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Amazon buys up Middle-earth, it searches the One Ring! (Rings of Power news thread)


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Just now, Servant of Morgoth said:

I think that if I turn off my brain and forget everything Tolkien wrote I may occasionally like this show

 

That's what I always try to do, but I would probably find the Harfoots cloying in any case.

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I'm just saying, there's so much crossing of the t-s and dotting of the i-s that for them to pass on Gandalf after they've given us Hobbits, ladled on premotions of Durin's Bane, threw-in a Palantir for good measure, etc...

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Agreed. Given how important having “Hobbits” in the show was for Amazon, it’s almost impossible to imagine them not having Gandalf.

 

But if that’s the case, good grief, why all the obsessive f*cking secrecy? 

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On 22/07/2022 at 12:02 PM, LewWho95 said:

Tbf Disney can't keep copyright extended. For instance, Winnie the Pooh entered the public domain this year

 yeah, but it's already extended beyond absurdity.

 

the only good thing that has come out of some people in the US is the idea of reverting all the copyright things to punish Disney, which I was on board with because it would be hilarious

On 22/07/2022 at 10:51 PM, Bellosh said:

Really hoping that Eminem looking guy is not Annatar. :folder:

 doesn't look like Annatar to me at all!

 

i was amused how in the LOTR movies a lot of the cast "looked like" the barely described characters, based more on their actions and character than their descriptions. i was also amused by the casting of humans trying somehow to emphasize that hobbits look like hobbits and elves like elves

On 22/07/2022 at 10:55 PM, Bellosh said:

😭😭😭

 

I guess Tolkien wasn't too descriptive but that does not look like a guy who you'd trust with a gift 

 

"a commanding figure of great strength of body and supremely royal demeanour and countenance"

 

lmao

 

I appreciate some of the aesthetic effort in the trailer but there's no effort with this character at all!

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Yeah, I feel a correction is in order: the character glimpsed in the trailer is an acolyte of some sort, played by Bridie Sisson. The voice we hear towards the end of the trailer is not Sisson's but, presumably, that of Joseph Mawle.

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Oh, for sure! I think a lot of the character designs look stupid, actually: I've already cited the Dwalkyrie above, but also the Dwarf guards that have face masks with a piece of beard armour (WTF?) and I personally think the use of gold and of motifs reminiscent of Rome (the wreaths, for instance) for Gil-galad is a bit on the nose. Even Durin III who looks awesome, has an oddly crude-looking crown.

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I'm cool with the face masks

 

We don't yet know what the wreath crowns are supposed to be, my bet in on something entirely irrelevant to the plot, including the pretty looking ritual crowning scene in what seems to be Lindon

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5 hours ago, Brónach said:

so

 

it's a prequel to the movies that can't use anything at all from the movies

 

Well, the Balrog does look an awful lot like PJ's. So there's that.

 

5 hours ago, Brónach said:

and it has nothing for tolkien fans or readers

 

Maybe not. But there are always the SUPERFANS!!!!

 

5 hours ago, Brónach said:

i am very confused

 

Aren't we all. But even the very wise cannot see all ends.  My heart tells me that Amazon has some part to play in all this, for good or evil, before it is over. The hubris of Bezos may rule the fate of many.

 

 

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i don't even have tolkien on any sort of pedestal and even the slight references to before the second age did something briefly to my heart, probably because i like the atmosphere created by the writing and events, until i remembered where those references in the trailers are shoehorned in and that they do it on purpose (in fairness they're probably not as shoehorned in the show. but in the marketing there's more noticeable references to the past, and to the future, than to the second age story at hand)

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9 hours ago, Pellaeon said:

Dwarf-masks are a thing from the First Age lore. You can read about them in UT.

 

I know they are, I'm saying the design is a little much.

 

The Erebor guard had Dwarven masks, too, and they looked a lot better, partially for not having an iron beard. This show strikes me as being much more self-consciously fantasy.

 

11 hours ago, Brónach said:

it's a prequel to the movies that can't use anything at all from the movies

 

We really don't know the situation between this and the movies' visuals. Some stuff like the Balrog and Aeglos look awfully close - practically identical, actually.

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2 hours ago, Chen G. said:

We really don't know the situation between this and the movies' visuals. Some stuff like the Balrog and Aeglos look awfully close - practically identical, actually.

