Lord of the Rings series!?

For discussion of Amazon's new television show "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power"
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I would need to reserve judgment to see how they did before saying whether I would agree with that statement. ;) (And obviously, I won't get that chance because they are not doing it.)

More seriously, I really can't agree with that. The disintegration of the northern kingdom, the trials and tribulations and civil wars of the southern kingdom eventually morphing into the stewardship, the alliance with the Northmen/Rohirrim, the wars between the Dwarfs and the Orcs, and not least the history of the little people and and founding and early days of the Shire, are deeply fascinating to me, and actually I think provide more fodder for compelling television than the comparatively undeveloped Second Age (not that the early Third Age was all that developed by Tolkien). But I realize that your mileage may (and absolutely should) vary.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by elengil »

Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 5:28 pm Anything in the LOTR appendices (which is the only place that material exists) was already part of the existing rights that had been sold, so the Estate would not have had much to say about it.
It might have been bad information, but I read earlier with a different "scandal" that the estate had final rights to deny any part of the production?
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"Does anyone ever think about Denethor, the guy driven to madness by staying up late into the night alone in the dark staring at a flickering device he believed revealed unvarnished truth about the outside word, but which in fact showed mostly manipulated media created by a hostile power committed to portraying nothing but bad news framed in the worst possible way in order to sap hope, courage, and the will to go on? Seems like he's someone we should think about." - Dave_LF
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

There are a lot of things that are written, some of which are true, some of which are not. There certainly is no question that the rights that were originally sold to UA, that then passed to Zaentz and from him to New Line and thus to Warner's included everything in LOTR including the appendices. We know that Warner's is part of the complicated agreement that led to this show. To what extent that original sale of the rights was supplemented and/or modified is impossible to say, and it is difficult to judge what is actual fact and what is speculation or rumor. Tom Shippey was quoted as saying in an interview in 2019 "The First and Third Ages are “off-limits”, you can’t have the First Age. Events could be mentioned at the most if they explain the events of the Second Age. But if it is not described or mentioned in the Lord of the Rings or in the appendices, they probably cannot use it." Of course, we now know that they are including at least some stuff from the First Age, given the image with the Two Trees. But anything that came from the appendices would have been negotiated more with Warners (or with Zaentz's company if the rights had reverted back to them). But of course they are not doing that, so it is a moot point.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by elengil »

Given those restrictions, I'm not the least bit surprised they've pulled Hobbits into the Second Age, then. Just remains to be seen how they incorporate them into the story, and given the reported scope of the story and that they already have a second season, it might be as was mused earlier (here or elsewhere, I forget now) that it might be the Hobbits are in one sense entirely unconnected to the major world events of the SA but have some secondary story paralleling those events.
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"Does anyone ever think about Denethor, the guy driven to madness by staying up late into the night alone in the dark staring at a flickering device he believed revealed unvarnished truth about the outside word, but which in fact showed mostly manipulated media created by a hostile power committed to portraying nothing but bad news framed in the worst possible way in order to sap hope, courage, and the will to go on? Seems like he's someone we should think about." - Dave_LF
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

They may well be thinking that this could be a series that could last far more than the five years, and extend through the Third Age into the time of TH and LOTR.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Túrin Turambar »

There are consequences to offending your fanbase (see the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, for example) but, even given the popularity of LotR, I doubt that lore inaccuracy in the Second Age will hit them all that hard. There's a large body of Tolkien fans, but most have, at most, read the Hobbit and/or LotR, and many may have only read the books once and relate to the universe chiefly through Jackson's films. There's an even bigger body of fans who've only ever seen the films. People who are familiar enough with the history of the Second Age to know that Hobbits are out of place there are a sliver of the fanbase. And many of those (myself included, potentially) could forgive liberties with the lore if the overall product was good (as we did with Jackson's original films). I'm agnostic on whether the series should be set in the Second or Third Age, but either way, the arguments for including Hobbits are overwhelming.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

The latest supposed revealed information is that Isildur is a main character of the show, and is believed to be played by Maxim Baldry. If so that would mean that a big part of the show would focus on the end of the Second Age and the story of the Akellabeth - the fall of Númenor.

