The Lord of the Rings series isn’t just about four hobbits who team up with some warriors and a wizard to go destroy a ring. The Hobbit isn’t just about one hobbit who meets a ton of dwarves, then saves five armies from killing one another. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are actually the end result of a story spanning multiple continents and hundreds of thousands of years. In actuality, the conflicts depicted in the movies are actually a small, sad echo of a war between gods, with battles so devastating that Middle Earth is still sad about it. As much as we’d all love to see a TV series about that time period, Amazon is giving us something else: a series about the sixty years between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
While this time isn’t all that eventful battle-wise since all the wars are over for the time being and the Shire doesn’t really fight, these six decades actually set up a lot of the action in The Lord of the Rings. There’s a lot riding on this series: this is the first TV series in this franchise ever, and the first major project approved since Christopher Tolkien stepped down from his place in the Tolkien estate. We might end up getting a series that’s kind of a mess, but considering the work Amazon has done in TV so far, we can assume that this will be more than worth watching. However, we know nothing about what the series could be covering. Here are fifteen things that the series could cover that happened within the sixty years between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
15. Bard The Bowman Is Crowned King Of Dale
Bard the Bowman had a pretty eventful life after his time in The Hobbit. After firing the arrow that killed Smaug, he jumped into the lake at Laketown and swam ashore. The people were so thankful that they wanted him to be their king, but he turned that down, choosing instead to serve Laketown in his old job. Eventually, he went to Dale, his ancestral home, to help rebuild it, and several years later he became the king of that city. He established a good relationship with the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain, which was being ruled by Dain in the absence of Thorin, the heir to the line of Durin, and his nephews Fili and Kili. Under Bard’s rule, Dale became a great city once more, and when Bard died, his son Bain succeeded him.
14. Boromir And Faramir Are Born
Boromir and Faramir are also on the young side, at least when you compare them to the rest of the Fellowship. Boromir was 41 when he set out from Gondor to go join the Fellowship, making him ten years younger than Frodo and two years older than Sam. However, because Boromir isn’t a hobbit, he’s a battle-hardened veteran instead of a guy just coming into adulthood. Faramir is five years younger than Boromir, making him 36 at the time the story starts. While they’re pretty young in comparison to say, Aragorn and Gimly, they’re way older than the Rohan siblings Eomer and Eowyn. Eomer, the future king of Rohan, is 28 when we first meet him, while Eowyn, Faramir’s future wife, is 24 when the story starts. Everyone else in the story was born way before this 60-year mark.
13. Sauron Moves Back To Mordor And Mount Doom Becomes An Active Volcano Again
Sauron spent his time in the Hobbit living in a fortress called Dol Guldur in Mirkwood. He spent a couple of thousand years recovering from a major, embarrassing loss to the Last Alliance, which we saw in the beginning of the Lord of the Rings movies. Eventually, he started gaining his strength back, which is when he moved to Mirkwood. He got stronger because nobody realized who he really was, but eventually, he got driven out. Thanks to him losing the Ring, which was in the possession of Bilbo at this point, it was actually pretty easy to drive him out of Mirkwood. Unfortunately, that left Sauron looking for a new place to live. He moved back to Mordor soon after his banishment and adopted the symbol of the lidless eye. As much as this could be interesting to see on TV, I don’t think Amazon will go this way because there isn’t much material to fill out a whole show.
12. The Fellowship Hobbits Are Born
During these sixty years, the four hobbit heroes of the Fellowship were born. Frodo was born on September 22nd, 1968 in the Third Age, 78 years after his uncle Bilbo, who was born on the same day. This day is actually known as Hobbit Day in the real world, a holiday which I will admit I have unironically celebrated. Frodo was 51 the day he set out from Rivendell. Sam was born some twelve years later and was 39 on that day. Merry was born two years after Sam, making him 37. Both Sam and Merry would have been considered very young adults who only recently came of age. As for Pippin, he was 29 when the War of the Ring really kicked off, and according to Shire customs, he was still the equivalent of a teenager! If the show was going to skew more comedic, I could easily see the show getting into the early childhoods of our favorite hobbits.
