October 1, 2022
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‘The Rings of Power’: All the Tolkien Terminology Explained

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Watching The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit is the tip of a large iceberg and it may be a little bit complicated. This goes double for the brand new Amazon collection The Rings of Power. There is a cause people who examine JRR Tolkien’s novels are also known as students. 

However do not panic! You need not learn an epic tome or watch 20 hours of Prolonged Editions to understand this new collection. Armed with no matter you bear in mind from the final time you watched The Lord of the Rings and this fast terminology information, you may be ready to get pleasure from this collection with out feeling terribly misplaced at these phrases you’ve got by no means heard used within the films earlier than.

The Second Age

The Rings of Energy takes place earlier than what you’ve got seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, however not like 10 years again such as you would possibly see in a number of different prequel tales. The Rings of Energy takes place 1000’s of years earlier than the occasions of The Hobbit, throughout a time period known as the Second Age. On this world, giant segments of time are separated by main world occasions. For instance, the scene on the finish of The Lord of the Rings the place everybody will get on these boats and sails away marks the tip of The Third Age.

One of many cool issues about The Rings of Energy telling a narrative within the Second Age is that we’ll get to see characters we have solely beforehand skilled by legend and flashback, in addition to historic characters from the films after they had been younger. Elves reside impossibly lengthy lives until they’re murdered, so on this collection there will likely be character names we have heard earlier than like Galadriel and Elrond and Isildur however a lot, a lot youthful variations of the individuals we have already met. 

Harfoots (pronounced har-foots)

A small humanoid character called a Harfoot

One of many Harfoots, a race seen in The Rings of Energy and ancestor of Hobbits.

Amazon Prime Video

You might have seen in the entire trailers for The Rings of Energy there are not any Hobbits, at the least not as you’d acknowledge them from the films. There’s an excellent cause for this: Hobbits do not exist but! The place Elves, Dwarves, and even Males of The Second Age reside lengthy lives and achieve nice deeds, the ancestors of Hobbits have lifespans a lot nearer to a median human right here in the true world. Meaning their evolution occurs a lot sooner than the opposite races of Center-earth, and what we are going to see in The Rings of Energy are one of many ancestors of Third Age Hobbits, identified on this time as Harfoots. 

In contrast to the Stoors and Fallohides, that are different races that finally come along with Harfoots to develop into Hobbits, the little folks we are going to see in Rings of Energy are nomadic gatherers. They reside off the land, with a extra earthy and pure look to their clothes and habits. Just a few of those Harfoots have been noticed within the trailers already, full with the tell-tale bushy toes and shorter stature. In contrast to Third Age Hobbits, Tolkien described many Harfoots as being darker skinned and are on common smaller than the characters you already know. 

Anticipate Harfoots to play a pivotal position on this collection, even when they do not get as a lot display screen time because the movies’ Hobbits.

Silvan Elves (pronounced sil-vn)

Arondir's wooden armor and fabric cloak on an all-black mannequin

Arondir’s armor from The Rings of Energy, on show at San Diego Comedian Con 2022

Katie Aiani

One of many coolest costumes seen in trailers for The Rings of Energy up to now belongs to the character Arondir, who isn’t talked about in any of JRR Tolkien’s works. Arondir was created as a brand new character out of necessity; the race he represents is talked about a number of occasions throughout Tolkien’s works however by no means given the identical sort of consideration as most of the different races in Center-earth. 

Arondir is a Silvan Elf, and based on Tolkien these elves are separated from the others and scattered throughout a number of worlds. Those that made it to Center-earth have a deep connection to nature, which is why you see Arondir in a wood breastplate with a tree spirit or Inexperienced Man carved into it. What survives of Silvan Elves within the Second Age develop into a part of Lorien, the world of Center-earth we see Galadriel as ruler of in The Lord of the Rings. 

Outdoors of wanting very cool, Arondir and different Silvan Elves we see will likely be distinctive and stand out fairly a bit from the Elves of this time.

Valinor (pronounced vali-nor)

A cloaked figure staring at Valinor in The Rings of Power

The primary picture Amazon Prime Video shared from The Rings of Energy was a nonetheless shot of Valinor with the 2 timber nonetheless alive. 

Amazon Prime Video

The Elves you could have seen throughout all of Tolkien’s films — and shortly this TV collection — reside in Center-earth, however they don’t seem to be from Center-earth. The Elves as we see them migrated to Center-earth from a spot referred to as Valinor, a large land with a number of cities and its personal separate constructs of time and life. The best way Elves and different creatures of Valinor lived whereas there may be wildly completely different from the way in which they reside in Center-earth. 

