I believe Mojang asked the previous LotR mod to end development, for fear of (or potentially as a result of) being contacted by the Saul Zaentz Company (Middle-Earth Enterprises, current holders of the rights to Tolkien's works) about copyright infringement.
As much as I loved the old project, and would encourage a revival, port, or even a new mod, I would look into this before going further with your development.
If you can get the permission though... I look forward to seeing your project!
The existing LoTR mod for Minecraft 1.7.10 is very much ALIVE and still being developed. It is true that it’s not being nor it will be updated to newer Minecraft versions. The latest update was released this summer, Update 35, that comes with a brand new conquest system for factions and some other features.
Yeah, sucks that they're doing the exact same as some other mod devs, just not updating to new versions because "it'd be too much work". All they need to do is relegate the 1.7.10 version to bugfixes only once it's feature-complete, and then either do the 1.12.2 rewrite or hand it off to a highly trusted 3rd party while maintaining creative control.
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