Back in 2017, Amazon Studios announced that it had acquired the rights to produce a series set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Since then, there’s been a trickle of news about the production, but aside from a reveal that the series would be set in the world’s Second Age and that the island of Númenor would be involved in some form, there isn’t much that we know about the show.
Now, Tolkien fan site TheOneRing has located the official synopsis for the series, teasing that we’ll not only see Númenor, but familiar locations like the Misty Mountains as well as the “re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth.”
Today, Amazon has officially released the synopsis for the show:
Amazon Studios’ forthcoming series 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 the greatest villain 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 re-emergence 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 furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.
The synopsis gives us a better idea of what to expect for the series: Middle-earth will face the threat of a new, emerging evil, and we’ll see the characters ranging all over places that we’ve already seen in Peter Jackson’s two film trilogies. We know some part of that story already; Jackson set up the end of the Second Age in the prologue for Fellowship of the Ring—the titanic battle between an alliance of humans and elves against Sauron and his forces.
It seems likely that the show will be about some aspect of Sauron’s rise to power and his attempt to control all of Middle-earth. That’s a lot of time to cover, as the Second Age covers more than three millennia. But there’s plenty of familiar points that appear in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in that time: Elrond and Galadriel are around, the Rings of Power are forged in this time, the Ringwraiths are putzing around, places like Rivendell, Gondor, and Minas Morgul are established, and we see folks like Elendil, Isildur, and Sauron playing big roles. Amazon has reportedly planned for the series to run for least five seasons.
The studio has hired Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director J.A. Bayona to helm the show’s first two episodes (he’ll also serve as executive producer), and the studio has already picked up the show for a second season (which will be shot back-to-back with season one). As the synopsis notes, the series will feature a large ensemble cast (which just added twenty new cast members last month).
Amazon hasn’t revealed a formal title or release date for the show.