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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
TV show plot: downfall of Numenor and last alliance?
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Althoun
The Shire

Apr 20, 9:40pm

Post #26 of 60 (1577 views)
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Points of clarification... [In reply to] Can't Post


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There is no evidence that this has happened and the few comments Amazon has made imply the series will be more directly tied to LOTR than to earlier history.


What few comments might those be?

I see none clearly indicative of the 'when' question. All we know is the series' status as a prequel, set prior to the events of LOTR. The timeline of the previously "unexplored" prequel has not been revealed to the public, as-of-yet. So, your assumption that it will be Young Aragorn is not evidenced either. We don't know for certain how close in time it will be to the War of the Ring.

I want to reiterate that I did not actually suggest there was any tangible evidence pointing in this direction, in my OP.

Rather, I merely argued that in contrast to the Silmarillion (which Hollywood Reporter indicated in explicit terms hadn't been covered by the deal), no incontrovertible clarification has been put out on this point, and the phrase "original writings" for the press release, is vague and open-ended enough to still admit this as a (remote) possibility.

I'm not getting my own or others hopes up here. My argument consisted purely on the assumption of them relying upon the Appendices, anyway, so this was simply a bit of secondary speculation on my part.


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There's no reason that a Young Aragorn series can't include the stuff you mention. If it focuses on Aragorn's time as Thorongil, which is what we know the most about, then the source material already includes multiple-kingdom-spanning action and politics.


Yes, Aragorn travels widely throughout Middle-Earth but on loosely connected "journeys" in Rohan and Gondor (as well as further afield) which don't really lead anywhere substantive and which aren't guided by an overarching, epic narrative on the scale of the War of the Ring or the Last Alliance.


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Regardless of what tack the screenwriters take they will have to invent a great deal of material, and I see no reason to think they wouldn't do so with a Young Aragorn series in order to flesh out the information in the Appendices with character arcs and a greater supporting cast.

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Sure, a great deal of material will have to be invented by the screenwriters either way but the problem with the Young Aragorn arc can be put plainly as follows: it doesn't and quite simply cannot, by its very nature (if they are to remain even moderately faithful to the events of the books and films), amount to anything epic or grandiose in scale to rival the LoTR films or GoT.

It essentially ends with the Hunt for Smeagol, and this is barely (if at all) connected to Aragorn's earlier errands like his raid on the Corsairs of under Echthelion. You aren't going to see Aragorn crowned, because that happens in LoTR, for instance.

Young Aragorn is obviously a prequel to Aragorn's plot in LOTR of growing into becoming the restored King of Gondor but it doesn't really function well as a true prequel to LOTR itself, in my opinion, in the same way that a Last Alliance storyline would (by ending where the prologue in the films and the assumed back story to the novels, filled in especially by an info-dump from Elrond in Fellowship, begins).


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According to the Appendices Aragorn spent little time in Eriador, period. It's doubtful he had much of anything to do with the protection of the Shire since his main purpose was "labour[ing] in the cause against Sauron", both in the service of Rohan and Gondor, and later traveling "alone far into the East and deep into the South, exploring the hearts of Men, both evil and good, and uncovering the plots and devices of the servants of Sauron."


I should note, I was being deliberately facetious with that comment Tongue

Naturally, I don't reasonably expect a Young Aragorn TV series would be concerned with him "strolling around the hills of the Shire" sucking berries and hanging out with the Hobbits.

And as Otaku said, I started this thread without taking into consideration the full ambit of Aragorn's travels and I thank the good people here for clarifying aspects of this, as you do above. However, I still don't see the epic potential in the coming-of-age, chivalrous errantries of Aragorn as Thorongil.

I mean, honestly, does it really amount to a grand narrative worthy of a five-season extravaganza to rival the LoTR films/GOT and a fortune equivalent to a small country's GDP?


(This post was edited by Althoun on Apr 20, 9:51pm)


Althoun
The Shire

Apr 20, 10:42pm

Post #27 of 60 (1550 views)
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Good post... [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi daemoon,

Many thanks, I very much agree with your perspective on this.

I wouldn't discount the possibility of the Tolkien Estate (who shopped the original concept for this series around before Netflix and Amazon competed for the rights) and Amazon having agreed to an adaption based upon this particular narrative, even though "Young Aragorn " still seems to be the most plausible contender.

One should note the number of references within the LoTR books to the events involving Elendil and Isildur, quite apart from the Appendices. I mean, when Aragorn's coronation and restoration to the throne arrives in RoTK, he takes a royal oath derived from a statement attributed to...whom exactly?