I guess John Howe is the answer there? If the designs are based on stuff he did pre-movie they’d be fair game wouldn’t they?

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I can't find John Howe illustrations of Aeglos preceeding The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and yet...

 

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Its not one-to-one: blade's a bit wider, more curved, not silvery, etc - but its practically the same. And we're talking about something that shows up for, what, ten frames in the movie and, even at that, isn't really glimpsed clearly?

 

We really don't know what the situation with regards to designs made for the movies are, and they can also change as the show progresses. I know a lot of people would like a fresh take, but honestly I'd be perfectly happy to have a prequel to the movies, especially since the overall aesthetic is already all too close (if done nowhere near as well).

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In order to attract an initial fanbase, Amazon wants some minimal visual continuity so that audiences can imagine it’s fleshing out the movie-verse. Hence the whole reason they brought New Line on board. But they muddy the waters on purpose, and will do so more and more over time, because eventually the goal is that the Amazon-verse will overwrite the movies with their own adaptations of the main narratives of Hob+LR. After all, that’s precisely what they bought the rights to.

 

Also, we have seen in some other franchises that Hollywood has decided to intentionally piss off the fans who care about continuity early and often, so they can ridicule them as toxic and shed them or shame them into pretending they don’t care. “Turn off your brain!”

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31 minutes ago, Pellaeon said:

But they muddy the waters on purpose, and will do so more and more over time, because eventually the goal is that the Amazon-verse will overwrite the movies with their own adaptations of the main narratives of Hob+LR.

 

I really don't think that's the case. I spoke to a person who was in the running to be the showrunner on this and to hear him, the Amazon executives were rather reticent to go anywhere near the time of the movies themselves. Great works of literature having been adapted and re-adapted, but in this particular case I really don't think a readaptation is likely in the forseeable future, certainly not from Amazon.

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Yeah, there’s no way the series is successful for them to get as far as remaking Lord of the Rings. I’d be surprised if it gets to season 4 before they cancel it due to lack of interest. 

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Speaking of which, I think I have the plot outline of Season One figured out:

 

Spoiler

Galadriel is on a quest to prove that Sauron has returned and shake the rest of Middle Earth out of its complecency (so, basically, the premise of An Unexpected Journey) and this brings her to Numenore, where she convinces Miriel to form an intervention force (joined by Isildur) that helps the villagers of Tirharad, menaced by Orcs led by Adar (Joseph Mawle), who had barricaded themselves in a local fortress (so, basically, the siege of Helm's Deep). During the victory celebrations, something happens which results in Tirharad going boom, et voila! InstaMordor!

 

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Filmed Season One and done a lot (but not all) of the scripting for season two, which will soon go into filming, as well as greenlit season three.

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They seem to have so much confidence in this show. Has a show ever had a season 3 green lit before the first episode airs?

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Do you actually really doubt it'll do well? I have no heard good things about The Wheel of Time and yet it seems audiences ate it up.

 

I have grave doubts about this show artistically, but I think commercially its on terra firma.

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4 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Do you actually really doubt it'll do well? I have no heard good things about The Wheel of Time and yet it seems audiences ate it up.

 

I have grave doubts about this show artistically, but I think commercially its on terra firma.

It looks terrible and the internet already hates it. That’s a tough one to come back from. 

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I think the people who gripe on message boards and social media are a very small subset.  It makes sense for them to go all-in on this given the amount of money they had to pay for the rights alone.  It will be interesting to see how the general public reacts to it, and if Amazon sees a return on its massive investment.

 

Still doesn’t look particularly interesting to me, but I’ll tune in and give it a chance.  Maybe I’ll drop it after an episode like Netflix’s Witcher, or maybe I’ll like it enough to hang in there.  I already have a Prime membership, so no additional cost to me except my time.

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17 minutes ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

The show will start out with a massive number of viewers, to be sure, and inevitably it will create a lot of new subscribers to Amazon Prime, which after all is why Amazon is doing it. Lord of the Rings is by far the biggest  project Amazon has going, and thus far they haven't had the kind of breakaway hits that Netflix and HBO have had. Being associated with Tolkien gives them that kind of instant prestige.

