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The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings of Power (2022 TV Series)


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1 minute ago, Jay said:

When are they going to tell us the actual name of this show?

 

I think they're content to let the general public think of it as a "Lord of the Rings" series for now.

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I guess they'll probably keep "The Lord of the Rings" in the title somewhere right?

Like "The Lord of The Rings: The Second Age" or something?

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5 minutes ago, Doug Adams said:

If there are scenes that don’t take place in the Second Age, it’s “and.” 

 

Then why say "Second Age" at all? Flashbacks and prologues aside, the show takes place in the Second Age of Middle-earth.

 

1 minute ago, Jay said:

Like "The Lord of The Rings: The Second Age" or something?

 

That actually feels about right to me.

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1 minute ago, Doug Adams said:

PR writing is a strange beast. I got chewed out once for beginning a press bio with the word "In." "I hate that word! Who uses that word??" 

 

LOL, fair enough.

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On 6/7/2018 at 8:47 PM, Chen G. said:

The Hobbit is a direct prequel, not a spin-off.

 

That it carries a different title is completely incidental: its an integral part of the same story.

 

It occurs to me that one of the things this series might have going for it is that it's not a direct prequel, taking place millennia before LOTR. I say this because prequels generally suck, or at least are pale imitations of the original. Being so far in the past I think frees it up a little more than a traditional prequel would (though the show will still be operating under some of the same constraints, and carry some of the same baggage, as all prequels do).

 

Having Lord of the Rings in the title is initially going to create some amount of confusion for casual viewers, and if you throw "The Second Age" in there, people are going to see "Second" and immediately think sequel.  I imagine the marketing will take care of this long before the show first airs, but they definitely have a pretty big challenge, IMO, of pulling this off, especially given that they have so little original source material to work with. I mean, they have the bare bones of a story, but there's not much meat on it.  I also think there's no way they don't time compress a lot of these events, it's just inevitable.

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I've actually made the same point in a manner of speaking any number of times.

 

Of course, It is a direct prequel in the plot sense: its very much the same central conflict as the feature films - Sauron versus the Free People. In that sense, this is a direct prequel while New Line's War of the Rohirrim is a spinoff, being that it has a completely different central conflict.

 

But your point is well-taken that because its set so far in the past, it probably won't have many of the trappings of a direct prequel. Not that I mind those, but it does stand the chance of being very refreshing.

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1 hour ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

I also think there's no way they don't time compress a lot of these events, it's just inevitable.

 

You mean, time compress micro-events (which in the chronology of the second age can still take a decade to a century) or compress the macro-events of the age?

 

Because I think Amazon will do the former, and deal with the latter not by compression but rather by taking just one chain of events from the second age and sticking with it. They're not doing "THE second age", per se, they're doing a character-driven story that takes place IN that age.

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I’m sure TORn’s next leak would be about a scene of a young Tauriel, played by Bill Nighy in drag, playing chess with Frodo’s aunt in Far Harad…

 

In simple Russian, нет. Tauriel is said to be 600 years old: she needs to be told about the Angmar war by Legolas.

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10 hours ago, Chen G. said:

 

You mean, time compress micro-events (which in the chronology of the second age can still take a decade to a century)

 

Yes.

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Oh, for sure.

 

We've just been to ascertain that Nazanin Boniadi is playing "Kari", which is in all liklihood a Gwathuirim character (i.e. a Dunlending). She has a son, "Kyrin", played by Tyroe Muhaffidin. So they don't even have the longevity of the Numenorean or Dwarven characters.

 

Now, Sauron and Celebrimbor take a century to forge the Ring. So either the show "Kari" and "Kyrin" story across two or three episodes and then suddenly they're both already long-dead, or you just fiddle with the finer points of the timeline to allow the events to transpire entirely within those characters' lifetime.

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On 8/4/2021 at 6:06 AM, Chen G. said:

We've just been to ascertain that Nazanin Boniadi is playing "Kari", which is in all liklihood a Gwathuirim character (i.e. a Dunlending). She has a son, "Kyrin", played by Tyroe Muhaffidin. 

(...) So either the show "Kari" and "Kyrin" story across two or three episodes and then suddenly they're both already long-dead, or you just fiddle with the finer points of the timeline to allow the events to transpire entirely within those characters' lifetime.

I wonder what the significance of two Dunlending Karens in the still mighty 2nd age is going to be. Trying to call the cops on the Elves? Demanding to speak to an Orc manager?

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Its part of a subplot of the Numenorean occupation of the Enedhwaith. "Kari" has an illicit affair with a Numenorean soldier, her protective son will inevitably let it slip to the village et voilà!