Elendil, when he washed up on the shores of Middle-Earth for the first time, after fleeing the fall of Numenor during the Second Age, as Tolkien writes in RoTK:


https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=yl4dILkcqm4C&pg=PT651&dq=“Et+Eärello+Endorenna+utúlien.+Sinome+maruvan+ar+Hildinyar+tenn’+Ambar-metta&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiS2OXr8snaAhWjIMAKHadQBaAQ6AEIKjAB#v=onepage&q&f=false



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Thus came Aragorn son of Arathorn, Elessar, Isildur's heir, out of the Paths of the Dead, borne upon a wind from the sea to the kingdom of Gondor...

Then Aragorn took the crown and held it up and said: Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn'Ambar-metta! And those were the words that Elendil spoke when he came up out of the Sea on the wings of the wind: 'Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I am come. In this place will I abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the workd'



Aragorn's sword Narsil, likewise, is Elendil's sword.

This historical backdrop is the true prequel to LoTR and it is absolutely essential to the events of the War of the Ring.

One cannot compare it to the First Age segment of the Silmarillion which has zilch to do with the Rings of Power or Sauron.

And, moreover, the Akallabeth is a relatively slim volume, so it doesn't really add volumes to the main events regarding Numenor and the Last Alliance that we learn about from LoTR and the Appendices. I still think it is eminently do-able without access to other material.


(This post was edited by Althoun on Apr 20, 10:52pm)


Althoun
The Shire

Apr 20, 11:11pm

Post #28 of 60 (1542 views)
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As an addendum.... [In reply to] Can't Post

And I should mention too, Elrond’s extensive account at his council in Fellowship of the Ring:


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'I was the herald of Gil-galad and marched with his host. I was at the Battle of Dagorlad before the Black Gate of Mordor, where we had the mastery: for the Spear of Gil-galad and the Sword of Elendil, Aiglos and Narsil, none could withstand. I beheld the last combat on the slopes of Orodruin, where Gil-galad died, and Elendil fell, and Narsil broke beneath him; but Sauron himself was overthrown, and Isildur cut the Ring from his hand with the hilt-shard of his father’s sword, and took it for his own..’


Gandalf shared some details as well, in the same chapter, when he recited Isildur’s note about the Ring for the council:


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And after these words Isildur described the Ring, such as he found it:

"It was hot when I first took it, hot as a glede, and my hand was scorched, so that I doubt if ever again I shall be free of the pain of it. Yet even as I write it is cooled, and it seemeth to shrink, though it loseth neither its beauty nor its shape. Already the writing upon it, which at first was as clear as red flame, fadeth and is now only barely to be read. It is fashioned in an elven-script of Eregion, for they have no letters in Mordor for such subtle work; but the language is unknown to me. I deem it to be a tongue of the Black Land, since it is foul and uncouth. What evil it saith I do not know; but I trace here a copy of it, lest it fade beyond recall. The Ring misseth, maybe, the heat of Sauron’s hand, which was black and yet burned like fire, and so Gil-galad was destroyed; and maybe were the gold made hot again, the writing would be refreshed. But for my part I will risk no hurt to this thing: of all the works of Sauron the only fair. It is precious to me, though I buy it with great pain."


That is one HUGE statement attributed to Isildur in Fellowship.

There's a lot of material on this within LoTR and the Appendices.


(This post was edited by Althoun on Apr 20, 11:14pm)


Eldorion
Gondor


Apr 20, 11:13pm

Post #29 of 60 (1541 views)
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Various points [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
What few comments might those be?

I see none clearly indicative of the 'when' question. All we know is the series' status as a prequel, set prior to the events of LOTR. The timeline of the previously "unexplored" prequel has not been revealed to the public, as-of-yet. So, your assumption that it will be Young Aragorn is not evidenced either. We don't know for certain how close in time it will be to the War of the Ring.


I'd hope that it goes without saying that my opinion about what certain quotes imply is not authoritative (though I apologize if I came across too strongly in my previous post), but in any event, one of the comments I had in mind was the official press release's statement that the series "will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring". Again, I can only speak to my interpretation, but I think this suggests storylines that directly lead into those of FOTR. I think the mention of Fellowship specifically rather than LOTR as a whole is noteworthy. The other comment I had in mind was Sharon Tal Yguado's tease of information back when the project was announced (she's Amazon's Head of Scripted Series and is mentioned in the press release).

https://twitter.com/...s/930246506426261505


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Ask your Echo “who is Aragorn?” #LordOfTheRings


https://twitter.com/...s/930249418204315649


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Ask your echo “Which character is not affected by the power of the one ring?” #LordOfTheRings


I think the second Tweet refers to Aragorn (specifically the scene where he lets Frodo go at the end of Fellowship), others have suggested it might refer to Tom Bombadil. In either case, I don't think it suggests a series set thousands of years prior to LOTR.


In Reply To
I want to reiterate that I did not actually suggest there was any tangible evidence pointing in this direction, in my OP.

Rather, I merely argued that in contrast to the Silmarillion (which Hollywood Reporter indicated in explicit terms hadn't been covered by the deal), no incontrovertible clarification has been put out on this point, and the phrase "original writings" for the press release, is vague and open-ended enough to still admit this as a (remote) possibility.


