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Amazon's new Lord of the Rings map sparks plot theories among keen-eyed fans

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Mar 6, 2019

Since Amazon debuted an unlabeled map of Middle-earth, breaking its silence on the heavily-guarded secrets surrounding its Lord of the Rings TV show, fans have been nitpicking at any details available in order to figure out something — anything — about the series. Now Amazon has updated the map with labels for cities and landmarks, giving fantasy cartographers ample ability to theorize in conjunction with J.R.R. Tolkien’s thorough fictional histories.

The map, which you can access below, shows off plenty of locales - including the ominous Mordor right smack in the middle:

But next to Mordor, there’s information that could help some of these fan theories hold water. Just across the mountain range, there is Minas Ithil and Minas Anor — two towers on the border of Mordor put there by Men. But Lord of the Rings fans may know them by other names: Minas Morgul and Minas Tirith. But those names came after the fall of the former capital Osgiliath and the Nazgul’s capture of Minas Ithil.

As far as theorists thinking that the show is going to be about a younger version of Aragorn...this is pretty much a nail in that coffin. Those names only make sense pre-2002 in the Third Age. That’s about nine hundred years before the War of the Ring. So, more likely, people are now suspecting this is about the last king of Gondor before stewards took over the throne:

If this all sounds a bit like string and corkboard talk to you, then don’t worry: just take away the fact that we’re likely not going to see Aragorn recast from Viggo Mortensen and this show will probably tell a story in the Tolkien-verse fans have never seen, about an era that's never been seen in live action.

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