11. Aragorn Learns Who He Really Is
Aragorn was 87 at the time the story starts, so he’s way older than 60 and was alive during The Hobbit. That being said, Aragorn wasn’t Aragorn then. Aragorn was just a human child being fostered at Rivendell by Elrond who went by the name Estel. His dad died young and his mother, Gilraen, was around enough for him to remember her, but she died before the events of the main story. He went by the name Estel until he became an adult so Elrond could keep him safe from the forces that killed his father Arathorn. Once he grew up, Elrond told Aragorn who he really was and gave him his ancestor’s ring, known as the Ring of Barahir (the one with the snakes on it, for those unfamiliar with the books) and the shards of Narsil, the sword that would be reforged and renamed Anduril.
10. Gandalf Finally Finds And Captures Gollum, But He And Aragorn Lose Him
Once Gandalf finally started figuring out that the innocuous, innocent looking ring Bilbo was using during The Hobbit was more than it seemed, he started tracking down Gollum, then the last known bearer of the One Ring of Power. He enlisted Aragorn’s help and succeeded in tracking him down, but they really didn’t find anything out from him. Gandalf had to be really rough with him because Gollum kept dancing around the issue, which he felt pretty bad about. Gandalf then left him with the Elves of Mirkwood, hoping that they could possibly rehabilitate Gollum, but that backfired when Gollum ran away. That was the whole reason why Legolas was at the Council of Elrond to begin with; to let them know that Gollum had escaped.
9. Aragorn Gets Engaged To Arwen
After Aragorn found out who he really was, he spent some time in Lothlorien. Elrond was basically waiting around for Aragorn to step up and take his place in the world under his real identity, so was withholding an heirloom called the Sceptre of Annuminas until he had grown up enough to have it. It was in Lothlorien that he met Arwen and instantly fell in love with her. He was so head over heels for Arwen that he initially mistook her for their shared ancestor Luthien Tinuviel, an elf maiden with literal divine heritage who is widely considered to be the most beautiful woman in the entire history of the world.
Their love story is kind of the second coming of the Beren and Luthien story from the Silmarillion, which is known in-universe as the Lay of Leithian. They eventually got engaged but weren’t allowed to get married until Elrond said it was cool, which was only after Aragorn helped defeat Sauron. Their story was expanded on in the appendices of the books and got some screentime in the movies, so I could totally see the show touching on this.
8. Frodo’s Parents Drown In The Brandywine River
Remember the end of the first Lord of the Rings movie, where Sam jumped into the river to try and stop Frodo from going on alone and Frodo just freaked out because Sam couldn’t swim? This is because Frodo’s parents drowned when he was pretty young and he must have been reliving that pain. The hobbits in the Shire are still debating what happened to his parents because most hobbits don’t know how to swim. Either it was a tragic accident or one of them killed the other, but regardless, it left future main character Frodo homeless. He spent his late teens living with Merry’s family before he got adopted by Bilbo and made into the heir of his estate when he was in his 20s. He would spend several years at Bag End before Bilbo disappeared and Frodo inherited the place.
7. Aragorn Serves Both Rohan And Gondor’s Armies
After Aragorn and Arwen got engaged, Aragorn spent over twenty years of his life traveling around Middle-Earth as the sixteenth Chieftain of the Dunedain, the Rangers of the North. He spent some time in parts of Middle Earth we generally know next to nothing about, like the parts south of Mordor. He spent a lot of time in Rohan, serving King Thengel, Theoden’s father and Eomer and Eowyn’s grandfather. He also spent some time in Gondor, serving the then-current Steward at the time, Denethor’s father Ecthelion. One of his most legendary exploits earned him the name Thorongil: he led an assault on Umbar, burned most of their ships, and killed their ruler personally. After that, he kind of went back under the radar again, traveling back to Lorien to get engaged to Arwen. There’s a lot of material here for a show, especially when you consider the fact that Legolas meets up with Aragorn eventually, so this could be what the show chooses to focus on.
