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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:08 pm 
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I've been thinking about this a bit. So if the story of the first age is the story of the Silmarils, the Second Age is pretty much Númenor, right? Not a huge amount of crossover there. In other words you could nearly call 1st Age - The Elves and 2nd Age - The Men. How much backstory do you really need besides "There's a place over here where the Elves live with the Gods, and Men aren't allowed there"?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:47 pm 
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Two things that I disagree with about that. First of all, a significant part of the Second Age story occurs on Middle-earth, and is almost entirely about the Elves and Sauron, and the forging of the Rings of Power. Given that the series is called "The Lord of the Rings" and that the primary marketing tool has been following the Ring poem, it seems pretty clear that that will be a big part of the story. Secondly, who are these men who live on this island away from Middle-earth, and why are they greater (in terms of power, longevity, lore, etc.) than the men still on Middle-earth? Without some First Age backround that can't be explained.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:49 pm 
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Yeah I get that but is it any more complex than the Shadow of the Past?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:55 pm 
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I think it is more complex. You have to explain the Valar, Morgoth and Sauron, and the existence of Eru in some form. The back-and-forth of the elves between Middle Earth and Valinor and their fading in Middle-earth (which is important backstory to the elven rings) is difficult to explain concisely. The white tree, while not absolutely essential, is an important and powerful bit of symbolism and if you use it you have to explain where it comes from. Christopher tried to summarize much of the Elder Days in the Children of Húrin prologue, and it's a bit of a mess, even if Second Age wouldn't need all the details.

However, one advantage of a TV series is that this doesn't have to all be done at once. Instead of infodumping it all in one prologue, you can spread mini-prologues throughout the show.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:20 pm 
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I don't know. LOTR barely explained anything. Elves, dwarves, Sauron, the Last Alliance, Gondor were all put on screen with barely an introduction. To a point, this was balanced by a naive viewpoint character, which would be harder in the second age, but still.

As Zinaida Gippius said, "If you need to explain, you don't need to explain."

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:41 pm 
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Gotta say, the amount of homework they've put into this map is pretty impressive...not even Fonstad's Second Age map has this much detail.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:08 am 
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If they truly go with a Second Age setting now, and the likelihood for this has certainly improved as of today, I am speculating (without any real evidence) that we will see a shortened timeline.

1200: Sauron begins to work with the elves of Eregion.
c. 1590: The Three Rings are completed.
1690s: Sauron overruns Eriador, destroys Eregion, death of Celebrimbor.
1700s/1800s: The Númenonerans banish Sauron from Eriador, he extends his dominion to the East instead; the Númenoreans begin to settle on the coast of Middle-earth.

2200s: Ringwraiths appears.

3170s: Númenorean civil war.
3250s/60s: Rise of Ar-Pharazôn; Sauron taken prisoner.
3310s: The Great Armament and the Fall of Númenor.
3320s: Arnor and Gondor are founded; Sauron returns to Mordor.

3420s-40s: Sauron invades Gondor, Last Alliance, apparent downfall of Sauron.

My guess is that they will severely reduce the time spans between some or all of these events. I very much doubt that we will see independent anthology seasons where half or more of the old cast is replaced in the next season (i.e., the humans). There is even a possibility, as far-fetched as it might sound to readers, that Elendil will be alive around the time of the Forging of the Ring. The storyline about Celebrimbor could be moved up to the early 31st century, for example. Hope remains that they find some compromise between classic TV/cinema narrative tropes and an understanding that there is a good reason for the vastness of time between certain events in the source material.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:17 am 
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I've wondered a bit about that too. One compromise possibility is to move about 100-150 years per season? So each Númenórean character can get 2-3 seasons to give the cast some stability. I do think it is very important that Númenor's decline be seen gradually and incrementally, but I also agree some compression will probably be necessary for the medium.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:18 pm 
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Jeremy Edmonds of the Tolkien Collector's Guide has an excellent summary of the maps and what they suggest.

Amazon's Lord of the Rings Maps

Jeremy had a previous post discussing a fairly arcane error that he noticed in the first map.

The Compass Rose on Amazon Prime's Map

Not only did Amazon fix the error on subsequent maps, they also started following Jeremy on Facebook.

I must admit I have a bit of a hard time reining in my expectations.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:51 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Jeremy Edmonds of the Tolkien Collector's Guide has an excellent summary of the maps and what they suggest.

Amazon's Lord of the Rings Maps

Jeremy had a previous post discussing a fairly arcane error that he noticed in the first map.

The Compass Rose on Amazon Prime's Map

Not only did Amazon fix the error on subsequent maps, they also started following Jeremy on Facebook.

I must admit I have a bit of a hard time reining in my expectations.

One thing I noticed on the recent map is Tol Morwen that is featured on the map is only mentioned in The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-earth. :scratch:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:03 pm 
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[I seem to have posted in the wrong thread, so I moved my post and Jonas' response to the right thread]

It's really a big mystery right now what exactly they have rights to. It would seem to me that if they had rights to The Silmarillion they would start from the beginning.