I find it unlikely that the rights to HoMe and/or UT would have been sold without The Silmarillion given how much overlap there is between their contents; it would be an arrangement fraught with potential for contractual disputes. There's a lot of Númenor material in UT that could be used to add flavor and a deeper sense of history to a hypothetical series, but most of the relevant details to the events of the Downfall itself are found in the Akallabêth. I also think that if Amazon had the rights to anything other than LOTR they would have mentioned it in the press release. Again, just my opinion here; I have no inside connections and could certainly be wrong, but it doesn't really make sense to me.

I agree with you that a Númenor series would be much more interesting than a Young Aragorn series. I first read Helge Fauskanger's ideas for a Númenor movie about eleven years ago and have been fond of the idea ever since. I think/hope that there is a greater chance of seeing historical series in the future if the first one is successful, but who knows.


In Reply To
I mean, honestly, does it really amount to a grand narrative worthy of a five-season extravaganza to rival the LoTR films/GOT and a fortune equivalent to a small country's GDP?


The money point is part of the reason why I think that a historical series is unlikely. Amazon's objective here is to make "the next GOT", which I don't think means aping GOT exactly but just creating an epic fantasy series that can equal it in popularity. I think it is telling that their solution to this challenge is to actually go back to the previous "GOT" that was the hottest thing in fantasy before Game of Thrones became super-popular (and that still retains a great deal of public affection). This does not strike me as the decision of a studio interested in taking bold risks on unfamiliar properties. And the Second Age is, ultimately, an unfamiliar property to most Tolkien readers, much less movie-only viewers and the general public. While the setting of Middle-earth is a big part of LOTR's appeal, it is ultimately the characters that most people become emotionally invested in, and I think it is the possibility of seeing more of them that has the greater chance of drawing a large audience. Look at The Hobbit movies for an example of this strategy in action.

On the other hand, Warner Bros went in big on Fantastic Beasts, so you could be right. Smile


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 21, 12:45am

Post #30 of 60 (1529 views)
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Does it need to be Grand? [In reply to] Can't Post

I suspect that expectations of this series rising to the epic levels of the War of the Ring and Game of Thrones might be too high. If the show is engaging enough and entertaining I'm not sure that it needs to reach epic proportions (though some arcs within it might do so).

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


Althoun
The Shire

Apr 21, 6:09pm

Post #31 of 60 (1470 views)
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Hmm.... [In reply to] Can't Post


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I'd hope that it goes without saying that my opinion about what certain quotes imply is not authoritative (though I apologize if I came across too strongly in my previous post),



Not at all, you needn't apologize to me for anything. You were simply expressing your opinion (and an educated one at that). Smile


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https://twitter.com/...s/930246506426261505


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Ask your Echo “who is Aragorn?” #LordOfTheRings



Well, on the face of it, I can naturally understand why one might - with valid justification - consider this to be indicative of a TV series about Aragorn.

But as you noted, this may be a 'hint': in which case she is asking her followers on Twitter to probe a little deeper.

Who is Aragorn? I'll let the man himself speak, since he actually answered this in the trilogy:

“I am Aragorn son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar the Elfstone, Dunadan. The heir of Isildur, Elendil's son of Gondor.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

The answer, in respect of Aragorn's "true identity", has to do with his hidden, direct lineage from Elendil and Isildur - in other words, his Numenorian/Dunedain ancestry.



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https://twitter.com/...s/930249418204315649


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Ask your echo “Which character is not affected by the power of the one ring?” #LordOfTheRings


I think the second Tweet refers to Aragorn (specifically the scene where he lets Frodo go at the end of Fellowship), others have suggested it might refer to Tom Bombadil. In either case, I don't think it suggests a series set thousands of years prior to LOTR.



Actually, I'd say they are all wrong about this.

Tolkien stated plainly, on frequent occasions in his Letters, that no one - and I repeat no one - was entirely "unaffected" by the power of the One Ring, such that they could have willingly tossed it into Mount Doom:

"I do not think that Frodo's was a moral failure. At the last moment the pressure of the Ring would reach its maximum – impossible, I should have said, for any one to resist, certainly after long possession, months of increasing torment, and when starved and exhausted"

- Letter 246

Aragorn was clearly tempted by the One Ring. His appearance, when he first meets the Hobbits at the Prancing Pony in FoTR, is described as undergoing a change almost identical to Galadriel's.

Every time one is tempted by the Ring, they seem to grow taller and terrible to behold, with gleaming eyes. Gandalf and Galadriel underwent the same temptation and overcame it much like Aragorn. The relevant passage from FoTR:


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Strider: 'If I was after the Ring, I could have it – now!’

