Here’s What You Should Read Before Watching the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Here’s What You Should Read Before Watching the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
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This September we will once again return to Middle-Earth in Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. What’s possibly most interesting about this new series is that it will show us a period of The Lord of the Rings history we’ve never seen before. But does it draw from any of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books in the process?

The Rings of Power: Which books is it based on?

The Rings of Power will take place during the Second Age, which spanned around 3,400 years. The events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place in the Third Age, so there are thousands of years of history to explore here.

To fill in the gaps here, The Rings of Power creators have drawn on Tolkien’s histories of Middle-Earth, including the collection of stories known as The Silmarillion.

The 365-page book was published after Tolkien’s death and edited by his son Christopher, with assistance from fantasy author Guy Gavriel Kay. The Silmarillion covers the ancient history of Middle-Earth and includes events within both the First and Second Ages.

These events, such as the glory and fall of Númenor and the forging of the rings of power, are all likely to be covered in Prime Video’s upcoming series, so this is the best book to read before the series if you want some context. (However, be warned it is not an easy read).

Keep in mind that The Rings of Power is also introducing a handful of new characters and plot events, so don’t expect a strict adaptation of The Silmarillion in the show – it’s more a set of guidelines.

If you want to get even further into the lore of Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s The History of Middle-Earth is another complex series that will likely inform some of the events in The Rings of Power. Again, not an easy read.

lord of the rings of power
Image: Prime Video

We will also see some familiar characters in The Rings of Power, namely younger versions of Galadriel and Elrond. The rise of Sauron also occurs in the Second Age, which we know is a big part of the Third Age in The Lord of the Rings, so expect to see that as well at some point.

If you want some more information on these characters, particularly about where they end up, it’s worth reading Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings or watching Peter Jackson’s films as well.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power streams on Prime Video from September 2.


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