Curiouser and Curiouser: The First Image Out of Amazon’s Second Age Series

Courtesy of Twitter, we now a release date for the upcoming Amazon LOTR/Second Age series: 2nd September, 2022. Which just happens to be the 49th anniversary of Tolkien’s Death.

We also have the first image from the series:

Very pretty. A figure in white robes looking out over a city. Aforementioned figure seems to have short, fairish hair… which ties in with the earlier rumour about short-haired Elves (it’s unlikely to be a Man, given the costume).

But here’s the funny thing. An Elven City in a Second Age setting… it must be Ost-in-Edhil, right? Home of Celebrimbor and his Noldorin smiths? I thought so too.

And then one bright spark on reddit took a closer look:

https://www.reddit.com/r/LOTR_on_Prime/comments/owomqc/after_a_little_photoshop_interference_i_can/

A bit of zooming in, and switching to black-and-white…

And we have the Two Trees.

Yes, those Two Trees. Telperion and Laurelin. This isn’t Ost-in-Edhil, or even Middle-earth. This is the city of Tirion upon Túna… in Valinor. In the First Age of Arda, not the Second.

Amazon’s licensing of parts of The Silmarillion was clearly much more extensive than I imagined. Rather than just giving us enough to know about Morgoth and the War of Wrath (and hence about Sauron’s survival), we’re getting a much more thorough set-up, presumably about why the Noldor are in Middle-earth at all.

Done as a Prologue, of course. This is still a Second Age show, and I am still of the opinion that Amazon wants its claws on the First Age further down the line. You don’t want to spoil the plot of a later project too much.

Well done to the reddit user for spotting this one.

Addendum: I’ve seen speculation on the identity of the person in the foreground. Fairish hair at the time of the Two Trees… there’s no actual need for this to be a known character, but Galadriel (with hair tied up?) would be the obvious candidate. Finarfin, Finrod, and Glorfindel (let alone the Vanyar or the Valar) simply don’t have sufficient narrative connection with later Ages.

So my guess: we’re looking at a prologue narration from Galadriel, giving some background to the series. A structural shout-out to Jackson.

Addendum II: More thoughts here: https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2021/08/04/playing-skadi-the-amazon-identification-debate/

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