He stood up, and seemed suddenly to grow taller. In his eyes gleamed a light, keen and commanding. Throwing back his cloak, he laid his hand on the hilt of a sword that had hung concealed by his side. They did not dare to move. Sam sat wide-mouthed staring at him dumbly.


Every time one is tempted by the Ring, they seem to grow taller and terrible to behold, with gleaming eyes. Gandalf and Galadriel underwent the same temptation and overcame it much like Aragorn.

So, like Galadriel and Faramir (and others - he certainly wasn't alone or unique in being able to resist its power), he managed to resist the temptation - yet the power of the One Ring still had a visible, tangible "effect" upon his person. This is made clear both in the books and in the films (where Aragorn is evidently tempted but resists).

In the movies, Aragorn is even more visibly tempted/affected by the Ring's power. It was near the end of the Fellowship of the Ring. Frodo, having seen Boromir succumb to the Ring, asks Aragorn “Can you protect me from yourself? Would you destroy it?” The Ring then calls out to Aragorn, and you can see the temptation in his face. This is the catalyst for him letting Frodo go…he knows he and the others can’t possinly fight the Ring’s temptation before they reach Mordor, so he let’s Frodo go to save him from the others, as well as to save the others from the Ring.

And Tolkien confirms this repeatedly in his Letters: no one would have been able to resist the power of the Ring any better than Frodo, when its very existence was imperiled.

Are you of the opinion that temptation doesn't amount to an "affect"?

OK, Bombadil is an exception (for some reason) but he is an ancient, supramundane being of awesome power. Tolkien himself states that Bombadil is unaffected by the Ring in Letter 153:

"Tom Bombadil exhibits another point in his attitude to the Ring, and its failure to affect him. You must concentrate on some part, probably relatively small, of the World (Universe), whether to tell a tale, however long, or to learn anything however fundamental – and therefore much will from that 'point of view' be left out, distorted on the circumference, or seem a discordant oddity. The power of the Ring over all concerned, even the Wizards or Emissaries, is not a delusion – but it is not the whole picture, even of the then state and content of that part of the Universe."

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien 153: To Peter Hastings (Draft). September 1954

To that extent, Bombadil does appear to be the correct answer if she is looking for an actual character - as opposed to her intending to make an open-ended remark about the Ring's power over people.

But notice how he, in the exact same paragraph, later reiterates the fact that the Ring has "power over all concerned, even wizards and emissaries [of the Valar]".

It's also possible that these Twitter posts don't actually relate to the series and were simply a bit of light playfulness on her part, almost like a sort of investigative quizz to drum up interest.


(This post was edited by Althoun on Apr 21, 6:23pm)


Althoun
The Shire

Apr 21, 6:40pm

Post #32 of 60 (1458 views)
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The money point is part of the reason why I think that a historical series is unlikely. Amazon's objective here is to make "the next GOT", which I don't think means aping GOT exactly but just creating an epic fantasy series that can equal it in popularity.


Totally agree with you here, I expressed the exact same sentiment earlier in the thread. They intend to match GoT in terms of epic scale, cinematic-style quality and popularity, as opposed to aping the HBO production.


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And the Second Age is, ultimately, an unfamiliar property to most Tolkien readers, much less movie-only viewers and the general public. While the setting of Middle-earth is a big part of LOTR's appeal, it is ultimately the characters that most people become emotionally invested in, and I think it is the possibility of seeing more of them that has the greater chance of drawing a large audience. Look at The Hobbit movies for an example of this strategy in action.



Again, this is where I personally must digress.

The GoT spin-offs, which are all prequels, will be set in the same universe (i.e. Westeros or Essos) but in a time period far removed from that of the original series, such that none of the main characters whom viewers have grown to love, will be reappearing or reprising their roles.

No Daenerys or Jon Snow, no Emilia Clarke or Kit Harington. Completely new, unexplored stories and characters from GRRM's legendarium set in past eras.

Amazon, surely, will have been cognizant of this fact.

The Hobbit films were not a patch on the original LoTR trilogy and I think most impartial onlookers would agree that bringing back Gandalf and what-not did not turn out to be a sterling success.

Re-casting the original actors - which Amazon would need to do for Young Aragorn - could actually be viewed as even more of a negative. People are attached to Liv Tyler as Arwen (plus, she's an ageless half-elf - so she shouldn't be changing her image at all), Vigo Mortensen as Aragorn etc. The new cast would constantly be compared with the old one.

To be honest, I think "Middle-Earth", "The Lord of the Rings" and "Tolkien" are the real draws. Consider the runaway success of the video game "Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor" (2014), an original non-canon story set in the legendarium created by J. R. R. Tolkien. The plot concerns the adventures of a new, non-canon character named Talion.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor received critical acclaim upon release, winning Game of the Year in 2015. No familiar characters for players.

