If you’re one of the many people that are passionate about Lord of the Rings and want its lore to be fairly accurate, you might have gotten slightly irked at Monolith Studios for what they’ve been doing with the Lord of the Rings lore in Middle-earth: Shadow of War.
For starters, the timelines: Minas Ithil, the previous name of Minas Morgul (the evil glowing city from Return of the King), fell early in the Third Age, far earlier than what Shadow of War is saying, considering that the game takes place between the Hobbit and the main Lord of the Rings trilogy.
This, along with people like Isildur (the King of Gondor who cut the Ring of Power from Sauron’s hand at the Battle of the Last Alliance and then died at Gladden Fields) and Helm Hammerhand (a King of Rohan who lived long after the Rings of Power were first made.)
Michael de Plater said that it’s a similar situation to how Peter Jackson approached the Lord of the Rings lore in regards to his films. Mainly, that the team is trying to create a compelling story. As Minas Ithil is being besieged over the course of the game, and will eventually fall and be turned into Minas Morgul, not to mention the identities of the various Nazgul we’ll be fighting, there is a variable amount of wiggle room depending on where you look.
For instance, though Helm Hammerhand and Isildur were most definitely not Nazgul, it allows Monolith to show what Talion could become if he falls under the Ring’s influence, turning a great hero into a monster that’s nothing but a slave to Sauron’s will. That, and only two of the Nazgul (the Witch King of Angmar and Khamul the Easterling) actually have names, leaving the other seven open for interpretation.
To see how Monolith took the Lord of the Rings lore and turned it into the story of Middle-earth: Shadow of War, you can follow this link to see a Game Informer interview with Michael de Plater.