Amazon’s Lord of the Rings can spotlight one underrated Elven hero
Who's ready to go back to the Grey Havens?
Part of the appeal of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series is its ability to explore characters, periods, and places within J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional world that previous adaptations of the author’s work haven’t.
While a number of familiar figures are expected to appear in the prequel series, the show’s cast will also be made up of characters that fans have either heard of but never seen in live-action form before. That includes legendary Tolkien figures like Fëanor and Morgoth, who may or may not appear in the series but will cast long shadows over much of the events of it either way.
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings could also introduce many non-book readers to one incredibly compelling, but still underrated Elven character.
The Theory — While little is officially known about the plot of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series, we do know that it is set primarily during the Second Age of Middle-earth. Early rumors and leaks also suggest that the series will focus heavily on the corruption and downfall of Númenor and will position Isildur as one of its central protagonists.
Taking all that into account, it seems highly likely that the Amazon series will be able to shine a spotlight on Círdan the Shipwright, the Master of the Grey Havens and one of the most quietly important figures in the history of Middle-earth.
Master of the Grey Havens — Círdan is an Elf renowned for his wisdom, steadfastness, and skill at building ships. In the Second Age of Middle-earth, he serves as the Master of the Grey Havens, the seaport that those who wish to go to Valinor sail from. He builds ships in the Grey Havens and offers them to those who wish to sail West, staying behind while many other Elves (and other beings) are allowed to sail to the Undying Lands.
By the time of the Second Age, Círdan is also the oldest Elf in Middle-earth — hundreds of years older than even Galadriel. And like Galadriel, he advises against the creation of the Rings of Power when Annatar (Sauron in disguise) first offers to help the Elves make them. His advice is ignored, but when Celebrimbor forges the Three Rings of Power meant for the Elves, one of them is given to Círdan.
Throughout the Second Age, Círdan also maintains a strong and healthy relationship with the Númenóreans, welcoming any who come to visit the Grey Havens. Following the creation of the One Ring, it’s said that Sauron leads campaigns against all the Elves except those in Lindon and the Grey Havens because he’s afraid that attacking those Elven territories would result in the full might of an uncorrupted Númenor coming to the aid of its allies.
Of course, Númenor’s might is eventually vanquished by none other than Sauron himself, and only certain factions of Númenóreans survive the island’s destruction.
Years later, at the end of the Second Age, Círdan joins the War of the Last Alliance and is present on the battlefield when Sauron’s physical form is destroyed. He also — and this is worth noting — witnesses Isildur, a surviving Númenórean, take the One Ring for himself. It’s said that both Elrond and Círdan advise Isildur to destroy the Ring following Sauron’s defeat.
The Inverse Analysis — Amazon is being as secretive as it can about its Lord of the Rings series and has so far confirmed very few official plot or character details about the project. That makes predicting the show’s cast of characters more difficult to do than it probably should be at this point.
However, in a show that’s expected to heavily focus on things like the forging of the Rings of Power and the downfall of Númenor, it seems only natural that a character like Círdan would have a prominent role. His connections to both events are surprisingly profound and important, and his perspective could greatly benefit this new Lord of the Rings series.
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series premieres on September 2, 2022.