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4 hours ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

Are Kari & Kyrin from the same part of the Appendices as Tauriel?

 

In my head I definitely call her the "Dunlending Tauriel." Although throwing a kid into the mix ("Kari" is a widow) certainly makes it a bit different.

 

4 hours ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

Sort of like a doomed Kylo Ren, only without the shot at redemption.  I bet they have him turn bad because Galadriel rejects him.

 

Sounds more like Celebrimbor to me.

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Yeah, although that story takes place much later and in a different part of Middle Earth. But sure.

 

And lets all be quite clear that names like "Kari" or "Asta" (probably the Numenorean queen) or "Beldor" (almost 100% Elrond) are just codenames: they're NOT the names of the actual characters.

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59 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

And lets all be quite clear that names like "Kari" or "Asta" (probably the Numenorean queen) or "Beldor" (almost 100% Elrond) are just codenames: they're NOT the names of the actual characters.

 

"Codenames". Why must every big genre film/TV project now be shrouded in obsessive secrecy. It's gotten to the point of absurdity. Who cares? Just say "this is what the show's about, and x actor is playing Elrond" and be done with it. Then let people spend the next year arguing about it. They're going to argue anyway, so at least give them something real to argue about.

 

I blame JJ Abrams.

 

 

 

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My own position is that "a premise for a film is not a spoiler." Its only where the film then takes the premise which should count as spoilers.

 

Just to take "Beldor" as an example, this bloke auditioned for the part:

1803543_11342596.jpg

 

Then Will Poulter landed it:

shutterstock_editorial_10238065g.jpeg

 

Then Poulter had conflicting schedules and Robert Aramayo took his place.

aramayo.png?crop=0px,48px,3079px,1726px&

 

So...yeah...

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I think they'll keep on using existing plates for all the establishing shots.

 

Plus, as TORn observantly point out (for once), they could still have units shooting some shots in NZ.

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Good.  One of the things I found potentially interesting about this show when news first broke of it is that they initially considered shooting in the UK & other European locations.

 

In any event, if Twitter is any indication, I think people are making way too big a deal out of this. A lot of this show is going to be shot on sets, and on green screen. They no doubt have a lifetime's worth of establishing shots in the can, and if they absolutely need something that requires a Kiwi vista, they can always send a crew there (or more likely hire one already there).  I'm not saying it won't be apparent to observant viewers, but I think most people won't even notice. 

 

And let's remember, millennia separate the events of LOTR and this show. It should have a different feel.  I love New Zealand, and think it was the perfect location for Jackson to make his movies, but it's not the only place that can be Middle-earth. I'd think people would welcome the opportunity to see something a little different.

 

That said, ironically, I think the general look and vibe of the UK is more suited to the Third Age (i.e. a ruin-filled dying world in decline) than the Second.  I've lived in both countries, and NZ feels more like summer to me and the UK like Autumn.

 

And @Chen G., as a Braveheart fan, I thought you'd be more open-minded. ;)

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16 minutes ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

And @Chen G., as a Braveheart fan, I thought you'd be more open-minded about this. ;)

 

To be fair, when news initially broke out yesterday, I was having a spot of indigestion before my issue had...erm...resolved itself. So my lack of enthusiasm can be attributed to that.

 

I do think Scotland and Wales and (if they choose to go there) Ireland could offer some very nice landscapes and as you say they can always be interspersed either with existing footage from New Zealand or from footage generated by a small crew sent there. Actually Willow intercut Wales and New Zealand quite well.

 

I think this show will be much less predicated on a "trekking through wilderness" premise anyway: it doesn't suit the subject matter and it doesn't really fit TV anyway. So suppose we have scenes set in Forlond and Ost-in-Edhil, for the establishing shots you could recycle the same wides with the city perched into the same New Zealand landscape, and then when you cut to street level (much less to interiors) the audience will be none the wiser.

 

It was never actually in our interest as viewers that Middle Earth be "100% New Zealand". It was in the interest of New Zealand authorities for promotion of tourism and in the interest of the filmmakers partially for convenience, but ideally the most suitable locations would have been selected from across the globe: in the audio commentary for the Rohan scenes, Jackson admits that "New Zealand doesn't have" prairie-like landscapes of flat grasslands. Indeed, there are a couple of shots that are technically NOT New Zealand: Rauros falls are, depending on the shot, either taken from footage of Niagra falls or some undisclosed waterfall in Peru.