Now, I know nothing about video games (haven't played the damn things since I was in high school and I'm now 25), but I can recognize canny merchandising of an established brand/franchise when I see it and what this proves is that the general public lap up Middle-Earth, even in the absence of any familiar characters names.

What people love is the rich, high-fantasy world Tolkien has created - unsurpassed by any other fantasy writer when it comes to world-building. There is clearly an appetite for entirely new stuff set in this world.


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On the other hand, Warner Bros went in big on Fantastic Beasts, so you could be right



And just look how well that has paid off for them Wink

Young Aragorn would be the least wise bet for Amazon in my humble assessment but that certainly doesn't mean that it won't turn out to be the case (I just don't regard it as a slam-dunk, as you yourself appear to). Indeed, I freely concede and have done from the beginning of this thread that it remains the most likely contender.


(This post was edited by Althoun on Apr 21, 6:47pm)


Althoun
The Shire

Apr 21, 6:53pm

Post #33 of 60 (1449 views)
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Epic scale is a requisite, I personally feel...it's the genre itself, "epic/high fantasy"... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I suspect that expectations of this series rising to the epic levels of the War of the Ring and Game of Thrones might be too high. If the show is engaging enough and entertaining I'm not sure that it needs to reach epic proportions (though some arcs within it might do so).


The one thing I feel moderately sure about, is that Bezos intended and very much still intends this TV series to rise to the most epic levels possible, superseding the War of the Ring and GoT if he can humanly achieve that feat.

He wants the next GoT in scale, production values and popularity. I feel strongly about that.

I have nothing against engaging and entertaining shows but one of the main factors which made LoTR and GoT such runaway successes was the fact they were both epic medieval fantasies. Bezos wants a piece of the pie and it's an epic, high fantasy pie ipso facto by its very nature.

I can't picture a small country's GDP being coughed up on a show for it to be less than "epic" in nature. The genre itself demands it. I mean, Jackson even felt compelled to try and ramp up the epic qualities of The Hobbit into a three-film extravaganza to conform with this expectation.

But, as with the foregoing, I concede that I may be wrong about this. Only time will tell.


(This post was edited by Althoun on Apr 21, 7:05pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 21, 7:15pm

Post #34 of 60 (1430 views)
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Hints and Rumors [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I do think that the earlier clues...


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Ask your Echo “who is Aragorn?” #LordOfTheRings

Ask your echo “Which character is not affected by the power of the one ring?” #LordOfTheRings


...suggest a series set in the Third Age and focused, if not directly on Aragorn, than on the Dúnedain of Arnor (either before or after the fall of the North Kingdoms). The one think they do not hint at is a Second Age series. I do wonder if we might still get an anthology show in which a season might consist of several stand-alone arcs. The notion has been popular on this forum; however, that would mean that we would not have a regular cast and setting that is relatively consistent throughout a given season. And I agree that the second clue probably points to Tom Bombadil, who did live in the Old Forest within the borders of Arthedain. Surely the Rangers knew of Tom and Goldberry and must have had occasional contact with them.

"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 Apr 21, 7:18pm)


InTheChair
Lorien

Apr 21, 9:40pm

Post #35 of 60 (1377 views)
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Ask your echo “Which character is not affected by the power of the one ring?” #LordOfTheRings [In reply to] Can't Post

That one is fairly easy. It's Sauron. Any show Amazon makes is going to revolve around him as the power to stand up against, and he is Amazons guarantee that the show will epic and grand in scale, no matter the exact time period it is set in.


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And, moreover, the Akallabeth is a relatively slim volume, so it doesn't really add volumes to the main events regarding Numenor and the Last Alliance that we learn about from LoTR and the Appendices. I still think it is eminently do-able without access to other material.


They would find it problematic, doing anything Numenor related without venturing into what must be considered forbidden material. At best I can see them starting with the actual downfall of the Island, without explaining why in detail, except that Sauron was behind it, and then make a tale of the return of the Numenoreans, their friendship with Gil-Galad and the last alliance and overthrow of Sauron. Not sure if they can drag that out over five seasons of course.

On the other hand with Sauron as the directing menace, the period between the Hobbit and the Fellowship of the rings offers a number of conflict that could be linked together and expanded to more epic proportions.

2951 Dol Guldur re-occupied by three Nazgul
2957-? Aragorn serves Thengel in Rohan. (Against who?)
?-2980? Osgiliath is recaptured by Gondor
?-2980 Aragarn gathers a fleet and assaults Umbar. Burns the ships of the corsairs
2989 Balin and his company returns to Moria
2994 Moria and the Chamber of Mazarbul. Death of Balin
3002 Eomund is slain at an Orc ambush in the Emyn Muil

The period offers a chance to build arcs for several named characters from the period. Aragorn, Denethor, Ecthelion, Thengel, Theoden, Eomer, Dain, Bain, Balin, Gloin, Halbarad, Imrahil, Arwen, Finduilas, Theodwyn, Galadriel, Elrond, Saruman, Gandalf, you name it. With Sauron as the glue that binds it all together, if they can't make a grand epic out of all that, then I have no hope for any series they would attempt.

