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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
My Middle-earth Series
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SirDennisC
Half-elven


Nov 14 2017, 5:56am

Post #1 of 30 (2204 views)
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My Middle-earth Series Can't Post

Given the time-line the series will cover, what story lines/characters do you hope will be featured in stand-alone episodes or episode clusters?



Mooseboy018
Grey Havens


Nov 14 2017, 6:01am

Post #2 of 30 (2138 views)
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short wishlist [In reply to] Can't Post

-the sons of Elrond
-Balin, Ori, and Oin going to Moria (maybe keeping the final outcome vague to leave room for a surprise in a potential retelling of LotR itself)
-young Theoden
-something with the Haradrim or Easterlings (not really sure what, I just think it'd be interesting)
-Arwen and Aragorn falling in love
-Celebrian


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Nov 14 2017, 6:06am

Post #3 of 30 (2138 views)
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Do we know even this yet? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Given the time-line the series will cover...


I don't remember a specific time period even being confirmed yet. All we know is that is before the War of the Ring; that covers many thousands of years.

If this show is set primarily in the period between the Battle of Five Armies and the War of the Ring, it could open in the year 2941 (Third Age) with a 10 year-old 'Estel' studying a group of thirteen Dwarves, a wizard and one Hobbit. Estel might be taken aside to review his knowledge of his Dúnedain forebears. Then we might jump ahead to a short time before his 20th birthday, returning to Rivendell in the company of Elrond's sons.

I would look forward to the adult Aragorn's first meeting with Gandalf, their travels, Aragorn's (lone?) exploration of Moria, his travels to far countries and his experiences in Rohan and Gondor.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Nov 14 2017, 6:11am)


demnation
Rohan

Nov 14 2017, 6:51am

Post #4 of 30 (2117 views)
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Torn between two things [In reply to] Can't Post

Part of me would love to see an adaptation of Balin's Moria expedition, young Aragorn or (if possible) Sauron in his fair form and the downfall of Numenor. On the other hand, I'd love to see something totally original, fresh and exciting that just happens to take place in my favorite fictional universe. Either way Middle-earth is vast enough for all kinds of cool stories.

"It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule." Gandalf, "The Last Debate."


malickfan
Gondor


Nov 14 2017, 12:44pm

Post #5 of 30 (2055 views)
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Honestly... [In reply to] Can't Post

...at this point in time I'm not especially excited (perhaps cautiously intrigued) by this series, the news that it will probably be a 'prequel' series very loosely inspired by some of the appendices material doesn't particularly excite me, some of the writings there though very interesting (especially Aragorn's history and the history of Gondor) aren't that detailed or expansive, so its hard to make any guesses or wishes at this point in time, without knowing more about just they are planning to expand the material.

Speaking personally, I think I'm more excited about the prospect a new creative team taking the lead, rather than the possible stories themselves...

The news that the Tolkien Estate is involved is very very intriguing, if they are going to license the rights to some of the other books as well I think my interest (or annoyance) in this project will increase dramatically...








SirDennisC
Half-elven


Nov 14 2017, 1:09pm

Post #6 of 30 (2045 views)
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Focusing on the spaces between - [In reply to] Can't Post

If they develop stories around and between the bits Tolkien left us, it should take the usual canon debates out of the equation. Regardless, the writers, designers, casting department etc should be sensitive to Tolkien’s voice and extant character development. Though some character development is rather thin, enough is known about M-e that even the “invented” bits could be true to source.



SirDennisC
Half-elven


Nov 14 2017, 1:12pm

Post #7 of 30 (2038 views)
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Have you learned nothing of the capacity for speculation of dwarves, er TORn? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



squire
Half-elven


Nov 14 2017, 1:46pm

Post #8 of 30 (2034 views)
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"Story lines" are often missing in almost all the appendices and chronologies [In reply to] Can't Post

There's a lot of variation of depth in the associated stories that this series seems to be about. Sometimes there is an actual plot; sometimes there's just a mention of an episode that enriches our understanding of the greater story of The Lord of the Rings.

