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When Does the ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series Take Place?

Amazon’s new show is set before the events of LOTR — but how long before?

The first teaser trailer for “The Lord of the Rings” series debuted during the Super Bowl on Sunday, leaving many tantalized – and a little perplexed. While the teaser confirmed that the show takes place before the events of “The Lord of the Rings,” it didn’t exactly explain how long it’s set before the Fellowship was formed.

Amazon Prime Video has been tight-lipped about the exact nature of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” but we know that the show is based on The Appendices written by J.R.R. Tolkien that further flesh out the world that he created in his books “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.”

We also know that “The Lord of the Rings” TV series takes place during the Second Age of Middle-earth, and is set “thousands of years” before the events of “The Lord of the Rings,” which make up the Third Age.

But what does that mean exactly? The Second Age spanned over 3,000 years and in the beginning was marked by relative peace, but soon turned deadly when Sauron first rose to power. The Second Age covers the original forging of the Rings of Power and the first battles with Sauron as he obtains the One Ring and fights the Elves. During this extended period of the Second Age, Sauron is actually defeated twice – the events that many remember from the prologue in “The Fellowship of the Ring” film are from Sauron’s second uprising.

All of this and more is expected to be covered in “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” which while technically a prequel set thousands of years in the past does also feature younger versions of near-immortal characters we’ve met before: namely the elves Elrond and Galadriel, played by Robert Aramayo (young Ned Stark in “Game of Thrones”) and Morfydd Clark (“His Dark Materials”), respectively.

The official synopsis for “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” is as follows:

Prime Video’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and one of the greatest villains that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared reemergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the farthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.

“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” premieres on Prime Video on Sept. 2, with new episodes released weekly.

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