Filming on the new Lord of The Rings series resumed at the end of September in Auckland, New Zealand with a cast that consists of Robert Aramayo, Markella Kavenagh, Morfydd Clark, Ema Horvath, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, and Joseph Mawle.
The new series writers will have to fill in many blanks and may be allowed to use certain characters that were around in during The Second Age but unlike the original novels and The Simarillion (they don’t have access to The First Age material) showrunners will have to piece together a Middle-Earth series based on small tidbits and scraps instead of full novels as blueprints.
One key thing we do know is that Numenor will be featured, an advanced island kingdom in the West that is the Middle-Earth version of Atlantis that is eventually corrupted by Mairon aka Sauron (in his more beautiful form) leading to it’s doom because of their jealously of the immortality of the Elves. Sauron at this point is the former second in-command of the original Dark Lord, Melkor aka Morgoth, who was banished to the void before the start of The Second Age.
After stoking distrust of the Elves, Sauron eventually convinces Numenor to invade the Undying Lands leading to their fleet of ships to be destroyed along with the kingdom of Numenor returning to the water, an obvious nod to the Atlantis myth.
Other notable events in The Second Age include the creation of the Rings of Power by Sauron and Celebrimbor. An elf Prince of The Noldor, Celebrimbor was the ruler Eregion and was killed by Sauron after hiding the lesser rings. We’ve seen a version of this character covered in The Shadow of Mordor and The Shadow of War video games that had Celebrimbor as a playable character in the form of a wraith looking for revenge against Sauron.
I’d personally love to see Celebrimbor explored in the series.
Towards the end we see the fall of Sauron at The War of The Last Alliance at the hands of Isildur that was shown in the opening sequence in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Rings. I think it’ll be interesting to see if they would be willing to show Sauron’s perspective during his rise to power as he’s been mostly an ominous figure in previous live-action adaptations.
Some of those tidbits from The Second Age that could also show up in the new series could possibly see two wizards that really have only been briefly mentioned in passing show up. The Blue Wizards, Alatar aka Morinehtar (Darkness Slayer) and Pallando aka Rómestámo (East Helper), were according to Tolkien important unseen players in both The Second and The Third Ages as they helped to stir up rebellions against Sauron in the dark East.
The pair could be excellent replacements for Gandalf, who won’t be part of the show.
There are convincing fan theories that the duo after falling to evil of Sauron at some time in the Third Age could have been the evil force in J.R.R. Tolkien’s sequel to The Lord of The Rings titled The New Shadow (13 pages) taking place in a never fully realized Fourth Age where the world of man has forgotten Sauron. This isn’t hard to imagine given that Sauron was also Maia (like the five wizards) before becoming a minion of Margoth and taking his place as the second Dark Lord. Fellow wizard Saruman was eventually turned by Sauron and attempted his own power grab becoming a main villain for a good chunk of the Lord of The Rings trilogy.
The Fourth Age could be worth exploring at Amazon once they’ve finished-up with The Second Age as it would allow them return to Middle-Earth and explore something never fully developed by J.R.R. Tolkien given that they don’t have access to The First Age. Although, I’m not sure if that will actually happen and the Tolkien Estate could have a change of heart.
Men of The White Mountains could play a role in the latter part of the series as they were worshipers of Sauron that promised to aid Isildur in The War of The Last Alliance. They were cursed by Isildur after breaking their oath leading to them becoming the Army of The Dead aka Oathbreakers that were only released after helping Aragorn during The War of The Ring.
I’ve been hearing that Amazon will be deviating from the Peter Jackson films visually and we could be seeing different takes of characters/creatures we’ve previously seen in the six films. I’ll be very curious to see those changes and if fans will be all-in given for their love for what Peter Jackson accomplished.
We already know from Hugo Weaving that he’s not interested in reprising the Elrond role anytime soon, which would further suggest that we might not see any actors from the films who played elves return to their roles in the Amazon series despite those characters being around in The Second Age. Adding to the talk that the series won’t be as connected to the Peter Jackson films as originally thought and becoming it’s own take on Middle-Earth.