 

Of course, the viewership will drop off during the season and probably for subsequent seasons. But let's remember that Amazon already spent a massive amount of money buying the IP before they did the first shot. No matter how the show ultimately performs, Amazon is committed to this thing for multiple seasons. They have to be. And let's remember they've already built the primary sets, etc. so subsequent seasons will almost certainly be cheaper.  

 

All that said, I can't help but think ultimately the show will be both an artistic and commercial disappointment. I don't see how it can't not be. Artistically, it's not really going to be Tolkien, no matter how good a "fantasy" show it is. And the comparisons the to films will always be there. And commercially, anything less than a Game of Thrones level cultural phenomenon will be considered a disappointment. And does anyone really expect it to have that level of success?

 

I think that at least for the first two seasons the show is going to be a great hit thanks to the name of Tolkein sewn on it. The only way this show will fail if it's like Wheel of Time with bland characters and middling storylines. But even with all those issues Wheel of Time did pretty good. They have already wrapped up production for season 2 and they have already announced a third season during SDCC. As a person that hasn't read yet the books of Jordan and Sanderson I find the first season of WOT one of the most generic and bland hight fantasy tv series I've ever seen. 8 of the most wasted hours of my entire life. For sure I'm not going to watch season 2

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9 minutes ago, Servant of Morgoth said:

The only way this show will fail if it's like Wheel of Time with bland characters and middling storylines. But even with all those issues Wheel of Time did pretty good. They have already wrapped up production for season 2 and they have already announced a third season during SDCC.


wheel of time is a lot cheaper. If it only does as good as wheel of time it will be a commercial disaster for them. 
 

with how much they’ve spent it has to be Game of Thrones level or better. 

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9 minutes ago, Bilbo said:


wheel of time is a lot cheaper. If it only does as good as wheel of time it will be a commercial disaster for them. 
 

with how much they’ve spent it has to be Game of Thrones level or better. 

Yes sure I totally agree. Wheel of Time required an investment of "only" 90-100 millions. So yes in order to do as good or even better than GOT most of the folks with a Prime subscription must watch the first season.. In the end without beating about the bush Rings of Power is just a fanfiction with the name of Tolkien sewn on it. And because of that name I find very hard to believe this show is going to be a blblical commercial disaster for Bezos&Co

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2 hours ago, Servant of Morgoth said:

Yes sure I totally agree. Wheel of Time required an investment of "only" 90-100 millions. So yes in order to do as good or even better than GOT most of the folks with a Prime subscription must watch the first season.. In the end without beating about the bush Rings of Power is just a fanfiction with the name of Tolkien sewn on it. And because of that name I find very hard to believe this show is going to be a blblical commercial disaster for Bezos&Co


The success won’t be the viewing figures it will be the number of new subs it brings to Amazon Prime 

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It'll be funny if TROP becomes a ratings disaster, despite the pedigree of the LOTR (basically the most important fantasy work ever written) brand, while The Wheel of Time, which was based on a book series mostly unknown by people who aren't fantasy literature diehards, have better ratings.

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On 29/07/2022 at 11:49 PM, Nick1Ø66 said:

And the comparisons to the films will always be there, and they'll be negative. 

 

This is the real killer for me. There were an interview or two where the showrunners asked us to not compare to the movies, and its like "tough luck, buddy. In a world where people can't even watch the Bakshi film and avoid comparisons to the Jackson Lord of the Rings, how can your show avoid those comparisons?" But, beyond that, if you want to eschew comparisons to the films, why go for production design that so desparately wants to be a movie prequel?

 

And ontop of that they say that didn't want to do "a prequel" and yet thus far I'm seeing a lot of box-checking going on. I actually compiled a list:

 

Quote

A mortal-immortal love affair

An super-athletic Elf warrior

A roguish warrior (Halbrand)

A funny Scottish Dwarf

A palace on a hillside with a promontory at the front

Riders with horsetail crests and horse-shaped sword hilts

A siege battle, saved in the last minute by the intervention of riders

Palantiri

Durin's Bane

Hobbits with cute English names

Ents

Quirky Wizard (Meteor Man)

Callow Youth (Nori Brandyfoot)

Quests

Monster fights

Warrior Woman

A woodland Elf kingdom, replete with a circular, open-air council area

Mordor becoming Mordor

Eagles

Discovery of Mithril

Giant Spider

 

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