This article contains spoilers for power rings episodes 1 & 2, and the future of Middle-earth.power rings episodes 1 and 2 introduced viewers to the Southlands, a place more important than one might think – as they are meant to include Mordor. Set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, Amazon’s power rings opens with Gil-galad, High King of the Elves, declaring that the war against evil is over. In truth, he knows much better; he simply fears that pursuing Sauron and his agents could make matters worse and seems to be working towards a non-military strategy.
Unfortunately, evil does not seem to have fallen asleep. power rings Episodes 1 and 2 open with the Elves leaving their watchtowers, celebrating their victory, and looking forward to a time of peace. No sooner have the Elves left, however, than it becomes ominous that dark forces are gathering in a region of Middle-earth known as the Southlands. There, crops are mysteriously dying and Orcs are attacking innocent villages (including Halbrand). Disturbingly, the inhabitants of these villages are completely disappearing; it is unknown whether they were killed or taken as slaves by Sauron’s forces.
The Southlands may seem like a somewhat new place to Tolkien, but checking the map reveals that it is destined to become the Dark Land known as Mordor. Amazon confirmed this in a featurette ahead of the show’s release, which placed the Southlands name exactly where Mordor is written on the traditional the Lord of the Rings map. Just below the words was the distinctive shape of Lake Núrnen, named in The king’s return. “Neither [Sam] nor Frodo knew anything of the great fields worked by slaves to the south in that vast realm, beyond the fumes of the Mountain by the dark and sad waters of Lake Núrnen,” wrote Tolkien.
Do Rings of Power turn Southland into Mordor?
The Southern Lands don’t seem to fit perfectly with Sauron’s future land of Mordor in The Lord of the Rings; they encompass a much larger area. Yet there are disturbing clues that the region has explored in power rings is truly in the center of Mordor. According to the Elves, it was once a barren land – presumably meaning historic volcanic eruptions that turned it into waste. When the eruptions ceased, the volcanic ash would fly away, releasing elements such as magnesium and potassium into the ground and turning the Southlands into some of the best farmland in Middle-earth. But power rings seems to hint that volcanic activity is beginning again, with crops mysteriously dying even as the Orcs begin looting villages. The king’s return may further suggest the true purpose of the Orcs in power rings. It refers to fields worked by slaves near the shores of Lake Núrnen, and it is entirely possible that the villagers were taken from their homes to become the first generation of these slaves.
As wise as Gil-galad is, it’s clear he’s underestimated the evil that lurks in the shadows of Middle-earth. Sauron is on the move, his power growing again in the Southlands, and he’s sure to act even more openly now that the Elves have abandoned their watchtowers. power rings truly traces the darkest days of the Southlands.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power releases new episodes Fridays on Prime Video.