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We Got This Covered reports on connections between films and series

Hasuwandil
Lorien


Jul 8, 11:52am

Post #1 of 11 (984 views)
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We Got This Covered reports on connections between films and series Can't Post

The headline is "The Lord Of The Rings TV Show Will Reportedly Adapt Parts Of The Movies", but I tend not to trust headlines in these days of clickbait journalism. From the article:


Quote
...we’ve now heard from our sources that the small screen Lord of the Rings will eventually feature several characters and plot points seen in the movies, albeit with some tweaks and changes to make them fit into the show.


Of course, the characters could be Galadriel, Celeborn, Elrond, and Sauron, which wouldn't be a big surprise. But Thranduil, and even possibly Legolas could make an appearance. (Legolas has no book-canon birth date, although he is widely believed to have been born in the Third Age, and according to extended Jackson movie canon he was born in T.A. 87.)

As for the "plot points", I suspect they may be referring to scenes from the prologue. Peter Jackson was trying to introduce the history of the Rings of Power in an very short time, and made certain choices that he likely would have made differently if he had had more screen time to devote to it.


Quote
According to our intel...future seasons of the series will eventually catch up to the movies and Amazon are keen to use aspects of the mythology that fans are more familiar with in order to tie things closer together.


I'm not sure how much this actually tells us. The films began with the forging of the Rings of Power. I would hope the series would bring us at least that far. The first somewhat substantive scene was from the War of the Last Alliance, and some people speculate that the series will end there, or possibly shortly thereafter at Gladden Fields. I don't think a likely interpretation of "catch up to the movies" is that Amazon is going to be telling the story of the Third Age down to the time of Sméagol, Bilbo, or Aragorn, but who knows?


Quote
The show will also reportedly feature some big time jumps, which will allow them to pull it all off without affecting their own narrative, and the current plan is for the plot of the Lord of the Rings trilogy to eventually have some sort of effect on the TV series.


Well, even the story of the forging of the Rings took place over around 500 years, but I suspect this means that Amazon intends to cover a large portion, if not all of, the 3441 years of the Second Age, perhaps from the founding of Númenor to the disappearance of the One Ring (which technically was in the Third Age, but I would like to see it included for completeness).

Usually previous events affect subsequent events, not the other way around, but I think what the last sentence from the quote is trying to say is that the development of at least some events and characters in the series will be influenced by their relevance to the plot of The Lord of the Rings, which only makes sense. However, I hope this doesn't mean we need to have an origin story for every little thing that showed up in the films.

Assuming we can trust this report, overall it seems that Amazon may be focusing on plots directly related to the Rings of Power. On the other had, Amazon is presumably requiring the main cast to read The Silmarillion, which has very little to do with the Rings of Power except for the last part of the book. I can't imagine they wouldn't be using the First Age as a sort of background to the series, just as the films used the story of Isildur as a sort of background.

Hêlâ Auriwandil, angilô berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!


Mari D.
Rivendell


Jul 8, 12:59pm

Post #2 of 11 (958 views)
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Time jumps [In reply to] Can't Post

This could mean that they stay true(r) to the original chronology than I dared to hope for ... which I would like, because personally, I enjoy it when things are true to their origins/core/their own truth. Blush

And I hope it means ... that they'll explore clever methods of tying things together that take place in different decades ... maybe even implementing the passage of time as a theme ... I would like that Smile


(This post was edited by Mari D. on Jul 8, 1:01pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 8, 3:46pm

Post #3 of 11 (944 views)
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Yeah... [In reply to] Can't Post

...the article doesn't really tell us much that we can't guess at on our own. We already know that several characters from The Lord of the Rings are active in the events of the Second Age (Elrond, Galadriel, Celeborn, Círdan, Glorfindel, and others) with several of these characters also being in the films.

One thing the show could do is to frame it in the context of the narrative device of having the tale told by someone in the Fourth Age such as King Elessar or even Samwise Gamgee. I don't think they're likely to do this, but it remains a possibilty.

