Amazon's Lord Of The Rings Prequel TV Series: A "what is known, expected and hoped for" discussion

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by omikron, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. omikron

    omikron Avid contributor to Paul McCartney's bank account Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    I searched Amazon and Tolkien and am surprised to not find a thread on this topic at all. Shut me down if there is one already.

    I'd love to chat about Tolkien lore with you all regarding the upcoming Amazon TV show. I must admit, my Silmarillion lore is a bit rusty.

    We were tantalized with this map but know pretty much nothing more about the plot. . .

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. SRC

    SRC That sums up Squatter for me

    Location:
    New York, NY
    I just hope it leans heavily on specific Tolkien source material. The fact that the main protagonist in this series seems to have a name not found anywhere Tolkien, despite Tolkien noting a zillion names throughout ages of Middle Earth history, is discouraging to me.

    The Silmarillion does not flesh out its stories to the same extent The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit do, in terms of scenes and dialogue, but there is a wealth of good material that could be made into a series in there. My understanding is that this series is going to be limited to events in the Second Age of Middle Earth. If they cover the breaking of Numenor, that could be great to see on screen, but I fear they are going to lean too heavily on things we've already glimpsed, and seen the end of, in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy (the forging of the One Ring, the building of Barad-dur, etc.) We've already seen some Second Age stuff in live action in the prologue portion of the Fellowship of the Ring film. Obviously this series has to be a prequel technically, but I really hope it's not too tied in with specific things and characters we've already seen the end of.
     
  3. mcnpauls

    mcnpauls Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    I want both stuff from the "Silmarillion" coming alive and some surprising new content that still feels faithful to Tolkien's world, if that makes sense.
     
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  4. Spaghettiows

    Spaghettiows Forum Resident

    Location:
    Silver Creek, NY
    If I recall correctly, the producers were unable to obtain the rights to The Silmarillion, so I suppose they cannot use names of any characters unless they also appeared in The Hobbit, LOTR, the appendices, or other miscellaneous material that they are entitled to use.

    You would think that getting the rights to The Silmarillion would be the way to go in developing such a series, but it remains elusive. I believe that Peter Jackson previously had attempted to obtain the rights but could not.
     
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  5. omikron

    omikron Avid contributor to Paul McCartney's bank account Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    The appearance of Numenor on the map would suggest the story will heavily revolve around the coming of man. Maybe Numenor season 1, fall of Numenor season 2 and arrival at what will become Gondor in season 3, etc, etc. I would assume Sauron's Second Age shenanigans will be a major plot line.

    But I 100% agree with you, I don't want a lot of made up, filler story. And I do NOT want them taking liberties with everything Tolkien did write about the feel and style of the characters. It may be the 21st century now but it wasn't then so people don't need to behave like the do today if you know what I mean.

    Also, I THINK I heard that the source material for this show is the appendices for the Lord of the Rings books, they don't have access to The Silmarillion? Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. If true, that info is spotty in the appendices so some filling in may be needed. The Tolkien Estate however has made it clear they will not allow too much straying from the writings.
     
  6. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    Their options may have expanded greatly since Christopher Tolkien died.
     
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  7. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Central PA
    I am reminded of the liberties SyFi took with Kryptonian "history" in their series, Krypton. A good story about Superman's grandfather, to be sure, but the insertion of various ancilliary characters, and unlikely coming-of-age plotlines, seemed more suited to a modern network teevee drama, than what we expect from the El family's heroic legacy.

    So I don't want stories focused on Bilbo's great-great uncle at the Hobbit Academy, signing-up for football, learning to date, and the social pressures of befriending young dwarves, or orc gang wars. Please, more Rivendel, less Riverdale.
     
  8. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Senior Member

    Amazon's new Lord of the Rings 'cannot use much of Tolkien's plot'

    Shippey was also involved with the Lord Of The Rings trilogy as well and appears in the Tolkien-specific special features for those films.
     
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  9. robertawillisjr

    robertawillisjr Music Lover

    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    From reading the article, I see that there is a lot that can be done to make this a very good series. There are a good number of interesting characters and plenty of intrigue in this story line. Tolkien created an excellent outline and story line in the unfinished tales. Reading them may be tough going (trying to keep all of the characters and timelines together) but certainly worthwhile. I just hope that the series is well done and cogent.
     
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  10. mcnpauls

    mcnpauls Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    I'm fairly certain they do have the rights to "The Silmarillion" and it looks like the series will be set in the Second Age and deal with the rise and fall of Numenor.
     
  11. DLeet

    DLeet Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chernigov, Ukraine
    I am aftaid that I am over any cinema products based on Tolkien's work. After seeing part one of The Hobbit - ugh... Nevermoar (to quote another famous writer... or raven). I am done with cinematographers taking perfectly written source material and adding unnecessary plot points or characters to it... So, in a way, I am glad that Silmarillion is out of filmmakers' reach.

    Although, there is plenty of stuff to warrant separate and potentially spectacular feature films (not even series).

    1) Beren and Luthien story is the most obvious choice to put to screen as one of the greatest love stories of all time;
    2) Turin's tragic remarkable story (and an epic battle with the greatest dragon of 'em all for good measure);
    3) Epic stuff turned to 11 for Dagor Bragollah or Nirnaeth Arnoediad battles;
    4) The Fall of Gondolin;
    5) The quest of Earendil to reach the Valar on his ship and ask for their help resulting in the subsequent war to end Melkor for good;
    6) The fall of Feanor, the creator of the Silmarill;
    7) The fall of Numenor;

    As is evident, a whole universe could be built with easy crossovers (since many Elven leaders lived through multiple events).

