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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:59 pm 
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What is the “Tolkien Copyright Trust”, though?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:12 pm 
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kzer_za wrote:
What is the “Tolkien Copyright Trust”, though?

Maybe they mean The Tolkien Trust ? http://tolkientrust.org/index.html .


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:30 pm 
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It is almost certainly a different thing, though I don't have any further information.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:19 pm 
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Gonna take a guess that Galadriel will be the main character or a co-main, at least early on. Reasons:

  • She is already a beloved and iconic character (more so than Elrond I think), even if recasting will probably be necessary due to Blanchett's age.
  • She is a major player closely involved with events on mainland Middle-earth. Admittedly she is not positioned to have much contact with Númenor, though I'm sure this can be finessed with a little creativity.
  • She is immortal and lives through the whole Age, so however they decide to handle the timeline she can be there in every season to give the story some stability.
  • There is a lot written about her in this period - much of it contradictory, but pieces of various versions can certainly be combined.
  • She has a somewhat shady past (at least in some versions), so it will not be difficult to make her a round character and write arcs for her.
  • She is a female character, which there aren't that many in the Second Age (I'm sure some will be invented too) so Amazon will likely want to use what they can as much as possible .


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:59 pm 
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kzer_za wrote:
Gonna take a guess that Galadriel will be the main character or a co-main, at least early on.


Interesting take but I doubt we will see Galadriel as the protagonist of the series (such as Jon Snow, Daenerys, Tyrion).[1]

One of the main strengths of a Second Age setting is that you have far greater room to develop a unique artistic vision in comparison to Jackson’s films. Yes, viewers would know that Sauron loses the Ring in the end. But that’s about it.

Let’s say all the teasers so far have been misleading and we actually get a young Aragorn series instead. The new actor for Aragorn would be compared incessantly to Viggo Mortensen. In addition, some forms of storytelling would simply not carry the same weight with Aragorn as a protagonist as people already know his fate; picture multiple scenes of young Estel in grave danger – all these scenes would potentially be bereft of tension.[2]

There are really only two familiar characters from Jackson’s films that could be used as protagonists for the series: Elrond and Galadriel. [3] From a branding perspective, your point about Galadriel being an established character is very persuasive. Producers might argue that we need an established character to introduce viewers to this rather alien Middle-earth (although one might argue that introducing a setting to the viewer and carrying the plot of a series are two different things) And I am certainly not ruling out the possibility. The counter-argument to this is that if you already go with such a setting (and not a far better established setting in the late Third Age), you will also want to have protagonists that come without any preconceptions; that will not be compared to Cate Blanchett or Hugo Weaving.

Again, this is all wild speculation, but I would guess we will see multiple protagonists (3-5); half of them could be invented characters, at least the other half probably will be named characters from the legendarium that we know little about, ergo whose personalities, traits, etc. will be molded by the showrunners; as far-fetched as it might sound but they could turn Celebrían into a more prominent character than Galadriel for example.

If I were a betting man, I would say Galadriel will most likely appear as a minor character, if at all, in the first few seasons, either in a reoccurring supporting role or as a major character in a shorter story arc. In later seasons, she could then be granted a more prominent role. Who knows: Maybe she will the Lady of Exposition, again?


[1] Some GoT readers/viewers would disagree with the labelling of Arya, etc. as non-protagonists but it is clear that they are not as important/do not get as much screen time as the first three characters.
[2] Talented scriptwriters/directors can create excellent dramatic scenes with tension where you already know in advance that the character cannot possibly be in true peril; but it is certainly more difficult to pull off and some options for great dramatic scenes simply cannot be used for such characters.
[3] i.e., associated with known actors; Sauron and the Ringwraiths are faceless characters in the films, Celeborn, Elendil, etc. are very minor characters that speak only a few lines. Some might ask about Treebeard…


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:28 am 
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Beutlin wrote:
In addition, some forms of storytelling would simply not carry the same weight with Aragorn as a protagonist as people already know his fate; picture multiple scenes of young Estel in grave danger – all these scenes would potentially be bereft of tension.


...maybe that's why The Hobbit films kind of sldelined Bilbo for the dwarves.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:02 am 
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I'm not sure I entirely agree that knowing a character lives is a major problem for prequels. Dramatic convention alone is usually enough to predict a character's survival even in original stories. Or, say you're a film-firster going into a movie called The Return of the King: it's probably a safe bet that the king-in-waiting will survive and succeed at what he needs to do to take the throne. I think an at least equally significant factor for prequels is that we tend to know what sort of person the major characters will be at the end of the story because we've already seen what they're like at the start of the original. Granted, a prequel could still work in the sense of being more about the journey than the destination (sort of like the experience of rewatching films), but it's often difficult to construct engaging character arcs because you can't resolve any of the most important internal conflicts. That would have been especially difficult for a Young Aragorn series made in continuity with the Jackson films, since much of Aragorn's relationship with Arwen had been chronologically shifted and incorporated into the main story, but even if the showrunners had taken more cues from the book I think it would still have been a pretty unexciting premise. Just one of the reasons I'm glad that we seem to be getting the Second Age instead.