#FidelityToTolkien


Hasuwandil
Lorien


Jul 8, 3:55pm

Post #4 of 11 (940 views)
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Second Age themes [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree. One of the major themes of the Second Age is death and immortality, and I would like to see the series depict the difference in lifespan, not just between the Númenóreans and ordinary Men, but also between the Elves and the Númenóreans, which can only be done if the series covers several hundred or thousand years.

Hêlâ Auriwandil, angilô berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!


Lissuin
Valinor


Jul 8, 9:05pm

Post #5 of 11 (909 views)
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Some too obvious fixes? : [In reply to] Can't Post

How much more could a One Ring bearer see while wearing it besides some creepy undead kings and a flaming eye?

Or Gandalf during his long fight with the Balrog and then his straying "out of thought and time. The stars wheeled overhead, and every day was as long as a life age of the earth".

And who might see what in Galadriel's mirror?

Or we might just be sitting around a lot of campfires with chatty rangers or garrulous wizards.

OR (I would really like this one) we could spend long evenings in the Hall of Fire in Rivendell. I missed those stories and songs in the films.

Anyway, nice catch, Hasuwandil.


Chen G.
Rohan

Jul 8, 10:58pm

Post #6 of 11 (889 views)
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Hold your horses [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The films began with the forging of the Rings of Power. I would hope the series would bring us at least that far. The first somewhat substantive scene was from the War of the Last Alliance, and some people speculate that the series will end there, or possibly shortly thereafter at Gladden Fields.


I don't think we'll get there quite yet. The map of the show - which was linked to the announcement that the show will be about the Second Age, and was clearly important enough that Amazon had it fixed after-the-fact - is clearly from just before the Forging of the Great Rings.

So, the show is quite concievably gearing up to tell the story of the Forging of the Great Rings and the War of the Elves and Sauron. Honestly, its the most sensible choice. The early Second Age isn't terribly eventful, and the events of the late Second Age such as Akallabeth are too far removed from what's known to casual audiences.

By comparison, the Forging of the Rings plays more on familiar characters (Galadriel and Elrond both being notable players), locations and plot points, while also being far-removed enough to require less meticulous connect-the-dots type of prequel storytelling.

As a story, it also has mapped-out plot points for both Numenore (as Tar Telperien withholds from helping the Elves) AND the Elves (and even the Dwarves), where in telling the Akallabeth we only really have plot points for the former, and whatever Elvish subplot would be concieved would have to be made to tie into what's hapenning in Numenore, whereas back in SA 1600, the two are already instrically connected.

Narrativelly, it also has a more traditionally satisfying ending, with Sauron once again routed by a union of the free People of Middle Earth. It certainly lacks the treacherous biblical parallels of Akallabeth.

The time-jump to Akallabeth is, even by Numenorean standards, huge. I think the story of the Rings and subsequent War could easily occupy two or three seasons, if not all five. I bet the Akallabeth will be reserved to the spinoff show Amazon is said to have optioned.

https://www.reddit.com/r/LOTR_on_Prime/comments/hde5ew/okay_lets_get_the_timeframe_right_once_and_for_all/


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jul 8, 11:04pm)


squire
Half-elven


Jul 9, 12:55am

Post #7 of 11 (867 views)
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Wow, five seasons of television based on less that 200 words written by Tolkien [In reply to] Can't Post

You are thinking that "the story of the Rings and subsequent War could easily occupy two or three seasons, if not all five."

As I understand it, the show only has rights to LotR and The Hobbit, not Unfinished Tales or HoME. So what we know about the War of the Elves and Sauron is basically from the chronology in the Appendices, plus a few vague references in the story itself (Council of Elrond, etc.)

Here are the relevant entries for the War, I believe:

"c. 1000 Sauron, alarmed by the growing power of the Númenoreans, chooses Mordor as a land to make into a stronghold. He begins the building of Barad-dûr.