The only other option I can see, if they do neither the last alliance years, or the young Aragorn years, is that they make a show around completely new and invented characters, telling their own story with the known faces of Lord of the Rings only making guest appearances. That would afford them the most freedom, but I wonder if they would have payed so much money for that.


(This post was edited by InTheChair on Apr 21, 9:47pm)


Eldorion
Gondor


Apr 21, 10:58pm

Post #36 of 60 (1359 views)
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Rings and things [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Are you of the opinion that temptation doesn't amount to an "affect"?


I think that, taken in context, Aragorn is the most likely subject of the tweet, but insofar as the semantic discussion is concerned I think it's possible to describe someone who was tempted by the Ring but resisted it relatively easily as "unaffected". Even in the case of Bombadil, an argument can be made that the Ring exerted some temptation, however minor and momentary. You observe (astutely, in my opinion) that:


In Reply To
Every time one is tempted by the Ring, they seem to grow taller and terrible to behold, with gleaming eyes. Gandalf and Galadriel underwent the same temptation and overcame it much like Aragorn.


And if we look at the passage wherein Tom holds the Ring (FOTR, I 7):


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It seemed to grow larger as it lay for a moment on his big brown-skinned hand. Then suddenly he put it to his eye and laughed. For a second the hobbits had a vision, both comical and alarming, of his bright blue eye gleaming through a circle of gold. Then Tom put the Ring round the end of his little finger and held it up to the candlelight. For a moment the hobbits noticed nothing strange about this. Then they gasped. There was no sign of Tom disappearing!


My emphasis in both cases. Wink Now, clearly, if Tom was indeed tempted by the Ring he overcame it easier than probably any other character, so I don't think this interpretation is inconsistent with Tolkien's comment in Letter 153. To be sure, one could argue the semantic point differently, but honestly I would be surprised if the choice of words in the tweet had nearly this amount of thought put into it.


In Reply To
The GoT spin-offs, which are all prequels, will be set in the same universe (i.e. Westeros or Essos) but in a time period far removed from that of the original series, such that none of the main characters whom viewers have grown to love, will be reappearing or reprising their roles.


I think this makes the GOT spin-offs relatively risky bets, and neither Amazon, HBO, nor anyone else knows how well they will pay off yet. As to the other comparisons, while I did not personally like The Hobbit films very much, even the least successful of them (Battle of the Five Armies) made more money than the first Fantastic Beasts movie. I'm not gonna try to argue for a one-to-one relationship between box office returns and the presence of previously-known characters because there are a ton of other factors at play, but I don't think that Shadow of Mordor is a great comparison. Part of the appeal of games--especially open world games--is getting to create your own personal version of the story through your choices as the main character. The Shadow games put even more emphasis on this through what they call the Nemesis system, which creates customized orcish opponents based on the player's actions. I think it's an inherently different experience than watching movies or TV series.


(This post was edited by Eldorion on Apr 21, 11:11pm)


Althoun
The Shire

Apr 23, 3:51pm

Post #37 of 60 (1145 views)
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You are persuasive...but still... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I think this makes the GOT spin-offs relatively risky bets, and neither Amazon, HBO, nor anyone else knows how well they will pay off yet. As to the other comparisons, while I did not personally like The Hobbit films very much, even the least successful of them (Battle of the Five Armies) made more money than the first Fantastic Beasts movie.



Well, you are onto a winning argument here in terms of the overall box office gross, if taken on a global basis. But I wouldn't be so certain box office popularity can be definitively correlated with success on TV, since they are distinct mediums.

Nontheless, Fantastic Beasts made $85 million in China, compared to the $60m gross of Deathly Hallows part II five years prior. So, it's not as if, by its very nature, a prequel set in the same fictional universe but in a different historical era with new characters cannot hope to thrive or even surpass the profits of the original.

I think one must be careful with this sort of analysis. The Hobbit was already a greatly beloved piece of literature in its own right, separate from The Lord of the Rings, which retains to this day a considerable fanbase. I fondly remember reading it well before LoTR, as a very young child. It may, therefore, be wrongheaded to conclude that it's success as a cinematic spectacle had to do with continuity of characters and what-not from the trilogy, as opposed to it's own merits as a work by JRR Tolkien set in Middle-Earth. It's actually very different in tone from the trilogy.

There is no widely beloved 'Young Aragorn' novel, that we can recall fondly from our childhood.

Film franchises are not exactly comparable to episodic prestige dramas, though I concede they are obviously far more so than computer games. My raising of Shadow of Mordor was not an attempt to argue games consoles and cinema are equivalent (clearly, they aren't), but rather to demonstrate that people out-there do enjoy Tolkien's fantasy world in its own right, independently of his characters.