6. Balin Goes To Moria To Set Up A Dwarven Kingdom There, Which Doesn’t End Well
The Hobbit movies gave us a great look at Balin, Gimli’s older cousin, and what a great guy he turned out to be. After the Battle of the Five Armies, Balin mustered up a group of dwarves to go and retake the ancient dwarf kingdom of Moria, a group that included Oin, Ori, and more named dwarves from the books. He was named Lord of Moria and ruled for something like five years. As we learned in the Lord of the Rings series, this ended horribly. The Mines of Moria was overrun by orcs and the dwarves had to deal with a Balrog infestation, so everyone died within five years. When the Fellowship comes across the Mines of Moria, they learn more about what happened to Balin and his friends. An Amazon series about this period of history would be great, but a bit short lived.
5. Bilbo Adopts Frodo As His Heir
When Frodo was in his twenties, his uncle Bilbo took him on as his heir. There were a few reasons for this. For one, Frodo basically had nothing at this point: he was recently orphaned and living with Merry’s family in an area of the Shire known as Buckland. He grew up alongside Merry and Pippin, both of whom were the heirs to their respective seats of power. For another thing, Bilbo was an old bachelor with a ton of people trying to angle for his money, including the Sackville-Baggins family, who were pretty infamous by the end of the series thanks to their role in the Scouring of the Shire. He needed a relative he actually liked to inherit his massive fortune, and Frodo was perfect for that.
4. Theoden Ascends To The Throne
Theoden wasn’t actually supposed to rule Rohan if you really think about it. He’s from the second line of his ancestral house, so in reality, the only reason he’s king is that the people in the first line died. He was a really interesting guy whose history gets kind of glossed over. For example, he was trilingual and spoke Elvish, grew up in Gondor, and adopted his sister’s children Eomer and Eowyn when she died. He ascended to the throne after his father died, and by the time the War of the Ring was happening, he was on the throne for something like forty years. He died before Eomer and Eowyn could really grow up, before both of them got married to Gondorian nobility and had children of their own. The books also gave Theoden a daughter named Idis that got written out of the story.
3. The White Council Disbands
The most important moment in the sixty years between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings was arguably the disbanding of the White Council. Any one of these events not happening could have totally derailed the story, but out of everything, Saruman betraying the forces of good and joining Sauron was the biggest game-changer. The White Council disbanded because of a disagreement over the discovery that the Necromancer in Dol Guldur was Sauron. Gandalf wanted to fight him while Saruman wanted to leave it alone, making the argument that Sauron could never regain his full strength. It was then that Gandalf realized that Saruman meant to betray them. After they defeated Sauron, Saruman lied to everyone and said the Ring was lost, then went to Isengard and prepared for war and finding the Ring, which was the last time the White Council met. Any series about the sixty years between both series would need to incorporate this event in some way.
2. Denethor Gets His Hands On The Palantir
While Theoden was growing up and becoming king, another ruler was ascending to the highest office in government, only he wasn’t a king. Denethor was the first son of Ecthelion the Second, and his life was pretty uneventful before he married his wife, Finduilas of Dol Amroth. She died not long after Faramir was born and he became a really bitter, angry person. Finduilas was also the name of an elf maiden who died tragically in the Silmarillion. He was already Steward of Gondor when his wife died, and his anger at this contributed to his meanness towards Gandalf. Before the War of the Ring started, Denethor got his hands on a Palantir and used it to try and get ahead of what was happening, but he ended up getting corrupted by it much like Saruman did. By the time we all meet him in the main story, he’s basically insane to the point where not just screws, but entire pieces of machinery are loose.
1. Mercenaries From The South Declare For Team Sauron
We learn a lot about Middle Earth from the movies, but if you look at a basic map of the place, you’ll realize that Middle Earth at large is just a really small part of a much larger place. For example, everything that happens in the Silmarillion happens on Beleriand, which is a part of the map that is north of Middle Earth. You can check out the full map of the world right here! Remember the oliphaunt armies and pirate guys of the second and third movies? They come from a place called Harad and Umbar, respectively, and both of those armies ended up declaring for Sauron during those sixty years between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. They served him pretty faithfully, but after all of these armies were defeated towards the end of the War of the Ring, we don’t see them again. We could travel outside of Middle Earth for the Amazon show, but the odds are pretty long for that.
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