In terms of Galadriel, though, her inner life and thoughts are left largely unexplored in LOTR, so I'd agree she could work well as a major character in a Second Age series (or a series set in the First or early-mid Third Ages, for that matter). But I'd expect at least one of the most important characters in the Amazon series (more if the story is Númenor-centric) to be human, so they'd be easier for the audience to identify with and provide more opportunities for natural exposition.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:06 am 
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I agree that knowing a character's fate is not always a dealbreaker. There are certainly plenty of decent films and TV shows that have gone back in time to show certain episodes in a character's past, etc. I am not ruling it out either that Galadriel will end up as one of the protagonists. That said, I think it is more likely that we will see her as a (maybe prominent) secondary character. The example I used before, namely Celebrían, might not seem like an obvious choice for one of the protagonists, but again, the showrunners could turn her into a character that is very much their protagonist and not of any other films.

PS: That is not a value judgment; just a half-baked prediction. Celebrimbor is currently the only character I can think of whose chances of being one of the protagonists (in the first season) are very high. And not even that is a given.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:12 pm 
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Jeremy has another post detailing the errors he has identified in the maps (which are quite minor, overall).

[url=https://www.tolkienguide.com/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?post_id=21813#forumpost21813Errors on Amazon's Lord of the Rings maps[/url]

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:44 pm 
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That link is pointing to the Tolkien Collectors Guide?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:26 pm 
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Beutlin wrote:
I agree that knowing a character's fate is not always a dealbreaker. There are certainly plenty of decent films and TV shows that have gone back in time to show certain episodes in a character's past, etc. I am not ruling it out either that Galadriel will end up as one of the protagonists. That said, I think it is more likely that we will see her as a (maybe prominent) secondary character. The example I used before, namely Celebrían, might not seem like an obvious choice for one of the protagonists, but again, the showrunners could turn her into a character that is very much their protagonist and not of any other films.

PS: That is not a value judgment; just a half-baked prediction. Celebrimbor is currently the only character I can think of whose chances of being one of the protagonists (in the first season) are very high. And not even that is a given.

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That link is pointing to the Tolkien Collectors Guide?

https://www.tolkienguide.com/modules/ne ... t_id=21813

Far be it from me to accuse anyone of nitpicking, but to be honest Amazon has already exceeded my expectations for lore fidelity, though it's very possible they'll fall below them later. Oddly enough, Fonstad doesn't refer to Himling as "Tol Himling", so that's an original change to the Amazon map (unless they're picking up on it from some other source that's not immediately coming to mind).


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:00 pm 
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I fixed the link in my post. Jeremy's post was at the Tolkien Collector's Guide site, but I apparently had the wrong link. :roll:

Eldy, I agree that Amazon has exceeded my expectations for lore fidelity, and also that it doesn't mean that it will continue. But it certainly points in the right direction.

I noted something in a post by The Hutt at TORN today. In an article about why Amazon was chosen despite not necessarily being the highest bidder, it was mentioned that "Amazon’s Sharon Tal Yguado, who was hired from Fox in 2017, demonstrated a near encyclopedic knowledge of Tolkien’s characters, stories and geography." I had not noted a description of Ms. Tal Yguado like this before. If it is true, it might help explain why they are being so faithful.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:26 pm 
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I hadn't heard that before either. Bezos is reportedly a Tolkien fan too (here's a video of a much-younger, less-skinny, still-hair-having Bezos talking about liking The Hobbit and "Tolkien's trilogy"). I'm skeptical of the "near encyclopedic knowledge" claim, mostly because that's the sort we used to hear a lot about Philippa Boyens, probably in good faith but simply because most people have no frame of reference for what comprehensive knowledge of the legendarium actually looks like. But it certainly would be heartening if Ms. Yguado is indeed a big fan. Or, hell, maybe she really is a walking encyclopedia and I'm just being needlessly skeptical because of the way (geek) media likes to portray people as experts because they have a greater-than-average familiarity with something.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:22 pm 
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I thought of Boyens when i read that too, as well as Colbert, whose knowledge is greater than Boyens' but is still a drop in the bucket compared to some we know who truly have encyclopedic knowledge of different aspects of Tolkien's work.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:37 pm 
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I thought of Colbert too, though I have less basis for an opinion on the limits of his knowledge on than I do with Boyens. But I definitely think the occasional descriptions of him as a Tolkien scholar (which you run into online sometimes) are silly, even though I appreciate his passion.

For that matter, I once saw Jackson described as a Tolkien scholar, but IIRC no one else in the thread agreed with that description.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:54 pm 
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March 25 is the anniversary of the Ring's destruction...could that be the next update/tease?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:18 pm 
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Tom Shippey and John Howe is working with the Amazon series. And confirmed by Shaun Gunner https://mobile.twitter.com/ShaunGunner/ ... 7882225671 https://ew.com/tv/2019/04/17/amazon-lor ... econd-age/


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:18 pm 
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That's pretty exciting news, though obviously it remains to be seen how much involvement Shippey and/or Howe actually has with the production.

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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 7:28 pm 
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Sharon Tal Yguado, Amazon's head of genre programming, is out:
https://deadline.com/2019/05/sharon-tal ... 202604269/

She was key in securing the deal with the estate and is said to be a big Tolkien fan. I'm sure it will affect things some, but how much impact it will have at this point when the writing is already well underway is hard to say. The major work may have already passed out of her hands.


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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 7:56 pm 
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Yeah, that's what I thought when I saw that, too.

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