In Tolkien’s creation of this gigantic fictional history that carries the story of Middle Earth, we find many Wonderlands here. Some of these are dreamlike empires adorned with glitter and sophisticated craftsmanship, while others are merely habitable lands surrounded by different settlements, but each place carries historical significance, some of which we see in the two newly released episodes of “The Rings of Power.”
Middle Earth is vastly discussed throughout almost all of Tolkien’s universe. Middle Earth, or Endor in the Quenya language, is the repository of all significant places. The various species inhabiting this Middle Earth have developed empires or habitable lands that bear the greatest monuments to Tolkien’s fictional world. In the “Lord of The Rings” Trilogy, we find references from Elves, Hobbits, to the Men of Rohan, which are also mentioned in the adaptation, “The Rings of Power”, presented almost twenty years later. In Middle Earth, we find the kingdoms of Elves, Lindon, and Eregion; in the north-west, the Dwarven kingdom of Khazad-dum; in the south-east, the Southlands, which shelter several men’s villages; and in northern Middle Earth, we see Rhovanian, where the Harfoots settled at the foot of the Misty Mountains.
Middle Earth is located north of Hither Land and west of the East Sea. Under the influence of the god Eru and his Valar and Melkor, its map was changed many times from the First Age to the Second Age. When Morgoth is defeated in the terrible War of Wrath, Finrod vows to protect Middle Earth from Morgoth’s favored disciple, Sauron, the Dark Lord (portrayed in the series), and after Finrod’s death, his sister Galadriel, one of the greatest of Elves, continues her brother’s task.
From the west of the Blue Mountains to the east of Beleriand lies Lindon, also known as the Kingdom of the Elves. Lindon, named by the Noldor, is the kingdom of Gil Galad in the western part of Middle Earth, established at the beginning of the Second Age. The kingdom of Lindon was the only survivor of the terrible War of Wrath with Morgoth. Gil-galad was the last High King here.
The Eregion, or Holin, was the realm of the Noldorian Elves in the Second Age, located on the western edge of Moria. Celeborn and his wife Galadriel ruled here in 750 SA (according to Tolkien’s works) and later Celebrimbor, Feanor’s successor, ruled the kingdom. Celebrimbor here worked with Annatar to forge the 9 rings of great value but working on the rings was suspended when Annatar later revealed himself to be Sauron. Eregion was destroyed in Sauron’s war with the Elves. In this timeline of the series, where Galadriel is still young, Celebrimbor is already ruling Eregion and is about to ally with the Dwarven kingdom in preparation for building a tower.
The name Southlands is a non-canonical name in the series, used as an alternate name for Mordor. Mordor, or the Southland, was Sauron’s realm, stretching from southwestern Middle Earth to eastern Gondor. The small villages where the Men reside, in the interior of the Southlands or west-central Mordor, are mentioned to bear the importance of the story. Mordor is a name we have heard before in the “Lord of The Rings Trilogy,” where Sauron’s ring was destroyed. Mordor is a volcanic land located near Mount Doom. In the series “The Rings of Power,” the Orcs, the army of Sauron, take over some villages in the Southlands, where Galadriel wants to reach to extinguish the dark lord.
Horden, Tirharad, and Ostirith
Horden, Tirharad, and Ostirith are the series-invented names of the villages that inhabited Mordor, or the Southlands. The people who lived here, or their ancestors, were loyal followers of Sauron, but in the Second Age, a sylvan elf named Arondir and a former resident of Hordern, Bronwyn, saw the village set on fire, possibly by Orcs, which led them to investigate further. Brownyn was born in Hordern but shifted to Tirharad as she grew up. Even so, the man whom Galadriel met in the Sundering Sea might be the former resident of Horden, as he quoted, “it’s ashes now” while he’s asked about his home.
Arda’s Northern Waste is known as Forodwaith, tucked into the Iron Mountains. covered by an icy mountain and frozen land, influenced by the “evil-cold” of Morgoth. Galadriel raids Forodwaith after Finrod’s death and arrives at Morgoth’s fortress, which is infested with ferocious creatures such as Snow Trolls.
The great fortress that Galadriel and her companions arrive at through the Iron Mountain of Forodwaith is probably Morgoth’s Fortress, Angband in Utumno.
The vast empire of the Dwarves, established underground in the Misty Mountains, is known as Khajad Dum or Moria. Khajad Dum, situated in the northern east of Eregion, is the most famous realm of Durin Folk among all the Dwarven realms. This kingdom was first established by King Durin before the First Age. There it was, home to the most precious mineral, Mithril, that could not be found anywhere else on all of Middle Earth. However, after three generations of Durin the Deathless died, Durin IV began to reign here in the Second Age.
Beleagar is known as the Sundering Sea. This vast sea flows to the west of Middle Earth. The Sundering Sea was a lake before two lamps or trees were uprooted by Melkor, but later, it expanded into a vast ocean that stretched between Aman and Middle Earth. The Sea Serpents, Worms, and various other monstrous aquatic animals live in the deep waters of this sea.
Wilderland, at the foot of Misty Mountains in northern Middle Earth, lies on the banks of the Great Anduin River. Wilderland is also known as Rhovanian. In Tolkien’s written history, the Hobbits of the Stoor race lived in the Gladden Fields next to Rhovanian forest, Greenwood. The Harfoots then migrated here in 1050 TA. But in the ” The Rings of Power,” through the settlement of the Harfoots, Rhovanian’s habitation is shown to be the ancestors of Hobbits.
Valinor, known as the Land of the Valar, was located on the continent of Aman, far across the sea from Middle Earth. The heart of Valinor, or the Undying Land, were two ancient trees that were destroyed by Melkor, or Morgoth. Valinor’s history begins with these two trees that Melkor destroyed and extinguished the true light of Valinor. The holy land of Valinor was rich in happiness and health, over which Melkor cast a shadow of darkness. When the Elves arrived on Middle Earth in 1050 SA, to protect them from Melkor, the Valar brought the Eldar Elves among them to Valinor, and the Maiar, Valar, and Elves lived in peace. The Elves of the Noldor built their kingdom in Tyrion, whose ruler was Finwe. Later, his son, Prince Finarfin, was born here, and later so did his daughter, one of the Greatest Elves, Galadriel. Finally, to survive Morgoth’s plague, the elves had to settle in Middle Earth, across a vast sea.
“The Rings of Power” is a timeline that is followed thousands of years before the “Lord of The Rings trilogy”, therefore some sort of changes is made, some non-canonical names we have heard, and fresh new places are explored in the series. But all in all, our experience has become lively through this series, so we are eager to see more such innovations in the upcoming episodes.