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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
Interesting look at the show Vikings, how it ended and trends with possible implications for LOTR

Eruonen
Valinor


Oct 5, 4:39pm

Post #1 of 7 (1015 views)
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Interesting look at the show Vikings, how it ended and trends with possible implications for LOTR Can't Post

I always like the show and am disappointed it ended but....I think there are some potential lessons for LOTR as well as WOT and other fantasy shows. Among them are audience buy in / interest in the characters, avoiding or limiting story lines that wander off from the main thrust of the show, keeping it fresh and unique to avoid fantasy fatigue etc.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdjaVqZ5s70


CuriousG
Half-elven


Oct 7, 3:20pm

Post #2 of 7 (941 views)
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Thanks for the clip [In reply to] Can't Post

I tried but never could get into Vikings. It's interesting that they killed off the lead after 4 seasons and then were surprised the show floundered. (Not clear if the lead left by choice.) I don't think you can underestimate how much fans get attached to characters, and how poorly they react to substitutes. I'm thinking a similar bad move would be to kill off James Bond and replace him by his daughter, Tiffany Bond, and then be surprised when the franchise suffers. No, nothing is written in stone, and it could take off to new heights. But don't be surprised if it doesn't.

How does this affect Amazon's LOTR? If they make certain Elves prominent (Gil-Galad, Elrond, Cirdan, Galadriel), for example, and generally follow canon about them, they will last the entire series, though we'll probably see Celebrimbor killed off. But if they follow a dynastic timeline for humans, then the men and women will have to go. How will they handle that?


Eruonen
Valinor


Oct 7, 3:28pm

Post #3 of 7 (936 views)
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The incredible challenge is scripting this series as the guide rails are rather broad [In reply to] Can't Post

once you get away from major characters.

Just because you can invent new characters does not mean you have to. If you do they better be well written and serve a purpose.
The hardcore fans will probably be excited to see different plot lines as the world is explored whereas newbies may end up confused. Quite a balancing act is required.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Oct 7, 3:29pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Oct 7, 3:46pm

Post #4 of 7 (928 views)
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Balancing act indeed [In reply to] Can't Post

While I would love to see a fully developed "Aldarion and Erendis," I wouldn't watch it for 3 seasons.

I think Game of Thrones will be studied by other writers for years to come. They killed off popular heroes like Ned Stark and "popular" villains like Joffrey, but the show survived them. They *did* keep Cersei, Jon Snow, and Dany around for the duration, so it wasn't a complete revolving door.


Akhnaten
The Shire

Oct 7, 4:01pm

Post #5 of 7 (924 views)
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Narrative required deaths [In reply to] Can't Post

Ragnar was a semi-historic figure and his death by snakes was always on the horizon. I read that they initially intended to kill him in season 1 but the character was so popular, they kept him around

Another Hirsch show that suffered from a major, narrative required death was the Tudors. Once they killed off Natalie Dormerís Anne Boleyn, it was too much Henry throwing a tantrum and too many incompetent schemers.


The Dude
The Shire

Oct 7, 4:17pm

Post #6 of 7 (924 views)
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20 episodes per season [In reply to] Can't Post

When I think about that show, the only interesting thing I can come up with is the structure of season Four to Six. Each of those seasons consists of twenty episodes but seasons themselves are split into two parts of ten episodes. So the first ten episodes of Season 4 ran from February to April 2016, the show then took a a break until November 2016. Viewers then got to see the second part of episodes. If Shippey was correct about the number of episodes per season for the Amazon series, we could very likely get a similar structure.

I have only watched a couple of episodes of Vikings, but based on what I saw, it is cringe-inducing hogwash. Of course, this hardly comes as a surprise given the show's creator, Michael Hirst, a man who has created low-brow, aiming and failing to be middle-brow, historical drama for twenty years. Vikings makes you realize that, whatever its many faults, Game of Thrones sometimes was excellent television.

I would also like to add that judging the success of a show based on its ratings no longer really applies in the age of streaming services. There are now much more important parameters of success, such as subscription numbers, added value to your brand, etc. Even if the first season of the Lord of the Rings show has less-than-stellar ratings, we probably will not get the memo (1) and they will continue production (2).


Eruonen
Valinor


Oct 9, 4:35pm

Post #7 of 7 (789 views)
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I just saw they are advertising the next season of Vikings to start in December [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought it was all over? This must be the last season.

https://deadline.com/...t-mgm-tv-1202528772/

"....looking to extend the Vikings franchise with a new series. "


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Oct 9, 4:38pm)

 
 

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