Last night Amazon revealed the first image from their upcoming Lord Of The Rings television show, a hugely anticipated series.
Pulling back the curtain on the series ever so slightly, Amazon shared the first look image on social media alongside an announcement of a 2nd September 2022 release date.
But what does this image tell us about the upcoming show aside from the fact we can expect gorgeous visuals? Let’s dive into it.
It appears that this image has revealed that at least part of the series will take place in Valinor, which you may remember is the realm also known as ‘The Undying Lands’ Frodo and co. sail off to at the end of the film Return Of The King.
It is also the birthplace of Galadriel, the character Cate Blanchett played in director Peter Jackson’s movies.
Home to the immortal Valar (essentially archangels), the elves also reside in the coastal region of the realm, Eldamar, as also being immortals they are allowed to live there.
The ‘Undying Lands’ name is somewhat misleading though as the realm itself does not cause immortality. According to the lore, only immortal beings are allowed to reside there, with the exception of surviving bearers of the One Ring such as Frodo and Bilbo.
The Two Trees Of Valinor
But what clue gave the location away? Well, if you look to the right of the citadel, to the light source in the background, two figures from Lord Of The Rings lore appear to be standing there: The Two Trees Of Valinor.
You can see the silhouette of the two trees, which are known as Laurelin (The Gold Tree) and Telperion (The Silver Tree), next to what is presumed to be the city of Valmar.
Not only do the trees seemingly confirm part of the story takes place in Valinor, but it helps us to date the image too. That’s because the trees were created during ancient times by the Valar to bring light to the land.
They were then destroyed by Melkor (a Valar who is the main antagonist of The Silmarillion) and his primal spider ally Ungoliant (the distant mother of Shelob). After their destruction, the trees’ last flower and fruit were used by the Valar to create the Sun and the Moon.
What’s interesting is that it has been confirmed that the show partly takes place during Middle Earth’s Second Age, which is thousands of years after the destruction of the two trees.
This image not only suggests then that we will see Valinor in the series, but the fact the trees are still standing teases that the series will cover several eras.
Perhaps this image is from a prologue, with the mysterious figure being one of the Valar?
Although much of the story is shrouded in secrecy, we do know that it will cover the Fall of Númenor, an island inhabited by men blessed with long life.
The land has ties to Valinor as Númenor’s King Ar-Pharazôn become resentful of the realm’s ban on mortals. Under the influence of the insidious Sauron, the King invaded Valinor, a mission that failed spectacularly causing a cataclysmic retribution.
That retribution caused Númenor to sink beneath the sea, turned the world upside going from flat to round, and hid the land of Valinor from the reach of the physical realm.
So it’s no surprise then Valinor has a role to play in the show’s story, we will just have to wait until September next year to see what it all means for the series.
Amazon’s Lord Of The Rings TV series airs from 2nd September 2022 exclusively on Prime.