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Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV show is now in full development, but when can we viewers expect its release and what can we expect from the series? A few years ago, Christopher Tolkien retired from the Tolkien Estate, and around that time Amazon Studios revealed plans to develop a Lord of the Rings TV series for Amazon Prime, though they did not then specifically say what the series would be about or is it related to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies. So take a look at everything we know so far about the upcoming Amazon Lord of the Rings TV series.
In November 2017, Amazon Studios acquired Global Rights at J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books and announced his commitment to making a massive multi-season TV show that will explore Tolkien’s Middle-earth before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring. However, that statement did not mean much given that the history of Middle-earth has been going on for thousands and thousands of years, especially with the Lord of the Rings stories going on at the very end of the Third Age.
Although Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series is in relatively early stages of development, the studio began promoting it through social networks, which revealed some key details of the story. So when can viewers and Tolkien fans expect the Lord of the Rings TV series to come out and what can they expect once it’s released?
WHEN IS LORD OF THE RINGS TV SHOW COMING TO AMAZON PRIME
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series is due to debut in 2021. The exact release date has not yet been set for the Lord of the Rings TV show, but given that Amazon Studios has contracted with Tolkien Estate that the series must go into production by 2020 at the latest, Amazon is likely to release it in 2021. We will see how will coronavirus affect that release date.
Considering that Amazon has at least one major series each holiday season, with The Man in the High Castle ending in 2019, it would be good if they were able to release the Lord of the Rings TV series for the 2020 holidays. However, if the series came out in 2021 it would also give Amazon the opportunity to capitalize on Jackson’s 20th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
It should be added that Amazon has already renewed the Lord of the Rings TV series for a second season.
THE STORY OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS TV SERIES
It has been confirmed that the Lord of the Rings TV show will run during the Second Age, but details on Amazon’s Middle-earth map – such as the inclusion of Numenor or the move of Mordor (as well as Barad-Dur) – suggest that the series takes place relatively early in the Second Age. more specifically between S.A. 1000 – 1600. Given that, it seems like the series might focus on making Rings of Power, given the fact that Amazon started promoting the Lord of the Rings TV series by listing the lines from the Ring verse as well as the Rings that originated in that time period.
“One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”
Furthermore, viewers could see the rise and fall of people in Numenor, including the founding of Mordor. Aside from the main story of The Lord of the Rings, one of the most important times in medieval history is the middle of the Second Age, which included Sauron’s rise and the Last Alliance of elves and humans. The last alliance war resulted in Sauron’s defeat, which was shown at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring. It eventually completed the second age and began the third age. As the Lord of the Rings TV series unfolds at the time of these events, viewers could see it unfold throughout the show.
Welcome to the Second Age: https://t.co/Tamd0oRgTw— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) March 7, 2019
Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey has also revealed that Amazon had no choice in the matter when it came to the Lord of the Rings TV show’s setting. Despite the streaming service spending $250 million on the rights to Tolkien’s work, the author’s estate have made it mandatory that the show does not cross over with the events of Jackson’s movies – Lord of the Rings or Hobbit.
“It’s a bit of a minefield – you have to tread very carefully”, he told Deutsche Tolkien. “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 returning 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’.”
The Tolkien estate has denied the claims, though Amazon has yet to officially say anything on the matter.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE MIDDLE-EARTH DURING THE SECOND AGE?
Knowing that Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show will take place in the early to mid-Second Age (S.A. 1000-1600) will give viewers clues about what they might see inside the series. This time period focuses on Sauron as well as the lives of humans and elves. The story of Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV series will likely focus on Sauron, the first stories about Sauron's return from Middle-earth and his final arrival on the scene around S.A. 1000 when he starts building Barad-dur in Mordor. To S.A. 1600, Sauron quietly gains power as he attempts to control the entire Middle-earth. The threat he poses and the way he tries to gain that control is likely to enter the story.
As Sauron begins to gain more and more power during his time, we know that the Númenorean understand the threat he poses and begins to build safe havens throughout Middle-earth, including Lond Daer, Umbar and others. The Númenorean also had long problems with the Valar, the beings who helped Numenor rise from the sea and surrender to humans. Valar forbade the Numenoreans from sailing too far west for fear of reaching the Immortals. Numenorians feel violated by the ban and believe that they have the right to reach the Immortals and gain access to immortality. We should expect that this clash will also be able to emerge in the series, especially since Numenorrheic insolence towards Valar in this matter will help to explain how Numenor comes under Sauron's control in S.A. 3255 with great ease.
AMAZON'S LORD OF THE RINGS TV SHOW MAY SHOW RING FORGING
Another big clue as to which direction the Lord of the Rings story will go can be found on the timeline of the series' official Twitter page. In addition to sharing imagery of Middle-earth maps in the Second Age, lines from the epigraph of the Rings of Power are also divided as descriptions. The creation of the Rings of Power occurs in S.A. 1500, near the end of the period that Amazon's Lord of the Rings series will cover. Sauron creates 20 rings - 19 for the leaders of the humans, elves, and dwarves of Middle-earth and one for himself - and allows these leaders to believe that the rings will help maintain a balance of power. Unbeknownst to others, Sauron intends to control them through their rings thanks to forging his Ring in the fire of Mount Doom.
