Amazon has finally, at long last, released the first tangible image from its upcoming, long-delayed, incredibly expensive Lord of the Rings series, and we can hear the speculation engine firing up across the web in preparation. Seen above, and then below in some more detail, the first shot from the series was released in conjunction with the wrapping of filming of the series first season in New Zealand. It’s still not due to premiere for more than a year, currently being penciled in for Sept. 2, 2022 on Amazon Prime.
As for what this particular image contains, there are several kernels here that hardcore LOTR and Tolkien fans will find very interesting. The image depicts a single figure in white, either an elf or human being, on a green hill in front of a magnificent city or fortress. It’s hard to tell what exactly this location would be—the full description of the series name-checks various locations, such as the Western elven capital of Lindon, and the glorious human island kingdom of Númenor, although we would speculate that the latter might be even bigger and more impressive than this. The really interesting thing, though—which you can see in more clarity by clicking the photo below—is the clear outline of two giant, luminous trees on the horizon, which seem to clearly correlate with the two lost Trees of Valinor, the original source of all light and beauty in Tolkien’s universe. This doesn’t make a lot of sense in terms of when the series is occurring—the Second Age of Middle Earth is long after the death of the two Trees of Valinor, but perhaps this might be a flashback of some kind to Valinor itself? Anything is possible.
Amazon describes the still-unnamed series thusly:
Amazon Studios’ forthcoming series brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.
The LOTR series, whatever it ends up being called, is led by showrunners and exec producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, and stars a sprawling ensemble cast that includes Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Lloyd Owen, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, Daniel Weyman, and Sara Zwangobani.
How long will it be before we get a second image for the series, much less some footage? Somehow, we have a feeling you’ll have to make do with this one for quite a while.