TV writers, of course, excel in inventing plots from mere hints or colorful highlights. Then they invent dialogue and characters to deliver the plots. In this situation, the only existing material is setting, broadly speaking (i.e., Middle-earth), and not so much character as character names.

For example, Elladan and Elrohir are blank slates when it comes to character, as is Celebrian. The story of her captivity and rescue by her sons is gripping in concept, but is entirely generic in Tolkien's accounts. In any actual episode about it, we'll need to meet the orcs, who will need characterization and motivation, and we'll need to learn more about Elrond's and Lorien's Half-elven and high-Elven households, with names and characters for a host of supporting folk. Tolkien provided nothing of any of this - it will all have to be invented and written by Hollywood pros. These ladies and gentlemen, even without the prodding of Amazon to obey certain (shall we say) marketing imperatives, cannot help but be influenced by two decades of modern post-Jackson sword-and-sorcery fantasy and games, not to mention half a century of post-modern generic anti-romance, both medieval and Western, from about 1965 on, which challenged the Victorian and Edwardian conventions that Tolkien loved.

These considerations keep me from getting too enthusiastic about the prospect of seeing "Aragorn's adventures" or "Thror's adventures" or "Bilbo's adventures" or "Theoden's adventures", etc. It seems to me that "based on the stories of J. R. R. Tolkien" is a fairly thin reed to put out four or five seasons of television from. That's about 50 or 60 hours of drama to be written and acted; The Lord of the Rings itself took up just 10 or 11 hours. Contrast that story's 1000 pages in the book with the appendices' (A and B, with narratives) 70 pages, and calculate the amount of sheer imaginative invention that we are about to witness.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Nov 14 2017, 2:22pm

Post #9 of 30 (2020 views)
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Pages of book per hour of drama [In reply to] Can't Post

LOTR - about 110 pages per hour of movie
Hobbit - about 30 pages per hour of movie
TV Series - about 1.5 pages per hour of show*

*Based on the rough guess of 4-5 seasons, 10 episodes per season and 70 pages of appendix A & B.

What could go wrong?

Happiness: money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important and so are friends, while envy is toxic -- and so is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude. - The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner as summarized by Lily Fairbairn. And a bit of the Hobbit reading thrown in never hurts. - NottaSackville


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Nov 14 2017, 3:05pm

Post #10 of 30 (2004 views)
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I hope for the best. [In reply to] Can't Post

It will all depend on the talent they get to write, produce, direct, act in and the production values applied as to what the end product is. KS

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.
Photobucket



Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Nov 14 2017, 3:14pm

Post #11 of 30 (2003 views)
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Speculation and Debate [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Have you learned nothing of the capacity for speculation of dwarves, er TORn?


Oh, quite a bit probably. I was just surprised that you seemed so quick to adopt a seemingly firm position when we know so little. And having a show that would have to invent so much concerning plot and characters is unlikely to put an end to debates on canon, especially once said characters are thrown into emotional entanglements.

By the way, having raised the question in the first place, you have not provided your own hopes for such a series. What do you want to see?

I still think it's most likely we'll get a series that focuses on young Aragorn, but what about an anthology approach? The show might jump around from one time and place to another for various arcs, possible one story-arc taking up an entire season. That way, a story-line about Aragorn signing aboard a trading vessel in Dorwinion to sail the inner Sea of Rhûn and battle pirates might be followed by a season about Balin's rule in Moria, which might in turn be followed by a plot about King Eärnur of Gondor and the Witch-king of Angmar.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock


duats
Grey Havens

Nov 14 2017, 5:10pm

Post #12 of 30 (1971 views)
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I'm looking forward to getting more information [In reply to] Can't Post

So many questions.

For starters, "before the events of Fellowship" doesn't clarify the timeline. Is this series set before the events of The Hobbit as well, or are we looking at that sixty-year period between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings? Very important distinction that could help us narrow down what Amazon's plans are.

