Amazon’s first season of their Lord of the Rings show is said to be 20 episodes long. Presumably averaging around 1 hour per episode. However, since the show is apparently the most expensive show in history, costing $1 billion to make, these episodes could be longer.
The series will be a prequel, set before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring. Whether this was a creative decision or down to the deal with the Tolkien estate is a mystery.
in November 2017, Amazon beat Netflix, HarperCollins and Warner Bros to a $250m deal to acquire the rights to the vast fictional world. However, according to the Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey, who is supervising the show’s development, the estate has refused to allow the series to be set during the Third Age.
What does this mean exactly?
Well, Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings is set during the Third Age. So we won’t be seeing Frodo and Sam’s voyage to Mordor and Mount Doom.
According to Shippey, the show will be set during the Second Age which spanned 3441 years. The Second Age started with the foundation of the Grey Havens and ended with the fall of Sauron at the hands of Isildur who cut the One Ring from Sauron’s finger.
Amazon’s show has already been slated to have multiple seasons alongside upcoming projects currently in development:
- The Dark Tower
- Snow Crash
- The Boys Season 2
It’s unlikely that the show will cover everything in those 3441 years, that’s just impossible, but since Tolkien’s exploration of the Second Age was very limited, Amazon have the opportunity to create new and exciting content. However, they must tread carefully.
According to Shippey:
“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.”
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series to expected to start production sometime in 2020. A release date has not yet been announced for the show.
What do you make of this news? Are you excited to receive more Lord of the Rings content? Let us know in the comments.