There is a cause of us who wax lyrical concerning the nitty gritty of JRR Tolkien’s works are also known as students. Watching The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit is the tip of a genuinely large iceberg, which is why lots of people who loved the movies are a bit of confused about what’s occurring in all the trailers for the upcoming Amazon sequence The Rings of Power

However do not panic! You need not learn an epic tome or watch 20 hours of Prolonged Editions to understand this new sequence when it comes to Amazon Prime Video on Sept. 2. Armed with no matter you keep in mind from the final time you watched The Lord of the Rings and this fast terminology information, you may be ready to take pleasure in this sequence with out feeling terribly misplaced at these phrases you have by no means heard used within the motion pictures earlier than.

The Second Age

The Rings of Energy takes place earlier than what you have seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, however not like 10 years again such as you would possibly see in a number of different prequel tales. The Rings of Energy takes place 1000’s of years earlier than the occasions of The Hobbit, throughout a time period known as the Second Age. On this world, giant segments of time are separated by main international occasions. For instance, the scene on the finish of The Lord of the Rings the place everybody will get on these boats and sails away marks the top of The Third Age.

One of many cool issues about The Rings of Energy telling a narrative within the Second Age is that we’ll get to see characters we have solely beforehand skilled via legend and flashback, in addition to historical characters from the flicks once they have been younger. Elves dwell impossibly lengthy lives except they’re murdered, so on this sequence there might be character names we have heard earlier than like Galadriel and Elrond and Isildur however a lot, a lot youthful variations of the individuals we have already met. 

Harfoots (pronounced har-foots)

A small humanoid character called a Harfoot

One of many Harfoots, a race seen in The Rings of Energy and ancestor of Hobbits.

Amazon Prime Video

You might have seen in all the trailers for The Rings of Energy there are not any Hobbits, at the least not as you’d acknowledge them from the flicks. There’s an excellent cause for this: Hobbits do not exist but! The place Elves, Dwarves, and even Males of The Second Age dwell lengthy lives and attain nice deeds, the ancestors of Hobbits have lifespans a lot nearer to a median human right here in the true world. Meaning their evolution occurs a lot quicker than the opposite races of Center-earth, and what we are going to see in The Rings of Energy are one of many ancestors of Third Age Hobbits, identified on this time as Harfoots. 

In contrast to the Stoors and Fallohides, that are different races that finally come along with Harfoots to turn into Hobbits, the little people we are going to see in Rings of Energy are nomadic gatherers. They dwell off the land, with a extra earthy and pure look to their clothes and conduct. A number of of those Harfoots have been noticed within the trailers already, full with the tell-tale bushy ft and shorter stature. In contrast to Third Age Hobbits, Tolkien described many Harfoots as being darker skinned and are on common smaller than the characters you already know. 

Anticipate Harfoots to play a pivotal position on this sequence, even when they do not get as a lot display time because the movies’ Hobbits.

Silvan Elves (pronounced sil-vn)

Arondir's wooden armor and fabric cloak on an all-black mannequin

Arondir’s armor from The Rings of Energy, on show at San Diego Comedian Con 2022

Katie Aiani

One of many coolest costumes seen in trailers for The Rings of Energy to date belongs to the character Arondir, who just isn’t talked about in any of JRR Tolkien’s works. Arondir was created as a brand new character out of necessity; the race he represents is talked about a number of occasions throughout Tolkien’s works however by no means given the identical type of consideration as lots of the different races in Center-earth. 

Arondir is a Silvan Elf, and in accordance with Tolkien these elves are separated from the others and scattered throughout a number of worlds. Those that made it to Center-earth have a deep connection to nature, which is why you see Arondir in a wood breastplate with a tree spirit or Inexperienced Man carved into it. What survives of Silvan Elves within the Second Age turn into a part of Lorien, the world of Center-earth we see Galadriel as ruler of in The Lord of the Rings. 

Exterior of wanting very cool, Arondir and different Silvan Elves we see might be distinctive and stand out fairly a bit from the Elves of this time.

Valinor (pronounced vali-nor)

A cloaked figure staring at Valinor in The Rings of Power

The primary picture Amazon Prime Video shared from The Rings of Energy was a nonetheless shot of Valinor with the 2 timber nonetheless alive. 

Amazon Prime Video

The Elves you have got seen throughout all of Tolkien’s motion pictures — and shortly this TV sequence — dwell in Center-earth, however they aren’t from Center-earth. The Elves as we see them migrated to Center-earth from a spot referred to as Valinor, an enormous land with a number of cities and its personal separate constructs of time and life. The best way Elves and different creatures of Valinor lived whereas there may be wildly completely different from the way in which they dwell in Center-earth. 

Elves left Valinor and got here to Center-earth as a result of they’d no alternative: The 2 timber that allowed life to exist in Valinor have been destroyed by a large spider referred to as Ungoliant and one other being referred to as Morgoth. Ungoliant would later give beginning to the enormous spider Shelob, who practically kills Bilbo and Frodo of their respective tales. Morgoth passes his darkness to his pupil Sauron, who modifications his identify to Annatar when he went into hiding from these chasing the remnants of Morgoths military.

Valinor would finally turn into a spot Elves want to return to, which you see on the finish of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The ships Bilbo, Frodo and different board on the finish of the film are touring again to Valinor. Being allowed to return house earlier than that time was thought-about an important honor, so when it is talked about you’ll often hear it in a grand context.

