By Mark Haskell
Amazon created a television series based on the “Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien and its appendices. The appendices are what the series is based on, primarily set in the Second Age of Middle Earth. The show was released on Sept. 1.
The Second Age of Middle Earth is thousands of years before the events of the series and the films, where the characters we know from the books are younger and beginning their journeys toward their evolutions - into the familiar characters that the viewers have come to adore.
The series begins during a time of relative peace where Melkor is destroyed and Sauron is hidden and planning his rise back to power. Major events during the Second Age include the forging of the Rings of Power, the fall of the island kingdom of Númenor, and the last alliance between Elves and Men.
The Second Age is where the races of Men, Elves, and Dwarves were all in alliances with each other until they were fractured with differences that were perpetuated into the Third and Fourth Ages of Middle Earth.
The main characters of this new series who hold an extensive role in the films are Galadriel and Elrond. These characters are ancient and mighty in power but are trying to accept themselves and their responsibilities.
Galadriel, daughter of the Golden House of Finarfin and Princess of the Noldorin Elves, is described in this series as having an Amazonian disposition in the art of war.
In the show, Galadriel’s character arc involves her understanding and navigating her inner darkness alongside coming to terms with her brother’s death.
Her quest is full of perils and there are events that twist her original story in the Second Age. Because of these perils and twisted events, Galadriel grows as a person and becomes a just and wise ruler. The Third Age has transformed Galadriel into the Lady of Lothlorien with a wisdom and grace that precedes her age.
Elrond Halfelven, son of Earendil, is described as being a companion to Prince Durin and Princess Disa of Khazad-dum. Elrond is on a quest to find mithril, an ore that will save the entire elven race from fading out of existence.
As the ages pass, Elrond becomes more isolationist because of the death his people have faced until the Quest for the One Ring.
Elrond is trying to live up to his father’s legacy as the Evening Star and thus accepts his role, becoming an intelligent sovereign to the Elves of Rivendell.
Another set of characters trying to find themselves in the world are the father and son duo Elendil and Isildur. They are members of the Kingdom of Numenor, a sea-faring nation that is descended from Elrond’s brother Elros.
He and his son come to Middle Earth to save the Southlands in the series, per Galadriel’s request and the Numenorean fleet leaves after the request is complete.
In canon, the pair return to Middle Earth because of the Downfall of Numenor and create the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor.
The creation of these kingdoms help Elendil, Isildur and Anarion, the brother to Isildur, grow as people and become powerful kings of nations lasting forevermore.
An aspect of this series that might help first-time watchers is that the events of the Second Age are condensed into the show’s episodes.
A facet of the show that I prefer is the evolution of the characters from one version of themselves to another as they’ve come into their own.
Other details that I enjoy about the show are the character development, the music, and the dialogue, which incorporates such bold and uninhibited language.
At first, I did not prefer the action sequences at the beginning of the show. Toward the end of the season, the action scenes have gotten much better.
Regardless of the action sequences, I can say with much confidence that this show has captured my interest and I will continue to watch it with much joy.
A: A powerfully fascinating and eye-capturing show