One speculation that I have seen is that they purchased rights to Karen Fonstad's Atlas of Middle-earth (or are using her maps as a guide with a permission, though I think that is unlikely). I don't have a copy; can anyone confirm whether Tol Morwen is included on any of her maps?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:19 pm 
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Tol Morwen is included on Fonstad's Second Age world map, yes (>link<). I think the biggest tell that Amazon is copying from Fonstad--although I suppose it's possible they're picking it up from other sources which in turn copied Fonstad, as her ideas have percolated pretty far--is the presence of what she termed the Grey Mountains on the coastline south of Umbar. That's a relic of Fonstad's attempts at fusing the Ambarkanta maps with the LOTR ones. She speculated that the cataclysm at the end of First Age would not only have sunk Beleriand but also a considerable amount of land to the south, thereby making the Grey Mountains a coastal range (this can also be seen on the above-linked map). As far as I know this idea originated with Fonstad and is a result of her original scholarship. The Pauline Baynes map (>link<) does not show any hills or mountains on the southern coastline. While it doesn't extend as far south as either Fonstad's or Amazon's, the latter two both show significant topographical changes on the coastline in the range depicted by Baynes as plain.

Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
It's really a big mystery right now what exactly they have rights to. It would seem to me that if they had rights to The Silmarillion they would start from the beginning.


I read an interesting suggestion (which I now can't locate after bouncing around between so many forums) that Amazon might not have purchased the rights to entire books from the Estate but rather to "modules" of certain ideas which allow them to mine TS, UT, and HoMe for, say, Second Age-specific material, without putting limitations on potential future deals for First Age material. I don't know how feasible that would be from a legal perspective in terms of drawing up easily-enforceable contracts, though.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:16 pm 
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That seems to be the most likely suggestion, right now. As to how feasible it would be, one wild card would be to what extent Christopher is a copyright holder independent of his father's estate to works that he edited.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:55 pm 
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That's my main point of uncertainty too. My understanding at one time (pre-show announcement) was that Christopher is, for copyright purposes, considered a coauthor of the works he published. For instance, the copyright page of my copy of The Peoples of Middle-earth reads:
Quote:
Copyright © The Tolkien Estate Limited
and C.R. Tolkien 1996

On the other hand, many of my books instead have statements like this (from The War of the Jewels):
Quote:
Copyright ©1994 by Frank Richard Williamson and Christopher Reuel Tolkien
as Executors of the Estate of J. R. R. Tolkien

Which would seem to suggest that Christopher does not personally share in the copyright, but only appears due to his role in the Estate. I don't know if it varies from edition to edition? FWIW, the copy of Peoples I have with me is a HarperCollins trade paperback, but Jewels is a Houghton Mifflin hardcover. Unfortunately, I don't have my other copy of Peoples to compare against. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:30 pm 
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Shaun Gunner twitted this https://twitter.com/ShaunGunner/status/ ... 4128212993 I do wonder if he knows something that we don't..


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:45 pm 
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You mean the "zipped lips" emoticom? Maybe, but I doubt it.

(For those who don't know, Shaun is the head of the Tolkien Society, so might be in a position to know something that others don't know, perhaps.)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:49 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
You mean the "zipped lips" emoticom? Maybe, but I doubt it.

(For those who don't know, Shaun is the head of the Tolkien Society, so might be in a position to know something that others don't know, perhaps.)

Yes I meant "zipped lips".


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:22 pm 
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Eldy wrote:
That's my main point of uncertainty too. My understanding at one time (pre-show announcement) was that Christopher is, for copyright purposes, considered a coauthor of the works he published. For instance, the copyright page of my copy of The Peoples of Middle-earth reads:
Quote:
Copyright © The Tolkien Estate Limited
and C.R. Tolkien 1996

On the other hand, many of my books instead have statements like this (from The War of the Jewels):
Quote:
Copyright ©1994 by Frank Richard Williamson and Christopher Reuel Tolkien
as Executors of the Estate of J. R. R. Tolkien

Which would seem to suggest that Christopher does not personally share in the copyright, but only appears due to his role in the Estate. I don't know if it varies from edition to edition? FWIW, the copy of Peoples I have with me is a HarperCollins trade paperback, but Jewels is a Houghton Mifflin hardcover. Unfortunately, I don't have my other copy of Peoples to compare against. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


I checked my books, which are all Houghton Mifflin hardcovers, and in those books, Christopher only claims individual copyright rights to The Silmarillion and The Children of Húrin, as well as the notes and commentary in Beren and Lúthien and The Fall of Gondolin. Everything else is either listed as "Copyright ©[year] by Frank Richard Williamson and Christopher Reuel Tolkien as Executors of the Estate of J. R. R. Tolkien" or "Copyright ©[year] Tolkien Copyright Trust."

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:28 pm 
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My Ted Nasmith illustrated Silmarillion says "The J.R.R. Tolkien Copyright Trust and C.R. Tolkien 1977"


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:32 pm 
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Yes, same for my unillustrated edition. So it appears to me that Christopher claims copyright rights to the Silmarillion itself, and to The Children of Húrin, but not the texts that appear in Unfinished Tales or in HoMe.

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