The universe established by British novelist and scholar J.R.R. Tolkien might appear as expansive and overwhelming to someone unfamiliar with the marvelous realm of Middle-earth as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (currently in Phase Four with more still to come). Additionally, a new addition has been made with the release of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Amazon (sounds catchy, doesn’t it?)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey concludes eight years after The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and 19 years after the final Lord of the Rings movie. Here is a primer to this expansive realm to introduce newbies to Tolkien’s Middle-earth in case you wish to watch the series and stay up with the inevitable social media discussions.
A brief recap
The two most popular and well-known of Tolkien’s books are The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings trilogy (released between July 1954 and October 1955).
The Hobbit chronicles the exploits of the title character, Bilbo Baggins, a little dwarf with hairy feet who sets off with a group of dwarves on a journey to recover stolen goods. He discovers a ring along the road that grants him the ability to become invisible.
Many years later, The Lord of the Rings picks up the narrative when it is discovered that Bilbo’s ring is the One Ring, which was created by the terrible dark lord Sauron as a source of power. Frodo, the nephew of Bilbo, sets off on a perilous quest to destroy the ring and save Middle-earth.
Tolkien’s imagined mythology, which made its premiere in The Hobbit, is situated in the imaginary Middle-earth. However, The Lord of the Rings, which followed later, is when the phrase “Middle-earth” was first employed.
Professor of English literature and linguist Tolkien was a language specialist, particularly as it related to written and oral history. His Middle-earth mythology is rich with poetry, music, and oral history customs that contribute to creating the world of the various civilizations and races (hobbits, elves, dwarves, and mankind) that live in his universe. Norse mythology, Anglo-Saxon epic poetry, fairy tales, and the Finnish mythological poem the Kalevala are only a few of the genres that influenced Tolkien’s stories, characters, and languages.
Despite being the most well-known tales, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit do not include all of Middle history. earth’s The tens of thousands of years of Middle-history earth are described in The Silmarillion (1977), which was written by Tolkien’s son Christopher and fantasy author Guy Gavriel Kay and released after his death.
The book covers the First and Second Ages of the Earth and traces the formation of Arda, where Middle-earth is located (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place in the Third Age). Arda begins as a flat disc and transforms cataclysmic events amid recurrent wars between forces of good and evil into something more like a planet. Unfinished Tales also includes other incidents and people who influence Arda and Middle-earth (1980).
However, none of the tales from The Silmarillion or Unfinished Tales will be included in the new series as Amazon only obtained the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The information for the new program was derived from The Lord of the Rings’ vast appendices.