Amazon's Lord of the Rings series could reveal one kingdom’s epic origin story
Before there was Gondor, there was Númenor.
Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series will explore an entirely different time period than Peter Jackson’s live-action film trilogy. Unlike the Lord of the Rings films, which are set during the Third Age of Middle-earth, the Amazon TV series takes place during the Second Age — the era when the Rings of Power were first forged and some of the greatest battles in Middle-earth history were fought.
Therefore, the series has the chance to depict some of the most important places and events in the established Lord of the Rings canon, which up until this point have not been created in live-action form.
That includes Númenor, the kingdom that eventually led to the creation of a place of great significance to Lord of the Rings fans: Gondor.
Númenor in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings
Early signs point towards Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series placing a heavy focus on Númenor. The island kingdom is one of only a few locations specifically mentioned in the series’ official synopsis, along with the Lindon (the elf-capital) and the Misty Mountains, which many have taken as a hint that the Dwarf kingdom of Khazad-dûm (aka, Moria) will also be a central location in the series.
The synopsis goes on to state that the mentioned kingdoms will go on to “carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.” That means the series could very well depict both the rise and fall of Númenor, and therefore, also explore the founding of Gondor.
The Rise and Fall of Númenor — Númenor was an island kingdom originally created and given to a race of men known as the Dúnedain as a gift from the beings who had shaped the world. It was given to them with the understanding that they were not allowed to use the island to sail westward into the Undying Lands — a place they were forbidden from ever entering.
For years, Númenor was a powerful and thriving kingdom, with the Númenóreans living far longer than the men of Middle-earth and achieving strong relations with the Elves. However, after the Númenoreans captured Sauron and took him as their prisoner, the Dark Lord quickly began corrupting the kingdom and its people. He convinced the Númenoreans to begin worshipping and dedicating human sacrifices to his former master, Morgoth.
As a result of Sauron’s manipulations, the Númenoreans eventually set sail for the Undying Lands — bitter over being banned from it and for being denied immortality. In response, the most powerful deity in the entire Tolkien canon reshaped the world, buried the Númenorean king, and sank both the Númenorean fleet and the kingdom itself beneath the sea.
The only survivors of the destruction were a group of Númenoreans known as The Faithful, who remained friendly with the Elves of Middle-earth and respectful of the divine beings that had created Númenor in the first place. They were warned to leave Númenor prior to the kingdom’s destruction, so they set sail for Middle-earth and eventually founded two new kingdoms there: Arnor and Gondor.
Notably, The Faithful were led to Middle-earth by a Númenorean named Elendil, the first king of both Arnor and Gondor, who also happens to be an ancestor of none other than Aragorn. Elendil is even very briefly seen fighting Sauron and his forces during the prologue of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
The Inverse Analysis — There are few locations as important in the Tolkien lore as Númenor, which makes its inclusion in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series particularly compelling. And if the series does depict as much of the Second Age as some Lord of the Rings fans believe it will, then it’s entirely possible viewers will get to see not only Númenor at its peak powers but also its destruction and the subsequent creation of Gondor.
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