Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series may take viewers back to one of the most iconic locations from Peter Jackson’s film trilogy.
The upcoming TV show — which is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth — promises to show Tolkien fans plenty of things they’ve never seen before and send them to places they’ve always wanted to see realized in live-action form.
The TV show’s unique setting doesn’t mean it won’t also feature familiar characters and locations from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, though. In fact, fans believe one of the show’s most notable locations will also be one that was visited by Frodo and the rest of the Fellowship on their journey to Mordor.
The Theory — Amazon has been notoriously secretive about its Lord of the Rings series and has released very little information about the project up until this point, despite the fact that it’s still set to premiere sometime this year. However, the streaming service has released an official synopsis for the TV series, and included in the written teaser is the promise that the show will take fans into “the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains.”
While fairly vague, that small excerpt has led many Tolkien fans to believe that part of the Lord of the Rings TV series will be set in the underground kingdom of Khazad-dûm — otherwise known as Moria.
Speak Friend and Enter — If Moria really does appear in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series, then viewers should be prepared to see a very different version of it than was featured in Fellowship of the Ring. Khazad-dûm doesn’t fall and become known as Moria (“The Black Pit”) until the Third Age of Middle-earth when the dwarves’ growing greed gets the better of them and they dig too deep for their precious Mithril, which results in them coming upon the Balrog that is only defeated years later by Gandalf.
Since the Amazon show is set during the Second Age of Middle-earth, Khazad-dûm will be in a much better state in the series than it is in Fellowship of the Ring. Throughout much of the Second Age, Khazad-dûm is a thriving underground kingdom — one made even stronger and more impressive by both the Dwarven refugees from other regions coming to it and the friendly relations established between the Dwarven inhabitants of Khazad-dûm and the Elves from the neighboring kingdom of Eregion.
Now, in the back half of the Second Age, the quality of Khazad-dûm does begin to decline, as the greater conflict with Sauron eventually leads the Dwarves to close the gates of the kingdom — effectively shutting themselves off from the outside world — and their population begins to gradually dwindle. However, since many fans believe the Amazon series will at first focus on the initial forging of the Rings of Power and the ensuing conflict between Sauron and the Elves, it seems fair to assume that Khazad-dûm will still be in a pretty good state at the start of the series.
The Inverse Analysis — Part of the appeal of Amazon’s live-action Lord of the Rings series is the ability it has to delve greater into the history of certain locations and characters featured in both The Hobbit and the Rings trilogy. That’s certainly the case with Khazad-dûm/Moria, which is more often remembered by Lord of the Rings fans for the state it is in when Frodo and his allies come upon it during Fellowship of the Ring than the impressive kingdom it was during the Second Age.
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series, however, has the chance to give both Tolkien fans and casual viewers alike an idea of what the legendary city was like prior to its downfall. At least, that’s what fans can hope for from the series.
Amazon Prime’s Lord of the Rings series is expected to arrive in 2021.