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1 hour ago, Chen G. said:

It was never actually in our interest as viewers that Middle Earth be "100% New Zealand". It was in the interest of New Zealand authorities for promotion of tourism and in the interest of the filmmakers partially for convenience

 

Sure. There were lots of practical reasons to film exclusively there, the strength of the USD vs. NZD, support of the NZ tourism board, and of course the fact that the director lived there.

 

But I'd disagree that it wasn't in the audience's interest to do so. One of the advantages to filming LOTR exclusively in New Zealand that's not talked about a lot is how unfamiliar it all looked to audiences at the time. It's hard to imagine this now of course, as popular as tourism there has become and as familiar with NZ's scenery world-wide audience are, but back then it was something new for a lot of people, this land at the bottom of the world that held so many spectacular vistas on two relatively small islands. The Alps in Europe, the American Rockies & plains, the Scottish highlands and the greenery of Ireland were all very recognizable to audiences, but New Zealand was something different, and that lack of familiarity to the average film goer helped create the illusion that you were peering into Middle-earth in a way none of those other locations could.

 

I don't want to overstate it of course, NZ has always been a holiday destination, especially for Brits. But you also can't overstate how much its exploded since LOTR, and now every one is familiar with that stunning scenery, and the illusion wouldn't work as well today, but back then it was like another world to most viewers.

 

1 hour ago, Chen G. said:

I think this show will be much less predicated on a "trekking through wilderness" premise anyway

 

Oh gosh, I'd hope not. The "story" they're "adapting" lends itself to being more of a Game of Thrones style drama, even perhaps a kind of family drama, than it does an epic quest.

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19 minutes ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

Oh gosh, I'd hope not. The "story" they're "adapting" lends itself to being more of a Game of Thrones style drama

 

Yes, very much; and honestly after two whole trilogies of quests, that's a very good thing!

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19 minutes ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

But I'd disagree that it wasn't in the audience's interest to do so. One of the advantages to filming LOTR exclusively in New Zealand that's not talked about a lot is how unfamiliar it all looked to audiences at the time.

Also I think the fact that they had to basically build a film industry capable of handling this scale in NZ for the films, using passionate local talent, must have given them a different flavour than if they just used established studios/effects houses/propmakers who might have been short on their best people because of other concurrent productions and things like that.

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On 8/12/2021 at 11:21 PM, His Royal Noelness said:

There’s some lovely places in the U.K. and obviously the Professor was inspired by places in the U.K. when writing the books but it seems inconsistent.

 

Tolkien was inspired by his childhood in the UK (and especially Birmingham) for the Shire and Eriador, but the overall geography of (the story relevant part of) Middle-earth roughly matches an equivalent overlay of Europe. And the Misty Mountains sequence in The Hobbit was mainly inspired by Tolkien's own trek through the Swiss alps, for example.

 

And, as has been said above, it doesn't seem to be clear yet what exactly they're moving to the UK - it might me mainly soundstage shots.

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On 8/14/2021 at 12:38 AM, Marian Schedenig said:

 

And, as has been said above, it doesn't seem to be clear yet what exactly they're moving to the UK - it might me mainly soundstage shots.

 

Hmmmmm. I don't know, Amazon said they're moving "production" to the UK. I find it hard to imagine that if they're moving the cast (most of whom are from the UK) and sets to Great Britain that they'd use NZ for much more than establishing & other scenery shots going forward.

 

And I don't know who has done the props, costumes, set designs, etc. for this production, or who is going to be doing the digital effects, but in the case of the former in particular, I'd think not having WETA involved would be a monumental loss.  The way all that looks is the difference between making Middle-earth look like a real, lived in, historical place and having it look like a typical Amazon/Netflix generic fantasy series.

 

 

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We know WETA Digital is involved with the VFX.

 

WETA Workshop is a separate company, of whose involvement we've yet to grap any concrete evidence. It may well be that, because the show is (as we discussed) less of a quest, most of the design work will have already been set-down for Season One.

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  • 2 weeks later...

An interesting piece on the Amazon show, the history of the rights to Middle-earth, and what the show can and cannot depict. There's no new or inside information here, it just reiterates a lot of stuff we already know, answers some questions about the scope of their rights that I've personally had, and confirms some suspicions some of us have had about the direction of the show all along.  It's a decent primer on where the show is, assuming everything is correct (though whoever wrote this gets some stuff on Tolkien's Legendarium wrong).

 

Highlights:


 

Quote

 

Over his life, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote and revised many stories about the First Age. These were collected and edited after his death by his son Christopher, and published in the books The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Beren and Luthien, The Children of Húrin, The Fall of Gondolin, and others. It’s a rich and full mythology, and a television studio could take years to tell those stories.

