Amazon has finally nailed down a time period for the new ‘Lord of the Rings’ series. The company revealed the island of Númenor on the interactive map today, which could only exist in the Second Age, and fans on social-media are giddy with excitement.
If you haven’t read ‘The Silmarillion,’ the island of Númenor existed long before Frodo or Bilbo received the ring of power, and is the blessed lands that Aragorn’s ancestors came from in the stories. You can read the book, or watch for a few spoilers ahead.
The island was a special gift from the gods, or Valar, given to a select line of men for helping to defeat the evil Morgoth, master of Sauron. The island was close to the Valar’s undying lands, but not a part of it. The Númenóreans were given long-life and a blessed city to call their own on the island. Eventually, Sauron deceived the Númenóreans, convincing them that the Valar were keeping from them the secret to everlasting life, and the Númenóreans angered the Valar and their island was destroyed. Not all of the Númenóreans betrayed the Valar, and the ‘believers’ were cast out of the city, or left, before it was destroyed. These are the few Númenóreans that came to Middle Earth after the calamity, and the lineage that Aragon comes from.
The Second Age ends when Isildur, father of Aragon, cut the ring of power from Sauron’s hand at the battle of Barad-dûr. The stories of Bilbo and Frodo all take place in the Third Age after Sauron lost his ring to Isildur. The closing moments of the Second Age were shown in the Lord of the Rings movies when Sauron lost his ring after the great sword broke. The fall of Isildur was also shown in the film; that’s when the ring was lost to the river and eventually found by Smeagle a.k.a Gollum.
While we don’t have a release date yet, Amazon is expected to launch the series in 2021. ‘The Silmarillion’ covers The First through Second Age in outstanding detail, and subsequent books like ‘Children of Húrin,’ ‘Beren and Lúthien,’ and ‘The Fall of Gondolin’ expand on the stories told within the book. So you want to read ‘The Simarillion’ first, then read the expanded tales.
Since you have about two years before the series hits Amazon, you can read the ‘The Silmarillion’ right here on Amazon. I prefer the Audible version, as some of the names and Elvish words are hard to pronounce, and I’ve listened to it several times over the years. You can also find the expanded stories on Audible as well.