I haven't watched this video, I only saw it reported on at TORN:

A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by kzer_za »

I've generally been more optimistic...but if true, I am very skeptical about whether the Second Age can be done justice with the level of timeline compression this would require.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Particularly with Hobbits shoehorned into the story.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by elengil »

Interesting thoughts. Not exactly predictions, but interesting thoughts nonetheless.
The dumbest thing I've ever bought
was a 2020 planner.

"Does anyone ever think about Denethor, the guy driven to madness by staying up late into the night alone in the dark staring at a flickering device he believed revealed unvarnished truth about the outside word, but which in fact showed mostly manipulated media created by a hostile power committed to portraying nothing but bad news framed in the worst possible way in order to sap hope, courage, and the will to go on? Seems like he's someone we should think about." - Dave_LF
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by kzer_za »

Latest rumor is Galadriel in Númenor early on. If true, which is still an if, I've officially stopped giving this show the benefit of the doubt.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

That was my reaction exactly.

Here's the video from the Fellowship of the Fans making the claim. I watched about fifteen minutes of and had to turn it off. I really don't have a sense of whether these people really have the kind of inside information that they claim, or if it is another elaborate hoax of the kind that we have seen in the past.

A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by elengil »

Tolkien's works in terms of adaptation suffer from the *way too many characters* problem of trying to portray it exactly as written, which is why Bombadil usually gets cut out, and Glorfindel is replaced by some other Elf who is relevant to the greater story.

We know Elves visited Númenor, so simply having Elves there is not breaking the storyline in any way. The problem is which elves are they going to show being there - ones that are literally never named or given any story whatsoever outside of the passing mention that they did, in fact, visit? Or are they going to take Elves that are known to the audience (or will over the course have greater contribution to the story) and have them be among the visitors, even if the *deep fandom knows that there is no reason for those Elves to have ever been there?

I honestly appreciate the difficulty of making these adaptations - and for as deeply as I dislike the Hobbit and parts of the LotR movies, I appreciate that many of the changes in terms of removing excess details and streamlining some elements is necessary for the regular audience to be able to follow and become invested in the characters.

Glorfindel being replaced with Arwen made sense. In a perfect world we'd have a perfect adaptation that caters exclusively to those who know who Glorfindel is/was and would appreciate the attention to detail and giggle and squeal and such but as has been mentioned, there is a broad base of people who want to see Tolkien's but have never read the Silmarillion or beyond, who don't know many of the characters, who don't even know who Elros is, and who aren't going to understand a bunch of one-offs who appear and disappear with no apparent reason for having been there at all.

Do I want to see Galadriel in Númenor? No. Would it be a reasonable change given the constraints of the material and adaptation problems? It may well be. But as with every single thing done in adaptations, it will depend heavily upon how they do it.

Even with the absolute disaster (IMO) of the Hobbit, I am still willing to give this show a chance. I am equally willing to drop it like a hot stone if it just shreds Tolkien's works or even just feels so absolutely not like Middle-earth that it should just be something else.

But what I am trying desperately not to do is hate it before it's come out and decide all the things that the producers did wrong before I've even seen three seconds of the show.
The dumbest thing I've ever bought
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"Does anyone ever think about Denethor, the guy driven to madness by staying up late into the night alone in the dark staring at a flickering device he believed revealed unvarnished truth about the outside word, but which in fact showed mostly manipulated media created by a hostile power committed to portraying nothing but bad news framed in the worst possible way in order to sap hope, courage, and the will to go on? Seems like he's someone we should think about." - Dave_LF
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Despite many quibbles about various things that the filmmakers did, I very much loved the LOTR films, and despite laugh out loud disliking some of the things they did with the Hobbit films, I mostly liked them and loved much of them. I agree that replacing Glorfindel made sense, and moreover, it was a just a change; it did violate anything fundamental about the secondary universe that Tolkien created or the important characters therein (some might argue that Arwen as Tolkien created her would not have taken the actions that the filmmakers had her take, but I don't agree). It might be an esoteric point to most people, but the ban on Galadriel and/or her choice not to return into the West is too significant for me to enjoy an adaptation that blithely ignores it by having her travel within sign of Tol Eressëa. It is true that there were Elves who traveled to Númenor, but they were ALL from Tol Erresea. I do not recall any instance of Tolkien describing an Elf from Middle-earth ever going to Númenor.