Elves left Valinor and got here to Center-earth as a result of that they had no selection: The 2 timber that allowed life to exist in Valinor had been destroyed by an enormous spider referred to as Ungoliant and one other being referred to as Morgoth. Ungoliant would later give beginning to the enormous spider Shelob, who practically kills Bilbo and Frodo of their respective tales. Morgoth passes his darkness to his pupil Sauron, who modifications his title to Annatar when he went into hiding from these chasing the remnants of Morgoths military.

Valinor would finally develop into a spot Elves want to return to, which you see on the finish of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The ships Bilbo, Frodo and different board on the finish of the film are touring again to Valinor. Being allowed to return residence earlier than that time was thought-about an incredible honor, so when it is talked about you’ll often hear it in a grand context.

Númenor (pronounced noo-menor)

A massive statue above the kingdom of Númenor

From a trailer for The Rings of Energy, the primary shot of the dominion of Númenor

Amazon Prime Video

We have seen the large white metropolis of Gondor and the far-reaching lands of the horse lords referred to as Rohan, however there was one other Kingdom of Males the place Aragorn’s ancestors got here from referred to as Númenor. This huge star-shaped island was residence to Males who lived for much longer than most of their contemporaries and will construct lasting relationships with Elves and Dwarves. Like Aragorn, most of the individuals from this island had been gifted fighters and nice leaders.

The Males of Númenor aren’t fairly like the lads of the remainder of Center-Earth. They reside fairly a bit longer due to their ancestry, which often results in them being handled as one thing completely different from somebody you’ll meet in Center-earth correct. Most Males of this period have by no means been to Númenor, not to mention acknowledge it as one way or the other ruling all Males of the period. 

Since that is the most important kingdom of Males within the Second Age, there is a good probability a major quantity of this present will happen in Númenor. 

Khazad-dûm (pronounced okay’hah-zahd-doom)

Elrond staring out at the vastness of the underground city made by the Dwarves

Elrond and a Dwarf strolling by the underground metropolis of Khazad-dûm in The Rings of Energy.

Amazon Prime Video

Most folk solely know the dominion of the Dwarves as a tomb and residential to an indignant Balrog who loses a combat with Gandalf. In The Lord of the Rings, we all know this huge underground metropolis as Moria, however within the Second Age it was also referred to as Khazad-dûm. 

In contrast to the scattered, separated model of the Dwarves we see in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, we will see Dwarves of their prime all through The Rings of Energy. That is earlier than the Arkenstone and the incident with Smaug, and earlier than the Balrog is woke up in Moria. (All of that occurs within the Third Age.) As a substitute, we will see Durin and his kin as grasp crafters with political company and hopefully a will to work with the opposite peoples of Center-earth. 

And, sadly, we are going to most likely additionally see no matter leads these proud individuals to retreat absolutely into their mountain. 

Lindon (pronounced lin-don)

The edge of Lindon, an Elven city in The Rings of Power

Amazon Prime Video

Center-earth is an enormous place, and at this level on the planet’s historical past there are numerous Elvish territories that at the moment do not appear to be the ethereal land Galadriel guidelines or the civilized kingdom Elrond presides over within the films. Earlier than Lothlorien and Rivendell there was Lindon, dominated by Excessive King Gil-galad. Throughout a lot of the Second Age, Elrond really works for Gil-galad as his herald as a result of he’s not but thought-about a high-ranking Elf.

Lindon is, for many Elves, the harbor used to journey to both Númenor or Valinor relying in your objective. It is a protected harbor and in some ways the house used for the military Gil-galad sends to combat Morgoth. For the aim of this collection, it is seemingly Lindon will likely be thought-about the political seat of energy for the Elves. And since it is an Elven metropolis, you possibly can count on it to be staggeringly lovely.

Eregion (pronounced eh-reh-gee-on)

Lord Celebrimbor, thinking about making some powerful rings probably.

Celebrimbor, lord of Eregion in The Rings of Energy.

Amazon Prime Video

Whereas Lindon is the seat of political energy for the Elves, it is not the place the motion will seemingly happen throughout The Rings of Energy. That honor will nearly assuredly go to the Elf-controlled area within the western a part of Center-earth referred to as Eregion presently. Eregion is positioned a brief distance from each Khazad-dûm and what’s going to later be referred to as Mordor, which implies it is near our cool Dwarven characters and properly positioned for battle scenes towards Sauron’s military of orcs. 