Don't you think a sizable number, if not all, of the gamers in question would likewise be potential viewers of the Amazon TV series too? Might not the novelity of the computerized plot and characters, wet their appetite for something fresh on another medium?

If this Middle-Earth series really is going to be centered around 'Young Aragorn,' then we may find our respective standpoints put to the test in real-time. Which is to say, we will see the "historical" GoT spin-off show(s) competing head-to-head against the more familiar 'LoTR' prequel with its continuity of characters.

And, to this end, we will find ourselves in a position to asses how each one matches up to its original peer (taking into the account the TV/film differences, of course).

That should be interesting.

Here's a link to the latest update regarding the GoT spin-offs (for comparative purposes):

http://tvline.com/2018/01/11/game-of-thrones-spinoffs-bloodlines-hbo-2020-premiere/


Quote
Game of Thrones Spinoffs Will Not Feature Current Characters But 'There May Be Familiar Bloodlines,' HBO Boss Says

The five Game of Thrones prequel spinoffs currently in development at HBO will not feature any existing characters, HBO president Casey Bloys confirms to TVLine. However, the exec is quick to add that “there may be [familiar] bloodlines” in the potential series.

Last May, HBO announced that it had deals with four writers — Carly Wray (Mad Men), Jane Goldman (X-Men), Brian Helgeland (Mystic River) and Max Borenstein (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island) — to “explore different time periods of [George R.R. Martin]’s vast and rich universe." (It was later confirmed that the cabler is entertaining a fifth spinoff idea.)


Personally, I think they have the right idea. I'm positive that many, many Tolkien fans would long to see the day come when a production company delivers the immortal words: "we are going to explore different time periods of [JRR Tolkien]’s vast and rich universe". I'll be a bit peeved if the most likely outcome for the LoTR series (Young Aragorn) does come to pass. (Although, I'm sure I'll accustom myself to the reality...eventually.)

Milking the one cow for too long will eventually result in an empty udder. Even if the cow in question happens to have proved its worth as a cash cow in the past Wink


(This post was edited by Althoun on Apr 23, 4:05pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 23, 4:16pm

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To Aragorn or not to Aragorn? [In reply to] Can't Post

A 'Young Aragorn' series would explore new ground in that it would not simply be rehashing The Lord of the Rings. And it would have to eventually take viewers to parts of Middle-earth that they have never seen before as well as introduce them to new characters and different versions of familiar characters (Théoden son of Thengel as a young boy, for instance). So I don't think it's fair to refer to such as series as milking the same cow. That said, the show we get might be set before the birth of Aragorn--possibly even in the Second Age. Time will tell.

"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 Apr 23, 4:17pm)


Althoun
The Shire

Apr 23, 4:54pm

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The Big "IF"... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
A 'Young Aragorn' series would explore new ground in that it would not simply be rehashing The Lord of the Rings. And it would have to eventually take viewers to parts of Middle-earth that they have never seen before as well as introduce them to new characters and different versions of familiar characters (Théoden son of Thengel as a young boy, for instance). So I don't think it's fair to refer to such as series as milking the same cow. That said, the show we get might be set before the birth of Aragorn--possibly even in the Second Age. Time will tell.


I have been (perhaps unduly) "hard" on the prospects for a 'Young Aragorn'-themed TV series, I admit.

But I doubt that I'm (in fact, cross that out, I know from having read opinions and spoken to a host of other folk about this that I'm not) alone in feeling a little underwhelmed by the initial idea.

A lot of us think 'Young Aragorn' is rather blasé - yet more late Third Age-filler type of stuff tending towards the real action of the War of the Ring that we've already seen done to near-perfection in the original trilogy.

If Amazon can take 'Young Aragorn' and do something both epic in scale (still not convinced on that front as we speak) and innovative with it, while remaining faithful to Tolkien's spirit, then I may end up being converted by the finished product.

I certainly hope that I am pleasantly surprised - it's better to go into something with slightly diminished expectations and come out enthralled, than it is to go in all guns-blazing with excitement and coming away feeling less than enthralled, or even positively dissapointed.

And yes, indeed, only time will tell. We're literally discussing nano-bits of morsels of information at the moment - though I anticipate that this will likely change quite soon (given the tight timeframe stipulated in last year's deal).


(This post was edited by Althoun on Apr 23, 5:01pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 23, 5:28pm

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Believe me, I understand completely. I have reservations about Amazon's Middle-earth series regardless of what direction it takes. We know too little, and the chances of it becoming a disaster are too great.

"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 Apr 23, 5:37pm)


Althoun
The Shire

Apr 23, 5:33pm

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In Reply To
Believe me, I understand completely. I have reservations about Amazon's Middle-earth series regardless of what direction it takes. We know too little at the chances of it becoming a disaster are too great.