1075 Tar-Ancalimë becomes the first Ruling Queen of Númenor.

1200 Sauron endeavours to seduce the Eldar. Gil-galad refuses to treat with him; but the smiths of Eregion are won over. The Númenoreans begin to make permanent havens.

c. 1500 The Elven-smiths instructed by Sauron reach the height of their skill. They begin the forging of the Rings of Power.

c. 1590 The Three Rings are completed in Eregion.

c. 1600 Sauron forges the One Ring in Orodruin. He completes the Barad-dûr. Celebrimbor perceives the designs of Sauron.

1693 War of the Elves and Sauron begins. The Three Rings are hidden.

1695 Sauron’s forces invade Eriador. Gil-galad sends Elrond to Eregion.

1697 Eregion laid waste. Death of Celebrimbor. The gates of Moria are shut. Elrond retreats with remnant of the Noldor and founds the refuge of Imladris.

1699 Sauron overruns Eriador.

1700 Tar-Minastir sends a great navy from Númenor to Lindon. Sauron is defeated.

1701 Westlands have peace for a long while." - The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Tale of Years: The Second Age"


And that's it. That's all that Tolkien wrote. So we will be watching (if we are watching at all) five seasons of television that will flesh this outline out with characters, episodes, plots and subplots, sets, locations, battles, magic, conflict, and glamor and glory - based entirely on the writers' and producers' imagination of what "Tolkien" means as a brand and a literary or filmic style. What they won't have to work with is anything actually written by Tolkien, either as narrative or as feigned history at any level of detail.

I'm not sure I agree that such a series should even have Tolkien's name attached to it.



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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Chen G.
Rohan

Jul 9, 4:07am

Post #8 of 11 (849 views)
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Some of the map details aren’t accessible without the Unfinished Tales [In reply to] Can't Post

Namely, the very shape of Numenore and location of its main settlements.

The TV rights are completely separate to the film rights (which indeed extend strictly to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) and involve the Estate directly. We’ll see.

And while it’s still not a lot of text, it’s a piece of text that describes quite an epoch. You could write a four-hundred word summary of World War II. That doesn’t make it a small event, as far as depicting it on film is concerned.

Judging by the information available on the map, the show may still cover about two hundred years if not more, as well as several places of interest: Eregion (where Annatar is misleading Celebrimbor, much to the suspicion of Galadriel), Lindon, Numenore (where Tar Telperien is reluctant to stand by the Elves, to the disapproval of Minastir), Lond Daer (where the Gwathuirim may serve as secondary antagonists) and potentially glimpses of Lorien, Moria and Mordor. That’s quite hefty for a TV show.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jul 9, 4:13am)


Althoun
Lorien

Jul 10, 6:52pm

Post #9 of 11 (645 views)
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I would frankly be quite surprised... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Namely, the very shape of Numenore and location of its main settlements.

The TV rights are completely separate to the film rights (which indeed extend strictly to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) and involve the Estate directly. We’ll see.

And while it’s still not a lot of text, it’s a piece of text that describes quite an epoch. You could write a four-hundred word summary of World War II. That doesn’t make it a small event, as far as depicting it on film is concerned.

Judging by the information available on the map, the show may still cover about two hundred years if not more, as well as several places of interest: Eregion (where Annatar is misleading Celebrimbor, much to the suspicion of Galadriel), Lindon, Numenore (where Tar Telperien is reluctant to stand by the Elves, to the disapproval of Minastir), Lond Daer (where the Gwathuirim may serve as secondary antagonists) and potentially glimpses of Lorien, Moria and Mordor. That’s quite hefty for a TV show.


If the TV series adapts only material specific to Appendix A and B of RotK (plus some extended references to Second Age happenings and personages in LotR proper, such as the mini-historical accounts in The Shadow of the Past and The Council of Elrond chapters of FotR).

