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Amazon's 'Lord of the Rings' TV Series Will Take a Different Trek Through Middle-Earth

Due to hit screens in 2021, the five-season TV show won't just rehash the popular films.
By Sarah Ward
March 09, 2019
By Sarah Ward
March 09, 2019

When Hollywood isn't bringing back beloved television shows such as Daria and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or spinning off huge hits like Game of Thrones, it's taking successful films to the small screen. The Lord of the Rings is the next beloved property in the spotlight, making the leap from the page to the cinema to your TV, with a five-season series first announced in 2017, then receiving the official go-ahead in mid-2018.

Amazon Studios is the driving force behind his return to Middle-earth, adapting a television version of J.R.R. Tolkien's novels with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, publisher HarperCollins and Warner Bros. Entertainment's New Line Cinema. And before you go thinking that this'll be a simple rehash, the show's twitter account has started unveiling details about your next favourite TV program. The big news: it doesn't look like it'll be remaking events already covered by the movies.

For a few weeks, the social media account has been posting maps accompanied by Lord of the Rings quotes, such as "Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky" and "One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne. In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie". This week, it welcomed fans to the Second Age — as accompanied, once again, by a Middle-earth map. While that mightn't seem like the most significant piece of information, it's worth noting. With Tolkien's best-sellers and Peter Jackson's films taking place in Third Age, it reveals that the show will be focusing on stories set before both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Hobbit.

Since the series was first announced, it has been widely expected that it would chart new ground rather than serve up the same details on a smaller screen. If you're a little rusty on your Lord of the Rings lore, the Second Age lasted for 3441 years, and saw the initial rise and fall of Sauron, as well as a spate of wars over the coveted rings. Elves feature prominently, and there's plenty to cover, even if Tolkien's works didn't spend that much time on the period — largely outlining the main events in an appendix to the popular trilogy.

Exactly which tale Amazon's series will tell hasn't yet been revealed, and it's still way too early for even rumours about who'll be eating second breakfasts. But the show is moving ahead with JD Payne and Patrick McKay (writers with credits on the upcoming Star Trek 4 and Jungle Cruise) developing the series. "We feel like Frodo, setting out from the Shire, with a great responsibility in our care — it is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime," said the lifelong friends when their involvement was announced.

According to The Hollywood Reporter last year, Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke revealed that the series will be in production by 2020 — so expect to make a date with the first season in 2021.

If you're so excited about the show that you'll settle for pouring over maps in the interim, you can do just that at Amazon's website for the series.

Published on March 09, 2019 by Sarah Ward


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