Mordor is a region known to everyone in Middle-earth. Has it always been a ravaged and dark area? The Rings of Power series on Amazon Prime Video offers clues.
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It’s an understatement to say that fantasy fans have been in turmoil since September 2. It is indeed since this date that the series has been broadcast The Rings of Power on Prime Video, Amazon’s subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service. And the platform hit hard by releasing not one, but two episodes on day one.
So inevitably, there is something to say – about the characters (including those about whom we do not yet know much), about the general context, about the scenes. Many shots and lines of dialogue could deserve explanation or, at least, to be questioned. But if there is undoubtedly an element on which to linger in priority, it would surely be this one: Mordor.
To say that there is a region in Middle-earth called Mordor can’t really be called a mess. No more than to point out other geographical, historical or cultural realities of the universe of JRR Tolkien. However, as the series takes place thousands of years with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Ringsit also shows new plans.
Mordor before Mordor
This is precisely the case of Mordor, which incidentally was not called that at the time. You should know that this region of the world has not always been desolate and plunged into darkness. It was only during the Second Age that Sauron, a supernatural creature, settled in the area and began erecting his famous tower, Barad-dûr.
The foundation of this fortress occurs around the year 1000 of the Second Age, while the manufacture of the Rings of Power takes place 500 to 600 years later. We do not yet know how the series will approach these two moments, nor how it will show periods of history sometimes distant from tens, or even hundreds of years.
Still, Mordor proved to be a demonstrably livable region in ancient times. The name she had before, if she had a different one, is not known. But in the two episodes of Rings of Power, it can easily be recognized on the maps shown on the screen, since it is an area surrounded by high mountains.
These mountains, which are called the Ashen Mountains (Ered Lithui) for the northern barrier and the Mountains of Shadow (Ephel Dúath) for the western and southern segments, encircle large areas of land, which do not have not always been arid and devastated. This is suggested by some later shots, from which some inferences can be made.
Orodruin, the Mountain of Destiny
But before that, the map above shows a mountain that is somewhat isolated from the others and also a bit higher. This is the Mountain of Destiny. If you have the eye, you will read in legend Orodruin. Red Flame Mountain in an Elvish dialect. Clearly, it is a volcano. It’s THE volcano, even. This is where the One Ring was forged and then destroyed.
As Internet users have pointed out, in particular on Reddit, the series offers some discreet shots of Orodruin, when one is interested in the plot taking place in the “southern lands”. It’s fleeting, but if you focus on what’s happening in the background, you can actually make out a huge mountain — actually a volcano, with its characteristic cone.
Given the maps shown by the series The Rings of Power, these “southern lands” (also called “lands of men”) actually seem to be rather at the far east of Mordor, towards a region of Middle-earth called Khand. It is located southeast of Mordor, which is relatively consistent with the area of these “southern lands”.
We know that in Khand there is a human people, the Variags, who have made an alliance with Sauron on a few occasions. And it is also in this area that the series shows human villages. Nothing says they are exactly the same. Moreover, several thousand years separate what is known of Middle-earth during the Third Age of the Second.
If the series shows “southern lands”, it is not certain that they have something to do with territories actually located even further south, such as Haradwaith (whether Near Harad or Far -Harad). This is where the famous Haradrim come from, which we see in Peter Jackson’s trilogy. They are also Men in the service of Sauron.
The next episodes of rings of power will allow to see in more detail Mordor before the influence of Sauron, but also to determine with more precision the places on a map. But given the clues left by the dialogues and the plot of the scenario, we already have the impression that the forces of Evil are at work in the corner.
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