Along with a new press release, Amazon has just released the first image from their upcoming TV series set in the 2nd Age of Middle-earth:

Amazon Lord Of The Rings Tv Image

What is this a picture of?  First note that, right where the sun looks to be setting, is what looks to be a tree!  My first thought is that this is a photo of Valinor, when the two trees–Telperion and Laurelin–shed light on the world before the Sun and Moon rose.  If that’s true, this image would have to be part of an introduction to the history of Middle-earth that might accompany the show.

Additionally, if you look REALLY close, you can see swan-ships in the harbor.  Its most likely that this is Tirion, the city in Valinor in which both the Vanyar and Noldor elves lived.  It’s also the city in which Fëanor forged the Silmarils, eventually leading to Morgoth’s deception and theft of those jewels.

By teasing us with this image of Valinor, Amazon is clearly going even further into the history of Middle-earth than we first anticipated.  If they pull off a prologue that relays that history in an easily digestible fashion, they’ll be the first ones to have ever done it…

Here’s the press release:

Amazon Studios’ The Lord of the Rings Original Series
Will Premiere Friday, September 2, 2022 on Prime Video

The highly anticipated new series will premiere exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 territories and countries around the world

Amazon Studios releases first series image timed to the wrap of filming in New Zealand

CULVER CITY, Calif. & AUCKLAND, New Zealand – August 2, 2021 – The highly anticipated, yet-to-be titled Amazon Original The Lord of the Rings television series will premiere Friday, September 2, 2022 on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide, with new episodes available weekly. Filming of Season One completed today in New Zealand.

The new epic drama brings to screens for the very first time J.R.R. Tolkien’s fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. Beginning in a time of relative peace, thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth.

Headlining this ensemble cast are Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Maxim Baldry, Nazanin Boniadi, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Charles Edwards, Trystan Gravelle, Sir Lenny Henry, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Lloyd Owen, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, Daniel Weyman, and Sara Zwangobani.

The series is led by showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne & Patrick McKay; they are joined by executive producers Lindsey Weber, Callum Greene, J.A. Bayona, Belén Atienza, Justin Doble, Jason Cahill, Gennifer Hutchison, Bruce Richmond, and Sharon Tal Yguado, co-executive producer Wayne Che Yip, director Charlotte Brändström, and producer Christopher Newman.

“The journey begins September 2, 2022 with the premiere of our original The Lord of the Rings series on Prime Video,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “I can’t express enough just how excited we all are to take our global audience on a new and epic journey through Middle-earth! Our talented producers, cast, creative, and production teams have worked tirelessly in New Zealand to bring this untold and awe-inspiring vision to life.”

“As Bilbo says, ‘Now I think I am quite ready to go on another journey.’ Living and breathing Middle-earth these many months has been the adventure of a lifetime. We cannot wait for fans to have the chance to do so as well,” said Payne and McKay.

A world-renowned literary work, and winner of the International Fantasy Award and Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, The Lord of the Rings was named Amazon customers’ favorite book of the millennium in 1999 and Britain’s best-loved novel of all time in BBC’s The Big Read in 2003. The Lord of the Rings books has been translated into around 40 languages and has sold more than 150 million copies.