Is it possible that they could create a storyline in which Galadriel travels to Númenor that works for a general audience and also for fans of Tolkien? Probably. Is it possible that they could create a storyline in which Galadriel travels to Númenor that works for me? Probably not.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by kzer_za »

Ok, I watched some of the video. Galadriel fights off some Númenórean guards before getting captured by Elendil (?!) who brings her to Queen Míriel and Galadriel gives a big speech. The elves are in trouble and want Númenor's help, Númenor doesn't like elves. My speculative guess is that Galadriel reminds the Numenoreans of forgotten lore and reinvigorates the Faithful (Elendil probably does not start off as one) and temporarily gets Númenor on a better path.

I realize adapting this was never going to be easy, but it really is going too far into fan fiction for me, if the rumors are true. I also feel like it's going to be very difficult to portray the fall of Númenor properly with this level of compression. Their story is of fallen nobility corrupted by hubris and fear of mortality and it sounds like we're starting off with Númenor already bad, are we really going to go from isolationist-and-xenophobic to maybe-good to imperialist-and-xenophobic (since they start off isolationist I'm guessing the colonial stuff won't feature heavily till later) in so little time? It sounds thematically wrong, not just purist nitpicking about an adaptation changing and reshuffling things.

And with Hobbits taking up time too! I gave them the benefit of the doubt earlier but that was with the assumption that we'd start in an earlier and quieter period of the Second Age...
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by elengil »

[note, I have not nor am intending to watch the video.]

I don't disagree with anything you said, but why assume a grossly compressed time frame? If they already have 5 seasons to stretch this out into, and if they aren't allowed to go into the third age, that seems like quite a long span to develop the complex storyline that would require. One of the only things I've actually heard about the show is that they wanted it to be a long-running epic to rival Game of Thrones, that would seem to actually refute any claim of compressing events, no?

The reported events, however, seem a bit too outlandish and plot-central to have been 'leaked' before any smaller less important details. I am skeptical of that, even if it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility..


Personally, I'm more (morbidly) curious how they would cover things like the implementation of human sacrifices to Morgoth :scarey:
The dumbest thing I've ever bought
was a 2020 planner.

"Does anyone ever think about Denethor, the guy driven to madness by staying up late into the night alone in the dark staring at a flickering device he believed revealed unvarnished truth about the outside word, but which in fact showed mostly manipulated media created by a hostile power committed to portraying nothing but bad news framed in the worst possible way in order to sap hope, courage, and the will to go on? Seems like he's someone we should think about." - Dave_LF
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I share your skepticism about the leaks. I have seen some pretty elaborate hoaxes over the past couple of decades about alleged leaks that turned out to be completely bogus, but this would this would be pretty close to taking the cake if it turns out to be one.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by kzer_za »

Found out Fellowship of Fans is a moderator on the LOTR prime Reddit, which seems uh...ethically questionable but what do I know. So that might be boosting their visibility more than they deserve.

They did get some earlier leaks right on personnel but it's possible they could be wrong about this for various reasons - maybe some of their sources are better than others, maybe there's even someone deliberately giving them controlled false leaks. Or maybe it really is true. Who knows really, only time will tell. I will be trying to follow the rumor mill less until Amazon starts releasing more official info though.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Alatar »

I'm gonna concentrate on Wheel of Time for the foreseeable. Obsessing over the LotR Prime series for a year isn't gonna lead me anywhere good. I'd rather be surprised.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Here are the latest rumors being spread by the Fellowship of the Fans broadcast. They are now claiming that Ema Horvath is playing an invented character named Carine who is Isildur's sister. They also claim that Isildur volunteers for the Númenórean army that goes to Middle-earth (it is unclear whether this is an army that is going to help Galadriel, or an army that is going to dominate Middle-earth, as would be consistent with what Tolkien wrote, though not with Isildur as part of it. They also claim that Isildur has three friends named Nolion, Valandil and Ontamo who also volunteer for the army (presumably the idea would be that Isildur's son Valandil would be named after one of these friends). These characters are supposedly played by Anthony Crum, Alex Tarrant and some unnamed person. Supposedly Carine (is she the Númenórean "Karen") doesn't want Isildur to join the army and she chases after him yelling "Isildurrrrrrrr" in the same way that Elrond yells his name in the FOTR film. ( :roll: ). There is supposedly a scene with a parade in the streets with the people throwing flowers at the army, with Isildur dressed in cavalry gear ( :? )

I have no idea whether any of this true, but here is the video, for what it is worth.

A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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