Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series has the potential to cover plenty of places in Middle-earth that previous adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work have lacked the bandwidth to explore.
The series is set during the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth, meaning it takes place years before the Lord of the Rings trilogy and will focus on events and places that may have only been passingly referenced or alluded to during the War of the Ring.
The series, which does not yet have a release date, could even take fans to one of the most important and mythical locations that Tolkien ever wrote about.
The Theory — It’s already been confirmed that the Lord of the Rings TV series will feature Númenor, an island kingdom of Men that played a pivotal role in the events of the Second Age. While many believe the Amazon series will start out by depicting the original forging of the Rings of Power as well, it’s long been rumored that the series will also adapt the epic fall of Númenor.
If that turns out to be true, and the series’ take on this mythical kingdom’s destruction proves faithful to the established canon, then it’s very possible Amazon’s Lord of the Rings could pay a visit to the Undying Lands.
Storming the Undying Lands — In the Lord of the Rings mythology, the Undying Lands are where the immortal beings who shaped and rule over Middle-earth continue to reside. It’s a realm of great power and beauty, but one that Men are banned from setting foot in. With the exception of a select few individuals (including Frodo Baggins, brought there at the close of the Lord of the Rings trilogy), only immortals are allowed to live in the Undying Lands.
The Undying Lands played a key role in the ultimate fall of Númenor. In its early days, the island kingdom enjoyed a cordial relationship with the realm and the beings residing there, but that dynamic gradually soured over time. The Númenoreans eventually grew resentful of their ban from the Undying Lands and began to believe they were deserving of the immortality that had long been denied to them.
Goaded by the corruptive influence of Sauron, the Númenoreans ultimately set sail for the Undying Lands. Led by Ar-Pharazôn, the last king of Númenor, the Númenoreans resolved to go to war, claiming the Undying Lands (and immortality) for themselves. The Númenorean ships even reached the Undying Lands and its army came ashore.
Their quest was brought to a swift end, though, when Eru Ilúvatar, the most powerful deity in Tolkien canon, buried the invading Númenoreans under mounds of dirt, sinking Númenor beneath the sea and reshaping the world from flat to round.
The Inverse Analysis — The fall of Númenor is one of the most epic and poetic chapters in the entire Lord of the Rings mythology, and Tolkien’s description of the moment when the Númenoreans arrive in the Undying Lands is an all-timer:
But the fleets of Ar-Pharazôn came up out of the deeps of the sea and encompassed Avallónë and all the isle of Eressëa, and the Eldar mourned, for the light of the setting sun was cut off by the cloud of the Númenóreans. And at last Ar-Pharazôn came even to Aman, the Blessed Realm, and the coasts of Valinor; and still all was silent, and doom hung by a thread. For Ar-Pharazôn wavered at the end, and almost he turned back. His heart misgave him when he looked upon the soundless shores and saw Taniquetil shining, whiter than snow, colder than death, silent, immutable, terrible as the shadow of the light of Ilúvatar.
Aside from being a gripping and moving piece of writing, the above passage indicates just how visually stunning a live-action take on the Undying Lands could be.
As Amazon’s series is already set to explore Númenor, charting the kingdom’s decline with this storyline opens the door for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series to visit some extraordinarily haunting and beautiful locales. You know, just in case the series didn’t already sound intriguing enough.
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series does not yet have a release date.