Whereas Gil-galad is Excessive King of all Elves, Eregion is led by Celebrimbor. As a descendant of Feanor, creator of the Silmarils (we’ll get into these subsequent), Celebrimbor has an unceasing want to create one thing of actual worth for the peoples of Center-earth. Within the books, Celebrimbor and the opposite artists of his realm are guided by Annatar to make The Nice Rings for all of the kingdoms of Center-earth. 

As you most likely know, that does not go tremendous nicely for everybody and takes a number of thousand years plus a few Hobbits to totally cope with.

Aulë’s Beard

Rings of Power

The Dwarven Princess Disa, a brand new character for the Amazon collection The Rings of Energy


When Elrond is begrudgingly invited into Durin and Disa’s residence below the mountain, you hear an exclamation a number of occasions which hasn’t actually been part of Tolkien’s works prior to now. But it surely’s really a reasonably vital factor to exclaim, particularly within the context of the Second Age. 

The place most sentient beings we come throughout in Tolkien’s works have a single creation deity in Ilúvatar, Dwarves of Center-earth are an essential exception. Earlier than the creation of Elves, the deity Aule determined to create his personal offspring to move his information to. Of the numerous god-like beings on this world, Aule is called The Smith as a result of it was his activity to create all the things from highly effective instruments to total land lots. It was essential to him to have beings whose objective was to understand the world and use the weather of the world to create new issues. 

As a result of Aulë didn’t have entry to The Flame Imperishable within the creation of the Dwarves, they don’t seem to be immortal like Elves. So on this Second Age, the Dwarves are nonetheless fairly near their creation story as it has been simply over 1,000 years that Dwarves have existed at this level.

Silmarils (pronounced sil-mar-ils)

Three orbs embedded in a gold and silver dagger, representing the three Silmarils

A illustration of the three Silmarils embedded in Galadriel’s dagger.

Amazon Prime Video

A standard misunderstanding about The Rings of Energy is that it is going to be based mostly on tales instructed in The Silmarillion. As Amazon was unable to safe the rights to make use of The Silmarillion to craft the tales in The Rings of Energy, the precise supply materials getting used will as a substitute be the Appendices in The Lord of The Rings. It is value noting these pages comprise a ton of the timeline elaborated upon in The Silmarillion, together with three jewels referred to as the Silmarils. These are highly effective magic stones created from the ability throughout the two timber that saved Valinor alive. As a substitute of utilizing these stones to revive the timber that Ungoliant and Morgoth destroyed, the stones had been stolen by Morgoth and embedded in his crown to make him extra highly effective. 

When Morgoth is finally defeated throughout The First Age, the Silmarils remained behind whereas the Elves traveled to Center-earth as a result of they had been too highly effective to carry and drove in any other case affordable individuals to lust for energy. You’ll be able to see a nod to the three Silmarils on Galadriel’s decorative dagger, and it’ll seemingly be a significant level of debate earlier than Annatar turns into Sauron and forges the rings of energy to present to all of the leaders of Center-earth.

Whereas the creation of the rings will clearly be the main target of this collection, the Silmarils which got here earlier than them are prone to be talked about fairly a bit on this collection. 

The Unseen World

Frodo is about to put the One Ring on

Frodo Baggins disappears when he places the One Ring on, and that is going to come back up in The Rings of Energy.

New Line Cinema

As Galadriel and her firm make their approach by a frozen former fort, a number of Elves come throughout a workshop the place a useless Orc is plastered towards the wall in a reasonably ugly scene. Galadriel remarks that Orcs will need to have been experimenting with previous energy to entry The Unseen World. This may occasionally look like a brand new factor, however in the event you’ve watched The Lord of the Rings you’ve got really seen this place earlier than. 

This scene is actually exhibiting how Sauron was experimenting with energy that might enable somebody to securely enter and go away The Unseen World, which we see absolutely realized within the movies. 

The Unseen World refers to a kind of parallel magic place, and beings from that place might be invisible to those that are usually not magic. When Frodo places on The One Ring, he disappears and is instantly seen in The Unseen World. Beings of this place can see Frodo extra clearly and work together with him. It is why Sauron and the Ringwraiths may all the time see Frodo when he put the One Ring on. 

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