What are The Southlands? The Rings of Power gives fans of Tolkien’s work a new look at Middle-earth long before the events of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies. Set during the Second Age, the setting of the epic fantasy is pretty different from the one you may remember, to say the least. There is no Shire, no Rivendell, and plenty of new lands and Kingdoms that fans of the fantasy movies may be completely unfamiliar with.
Since The Rings of Power is set thousands of years before Jackson’s films, it is understandable why the map of Middle-earth may look a bit different. Still, many are anxious to find out the future of these new settlements introduced in The Rings of Power, especially as Sauron‘s forces have started making their moves to destroy everything in their wake. One of the most action-packed and mysterious locations in Amazon’s fantasy series is The Southlands.
Since episode 1, evil has loomed over the region, with Orcs led by Adar targeting every settlement they come across. Here we explain the history and future of The Southlands in The Rings of Power, giving you all the geographical and lore-tastic info you need before diving back into Amazon’s new TV series.
What are the Southlands?
The Southlands is a location in Middle-earth introduced in the Rings of Power. It is a region filled with human settlements, who, back in the First Age, fought alongside the ultimate big bad of Tolkien’s world, Morgoth.
However, The War of Wrath – that ended with the defeat of Morgoth and his follower Sauron going into hiding – was ages ago. Now the people of the Southlands are simple folk living out their daily lives, that is, until they become the target of Adar’s Orcs.
Are the Southlands Mordor?
Yes, the TV series revealed in The Rings of Power that The Southlands are, in fact, Mordor. Tolkien himself wrote that it was during the Second Age, where The Rings of Power takes place, that Sauron (while disguised as Halbrand) established his evil kingdom.
Already Sauron’s forces have begun terraforming the landscape to the bleak location every Lord of the Rings fan knows. The vegetation is being poisoned, cattle are dying, and nearby elves and men are being turned into slaves to create roads, dungeons, and in short, the villain’s vision for his future stronghold.
Sauron, through Adar, eventually forced the eruption of a dormant volcano blotting out the sun with ash providing cover for his Orcs at the expense of blighting the land. We expect we’ll see more of this blighted kingdom in Rings of Power season 2.
Why Sauron chose the Southlands
Basically, Sauron chose the Southlands for the location of Mordor since it was far enough away from the elves’ cities of Lindon and Eregion. Remember, Sauron is still in hiding and needs to build up his forces before he can truly reveal himself to the whole of Middle-earth once again.
The Southlands are also far enough away from Morgoth’s old base in the north (Utumno), so it’s the last place people would be looking for him. The Southlands is also surrounded by forests and mountains, meaning it is protected by a natural fortress that enemies would struggle to get past undetected during an assault. From a strategic point of view, it is perfect for the Dark Lord.
Fans can now watch The Rings of Power on Amazon’s streaming service, Prime Video. To sign up for a Prime membership, click our link here. Or if you just want to know more about the various inhabitants of Middle-earth, we have a guide to the best Rings of Power characters.