[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Episodes 1 & 2.]
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power goes deeper in the J.R.R. Tolkien lore. Peter Jackson‘s six movies showed many sprawling lands depicted in Tolkien’s maps, but all of the destinations were part of the Third Age of Middle-earth. The Prime Video series, which debuted its first two episodes on Thursday, September 1, takes viewers into the Second Age — a time period briefly seen in The Fellowship of the Ring prologue.
The Second Age wasn’t discussed nearly as much as the third in Tolkien’s books, but its history is covered in The Silmarillion and Tolkien’s appendices. That’s where showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay pulled their plot from, and with so much space to fill in, there are bound to be creative liberties taken (don’t freak, Jackson took creative liberties, too and Tolkien wanted people to make further interpretations of his work).
One of the most exciting things about a Lord of the Rings TV show is that there’s more time and space (and thanks to Prime Video, a lot of funding) to take viewers to more places on Tolkien’s maps. The series kicks off with one of the most exciting visuals: Valinor, home of the elves before they crossed the Sundering Seas into Middle-earth where many would remain for the rest of their days.
Here, we break down the new locations seen in The Rings of Power‘s first two episodes, from elf and dwarf kingdoms and rich cities to some of Middle-earth’s most insidious locales — each reveal sure to delight Tolkien fans and Lord of the Rings newcomers alike thanks to the absolutely stunning visuals.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Thursdays, 9/8c, Prime Video