'Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.'
Source: Prime Video

'The Rings of Power' Takes Fans Back to Middle-earth — When Does It Take Place?

Allison DeGrushe - Author
By

Aug. 30 2022, Published 4:44 p.m. ET

Prepare to channel your inner hobbit with the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

The upcoming Prime Video original — which is the most expensive television series ever made — takes viewers back to Middle-earth and follows an "ensemble cast of characters as they confront the re-emergence of evil," according to its official synopsis.

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Since the highly-anticipated series plans to explore the origins of several central conflicts introduced in the beloved Lord of the Rings franchise, we can't help but wonder: When does The Rings of Power take place? Let's find out!

'Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.'
Source: Prime Video
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When does 'The Rings of Power' take place?

Like HBO's hit series House of the Dragon, the long-awaited Prime Video production is a prequel. To be more specific, The Rings of Power takes place during the fictional world's Second Age, thousands of years before the events of the renowned film series and J.R.R. Tolkien's books, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

According to showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, The Rings of Power "unites all the major stories of Middle-earth’s Second Age: the forging of the rings, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the epic tale of Númenor, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.

"Until now, audiences have only seen on-screen the story of the One Ring — but before there was one, there were many … and we’re excited to share the epic story of them all," they stated in a press release.

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When was the Second Age of Middle-earth?

If you recall, J.R.R. Tolkien devised four time periods, known simply as "Ages," for each of his stories; in this upcoming television series, viewers will arrive at the Second Age. For those unaware, the Second Age begins in the aftermath of the War of Wrath, aka the Great Battle. This catastrophic battle eventually led to the banishment of Morgoth into the void by the Lords of the West.

Ships set sail in 'Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.'
Source: Prime Video
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During this era, Sauron — a servant of Morgoth — dominates the Westlands and eventually tempts the Eleves to forge the One Ring, the most powerful and dangerous creation ever constructed in Middle-earth since it allowed Sauron to exercise control over the other Rings of Power, including Narya (the Ring of Fire), Nenya (the Ring of Adamant), and Vilya (the Ring of Air).

How long is the Second Age?

Let's be honest; the Second Age is really long!

The era lasted for 3,441 years in total and documented the rise of Sauron following the defeat of his master, Morgoth. During the Second Age, Sauron assembled armies and appointed himself the Dark Lord. He also built a fortress in Mordor called Barad-dur, aka the Dark Tower (not to be confused with the Stephen King book series of the same name).

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By the end of the Second Age, Sauron and his army were defeated by Last Alliance of Elves and Men; in the final battle, Isildur managed to conquer Sauron by cutting the One Ring from his finger, ultimately destroying Sauron's human form.

The Ring of Power premieres Sept. 1 at 9 p.m. EST, only on Prime Video.

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