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Amazon to Use Rise of Sauron, Fall of Middle Earth Atlantis for LOTR Prequel Series

On Thursday, Amazon released new details about its upcoming The Lord of the Rings prequel television series. The show will take place in the Second Age of J.R.R. Tolkien's universe, the 3,441 years before the Third Age, the time period in which The Lord of the Rings takes place. This is an age of heroes, featuring the rise of Sauron, the fall of Middle Earth's version of Atlantis, and the last alliance of men and elves against Sauron — featured in the opening scenes of The Fellowship of the Ring.

"One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie," the "Lord of the Rings on Prime" account tweeted Thursday morning. The tweet featured a map of Middle Earth showing Numenor, a mythic land most similar to the stories of Atlantis.

The Amazon LOTR account shared another tweet reading, "Welcome to the Second Age," with the link to an interactive map of Middle Earth.

The Second Age spans more than three millennia. In that time, men and elves form an alliance and the Valar (angels underneath an all-powerful God) invite men to live in Numenor, a large island between Middle Earth and the Undying Lands. Men prosper, but Sauron rises. The rings of power — featured so prominently in the Peter Jackson trilogy — are forged.

Sauron battles with the elves, and he loses. But eventually, Sauron rises from prison to advise a king of men, making him suspicious of the fact that men are not allowed to partake in immortality in the Undying Lands. He fosters rebellion, and he ensnares the nine men who will become the Nazgul, the Ringwraiths of The Lord of the Rings.

The Second Age ends with Numenor sinking into the sea, another massive battle with Sauron, and Sauron's loss of the Ring of Power — the moments at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring.

LOTR fans will cheer the announcement, as the Second Age presents a great time for a television series.

Some fans may be disappointed, however. Previous reports have suggested that the prequel series will focus on young Aragorn, but Aragorn did not live in the Second Age.

Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.