April 16, 2018

Thoughts About the Amazon Middle-earth Series




I wanted to do a write up of my thoughts about the upcoming Amazon Lord of the Rings (or, rather, “Middle-earth”) series.

Before I do so, however, there are some points that need to be made:

1) They are only using (and only allowed to use) material found within the pages of the books known as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, or from any of the six Peter Jackson films. (More on that to follow.) That means, anything found within the pages of The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, or the History of Middle-earth is off-limits.

2) In terms of Middle-earth’s timeline, it will take place between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. If it takes place in the First or Second Age, it’ll be based on what Jackson has shown us in Rings, or what was written in The Lord of the Rings that references those eras. Where it might get tricky is Beren and Luthien: Aragorn sang a song about them in The Fellowship of the Ring, and even named them. But they appear in The Silmarillion. We don’t know the exact details of the contract.  

3) It is not a “remake” of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (this makes sense, given that is set in the “Jacksonverse.”)

4) It will based in Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth. This means, that if we see any locations we did before in any of his six Middle-earth films, that’s how they’ll look (example: Rivendell would like the same as it did in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films)

5) Going with #4 above, it seems that if Peter Jackson or anyone of high importance in regards to The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit trilogies is involved, it will likely be as a consultant of some kind. At the most, I can see them help get things ‘moving.’ 

Ok, I think that’s everything out of the way before I begin talking or speculating.

Since this will happen after the third film in The Hobbit trilogy, let’s take a look at some things left un-answered if you’re going only by the films. The questions I ask give opportunity to have the events covered by the series. The books may answer some of these, but I’m going only by “the Jacksonverse”  for the next section:

AFTER THE HOBBIT

- What happened to Radagast?

- What happened to Tauriel?

- What happened to Thranduil?

- What happened to the surviving dwarves?

- What happened to Bard and the people of Esgaroth? 

- What happened to Gundabad?

- What happened to Beorn?

BEFORE THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING

- When and how did Saurman fall? (may not work with Christopher Lee having passed away, though he could be referenced - especially if the series about Rohan)

- What did this ‘Strider’ get up to before he met Frodo?

- what was Rohan like before Theoden’s…ah… “possession?”

- Was Denethor always loopy, and what did he mean by “The eyes of the White Tower?”

- Was Osgiliath always in ruins?


FROM THE BOOKS

Now, to think of events that have occurred in the books that we haven’t seen yet. The first two sections of this entry were going only by the films (whether or not you’ve read the books, we haven’t seen, or don’t know, what happens within the “Jacksonverse”). Here are some things from the books that can be the basis (to some degree) for the Amazon series:

-  The Rings of Power

- Heirs of Isildur and Anarion, and why there is no King of Gondor, but Stewards instead

- Aragorn in the wild

- The House of Eorl

- how Minas Morgul became Minas Morgul

- Arnor

- Rise of the Nazgul, and Angmar


OTHER: VIDEO GAME TITLES

This is sort of a ‘bonus section’, in that I’m listing the names of Peter Jackson-verse Middle-earth related video games, in case any story points can be culled from those:

The Battle for Middle-earth

The Battle for Middle-earth II (expansion: Rise of the Witch-King) 

The Third Age (has a ‘secondary’ / ‘supporting’ Fellowship)

The White Council * canceled

War in the North (has a ‘secondary’ / ‘supporting’ Fellowship. Takes place during the main story but in other regions and with other characters)

Aragorn’s Quest

Guardians of Middle-earth

Shadow of Mordor

- Shadow of War


As you can see, there’s quite a few avenues Amazon can explore, without re-making (or re-adapting, rather) The Lord of the Rings. It also depends on heavily Peter Jackson and his crew are involved, as well.

At this point, we really don’t know what to expect. There have been a few things ruled out, though we’re no closer to knowing more than we were some time ago.

In the coming months, I look forward to following this some more: to see how it develops, what the cast is, when and where within Middle-earth it’s set, trailer and poster, etc…. Here’s hoping that it turns out to be good. There are some fans of The Lord of the Rings (book and film) that were not satisfied with The Hobbit film trilogy; and they don’t miss out anything by “ignoring” that series. I’m guessing that if this Amazon turns out to be disappointing, it can be treated as likewise. Only time will tell.

What would you like to see???

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