Even though it hasn't started filming yet, Amazon Prime is already marketing their upcoming Lord of the Rings TV show - and it seems some facts about the new series can be determined from the show's map of Middle-earth. Following Christopher Tolkien's retirement from the Tolkien Estate in late 2017, Amazon Studios signed a massive deal with the company to produce a multi-season Lord of the Rings TV series, one that would explore other parts of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium.
Since Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies covered the gist of Tolkien's books, while still leaving quite a bit out for movie fans to discover on the page, Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show is expected to branch off from the source material. That's why it will include "previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien's original writings," as the estate explained in the series' announcement. Tolkien fans have hoped that the series would, then, adapt parts of the Silmarillion - a collection of texts about Middle-earth's First Age published in 1977, after his death - but it seems a recently published Lord of the Rings map has quashed those hopes.
Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show is still a long ways away from airing, but that hasn't stopped the streaming giant from promoting it. To kick things off, the series' official Twitter account posted a Middle-earth map without any markings whatsoever, which was accompanied with the first line of the Ring verse. A few days later, the account published the same map except with some locations marked this time, along with the second line of the poem. Unfortunately, taking everything we've seen into account, the Lord of the Rings series won't be based on the Silmarillion, as it takes place in the Third Age, not the First Age.
Looking at both versions of the Lord of the Rings TV show's map of Middle-earth, it can be deduced that the map is of the early-to-mid Third Age, based on a specific point. The Mirkwood forest can be seen under the label of Rhovanion, and it has an indentation on its eastern side; that's a result of an event known as the East Bight of Mirkwood - forestry that occurred during the Third Age by the Northmen.
Furthermore, it doesn't seem possible that the Lord of the Rings series will focus on a young Aaragon either, as has been rumored for a year now, because the map also shows the region of Calenardhon - a kingdom that eventually transformed into the kingdom of Rohan in the Third Age. Since Aragorn wasn't born until a little over 400 years after the founding of Rohan, it's impossible for the show to focus on him, at least at that point in time. However, that doesn't mean the series can't feature a time jump.
At the moment, there's quite a bit that remains unknown about Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show. So far, it's been confirmed that Star Trek 4 screenwriters J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have boarded the project as co-writers and that the new show will become the most expensive TV production in the history of the medium. Considering the source material, that notion is understandable. It's just unfortunate that the Lord of the Rings series won't be adapting the Silmarillion.