I was somewhat mystified by the Wikipedia entry on this web television show directly referencing the Shippey interview yet construing from his remarks that Amazon has rights solely to SA material in LotR and its appendices, when Shippey categorically states in that same interview that he relied on at least some details from Unfinished Tales when designing the map with John Howe (as was evident to even casual observers from the star-pentagram shape of Númenor and place-names for regions/cities on it that are extant in published form only in Unfinished Tales, other than Fonstad's Atlas).

When one combines this indisputable fact - curious oversight by Wikipedia aside - with the credible rumour from that very informed insider piece in The Observor newspaper (the character names and associated personas were subsequently independently attested when Redanian Intelligence leaked the audition scripts), which discussed the attributes of many of the leading characters under their audition script codenames, to the effect that "Eldien" (who bears all the traits and hallmarks of Morfydd Clark's Galadriel) is set to be the main protagonist of the series, I find it very difficult to square this with rights covering only the Appendices.

Galadriel's role in the Second Age timeline in the Appendices is limited to a single line in the introductory paragraphs of Appendix B (The Tale of Years) which states:

"In Lindon, south of the Lune, dwelt for a time Celeborn, kinsman of Thingol; his wife was Galadriel, greatest of Elven women".

And, um, that's it actually. Galadriel - at this stage in the legendarium, with her character having been freshly conceived for the purposes of LotR - plays no canonically ascertainable role of note in the great affairs of the Second Age, other than becoming the ringbearer of Nenya, one of the Three Elven Rings that Celebrimbor hides from Sauron (and we learn about that from the Lothlorien chapter of FotR).

Should the Observer article prove right about Galadriel's leading lady status - and the surrounding evidence from the audition scripts gives me little reason to doubt it at this stage - I find it extremely hard to believe that they are going to find much of a role for her from that single line in the Appendices.

In the Unfinished Tales' History of Galadriel and Celeborn however, conceived sometime after the publication of LotR, Tolkien reworks the backstory of Galadriel by making her the main mover-and-shaker of the early - mid Second Age. Its now Galadriel who first perceives a nameless evil rising in the East, for which reasons she travels away from Lindon with her husband to found the Noldor realm of Eregion (not Celebrimbor, who is merely a smith and subject of Galadriel in this retelling until Annatar convinces him to rebel with his Mirdain brotherhood and seize power for himself).

It is now Galadriel who cultivates the alliance and entente cordiale between the Noldor of Eregion and the Khazad-Dum Dwarves, because she looks upon them "with the eye of a commander", understanding that they would make for the best soldiers in all of Middle-earth to pit against Orcs.

It is now Galadriel, rather than Gil-galad and Elrond as per the Appendices, who resists the overtures of Annatar most openly, persistently and vociferously (with the former pair being reduced to more of a distant support role in this endeavour), becoming his primary adversary and provoking Sauron into conspiring against her so as to unloosen her grip on power in Eregion.

Only once he forces her out of office and she flees to Lothlorien to "take up rule" against his machinations there, does he enjoy the latitude to finally forge the great rings and fulfil his designs.

And so on and so on.

From having effectively no role at all in the Appendices, the Galadriel of Unfinished Tales becomes the middle Second Age protagonist par excellence. In one variant, he even mulls a love triangle of sorts in which Celebrimbor is a spurned suitor of Galadriel who retains a sort of jealous infatuation with her and corresponding "disregard" for her husband Celeborn, as we've all noted in the past.

Also, one of the official "Eldien" (Galadriel?) audition scripts refers to her having a "son". If that's a legitimate detail rather than something made up purely for the audition script, then it is again indicative of the UT account I've been discussing thus far. The Galadriel of the Appendices has only a daughter, Celebrian. Its in the UT account alone that Amroth becomes her son.

We know that Amazon has a direct contractual relationship with the Tolkien Estate this time around (and courtesy of Shippey, we are apprised of the fact that the Estate has some kind of oversight or veto power over the project) unlike with Jackson's adaption.

The information published and leaked thus far would make the most sense if Amazon is using details from UT in addition to the Appendices.