    But I can't think of the right director to do the source material justice. Jackson is right for some aspects but he misses the point in many things for the sake of some cheap raise of stakes and 'bigger drama'. You either put Tolkien to the silver screen properly without deviating from his vision or you don't do that AT ALL. IMHO, of course.

    I'd rather see Hollywood tackle Chonicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. Each book will be easy to convert to a film and crazy visuals can be easily done by current technology. And the source material is perfectly targeted for American audiences, unlike Tolkien's work.
     
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  12. budwhite

    budwhite Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.

    Location:
    Götaland, Sverige
    Shippey said that Amazon “has a relatively free hand” to add details since Tolkien did not flesh out every detail of the Second Age in his appendices or Unfinished Tales, a collection of stories published posthumously in 1980. But Shippey called it “a bit of a minefield – you have to tread very carefully”, saying that “the Tolkien estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered. Sauron invades Eriador, is forced back by a Númenórean expedition, is returns to Númenor. There he corrupts the Númenóreans and seduces them to break the ban of the Valar. All this, the course of history, must remain the same.


    “But you can add new characters and ask a lot of questions, like: What has Sauron done in the meantime? Where was he after Morgoth was defeated? Theoretically, Amazon can answer these questions by inventing the answers, since Tolkien did not describe it. But it must not contradict anything which Tolkien did say. That’s what
    Amazon has to watch out for. It must be canonical, it is impossible to change the boundaries which Tolkien has created. It is necessary to remain ‘Tolkienian’.”

    I got a bad feeling about this. They are going to make it as modern(2020...) as possible is my guess.
    I hope I'm wrong though.
     
  13. omikron

    omikron Avid contributor to Paul McCartney's bank account Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    Not saying this to start trouble and I'm not judging, but it just seem to be the state of the industry nowadays.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the character creation part is done to add strong female leads or some minority characters. Which is totally fine as long as they are faithful to Tolkien. I'm not looking for some "the next James Bond will be a woman" type of stuff here. That's just where I drop out.
     
  14. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
  15. omikron

    omikron Avid contributor to Paul McCartney's bank account Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lexington, KY
  16. Deuce66

    Deuce66 Senior Member

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  17. Spaghettiows

    Spaghettiows Forum Resident

    Location:
    Silver Creek, NY
    Sheesh. I hope this isn't too political, but you would think that Amazon could allocate just a fraction of that money to vastly improve the treatment of workers at their distribution warehouses.
     
  18. omikron

    omikron Avid contributor to Paul McCartney's bank account Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lexington, KY
  19. I think Sauron could be the central character that galvanizes this series and links various ages and storylines together:
    1) Sauron, Melkor's chief protégé, eludes total defeat and may have truly repented his actions only to fall back to his evil ways (how does he escape the Valar?)
    2) Sauron comes to power in Middle Earth, then is brought low by the Numenoreans -captured and imprisoned.
    3) Sauron the corruptor whose black-arts corrupt many Numenoreans and lead to their downfall -yet he escapes the collapse along with the Faithful
    4) Sauron re-emerges in the guise of Annatar, "Lord of Gifts" -his true identity discoverd by Celebrimbor and the other High Elves leading to the last alliance.
    5) Sauron's will is passed through the Nazgul (primarily The Witch King) to destroy the Numenor successor states and weaken the free people of Middle Earth.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  20. omikron

    omikron Avid contributor to Paul McCartney's bank account Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    I think you certainly have something here.

    Several stories could be told around Sauron as the axis, particularly the Numenor story. What remains to be seen is how much they can really delve into the Silmarillion material since that is technically off limits from what I understand. The rights extend only so far as to the LOTR trilogy mentions and information int the appendices which are sketchier in their recap of the first two ages. Still, plenty of material in the second age to work with and then there is the early third age too which is barely touched on in the LOTR trilogy. That whole story with Angmar and how the rangers came to be and the rise of Gondor could be worked into this too.

    As tasty as this show can be, I'm thinking The First Age with Melkor and the armies of balrogs and all that craziness can't really even be touched. That would be some good TV right there for sure but we may never get it.
     
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  21. I agree with you regarding the most compelling potential story would be in the First Age and unfortunately off-limits, apparently.

    BTW, my Grandparents lived most of their lives in Lexington KY. I have many fond memories of visiting that city in the 70s and 80s.
     
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  22. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Meet me at the Green Dragon for an ale

    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Tom Shippey was (still is?) consultant to Amazon and he's on record as saying the agreement with the Tolkien Estate specifically confines the series to events of the Second Age only, and must be 'canonical'.
     
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  23. daglesj

    daglesj Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    I'll pass cos it will now have to have all the race/gender/sexuality types now known to man in it and have to shape the stories and plots to reflect that.

    Thats all good and fine for the modern world we live in but not when it messes with the actual source material that was so loving created by the author and loved by people for decades.

    It just s**ts all over it really.
     
  24. budwhite

    budwhite Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.

    Location:
    Götaland, Sverige
    Probably because the Hobbit sucked, my interest in Middle Earth on film or series after that is pretty damn low.

    Another reason is this:

     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  25. omikron

    omikron Avid contributor to Paul McCartney's bank account Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    Haha. Full disclosure, I've never seen the second two Hobbit films. Just couldn't do it.

    Same reason it took me a good 10 years before I tried watching Star Wars EPs 2 and 3.
     
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