 

Amazon has the rights to none of them. The Tolkien estate didn’t sell those. (And Amazon doesn’t have the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings-era stories either.)

 

What the Tolkien estate sold was the rights to the Second Age, but reportedly not the parts of those stories told in the books primarily about the First Age (the Silmarillion, etc.) At the same time, Amazon cannot contradict those stories either. Amazon’s series will have to be consistent with the Tolkien canon, while at the same time drawing on the vaguest, least detailed portion of it: genealogies, a few outlines of stories, and not much more.

 

What material Amazon has the rights to has been my #1 question about this show. I frankly thought Amazon had more than the author is describing here. If this is correct (and who knows if it is), Amazon's hands are really tied. I thought they'd at least have some portions of Unfinished Tales.

 

But if true, Amazon can basically use some characters and places, some broad notes of major events that occurred, and otherwise have to make almost all of it up. By my very rough estimation, they have about a 100 or so pages of notes (with little to no actual plot or dialogue) to create five seasons of television with, assuming they can't use any other material. That said, there are some really cool events they can and will depict, but the bulk of what we'll be seeing will be Amazon's, not Tolkien's, story.

 

Quote

On the one hand, this gives Amazon a remarkable degree of freedom in creating and new characters and defining ones only briefly sketched. And it also allows for a degree of suspense that would be absent from a retelling of the stories of the First or Third Age; while we might know the whole thing ends in catastrophe, we know much, much less about how we arrive there.

 

So anyone who watched the first episode and runs out (or logs in to Amazon) to buy the "book" it was "adapted" from is going to be a little disappointed. 

 

Quote

This seems like a tricky dance, and it’s hard to say exactly what sort of pleasure fans will derive from it. After all, millions of people who greedily watched The Lord of the Rings in movie theaters...knew more or less exactly what was going to happen in the stories. They were watching to see how those stories would be brought to life, to have familiar tales told to them again, in a new way.

 

This is the big question, how will viewers react? And will Amazon care? It will be interesting to see how much those who only know Lord of the Rings via the films will be drawn to the story, but also how hard-core Tolkien fans will respond to TV writers basically creating expansive, and expensive, fan fiction for Middle-earth.

 

 

 

 

 

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According to the contracts with New Zealand authorities, Amazon has the rights to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and "other related works."

 

What those works are is unclear. I think we can ascertain that it includes, at the very least, all the Second Age material in Unfinished Tales, not only because it constitutes the bulk of the Second Age narrative(s) but also because Amazon would have been breaching their rights in depicting the shape of the isle of Numenor and the places and placenames therein, had they not been privvy to those rights.

 

The other sources for the second age are a small portion of The Silmarillion and parts of The History of Middle Earth, namely The Lost Road, of which neither is as expansive or essential as The Unfinished Tales, anyway.

 

Now, if you'll excuse me I was right in the middle of trying to ascertain the identity of the show's composer...:whistle:

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11 hours ago, Chen G. said:

According to the contracts with New Zealand authorities, Amazon has the rights to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and "other related works."

 

Yeah, so I've heard. ;)

 

But to me that raises more questions than it answers. Am I to understand, and believe that if tomorrow Amazon wanted to create a TV series based directly on The Hobbit and/or Lord of the Rings, in their entirety, they could? (irrespective of whether they want to at the moment or if its a good idea). I thought the Third Age was off-limits? This contradicts everything I've read, including what Shippey said.  And if that's indeed the case, then the 250 mil Amazon paid for the rights that was previously thought exorbitant was a steal.

 

My guess would be the contract may be more complicated than simply buying the rights to a certain book or books. Perhaps they acquired to rights to certain characters, situations, and settings (primarily the Second Age), no matter which book they appear in, rather than entire books outright. 

 

Anyway, this is why I'd like to see this contract, or at least have some clarity on what Amazon has actually licensed.

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Point is, they have the rights to the material that's relevant to the storyline(s) they are adapting.

 

The big question is whether they are adapting:

  1. The Forging of the Rings
  2. Akallabeth and The Last Alliance
  3. Both

I think most people think its option 3, but I happen to think its option 1.

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9 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

Point is, they have the rights to the material that's relevant to the storyline(s) they are adapting.

 

Well, yeah, I'd hope so.

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21 minutes ago, Glóin the Dark said:

 

I'm hoping they can get Ralph Vaughan Williams.

 

I was thinking Bo Hansson or Glenn Yarbrough.

7 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

Actually, I think I know who's scoring it, but lets wait a bit before I come out and say it.

 

Why?

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