Also, when they say "before the events of Fellowship," do they mean before Bilbo's party? If so, we can rule out the nineteen-year period where Gandalf is investigated, which includes Aragorn's hunt for Gollum.

Furthermore, are they going to treat this more as an anthology series, where each episode/season is its own standalone story, or will there be an over-arcing storyline that ties all of the seasons together?

If we're limited to the sixty-year period between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, there's not much there in the way of an over-arcing plot. So either we'd be looking at something like an anthology series, or they may very well be planning on creating a new storyline with original characters set in Tolkien's world.

If the plan is for the series to have an over-arcing storyline with a centralized threat, something like this would be ideal:

Season 1: The Silmarillion
Season 2: The Last Alliance
Season 3: The Hobbit
Season 4: The Fellowship of the Ring
Season 5: The Two Towers
Season 6: The Return of the King


Gwytha
Rohan


Nov 14 2017, 6:28pm

Post #13 of 30 (1948 views)
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Prequel/sequel [In reply to] Can't Post

I would like to see the development of Gandalf's relationship over time with the Shire folk, perhaps focusing on the Long Winter and the famine. Didn't Gandalf say that was when he first realized that Hobbits were made of "sterner stuff" than they look?

I have often thought I would like to see "The Later Adventures of Merry and Pippin," concerning the good deal of travelling they did between the Shire and Gondor and Rohan. There isn't a lot of detail about those trips and so there are endless creative possibilities. It is between the covers of LOTR so legally possible, but since t would be sequel that's probably a different project.

Growth after all is not so much a matter of change as of ripening, and what alters most is the degree of clarity with which we see one another. -Edith Pargeter


Intergalactic Lawman
Rohan


Nov 14 2017, 9:27pm

Post #14 of 30 (1921 views)
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I wonder... [In reply to] Can't Post

How would a series go set AFTER LOTR's...?

You could bet your bottom dollar they could get all the 4 Hobbit actors back (Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippen) Just having regular work on a (most likely) huge project would be enticing surely?

Adventures of Aragorn as King etc

Atleast they wouldn't have to worry about re-casts of the fact the actors have aged Cool Gandalf back would be awesome also!

I don't know - I'm torn. Do something brand new or more of the same. The only thing I know for sure is that I want The Hobbit redone! That was heart breaking how bad they missed the mark...


Wilros
The Shire


Nov 14 2017, 10:28pm

Post #15 of 30 (1902 views)
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Options for TV Series [In reply to] Can't Post

First, some general rules/thoughts:
• Amazon must be given the rights to produce whatever content it does. For now, we know that to include the LOTR Appendices but not the Silmarillion or other materials (Children of Hurin, Unfinished Tales, Lost Tales, etc). Until we hear an announcement to the contrary, I am going to assume those materials remain off-limits, so no Wars of Beleriand, Beren and Luthien, Fall of Gondolin, etc.) I would love to see these stories on the screen (#SilmFilm) but will exclude them for now. Instead the focus will be on potential 2nd or 3rd Age stories since the bones of many of these stories are included in the ROTK Appendices.
• Amazon has reportedly shelled out $250 million or so for the rights to make this series, and then will have to spend much more getting a story developed, filmed, and produced. They are not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts but are looking for a good return on that money. Therefore this will not be a series that is devoted to the minutiae of Middle-earth, as much as book nerds such as myself would like to see some of these. So it won’t focus on, say, the intricacies of daily hobbit life, but instead, it will be something that can appeal to the existing LOTR film audience, as well as the general public that has been drawn into the genre via Game of Thones, etc.
• The press release has stated the series will focus on events prior to FOTR, and therefore will not be about things that PJ’s films skipped over such as the Reckoning of the Shire or the Battle of Dale.

