Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series is set during the Second Age of Middle-earth, which means it’ll primarily focus on different characters and locations than those already known to fans of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings film trilogies.
That said, the Amazon series has an incredible chance to reveal the origins of one of the most important and beloved locations J.R.R. Tolkien ever created – and we can’t imagine they’ll pass up the opportunity to do exactly that.
The Theory — The Second Age of Middle-earth saw the founding of several locations that ended up playing important roles in the epic sagas of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
With that in mind, many Lord of the Rings fans are speculating that Amazon’s series will make use of its Second Age setting to visit places like Moria and even depict the construction of major locations like Gondor and Barad-dûr (Sauron's main stronghold in Mordor). It’s for that very reason that some fans also believe Amazon’s Lord of the Rings will show fans the construction of one iconic Elven stronghold.
We are, of course, talking about Rivendell.
The Origins of Rivendell — One of the major conflicts of the Second Age of Middle-Earth, the War of the Elves and Sauron broke out after the Elves discovered Sauron’s plans to use the One Ring to rule over all of Middle-earth. While the Elves ultimately triumphed in this conflict, thanks in part to aid provided by the Númenóreans, they also suffered heavy losses.
Destroyed in this great war was the mighty Elven kingdom of Eregion, which Sauron and his forces laid waste to. That kingdom’s downfall forced Elrond (played by Hugo Weaving in the Lord of the Rings films) and a number of surviving Elves to retreat from Sauron’s forces. They eventually found safety in a valley, which they transformed into the Elven stronghold later known as Rivendell.
Sauron laid siege to Rivendell after it had been constructed, but he failed to destroy it as he had previous Elven kingdoms. As a result, Rivendell became a place of refuge for any Elves fleeing Sauron’s wrath. With Elrond as its leader, the kingdom stood tall, until his eventual departure at the end of the Third Age.
The Inverse Analysis — The live-action Lord of the Rings film trilogy was full of stunning locations and creations, but none (in this writer’s opinion) were more visually gorgeous than Rivendell.
The majesty and magic with which this Elven stronghold was brought to life in both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies remains a stunning accomplishment on the part of director Peter Jackson and his collaborators. So even if the Amazon series’ version of Rivendell were to differ from the one seen in those films, seeing its construction at all remains an undeniably exciting prospect for fans.
What’s even more alluring about this potential element of the upcoming series is that Rivendell could presumably function in much the same way it did in Lord of the Rings: as a peaceful safe haven from the violence that will surely threaten to envelop Middle-earth on all sides.
AMAZON’S LORD OF THE RINGS SERIES DOES NOT YET HAVE A RELEASE DATE.