(This post was edited by Althoun on Jul 10, 7:06pm)


kzer_za
Lorien

Jul 10, 8:26pm

Post #10 of 11 (614 views)
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Covering just this limited span of the Second Age would be a big disappointment and missed opportunity [In reply to] Can't Post

 Certainly the forging of the rings and subsequent war should be told and could be very interesting (Celebrimbor and Galadriel have potential to be great characters), but I can't imagine the entire show being built on that.

And I don't think they will. For one thing, there just isn't that much material there. The only moderately detailed account is in UT, and you can't construct five seasons off it without massive invention - I can imagine two. The Numenorean material is limited too, but between Aldarion and Erendis, Akallabeth, the royal annals, and various other bits in HoME and LotR we have a decent amount to work with. A second age show is going to need to make up stuff regardless, but might as well work with as much source material as possible.

And as interesting as the forging of the Rings is, the thematic heart of the Second Age is clearly Numenor and its downfall. Tolkien saw "death and the desire for deathlessness" as the central theme of his mythology, played out in a grand scale with Numenor's corruption and fear of death. The main theme of the forging of the rings is the stagnation of the elves and their desire to embalm their lost world forever, and there are also various intra-elf political conflicts. This is certainly interesting, but much more effective if you also have Numenor to work with as a foil. I would even go so far as to say leaving Numenor out of the Second Age (or even making them a marginal player as an ally who rescues the elves) is like leaving hobbits out of the third.


As for the timeline - well, they certainly don't need to stick with it strictly. I think you need to cover at least a few generations for the fall of Numenor to work - aging and mortality are too central to that story to tell it in a few decades. But it can be moderately compressed - compress characters and events when it works, chop spans of 600 years to 200, fudge Aldarion and Erendis's exact place in the timeline, etc. I have a rough idea in my head for how I might map the progression out, maybe I'll post more later. Aging and mortality are too central to Numenor's story to compress it to a few decades though. I imagine Numenoreans coming and going with the ravages of time (each season could be a Numenorean generation with perhaps with a bit of carryover, and slowing down toward the end), while the elves and Sauron stay as permanent fixtures. It's risky but could be very effective.


Making a show entirely about Sauron's first defeat in the early-mid Second Age is also just very safe, especially once Annatar is unveiled you're telling a more or less familiar story about different peoples coming together to defeat the dark lord, and this time without Hobbits. I'd have a hard time imagining a satisfying ending for a series entirely centered on the War of the Elves and Sauron too.

That Numenor shows a very different side of the mythos than casual fans know is, if anything, an argument for including it. Adapting the decline of Numenor could give Amazon a show that is fits into modern trends of dark and morally ambiguous TV, hopefully also attenuated by Tolkien's more hopeful themes with smart writing. Amazon wants the most expensive show in history to be a success, they are better off taking risks with their storytelling (as LotR did) than making another defeat-of-Sauron story the centerpiece of the show. Safe fanservice can make you money sometimes, but it generally doesn't have much staying power. Also the anti-imperial themes could play well with a modern crowd I think.



(This post was edited by kzer_za on Jul 10, 8:30pm)


Psillycyber
Registered User

Jul 26, 3:08pm

Post #11 of 11 (229 views)
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Both equally important [In reply to] Can't Post

I could see how the plotlines of Numenor and the Rings of Power could each be equally important to a story about the folly of pursuing immortality. Because the elven rings are themselves mechanisms for preserving the vibrancy of the elven world and sort of "bringing a slice of Valinor" back to Middle-Earth, whereas the Numenorian expedition is all about attaining that vibrancy and slice of Valinor by actually conquering Valinor. I could easily see the first half of the series focusing on the elves and their folly, and then by the time the drama with Numenor starts to ratchet up, the elves such as Galadriel will be there to say "I told you so."

If the theme of LOTR is "the modest wholesomeness of hobbits triumphs over the power-seeking of certain men/Saruman/Sauron," then it would be interesting for the Amazon series to diverge with a slightly different, but no less powerful theme of "evil comes from inability to cherish what one has and let go and find peace with that which is inevitable."

 
 

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