...to that! Heart


InTheChair
Lorien

Apr 23, 7:23pm

Post #42 of 60 (1090 views)
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If they really wanted to leverage a familiar cash cow they'd just redo Lord of the Rings. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
There is no widely beloved 'Young Aragorn' novel, that we can recall fondly from our childhood.


There isn't really one for the fall of Numenor and the Last Alliance either. Whatever series they make, they can't base it on beloved story of a book. They need to come up with much of the stuff on their own.


Quote
I'm positive that many, many Tolkien fans would long to see the day come when a production company delivers the immortal words: "we are going to explore different time periods of [JRR Tolkien]’s vast and rich universe".


By different time periods I assume you mean a period more remote from Lord of the Rings than a young Aragorn would be. Otherwise a young Aragorn series would be exactly exploring a different time period. One I guess that the vast majority of Lord of the Rings fans aren't too familiar with.


Quote
A lot of us think 'Young Aragorn' is rather blasé - yet more late Third Age-filler type of stuff tending towards the real action of the War of the Ring


It may seem like that, but there's a lot to work with in those years, like the darker parts of Mirkwood, or more of Khazad Dûm and Durins Bane. Umbar and the Corsairs, The re-birth of Dale and the Beornings, Saruman and the Dunlendings. They can show Mount Doom erupt into flame again, and they could if they wanted give us a closer study of the Nazgul. They could even send Aragorn into the East I guess but I wonder if they would really need to go there.

What they wouldn't get, as compared to Second age or the Last Alliance years, is the big grand final battle where armored Elves and Men fight side by side on a pitched battlefield. Though essentially they didn't get that in Lord of the Rings either.


Wainrider
Bree

Apr 24, 11:53pm

Post #43 of 60 (995 views)
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If hear "Young Aragorn" again I'm going to Puke.

The best options are the Witch King and Arnor, or the fall of Numenor and rise of Gondor. If they do that, they can also show the forging of the great rings and Sauron attacking the elves of Eregion. Yes it would be hundreds of years before, but that never stopped producers before.


skyofcoffeebeans
Bree

Apr 25, 12:02am

Post #44 of 60 (993 views)
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not sure [In reply to] Can't Post

what exactly is compelling story material out of any of that?


Ataahua
Superuser


Apr 25, 12:04am

Post #45 of 60 (995 views)
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When I see 'Young Aragorn' [In reply to] Can't Post

I hear the tune 'Blame Canada!' (but 'Young Aragorn!' instead). Then an all-dancing, all singing version of the LOTR TV show gets in my head and...

Crazy

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 25, 12:06am

Post #46 of 60 (991 views)
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The Man Once Called Estel. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
If hear "Young Aragorn" again I'm going to Puke.


I understand, though something in that timeframe seems pretty likely.


In Reply To
The best options are the Witch King and Arnor, or the fall of Numenor and rise of Gondor. If they do that, they can also show the forging of the great rings and Sauron attacking the elves of Eregion. Yes it would be hundreds of years before, but that never stopped producers before.


The few clues that we have seen seem to point to the Third Age and the Dúnedain of Arthedain. We could indeed see the Witch-king and the armies of Angmar. A series set in the Second Age and involving the Downfall of Númenor seems to be more of a long-shot; maybe we'll see it as a spin off.

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


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 25, 12:10am

Post #47 of 60 (988 views)
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It's a challenge. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
what exactly is compelling story material out of any of that?


The trick is to take Tolkien's outlines and make them into compelling characters and interesting situations. That's possible, though it would take a lot of effort.

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


Starling
Half-elven


Apr 25, 12:57am

Post #48 of 60 (980 views)
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I would totally watch that. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 




squire
Half-elven


Apr 25, 1:42am

Post #49 of 60 (984 views)
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If you don't capture Tolkien's voice and world view, it's just epic but cheap TV with a lot of leather and swords [In reply to] Can't Post

"The trick is to take Tolkien's outlines and make them into compelling characters and interesting situations."

From a TV producer's point of view, perhaps that's the trick. And it is a hard one to crack, as you say.

But what's even harder is to capture Tolkien himself, a man not of the 2010's at all. His outlines suggest plot, but they don't provide his voice and his mind. Yet I think the latter is what I like about Tolkien. Maybe I'm a minority in this regard. The films missed this as often as they got it (usually by quoting his writing), and if the TV series is going for the film fans rather than the book fans (to put it crudely), then sure: just the usual diet of compelling characters and interesting situations is the order of the day. It's the kind of thing professional scriptwriters are trained to put out by the word and the frame-count. But I won't be watching.



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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skyofcoffeebeans
Bree

Apr 25, 1:57am

Post #50 of 60 (981 views)
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Therein lies the problem [In reply to] Can't Post

All this ancillary material hinges on Tolkien-esque writers transferring his outlines into screenplays reminiscent of his voice and mind. These writers do not exist.

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