Just in time for the Amazon Prime series right? Although this is not officially linked to the “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” series by Amazon Prime, the setting of the 2nd age can make this the unofficial book to be read for the series.
According to HarperCollins, they are only publishing an account of the Second Age of J R R Tolkien’s Middle-earth for the first time in one volume. Coincidence? The Fall of Númenor has been edited by writer and Tolkien expert Brian Sibley and illustrated by artist Alan Lee. HarperCollins will publish globally in November 2022. Tolkien famously described the Second Age of Middle-earth as a “dark age, and not very much of its history is (or need be) told”. For many years readers would need to be content with the glimpses of it found within the pages of The Lord of the Rings and its appendices.
It was not until Christopher Tolkien presented The Silmarillion for publication in 1977 that a fuller story could be told, including key works that revealed the events concerning the rise and fall of the island kingdom of Númenor, the forging of the Rings of Power, the building of the Barad-dûr and the rise of Sauron, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.
Christopher Tolkien provided greater insight into the Second Age in Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth in 1980, and expanded on this in his 12-volume History of Middle-earth, in which he presented and discussed a wealth of further tales written by his father, many in draft form.
Now, using “The Tale of Years” in The Lord of the Rings as a starting point, Sibley has assembled from the various published texts in a way that tells for the very first time in one volume the tale of the Second Age of Middle-earth, whose events would ultimately lead to the Third Age, and the War of the Ring, as told in The Lord of the Rings.
Sibley said: “Since the first publication of The Silmarillion 45 years ago, I have passionately followed Christopher Tolkien’s meticulous curation and scholarship in publishing a formidable history of his father’s writings on Middle-earth. I am honoured to be adding to that authoritative library with The Fall of Númenor. I hope that, in drawing together many of the threads from the tales of the Second Age into a single work, readers will discover – or rediscover – the rich tapestry of characters and events that are a prelude to the drama of the War of the Ring as is told in The Lord of the Rings.”
Lee added: “It is a pleasure to be able to explore the Second Age in more detail, and learn more about those shadowy and ancient events, alliances and disasters that eventually led to the Third Age stories we are more familiar with. Wherever I had the opportunity when working on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, I tried to imbue pictures and designs with an appropriate antiquity, an overlayering of history and of echoes of those older stories, and The Fall of Númenor has proved a perfect opportunity to dig a little deeper into the rich history of Middle-earth.”
The Fall of Númenor will be published by HarperCollins with a simultaneous global publication date of November 2022, and subsequently in translation around the world.
The streaming series, The Rings of Power, set during the Second Age of Middle-earth, will be released by Amazon Prime in September 2022.