Now, to the possibilities I think we can rationally discuss, grouped into categories of how likely I think they actually are:

MOST LIKELY
1. Young Aragorn – Aragorn is a very popular character, his story includes characters familiar to movie fans, he goes on interesting journeys to different locations (Rivendell, the wilds, Rohan, Gondor, Harad/Rhun, Lothlorien, Mirkwood), several of which could serve as the basis for a season or two. There is a mix of tension types including battles, political rivalries, relationship drama, etc, and real character growth can take place.
2. Fall of Arnor/Arthedain – Interesting story, has both internal and external sources of conflict, excellent bad guy with the Witch King of Angmar, could jump around from Arnor to Gondor, Rivendell, Lindon, etc. to show all of the events happening during this time, but the main focus would be on the tragedy of North Kingdom, ending either with the Battle of Fornost or the disappearance of Earnur. I think the connection to LOTR events can be made without too much effort.

POSSIBLE
1. Numenor / Akallabeth – Epic story that I would love to see, but would need the Tolkien estate to grant permission to use some materials from Silmarillion to do this story properly (and without getting sued).
2. Gondor – something like the Corsair or Wainrider Wars, or a period just prior to the War of the Ring. But I think the fall of Arnor offers a more compelling storyline and more of a complete arc to contain within a series.
3. The Last Alliance – Epic story, it could be done. I tend to think it would be hard to develop an entire series around something that was summed up in a few minutes of screen time in the LOTR films. But hey, Star Wars did an entire standalone movie out of 1 line of prologue so I guess anything is possible!
4. Durin’s Folk – Balin’s quest to reclaim Moria is an option, but I’m not sure that doesn’t fit better as a side-plot rather than the main thrust of a multi-season TV series. Another possibility would be on the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, though similar to the story of the Last Alliance, I think it would be hard to do a whole series on some events that were covered in a few minutes of screen time during The Hobbit movies.
5. Legolas – It would be possible to do something off the film-only version where Thranduil tells Legolas to seek out Strider. But I think it is much more likely to focus on Aragorn himself, and Legolas may or may not be a part of that story. And personally I would prefer something that fits better into book canon.


UNLIKELY
1. Forging of the Rings/War of the Elves and Sauron – Epic story, but the connections between this war and the events of LOTR are harder to make. Would be a lot of explaining to set up all of the players for this story.
2. Rangers of the North – I don’t see a main plot point to hold a series together with the rangers alone, as their main jobs were protecting the North and raising the Heirs of Isildur. Important jobs no doubt, but hard to make a compelling story out of this (I think fan-film Born of Hope is about the best that one could do).
3. History of Rohan – Could be included as side plots to a Gondor-focused story, but I don’t think the story of Rohan could drive a TV series all on it’s own.
4. Sons of Elrond – Again, I see this as an interesting side plot of a series focused on Aragorn, not a series all it’s own. Elladan and Elrohir weren’t included in the films on any level.
5. Rescue of Celebrian – I don’t think you could stretch the imprisonment and rescue of Celebrian out to more than 2-3 hours of screen time.
6. Faramir & the Ithilien Rangers – Would be neat for us LOTR nerds, but not sure there’s a compelling storyline here for the general public.
7. Gandalf – Gandalf is obviously an extremely popular character, and he was involved in almost all major events of the Third Age. But most of his doings were behind the scenes and there is not a lot of compelling action on Gandalf’s part outside of the stories already detailed in the Hobbit and LOTR.
8. Saruman – Similar to Gandalf, there is not a lot of compelling action to show onscreen for Saruman outside of LOTR.
9. Tom Bombadil – Tom is an interesting topic but only as a side-character to a main story, and I don’t think a series focused on Tom/the Old Forest would have the mass-market appeal Amazon will be looking for (he didn’t make the cut for the movies).

Anyone else have possibilities they would like to throw out there? Or want to disagree with any of my thoughts on the potential options above?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Nov 14 2017, 11:35pm

Post #16 of 30 (1884 views)
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Gandalf in the Fourth Age? 'Fraid not. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
How would a series go set AFTER LOTR's...?

