The Bizarre Way Amazon Is Hyping Its Lord Of The Rings Series

Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring

And so it begins. The Lord of the Rings on Prime now has a social media presence on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. There's not much up right now, beyond a map -- and it's a map without labels. However, it's a map that shares some hints and comes with a caption that has serious J.R.R. Tolkien fans in full nerd hype/speculation mode. Casuals may feel baffled just looking at a blank map, but Amazon has plenty of time to broaden the marketing by the time the series premieres in ... well, maybe 2021.

Here's the first post, to get things started:

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A full map post followed, showing Middle Earth, but without location labels like Mordor, Gondor, Rohan, the Shire, etc. Still, it's a map that shows us more of what's to the east than the Middle Earth map fans are used to seeing. This shows us mountains east of the Sea of Rhun, suggesting perhaps that region will be featured in the series.

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There's also the caption -- "Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky," which is the start of Tolkien's quote on the Rings of Power, forged during the Second Age:

Three rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,Nine for mortal men doomed to die,One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne;In the Land of Mordor where the shadows lie.One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them,One ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them;In the Land of Mordor where the shadows lie.

Since they singled out the three rings, there may be some clues there. The three Elvish Rings of Power were called Vilya, Nenya and Narya. They were made by Celebrimbor, chief of the Elven-smiths around year 1590 of the Second Age.

Vilya was given to elven high king Gil-galad, who gave it to Elrond, who kept it at Rivendell until the end of the Third Age. Gil-galad also had Narya, which he gave to Cirdan, who later gave the ring to Gandalf. Nenya was given to Galadriel and it stayed with her.

So now hardcore Tolkien fans are using that to speculate on what the plot of the Amazon series may be about.

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There was a rumor that the Amazon series might follow young Aragorn, the character played by Viggo Mortensen in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films. This map and caption might suggest something else. Then again, Amazon is reportedly planning for five seasons and a possible spinoff. That's a lot of potential story to cover, and they have to start somewhere. In this case, they've started with a vague map.

Amazon was recently at the winter TCA, and studio boss Jennifer Salke only had a brief update on the duo that had been hired to develop the series (via /FILM):

JD Payne and Patrick McKay and their team are making great progress. We’ve established the social handles for the show and there will be more news coming shortly.

She said she didn't have any updates on Peter Jackson's involvement. Back in June 2018, Jennifer Salke had said the'd be in production in two years, with the hope of premiering in 2021.

Amazon's megaseries is expected to cost more than $1 billion, telling stories set before The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. There's a long way to go before we see anything, but you can follow The Lord of the Rings on Prime's social channels for any and all updates. Plus, we'll keep you updated on everything major that happens from here. In the meantime, keep up with what's already airing on TV and streaming with our midseason 2019 premiere schedule.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.