Lord of the Rings

Amazon announced their acquisition of rights (achieved via a brokered $250 million deal) to develop and produce an imminently due television series based in the realm of LORD OF THE RINGS seemingly aeons ago. Those with lifetime devotions to the fandom of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantastical universe’s immense lore certainly found it thought-provoking news — news spawning an enticing degree of speculation and excitement. Fans, from 13th of November 2017, have spent unconditionally committed time in rampant anticipation of the entertainment yet to arrive.

PR executives have sporadically divulged invaluable information concerning impending series arrivals. And we have theorised a great deal more than we have affirmed. However, perhaps due to the sheer lack of density regarding such information over an agonising period of time, it has become too easy to forget the gems that have been disclosed to the public.

Impact of the Amazon Prime Announcement

Image courtesy of: IntellectualTakeout.org.

We should be all too wise to neglect such an exhilarating prospect, and don’t, for the most part. The project will be in production in conjunction with the Tolkien Estate, The Tolkien Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Television. And the streaming monolith’s intention to set the project to at least five seasons for release has been proclaimed — alongside the potential it has to spawn numerous spin-off projects to run concurrently.

The news also sparked a mild degree of controversy from fans left sceptical from the underwhelming response to the divisive THE HOBBIT prequel trilogy — whatever side of the polarised divide they adhere to. Backlash has been expressed on account of the purported “desecration” of the original literary source material that the films were derived from. But Peter Jackson’s trilogies’ popularised adoration has mostly stifled the volume of that declaration, overwhelmingly.

Peter Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS Significance

Peter Jackson
Image courtesy of: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

With regards to the visionary director himself, he has declined to have been recruited for any semblance of involvement with the development of the series. I find this news disappointing, speaking personally. However, whatever sense of optimism I possess does hypothesise the potential that the allocation of a new directorial team has to offer — possibly via a refreshing interpretation of animating the fictional scripture of Middle Earth within the live-action format.

The LORD OF THE RINGS’ representations’ previous custodian has rendered any association void. And an innate curiosity does inevitably entice me to his successor. J.D. Payne’s and Patrick Mckay’s (STAR TREK 4’s producers) revealed participation in the project fortunately subdued my anxieties.

Sir Ian McKellen’s LORD OF THE RINGS Significance

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The iconic Sir Ian McKellen noted that no one yet approached him requesting his reprisal of the role of the beloved wizard, Gandalf — serving as the only prominent casting announcement thus far. He did posit the fact that he would not be opposed to assuming his duty of portrayal once again, however — Graham Norton’s interrogation on BBC Radio leading to him flippantly joking that the mere suggestion of his age obstructing his aptitude was absurd.

My stance here is identical to the one I adopt on Jackson’s status, as I would very much favour the endearing wish fulfilment of a reinstatement of the fondly memorable face of the series. However, I am open to the prospect of being regaled by a revolutionary piece of innovation or transition from the past. In the absence of any other casting rumours, the remnants of precious information that myself and other fans are desperately clinging to are those detailing the plot.

The Silmarillion

Image courtesy of: TolkienBookshelf.com.

Upon the initial announcement of the potential cultural phenomenon, one of the first teases released focused on the significant relevance it had to LORD OF THE RINGS protagonist Aragorn’s past. Though it was believed to have been a hint at a prequel chronicling his formative years at first, a subsequent inquiry discovered that his involvement will be a far more peripheral affair — with the Second Age (of Númenor) set as the basing of the series transpiring during Middle Earth’s history. The Second Age, being a 3,441 year period prior to the commencement of THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (itself embedded stably in the Third Age), therefore implies that the tenure of its duration will speculatively account for a degree of Aragorn’s lineage.

The Silmarillion (as inscribed by Tolkien) will likely be the foundational groundwork layer that the series will take cues from — a scholarly work containing the tyrannical rise to power imposed by the menacing Sauron — and the labours taken by luminaries of Aragorn’s heritage in order to prevent it (among other noble warriors).

A Prequel to the LORD OF THE RINGS Prequel

Image courtesy of: TheSlanted.com.

Just for me, this one dissemination alone provoked many extremely varied and mesmerised conjectural processes postulating multiple potential inclusions. They could consist of the establishment of three prominent Elven kingdoms and the forging of the three Elven rings. Or, the series could focus on the arrival of the Edain in Númenor. Elros (Elrond’s brother) could feature to become Númenor’s first king (ordained Tar-Minyatur in the process, and before the previous king, Ar-Pharazôn, usurps his throne).

Sauron’s deception of the Elves in order to forge his own fabled “One Ring” and the subsequent war declared between them would also be remiss if omitted. Sauron’s corruption of the Númenóreans after his forced retreat from the forces defending his invasion would be an understated but significant inclusion. Perhaps the series could touch on the emergence of the sinister Nazgûl coinciding with the downfall of Númenor. Also, the founding of Amor and Gondor and the formation of the “Last Alliance” might all make appearances.

Sauron is eventually vanquished after the suspenseful coalescence of all the events — and the entire LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy derives its context from the inadvertent provision made by them. The significance that this show could and would play upon the influence permeating the rest of the lore, I think, will be monumental. All of this precedes THE HOBBIT’s series of events, of course, as well.

Further Speculation on the Amazon Prime LORD OF THE RINGS Adaptation

Image courtesy of: Inverse.com.

The Amazon Prime series’ setting during the Second Age would throw Sir Ian McKellen’s LORD OF THE RINGS return’s viability into turmoil — as, while Gandalf is a specimen over 7,000 years old, he existed merely in spirit form during the Second Age. Gandalf only adopted his human form approximately 1,000 years into the Third Age. My curiosity consequently peaks over how precisely even a cameo from the acclaimed actor would be executed; but, perhaps some form of CGI (to produce an ethereal effect) would deliver such fan service satisfactorily.

No light has been shed on even a working title for the project — even after the considerable amount of time that has passed since its reveal. But my yearning dictates that the title’s publication may yield some indication of what the series will consist of — THE SAURON CHRONICLES, perhaps. FROM MORDOR AND BEYOND could be an alternative method of labelling it something more vaguely defined. Perhaps even a meta-commentary on the source material it would be ostensibly derived from would be appropriate, through the title TALES FROM THE SILMARILLION. Only time will provide the gospel of truth regarding this determination.

“All’s well that ends better.”

Image courtesy of: TheYoungFolks.com.

All information has been succinct but scintillating; and the broadcast of the series, after a two-year intermission, came as a ramification of a 2017 claim. Also, the @LOTRonPrime Twitter account divulged sporadic, cryptic posts, displaying maps tracing fractions of the landscape of Middle Earth. And the sacred “One ring to rule them all” rhyme has neighboured them. The concerted effort to encourage hype has consequently resulted in the ravenous enticement of myself and many fans — fans who are exponentially finding it impossible to exercise the containment of our excitement.

LORD OF THE RINGS’ Amazon Prime series does not have a confirmed broadcast date, but a longing to urgently see the impending content persists. A substantial enough amount of gratification will be administered to LORD OF THE RINGS enthusiasts by doing so sooner rather than later. However, patience is a virtue, and the wait will almost certainly be worthwhile.

“Home is behind, the world ahead,

and there are many paths to tread

through shadows to the edge of night,

until the stars are all alight.”

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