War is coming to Edoras. At least, that’s according to new concept art released for the upcoming prequel film The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim. Not only have images been released, but New Line and Warner Bros. has let fans know when they can expect to watch the anime.
As reported by Screen Rant, it will be a couple of years before we can watch The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim. The film is set for release in April 2024. But right now we’ve got some concept art, revealing a bit about what we can expect. Both images depict battles between the warriors of Rohan and a rival army that seems to include the Haradrim. In the first images, the villains are assaulting the walls of Edoras: Rohan’s capital where we first meet characters such as Theoden, Eowyn, and Wormtongue in Peter Jackson’s trilogy. In the second image, posted by Variety, we see the Rohirrim and their enemies facing off before a battle.
Fans will no doubt remember the Mûmakil — the massive, elephant-like creatures — from the incredible battle sequence between the Rohirrim and the Haradrim in 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Their presence in the concept art brings up some interesting questions, and may actually reveal just a little bit more than perhaps was intended, and some fans might not be happy with it. It all has to do with a guy who will reportedly be at the center of The War of the Rohirrim.
The Lord of the Rings prequel will, according to Variety, be set roughly 250 years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s trilogy, and will focus on “the exploits of Helm Hammerhand.” If you’re not a deep-diving Tolkien fan and yet somehow the name sounds familiar, it should. The setting for The Two Towers‘ final battle — Helm’s Deep — is named after Helm Hammerhand.
The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim seems to be a portrayal of a conflict between Helm Hammerhand and an influential Dunlending named Freca. After Helm kills Freca with a single blow from his fist, it so enrages the other Dunlendings that they launch a full-scale war against Rohan with both the Corsairs of Umbar and the Easterlings on their side. But the Haradrim are never mentioned as being part of the conflict, meaning their presence in the anime is likely a bit of creative license.
Both the Dunlendings and the Easterlings are seen briefly in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Saruman refers to the Dunlendings as “wild men” who he sends to raid and burn the villages of Rohan before the Uruk-hai launch their assault. We see the Easterlings when Sam and Frodo make their attempt to enter Mordor through its gates. An Easterling army is entering the gates as they approach, and it’s an Easterling soldier who almost finds them. The Corsairs of Umbar, meanwhile, appear in the extended version of The Return of the King — they’re the pirates who Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and their undead army kill and whose ships they commandeer.
We’ll no doubt get more previews as the release date grows closer. The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim will be directed by Kenji Kamiyama (Blade Runner: Black Lotus). The film will be released in April 2o24.