The origins of the land of Mordor were long planned for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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In the seventh episode, The Eye, we discover that that horrific volcanic eruption transformed the Southlands forever.

At the conclusion of the penultimate episode of the first season, we see a large vista view of the Southlands as its location name is shown on-screen before transforming into a new location name: Mordor.

In the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, Mordor is a shadowy and hellish place that is the domain of the Dark Lord Sauron and sees little to no sunlight and has become the dwelling of many Orcs in Middle-Earth.

Showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay spoke to RadioTimes.com and other press at a screening for the sixth and seventh episodes in September.

When asked why they chose to show the origins of Mordor in the series, the showrunners revealed that it was a story planned quite early on.

Payne explained: "From the very beginning, in the writers' room, we had a board that had every single one of our character stories, sort of like a character, a character named Galadriel, Elrond, Miriel, Elendil, and then deal sort of all the lists like this. And so each of them has an arc that goes like this across the board and running down all of them, there was one event that sort of happened in every single story, it was basically just a drawing of a volcano that, you know, permeates every single storyline.

"So very early on, we felt like you know, one of the joys of being able to go back so far in time from the time that you'll know so well in Middle Earth is to see Middle Earth in time in which it was very different from the time that you will know the Third Age."

One of the locations that they settled on being transformed and shown would be Mordor and they made sure to know if, scientifically, a volcanic eruption could be created.

The Rings of Power.
The Rings of Power. Matt Grace/Prime Video

Payne revealed: "We said, like, Mordor is this iconic place, like, what if we could actually take something that was like beautiful Switzerland gorgeous Alpine territory, and watch it evolve into the horrible hellhole that we know so well? And then this the storyline presented itself and one of our writers in the writers' room, her dad is a geologist, and so we were like, ‘Could you actually make a volcano explode? Like, is it possible?’

"They said, ‘Yeah, well, you know, if you’ve got enough steam pressure, you know, a lot of water all at once, then like you would actually cause the thing to burst.’ Alright, so, the birth of Mordor…"

The series is set to conclude next week with the eighth episode and finale.

Who will control Mordor by the end of the season?

Read more on The Rings of Power:

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premiered on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 2nd September 2022 – try Amazon Prime Video for free for 30 days. If you’re looking for something else to watch in the meantime, check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Fantasy hub.

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