Forging the Rings of Power and Sauron's subsequent forging of the One Ring would be the highlight of the series because it's such a pivotal event. It is likely that the creation of the Ring and the further understanding of the evil force by humans, elves, and the dwarf that Sauron now has because of the One Ring will be the main event on which the Lord of the Rings series will be built. As the war to defeat Sauron occupies the second half of the Second Age of Middle-earth, we might also see the first shifts of the uprising when Season 1 ends.
CREW AND ACTORS OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS SERIES AND WHERE IT IS FILMED
"The Orphanage" and "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" director J.A. Bayona is Amazon's choice to direct the first two episodes of their upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series.
The showrunners of the series are screenwriters JD Payne and Patrick McKay, who worked as screenwriters on Star Trek: Beyond the movie, and will reportedly be assisted by a screenwriting room including "Game of Thrones" veteran Bryan Cogman and "Better Call Saul" screenwriter Gennifer Hutchison.
The series will be shot in New Zealand, just like Lord of the Rings / Hobbit movies.
Confirmed actors on Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV series include Robert Aramayo (young Ned on Game of Thrones), Owain Arthur (The Palace, The Patrol), Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland, Hotel Mumbai), Tom Budge (The Pacific), Morfydd Clark ( Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Ismael Cruz Córdova (The Mandalorian), Ema Horvath (The Gallows Act II), Markella Kavenagh (Romper Stomper), Joseph Mawle (Benjen Stark from Game of Thrones), Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers (Medici), Daniel Weyman (Gentleman Jack) and debutant Tyroe Muhafidin.
WHICH CHARACTERS WILL BE IN THE LORD OF THE RINGS TV SERIES?
There were early rumors that the series might follow young Aragorn. But Aragorn was born in the Third Age, so none of it. Well, Galadriel's voice in the Fellowship of the Ring served as the narrative of the end of the Second Age. So, we have to wonder if Cate Blanchett can return again? We learn that she will not be returning, but the younger version of Galadriel will be in the series and it is assumed that she will be played by Morfydd Clark. The same is true of Hugo Weaving's Elrond, who was also there in the Second Age.
Amazon Studios boss Jennifer Salke told Deadline in 2018 the following:
"I think you know that we're not making remakes of the films, but we're not even starting over. So, there will be the characters you love."
Although she did not mention anyone, Orlando Bloom cast himself as Legolas, saying that he is too old for the role now, but we have no doubt that Amazon if he wants, can find a way to change his mind.
Markella Kavenagh (Tyra) - In July 2019, Amazon revealed its first star of the series. Markella Kavenagh is said to be in talks for the role of Tire. Role details have not been revealed, nor how important the role will be.
In October, news came about the selection of two English actors, Maxim Baldry ("Years and Years") and later Joseph Mawle. Again, almost nothing is revealed, but it is assumed that Mawle will play the main villain of Amazon's Lord of the Rings series, Oren.
Added actress Morfydd Clark in the first known role from the book, just the character in the picture above, Galadriel.
It is also added Robert Aramayo, who is supposed to be playing a hero named Baldor, who would be the main character in the series (or one of the main ones), but that could change into a more famous character.
However, Ian McKellen, who has played Gandalf in all six Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies, has somehow expressed his desire to act in the series. In 2017, he was asked in an interview if it would bother him to see another actor playing Gandalf?
"What do you mean, another Gandalf?"
"I haven't said yes because I haven't been asked. But are you suggesting that someone else is going to play it?" the actor continued. "Gandalf is over 7000 years old, so I'm not too old."
HOW MANY SEASONS WILL AMAZON'S LORD OF THE RINGS TV SERIES HAVE?
Amazon has pledged a minimum of 5 seasons for this Lord of the Rings TV series, plus potential spin-offs. This is one reason why the cost of getting the rights was about $ 1 billion.
The TV show has already been renewed for a second season, which probably means there will be a smaller waiting gap between the season of the series.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE FIRST SEASON OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS TV SHOW?
Tolkien scholar and biographer Tom Shippey mentioned that "there should be about 20 something episodes in the first season of the series." For now, that's all we've heard about season one, except that all the stories will be from the Second Age. All the same, 20 episodes for a series on the streaming platform is a lot, something we are used to from cable TV series.
RELEASE DATE FOR THE LORD OF THE RINGS TV SERIES
The release date is unknown for now, but Amazon is known to be contractually bound to start filming on the Lord of the Rings TV series by early 2020 at the latest, which means that the series is most likely to be expected on our screens in 2021.
Almost every day we get new information about this series and as soon as we know something new we will inform you.