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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
Content's of Amazon's 'Lord of the Rings' series not so mysterious after all


Nov 14 2017, 7:15am

Post #1 of 1 (1266 views)
Content's of Amazon's 'Lord of the Rings' series not so mysterious after all Can't Post

[caption id="attachment_35680" align="aligncenter" width="400"]<a href="http://www.theonering.net/torwp/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/NumenorHarborNasmith.jpg"><img src="http://www.theonering.net/torwp/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/NumenorHarborNasmith.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="314" class="size-full wp-image-35680" /></a> Figure 2. White Ships from Valinor, by Ted Nasmith[/caption]You know that new “The Lord of the Rings,” series that was just announced by not only Amazon Video and Warner Bros. but the Tolkien Estate?

It has everyone on the interwebs with even a passing interest in Middle-earth speculating on the content, imagining how it will tie in to beloved LOTR characters like Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Gandalf and Aragorn. It has even brought The Silmarillion to the forefront of the conversation, with people praying to Eru Iluvitar for an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic, sweeping mythology.

Sorry but this series cannot be and will not be an adaptation of that because the rights haven't been sold. The Tolkien family has clearly decided not to do so. So sorry Silmarillioners -- yet, some hope yet remains.

The information given to media, and covered widely from Entertainment Weekly to the Associated press to The Hollywood Reporter, uses Lord of the Rings seven times in six paragraphs, but then seemingly contradicts that usage with language that also comes directly from the press release.

Lets look:

Amazon's LOTR series will be set in Middle-earth and explore new storylines preceding Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring.

So if we made a TV series about the Great Depression in the U.S. (1929 to 1939) but it takes place during World War I (1914 to 1918) is it really about the Great Depression?

The Lord of the Rings title's frequent use is no accident. It is an intentional marketing strategy employed in the press release. PR writers and lawyers deliberately wrote 'The Lord of the Rings TV series' as often as possible and hoped the media would echo it and, it worked.<a href="http://www.theonering.net/torwp/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Hurin-and-Morgoth.jpg"><img src="http://www.theonering.net/torwp/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Hurin-and-Morgoth.jpg" alt="" width="634" height="960" class="size-full wp-image-97550" /></a> Hurin and Morgoth - Ted Nasmith[/caption]

What didn't make it into most media accounts, but that you can see below, is the press release name drops that also mentions Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema, the titles of the three movies and book, Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Sean Astin and Orlando Bloom and 17 Academy Awards including Best Picture.

This will be said over and over between now and when the Amazon series goes live for the first time.

Check the quote again:

<blockquote>'LOTR series will be set in Middle-earth and explore new storylines preceding Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring</blockquote>

There they go dropping another book title in the story and then clearly state the series explores NEW story lines that happen BEFORE the book begins. It really can't be much clearer. The events in the series happen before the book(s) and the Peter Jackson films that adapted them.

More on Jackson later.

A little further down the story comes a quote from a representative of the Tolkien Estate and Trust, from a person almost no potential viewer has heard of but who speaks with the authority of Tolkien.

Sharon and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien's original writings, Matt Galsor said.<a href="http://www.theonering.net/torwp/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/74.jpeg"><img src="http://www.theonering.net/torwp/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/74.jpeg" alt="" width="640" height="272" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-89880" /></a>

We all know Tolkien's story has a page one where the story starts and ends with THE GRAY HAVENS chapter and the sentence, 'He drew a deep breath. "Well, I'm back, he said"'

So how is this TV series actually a “Lord of the Rings” series that happens before the books begin but also isn't The Hobbit?

You probably already know.

Tolkien managed to get Harper Collins to publish the third part of his The Lord of the Rings book with a group of appendices, organized into sections A to F. When Tolkien famously sold the rights of his books to United Artists in 1969, it was about what was between the covers and that includes those sections on languages, writing and spelling, calendars and family trees.

But Appendix A and Appendix B aren't just lists or dates but flesh out what the press release promises, storylines preceding Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring.

****** SPOILER WARNING ******

To save you from running to your copy of the books, here is a brief summary of the material that is legally available for production:

The Numenorean Kings: You Silmarillion supporters, sad because there is no chance of an adaptation of that book, can keep your candle burning but it might only be a fools hope. The only content legally available is a recap of the Sil in LOTR. We get three jewels, their theft by Morgoth, his fortress Thangorodrim, war against him from the baddest Elves, Luthien Tinuviel and Beren getting a Silmaril from Morgoth's Iron Crown and more, but just a smattering from the story of the Elves and Men.

Numenor and its line of kings that eventually lead to ruin and the scattering of the realms in exile might work. If you recall, Appenix A also has the kings of Arnor, Gondor the Dunedain, Aragorn's people, and the Stewards of Gondor.

Oh and the tale of Aragorn and Arwen.

The history of Rohan is there, as is some of the events leading up to the Dwarves' mission in The Hobbit films, touched on by them in the three-film adaptation.

Here we find a brief account of the battles in the north during the War of the Ring. It also mentions some wizards and how Gandalf received the Ring of Fire.

We also get some major events of the Second Age dealing with Numenor and the Rings of Power. This content was said to be gathered by none other than Merry, which could provide a narrator to hold the structure together. Is Billy Boyd busy?

Thinking this through, it seems probable that the new Amazon series will focus on the kingdom's of men and its success and eventual failures, mostly from Appendix A.

Speaking of failures, Deadline reports that Amazon has failed to talk to Jackson and has not tried to enlist the help of, or even reached out to;Peter Jackson."


In the spirit of full disclosure, Jackson invited me to visit his set for The Hobbit films and report on what I saw. <a href="http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2014/12/16/95775-peter-jackson-talks-hobbit-battle-of-the-the-five-armies-and-all-middle-earth-with-theonering-net/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">He also gave me a lot of access.</a> Some would say that distorts on how I might offer thoughts about his work and his potential work on this project.

Thing is, I can't fathom that Team Jackson wants to take the reins for the LOTR TV adaptation. I can't comprehend that he wants to devote more years of his life by returning to Middle-earth. He was hesitant to return for The Hobbit and he suffered some backlash for it.

I don't think he would take the job in either a director's chair or in a producer's role.

<a href="http://deadline.com/2017/11/lord-of-the-rings-amazon-peter-jackson-no-call-jeff-bezos-1202207331/" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Deadline says Amazon has not tried to enlist the help of, or even reached out to Jackson.</a>

I suspect Amazon, Warner Bros. and the estate want to find somebody fresh.

Anyway, that is what Amazon is planning to do. And boss Jeff Bezos, one of the most wealthy geeks who ever lived, is willing to spend to make it happen. Join us as we dread and anticipate the latest adaptation of Tolkien's works.

(This post was edited by Altaira on Nov 14 2017, 5:01pm)


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