes, because the trees, which alternately donated their radiant light during their lifetime and created something like day and night as the first light source of the universe, were destroyed. The Valar Melkor (since no longer counted among the Valar and later renamed Morgoth and became Sauron’s master (!)) destroyed the trees with the help of the gigantic spider Ungoliant.

From the remains of the trees, the Valar then created the sun (gold) and moon (silver). What remained of the jewels’ light was then incorporated into three jewels – the Silmaril.

But why is it so important now that there are those trees, and what does that tell us about the plot of the show? The First Age began with the creation of Laurelin and Telperion – and ended with their destruction. But now we know that The Lord of the Rings series is set in the SECOND Age. So what are the trees doing there?

The most likely answer: Since the image is from the very first episode, there is probably a longer prologue at the beginning of the serieswhich summarizes the history of the First Age, or maybe even the entire first episode is a flashback.

We also saw a long prologue summarizing what has happened so far in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. First of all, it had to be explained who this Sauron was, who is now appearing again, and what these rings are all about (in fact, there should also be similar explanations in the series, because Sauron’s resurgence – in the Case the first – and the creation of the rings play a part).

The quasi-celestial Valinor: home of Valar and Elves

Back to the production design: if these are the trees of Valinor, what is this city and who is the character in the foreground? In Tolkien’s “The Silmarillion”, in which he tells the story of the creation of Middle-earth and builds the basic framework of the world in which “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” are later set, is the island of Valinor on which the shining trees stand, something like the Avalon from the Arthurian legend – a mythical, half-hidden place in western Middle-earth.

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Valinor, the land of the Valar, is on the continent of Aman (the names are often used interchangeably, so don’t be surprised if other articles say otherwise). There also lies Eldamar, the land of the Elves, who were allowed to live on Aman as mortals (at least mortal compared to the godlike Valar). So the person shown in the picture can actually only be a Valar or an Elf or an Elfin.

Valmar, the city rich in bells

A little reminder: You already know Valinor from the “Lord of the Rings” films. In the finale of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the elves leave Middle-earth and, with Frodo, Bilbo and Gandalf in their luggage, set off for the undying lands of the West – that is Valinor aka Aman.

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And the white city in front of the glowing trees? That must be the glorious city of Valmar, called “the Bell Kingdoms,” where the Valar lived.

Valinor, Valmar, Lauren, Telperion – you can see: just the first picture, which at first glance only impresses with its beauty, but otherwise just looks like a landscape shot, contains some interesting information about the start of the ” The Lord of the Rings series in it.

Maybe not so bad if Amazon gradually publishes such pictures that invite you to deal with the history of Tolkien’s world – a better preparation for the fantasy series, in which there are certainly louder cryptic terms and allusions to this and that historical event will hail, can’t actually happen.

Who is playing anyway?

Finally, a few more easily digestible hard facts. Here’s a selection of cast members from Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series – one of whom has a role we’re already familiar with: Morfydd Clark is set to play the young Galadriel. Also starring: Robert Aramayo as Beldor, Markella Kavenagh as Tyra, Joseph Mawle as Oren, and Maxim Alexander Baldry, Ema Horvath, Nazanin Boniadi and Cynthia Addai-Robinson.

In addition to “Lord of the Rings”, another fantasy epic will become part of the Amazon series: teaser for “The Wheel Of Time”

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