By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)
One of the biggest pieces of news all week was that Amazon has picked up the rights to make a Lord of the Rings prequel series. As information started to unfold, it became very apparent that Amazon had put a lot of effort into this deal. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon spent $250 million dollars on the rights alone, and the entire project is expected to cost $1 billion in total for five seasons. Amazon even has the option for a spinoff.
The idea of a Lord of the Rings TV series isn’t new, but there has always been the question of what the series would be about. J.R.R. Tolkien sold the rights to The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings years ago, which was why we were able to get those in film form at all. His son, Christopher Tolkien, has been running the Estate ever since the author’s death, producing edited volumes of his father’s work, and has loathed any and all of the adaptions. That’s what made it very curious that Amazon was able to make a deal with the Estate to produce the show.
It turns out that Christopher Tolkien resigned as director of the Estate back in August, according to TheOneRing.net. Considering Tolkien’s other children and grandchildren are more open to adaptations, it fills in a question of how this deal was even possible. The question that remains, however, is what will this series be about?
A Hobbit / Lord of the Rings Remake
This is the least likely option. According to THR the only thing we have to work on is that this series will take place before Lord of the Rings so we do know that it won’t be a television remake of those films. There’s even a question of whether Amazon could even option either a Hobbit or LotR television series, as those rights may still be tied up. So don’t expect Frodo or Bilbo to show up anytime soon.
A New Story
A really good guess would be they’re planning on setting the series just before Lord of the Rings, but creating new characters in new situations, who are off on their own adventure not covered by any of the books. This would give the show the most latitude in terms of storytelling. However, I feel that if they have access to much of Tolkien’s edited works, there is a lot of materiel to mine, other than what happened in the Third Age.
The War of the Last Alliance
I would actually bet on this being the series they’re working on. We know the ending of what happened the first time men and elves defeated Sauron in the Second Age, but very little regarding how that alliance of Elves and Men came together. This series is being touted as Amazon’s Game of Thrones, so putting an alliance of different races together to defeat Sauron sounds like a perfect story to tell that dives right into Lord of the Rings.
Long before the War of the Ring, or even the War of the Last Alliance, was the War of the Jewels in the First Age. Tolkien fans have wanted this story to be adapted for a long time, and the entire story revolves around three magical jewels called the Silmarils and an ultimate evil character. Sounds familiar. As powerful as Sauron was, he was just a lieutenant of Morgoth, who is the Middle Earth equivalent of Satan. This is the series I would love to see the most, and it directly leads into The War of the Last Alliance. Remember, Amazon has the option for a spinoff, so it could be this leading into that.
The Multiple Miniseries Option
Tolkien wrote about 11,000 years worth of Middle Earth history across three ages. Why even stick to just a few years, when you can tell a complete story in a season, and skip forward a thousand years or more to tell the next major event? Take into account that Elves are immortal, and you have characters that can be in every season.