Númenor (pronounced noo-menor)

A massive statue above the kingdom of Númenor

From a trailer for The Rings of Energy, the primary shot of the dominion of Númenor

Amazon Prime Video

We have seen the huge white metropolis of Gondor and the far-reaching lands of the horse lords referred to as Rohan, however there was one other Kingdom of Males the place Aragorn’s ancestors got here from referred to as Númenor. This large star-shaped island was house to Males who lived for much longer than most of their contemporaries and will construct lasting relationships with Elves and Dwarves. Like Aragorn, lots of the individuals from this island have been gifted fighters and nice leaders.

The Males of Númenor aren’t fairly like the boys of the remainder of Center-Earth. They dwell fairly a bit longer due to their ancestry, which regularly results in them being handled as one thing completely different from somebody you’d meet in Center-earth correct. Most Males of this period have by no means been to Númenor, not to mention acknowledge it as by some means ruling all Males of the period. 

Since that is the largest kingdom of Males within the Second Age, there is a good likelihood a major quantity of this present will happen in Númenor. 

Khazad-dûm (pronounced ok’hah-zahd-doom)

Elrond staring out at the vastness of the underground city made by the Dwarves

Elrond and a Dwarf strolling via the underground metropolis of Khazad-dûm in The Rings of Energy.

Amazon Prime Video

Most people solely know the dominion of the Dwarves as a tomb and residential to an offended Balrog who loses a battle with Gandalf. In The Lord of the Rings, we all know this large underground metropolis as Moria, however within the Second Age it was often known as Khazad-dûm. 

In contrast to the scattered, separated model of the Dwarves we see in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, we will see Dwarves of their prime all through The Rings of Energy. That is earlier than the Arkenstone and the incident with Smaug, and earlier than the Balrog is woke up in Moria. (All of that occurs within the Third Age.) As a substitute, we will see Durin and his kin as grasp crafters with political company and hopefully a will to work with the opposite peoples of Center-earth. 

And, sadly, we are going to in all probability additionally see no matter leads these proud individuals to retreat totally into their mountain. 

Lindon (pronounced lin-don)

The edge of Lindon, an Elven city in The Rings of Power

Amazon Prime Video

Center-earth is a giant place, and at this level on this planet’s historical past there are numerous Elvish territories that at the moment do not appear like the ethereal land Galadriel guidelines or the civilized kingdom Elrond presides over within the motion pictures. Earlier than Lothlorien and Rivendell there was Lindon, dominated by Excessive King Gil-galad. Throughout a lot of the Second Age, Elrond truly works for Gil-galad as his herald as a result of he isn’t but thought-about a high-ranking Elf.

Lindon is, for many Elves, the harbor used to journey to both Númenor or Valinor relying in your function. It is a protected harbor and in some ways the house used for the military Gil-galad sends to battle Morgoth. For the aim of this sequence, it is possible Lindon might be thought-about the political seat of energy for the Elves. And since it is an Elven metropolis, you possibly can anticipate it to be staggeringly lovely.

Eregion (pronounced eh-reh-gee-on)

Lord Celebrimbor, thinking about making some powerful rings probably.

Celebrimbor, lord of Eregion in The Rings of Energy.

Amazon Prime Video

Whereas Lindon is the seat of political energy for the Elves, it isn’t the place the motion will possible happen throughout The Rings of Energy. That honor will virtually assuredly go to the Elf-controlled area within the western a part of Center-earth referred to as Eregion presently. Eregion is situated a brief distance from each Khazad-dûm and what’s going to later be generally known as Mordor, which suggests it is near our cool Dwarven characters and properly situated for battle scenes in opposition to Sauron’s military of orcs. 

Whereas Gil-galad is Excessive King of all Elves, Eregion is led by Celebrimbor. As a descendant of Feanor, creator of the Silmarils (we’ll get into these subsequent), Celebrimbor has an unceasing want to create one thing of actual worth for the peoples of Center-earth. Within the books, Celebrimbor and the opposite artists of his realm are guided by Annatar to make The Nice Rings for all of the kingdoms of Center-earth. 

As you in all probability know, that does not go tremendous effectively for everybody and takes just a few thousand years plus a few Hobbits to totally take care of.

Silmarils (pronounced sil-mar-ils)

Three orbs embedded in a gold and silver dagger, representing the three Silmarils

A illustration of the three Silmarils embedded in Galadriel’s dagger.

Amazon Prime Video

A typical misunderstanding about The Rings of Energy is that will probably be based mostly on tales informed in The Silmarillion. As Amazon was unable to safe the rights to make use of The Silmarillion to craft the tales in The Rings of Energy, the precise supply materials getting used will as a substitute be the Appendices in The Lord of The Rings. It is value noting these pages comprise a ton of the timeline elaborated upon in The Silmarillion, together with three jewels referred to as the Silmarils. These are highly effective magic stones created from the facility throughout the two timber that saved Valinor alive. As a substitute of utilizing these stones to revive the timber that Ungoliant and Morgoth destroyed, the stones have been stolen by Morgoth and embedded in his crown to make him extra highly effective. 

When Morgoth is finally defeated throughout The First Age, the Silmarils remained behind whereas the Elves traveled to Center-earth as a result of they have been too highly effective to carry and drove in any other case affordable individuals to lust for energy. You possibly can see a nod to the three Silmarils on Galadriel’s decorative dagger, and it’ll possible be a significant level of debate earlier than Annatar turns into Sauron and forges the rings of energy to present to all of the leaders of Center-earth.

Whereas the creation of the rings will clearly be the main target of this sequence, the Silmarils which got here earlier than them are prone to be talked about fairly a bit on this sequence. 

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