Originally sold as a series about the Second Age of Middle-earth, Amazon’s first image from the live-action fantasy show revealed, at the very least, parts of it will take place far before that period. It was a major reveal — one that suggests the series’ scope is much larger than we’d been previously led to believe.
As a result, Lord of the Rings fans are starting to wonder whether they’ll get to see some of the major figures from Middle-earth’s Second Age and the eras that preceded it. If so, that means the series has the potential to bring to life on-screen some of the most heroic, villainous, and straight-up legendary characters that author J.R.R. Tolkien ever created, including one of the most powerful Elves who ever lived.
The Theory — Amazon’s confirmation that its Lord of the Rings TV series will depict some of the Years of the Trees means there is potential for the series to feature live-action versions of First Age and pre-First Age Tolkien characters. While we’ve already talked about the possibility for characters like Morgoth and Ungoliant to appear in the series as well, they’re not the only notable characters who could, conceivably, receive some screentime.
There’s also Fëanor, a legendary Elven king whose actions throughout the Years of the Trees resulted in the destruction of many of his people. He shares a connection to one of the most important characters of the Second Age of Middle-earth.
A Real Piece of Work — Born in Valinor, aka The Undying Lands, during the Years of the Trees, Fëanor was a skilled Elven craftsman and smith who crafted many remarkable things throughout his life. That includes the Palantíri, the seeing-stones that allow their wielders to communicate over great distances, which Sauron used to help him corrupt and turn Saruman evil. However, Fëanor’s greatest and most well-known creation were three gems known as the Silmarils, which contained actual light captured from the Two Trees of Valinor.
Fëanor coveted the Silmarils above all else and was obsessed with maintaining sole possession of them. Their theft, in turn, resulted in Fëanor going down a dark path, with Morgoth using Fëanor’s arrogance, pride, and selfishness to manipulate him into leading his people out of the Undying Lands — a decision that would ultimately lead years later to the total destruction of his bloodline.
Fëanor is also the grandfather of Celebrimbor, another important Elven king who Sauron tricks into helping him forge the Rings of Power during the Second Age of Middle-earth. That latter event is rumored to be a significant focus of the upcoming Amazon series, especially if it does take place primarily during the Second Age.
Suppose Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series features a prologue set during the Years of the Trees (as many fans believe it will). In that case, it’s hard to imagine a more thematically essential story or character that it could depict than that of Fëanor and his precious (pun very much intended) Silmarils. Both Fëanor and Celebrimbor, the last member of his bloodline, were ultimately undone by their creations, which makes including the former character in some kind of flashback or prologue seem too interesting of an opportunity to pass up.
The Inverse Analysis — Fëanor isn’t a good guy in the world of Lord of the Rings. In fact, he’s about as selfish and arrogant as they come, but his story is nonetheless one of the most important that plays out during the Years of the Trees. However, not only does Fëanor’s story work on its own, but Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series could also use it as a devastatingly powerful way of foreshadowing the ultimate arc that Celebrimbor’s life takes throughout the Second Age of Middle-earth.
In other words, now that we know the show can depict parts of the Years of the Trees, it seems like a legitimate possibility at this point that Fëanor could end up making his live-action screen debut in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series. You know, just in case Tolkien fans needed any more reasons to be excited about the project.
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series will premiere on September 2, 2022.