Lord of the Rings TV Series in Development - How could this POSSIBLY go wrong...

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Stab You in the Back

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The official twitter hasn't twitted since August. The YouTube channel hasn't posted anything in 2 years. They haven't even really named this thing. It's still "Unnamed Lord of the Rings Project." But we still have nine months until the premiere, maybe they're holding everything back until then.
Haven't heard about a Tolkien scholar dropping dead on set after seeing the interracial dwarf sex scene they filmed for the pilot, so count me as cautiously optimistic.
 

Shamash

Lawgiver, Judge of gods and men, Lord of the Sun
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My personal guess: they still have next to no idea what they are going to do with the show. They aren’t adapting the actual material, and the rumored actor changes and delays are because the show’s writers don’t even have an agreed plan.

It’s supposed to be a giant money spigot for Amazon, at least the hope was it would be, and they are probably going through various pilots and premises, and examining them against the marketing research data, and finding that none of them will net the return on investment Amazon has made for this.

So they are basically scrambling, but they don’t want to admit any chaos because that would only be bad press.

Maybe I’m wrong, but the silence and the odd lack of marketing strikes me as indicating this.
 

frozenrunner

Infinitely worse 2022 confirmed
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I think Shippey was the only Tolkien scholar on the project and he was fired last year. He was just there to build goodwill among the fans, the same way Star Wars and Star Trek have "continuity advisors."
WTF, they fired him? Why? Do we have any real info about this?
 

Standardized Profile

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Oct 5, 2018
My personal guess: they still have next to no idea what they are going to do with the show. They aren’t adapting the actual material, and the rumored actor changes and delays are because the show’s writers don’t even have an agreed plan.

It’s supposed to be a giant money spigot for Amazon, at least the hope was it would be, and they are probably going through various pilots and premises, and examining them against the marketing research data, and finding that none of them will net the return on investment Amazon has made for this.

So they are basically scrambling, but they don’t want to admit any chaos because that would only be bad press.

Maybe I’m wrong, but the silence and the odd lack of marketing strikes me as indicating this.
They've finished principal photography for the first season and greenlit the second so they probably have some idea what they're doing. That doesn't mean they have a good idea or that what they shot can be edited into a coherent product, but they've been steaming ahead for a while.

WTF, they fired him? Why? Do we have any real info about this?
Everyone was very quiet about it, evidently due to NDAs and personal confidences. I think the most likely scenario is someone told him, "Thank you for your work, we got all we needed from you" and that was that.
 

Shamash

Lawgiver, Judge of gods and men, Lord of the Sun
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They've finished principal photography for the first season and greenlit the second so they probably have some idea what they're doing. That doesn't mean they have a good idea or that what they shot can be edited into a coherent product, but they've been steaming ahead for a while.
That was the part that made me think I might be wrong. But as you note, editing and coherency are still unclear.

I wouldn't be surprised if the first season was an edited together slapdash, that is strung together by CGI and bullshit as opposed to having an actual plot.
 

frozenrunner

Infinitely worse 2022 confirmed
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Everyone was very quiet about it, evidently due to NDAs and personal confidences. I think the most likely scenario is someone told him, "Thank you for your work, we got all we needed from you" and that was that.
Yeah. He was a marketing tool to reassure fans, nothing more, and he probably complained about how "diverse" Middle Earth was getting. Out the door.
 

Krokodil Overdose

[|][||][||][|_]
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May 19, 2018
My personal guess: they still have next to no idea what they are going to do with the show. They aren’t adapting the actual material, and the rumored actor changes and delays are because the show’s writers don’t even have an agreed plan.

It’s supposed to be a giant money spigot for Amazon, at least the hope was it would be, and they are probably going through various pilots and premises, and examining them against the marketing research data, and finding that none of them will net the return on investment Amazon has made for this.

So they are basically scrambling, but they don’t want to admit any chaos because that would only be bad press.

Maybe I’m wrong, but the silence and the odd lack of marketing strikes me as indicating this.
They might also be watching the Wheel of Time numbers out of the corner of their eye. I imagine you can only have so many LE EPIC FANTASY projects coming out at once before you start cannibalizing your own audience.
 

Banana Hammock

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Hold on a minute. Magic was dying in the trilogy, right? That's why the Elves had to leave? So, magic dies and suddenly a bunch of gays and black people show up? Is this like that time that someone made a cartoon set in Hell and made all of the characters gay?
 

Standardized Profile

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Hold on a minute. Magic was dying in the trilogy, right? That's why the Elves had to leave? So, magic dies and suddenly a bunch of gays and black people show up? Is this like that time that someone made a cartoon set in Hell and made all of the characters gay?
No, the Eldar were leaving because the Valar wanted them all to live in Aman. Magic was working fine. It was working so well a bunch of sorcerors fought a war over a magic ring.
 

