Fortnite’s Lord of the Rings Easter Eggs will make fan tongues wag

Fortnite fans have spotted a sneaky Lord of the Rings Easter egg in the game, sparking speculation of a fresh crossover.

The potential pea can be found on one of Fortnite Island’s beaches, where a small replica of Helm’s Deep castle can be seen.

Is this a tease of a future collaboration, perhaps timed to coincide with Amazon’s upcoming billion-dollar Lord of the Rings prequel TV show? Or is this developer Epic Games simply having a little fun?

Eurogamer Newscast: What does Embracer’s Lord of the Rings buyout mean for Middle Earth games?

First, let’s look at the Easter egg itself. Epic Games has been slowly building this little castle over the last season, via subtle map changes over the last couple of months.

Each patch, Epic likes to reward long-term Fortnite fans with small changes to the map, with in-jokes and lengthy backstories. (Here, the castle in question is actually the creation of Rock Kid, whose rock family has been popping up around the map since Chapter 1.)

I like to check in with Rock Family every update and had clocked Rock Kid building this little castle fight scene, bit by bit. But it’s only in the latest update – with the destruction of the castle’s wall – that fans seem to have found out what this whole build was for.

It certainly looks like Helm’s Deep – but does this mean a full-scale Fortnite crossover with Middle-earth? On this, things look a little less likely.

First, Lord of the Rings rights have traditionally been held by Warner Bros, who notably haven’t released any new DC characters for Fortnite since they started promoting their own crossover game, Multiversus.

Then there’s the matter of this week’s news that The Lord of the Rings and all that is Middle-earth was bought by Embracer. That deal has yet to be finalized, but it’s safe to say that the video game rights to Tolkien’s world are currently up in the air.

Indeed, previous references to Gandalf arriving in the Multiversus have reportedly been scrubbed. Could this mean that Epic Games has swooped in instead, and is looking at Warner Bros? Or has Gandalf’s arrival simply been delayed while new contracts are signed? (Remember: a wizard is always on time.)

Adding fuel to the flames, reliable Fortnite leaker MidaRado has today said that one in three collaborations will release in the game next week. Lord of the Rings is one option, followed by Family Guy (a lengthy epic tease that appears to have been an attempt to divert dataminers), and then Doom.

Of the three – and despite the Helm’s Deep castle – Doom seems the most likely. It’s currently QuakeCon weekend, Bethesda promotions are ongoing via the Epic Game Store, and Doom is set to reappear in the publisher’s Fall Guys. We’ll see next week for sure.

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