You could bet your bottom dollar they could get all the 4 Hobbit actors back (Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippen) Just having regular work on a (most likely) huge project would be enticing surely?

Adventures of Aragorn as King etc

At least they wouldn't have to worry about re-casts of the fact the actors have aged Cool Gandalf back would be awesome also!


You forget, Gandalf, Bilbo and Frodo are all gone at the end of The Lord of the Rings, having sailed into the West with Elrond and Galadriel. Sam is busy raising a family and serving the Shire as Mayor.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Nov 14 2017, 11:40pm)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Nov 15 2017, 12:50am

Post #17 of 30 (1864 views)
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Balin in Moria sounds good! [In reply to] Can't Post

I’m open to just about anything assuming they pay heed to squire’s reasoning as stated in this thread.



Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Nov 15 2017, 1:03am

Post #18 of 30 (1855 views)
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Moria, huh? [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I don't see that as the focus of an entire series, or even the primary arc of a season; but, it could certainly be worked into the show if the timing is right.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Nov 15 2017, 1:09am)


Eruonen
Valinor


Nov 15 2017, 4:25am

Post #19 of 30 (1831 views)
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Re Appendix stories and Silmarillion etc. [In reply to] Can't Post

For example - 1. "Numenor / Akallabeth – Epic story that I would love to see, but would need the Tolkien estate to grant permission to use some materials from Silmarillion to do this story properly (and without getting sued)."
.....it would be possible to just use the info in the Appendices and then, as will be required for all of these stories, very liberal invention to fill any gaps and connect the dots.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Nov 15 2017, 1:38pm

Post #20 of 30 (1783 views)
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With the retirement of Christopher all bets are off. [In reply to] Can't Post

We do not know what that quarter of a billion dollars bought. They may have access to material from the Silmarillion. KS

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.
Photobucket



Wilros
The Shire


Nov 15 2017, 1:42pm

Post #21 of 30 (1782 views)
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Akallabeth [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, one could invent story to fill in the gaps based on Appendix material only (which will be done to some extent on any TV series). However, it then becomes a game of does your invention align with the Silmarillion material that you don't have the rights to use? If it does, you run the risk of being sued for using material that you haven't been granted permission to use. If your invented story doesn't line up with the Sil story, then you run counter to the author's own version of the story. I think it is just easier to stay away and pick another story that you can fully paint within the lines provided in the Appendices and not have to worry about these issues.


Wilros
The Shire


Nov 15 2017, 1:51pm

Post #22 of 30 (1779 views)
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Agree [In reply to] Can't Post

This announcement opens up many new possibilities moving forward. That being said, the press releases to date have stated that the Amazon deal is for Lord of the Rings material. If the Silmarillion was included, I'm sure that would have been disclosed.


Eruonen
Valinor


Nov 15 2017, 2:58pm

Post #23 of 30 (1766 views)
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Since The LOTR was published before the Silmarillion it may have legal [In reply to] Can't Post

precedence when it comes to rights regarding similar material.


Eruonen
Valinor


Nov 15 2017, 3:43pm

Post #24 of 30 (1753 views)
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Oh yee of little imagination ;) [In reply to] Can't Post

In the 4th age, a new menace, a Balrog emerges from his slumber and finds everything ripe for the taking.....let us call him Zrggithonocil
.....after ravaging Middle-earth with newly bred orcs and other spawn...the great worm riders of the North.....the Valar once again ask Olorin if he wants another go at it. Yes, he says, but this time coming back in the guise of a slender girl...named Willowbarkberry. A powerful wizardess (?) / wizard who leads mankind in their resistance and eventual overthrow of Zrggithonocil. An epic fight takes place on a frozen lake Evindim. Dwarven cannon flatten the onrushing orc hordes....firing canister rounds of ruby and diamond.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Nov 15 2017, 3:49pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Nov 15 2017, 10:17pm

Post #25 of 30 (1713 views)
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Of course. [In reply to] Can't Post

You realize, Eruonen, that you are one sick puppy! Laugh Wink

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

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