Pokemonquistador2

Electric Boogaloo
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No, the Eldar were leaving because the Valar wanted them all to live in Aman. Magic was working fine. It was working so well a bunch of sorcerors fought a war over a magic ring.
The Magic Ring though was pretty much the only thing holding magic together in the mortal parts of Middle Earth. The Rings of Power were holding back entropy, and once the One Ring was destroyed, all of the Elven Rings that drew from its power were doomed to slowly lose their magic.

The only thing that bugs me about the LOTR series is the fact that Fantasy is seen as a "gritty, adult" thing now - a way to handsomely mount gore, sex scenes, and intrigue a la Game of Thrones. This totally goes against everything Tolkien was trying to do. His Elves practiced the Catholic embodiment of sex and his ideas of good and evil were remarkably rigid. Game of Thrones was basically GRRM looking at Tolkien and going "Naaaahh. I'm gonna do the opposite of that." I can't imagine a single person this Amazon series is going to please. Tolkien fanatics will denounce it if it's too degenerate and Adult Fantasy fans will declare it boring and slow-paced if it's too much like Tolkien's work.
 

Shamash

Lawgiver, Judge of gods and men, Lord of the Sun
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The elven rings were basically a way to delay time and decay. The elves created little pocket paradises where time didn’t go on or moved very slowly. It was basically the elves trying to delay the inevitable reality that they were passing away and had to leave middle earth.

That is a major theme in Tolkien’s work, the world is moving on its course and you can’t stop it. That is something a lot of casual fans don’t understand and a lot of derivative fantasy works fail to grasp-the elves are fading in Tolkien because they are metaphysically tied to the Earth itself, and thus their decline is pre ordained.

Decline, decay, and the past being greater than the present is omnipresent throughout tolkien’s work, and I doubt Amazon will be able to grasp that.
 

Standardized Profile

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The Magic Ring though was pretty much the only thing holding magic together in the mortal parts of Middle Earth. The Rings of Power were holding back entropy, and once the One Ring was destroyed, all of the Elven Rings that drew from its power were doomed to slowly lose their magic.
That didn't mean "magic was dying" or anything like that. It means the Rings of Power would stop functioning in the unlikely event the One was destroyed. It's like when AWS or Azure or whatever lets the magic smoke escape from their servers; some web sites will go down, but it's not the death of the internet or internet technology.

Only Narya was operative in the mortal parts of Middle-earth, the other two were kept by the Eldar in Imladris and Lothlorien for the Elves' weird stasis trick.
 

Newman's Lovechild

Ah ah ah, you didn't say the magic word.
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That didn't mean "magic was dying" or anything like that. It means the Rings of Power would stop functioning in the unlikely event the One was destroyed.

I think it's muddled slightly by the almost-coincidence of the time, or ascendancy, of elves in Middle Earth drawing to a close. Almost as in, the matter of the One Ring accelerated that decline - in either outcome One Ring destroyed; Sauron triumphant and sweeping all before him two of their biggest strongholds would lose their preserving power and fade into the background.

There would be less magic in the world. Not 'less mana to pluck out of the air' which isn't how M-E 'magic' works anyway but less wonder and peril. And, I suppose, less of that inherent power and craft of elves which is when they've all sailed away.

With that in mind, I can sympathize with where @Pokemonquistador2 is coming from. It might be too early to tell, not having seen the thing, but it's like someone high up at Amazon said "The sub-creator's sailed away into the west. Hey you, recreate this elf-type sense of mystery and wonder" and handed Middle Earth to a bunch of orcs.
 

mindlessobserver

True & Honest Fan
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I think another thing they are going to get wrong will be the Elves themselves. Tolkein was very clear the only true difference between Elves and Men were Men had far shorter lives and thus tried to do things faster. The Elves were not some mysterious sub angelic entities imbued with innate wisdom or morality. They were just as prone to foibles and sins as the Humans. In many ways they were worse since they were often prideful and arrogant to a fault.

Especially 1st age and 2nd age Elves who were not in decline. The key thing about the 3rd age Elves is that they were tired. They'd just gotten tired of life and wanted to go to sleep. The reason they had to sail west is that if they didn't they would become wraiths. Forever tied to the fate of Arda but also unable to truly die, trapped in a quasi death until the end of time. Pretty shit circumstance.

I bet though the Elves in this will just be a retread of Peter Jackson's Elves, only with more boobs. Also, Isildur has a sister now! Go strong Woman go!