Production has already begun on the first season of The Lord of the Rings, Amazon’s hugely ambitious TV series inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy series. Despite its title, the show is not a direct adaptation of the three Lord of the Rings novels. Instead it’s a prequel, taking place “thousands of years” before the books.

TheOneRing.Net got its hands on the show’s official synopsis. Here’s what it says:

Amazon Studios’ forthcoming series brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, 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. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.

Tolkien scholars note that this period of time in Lord of the Rings lore is when Sauron first rose to power, and expect him to be a presence in the series even though he’s not mentioned by name in the synopsis.

The Lord of the Rings has already been renewed for a second season by Amazon; the pilot was shot in New Zealand and directed by Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s J.A. Bayona. The showrunners are J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. notes that the show is “currently planned as a minimum 5-season series, with 8 to 10 episodes per season.”

Gallery — DVDs and Blu-rays That Are Still Very Valuable:

More From AM 950 KOEL