Amazon's Lord of the Rings (tv series)

Somerset

Well-Known Member
I would be interested to see what the average Amazon subscriber who is not an (let's say) 'active Tolkien fan' and hasn't read any of the Middle Earth books will make of the build up to this series so far, and it's eventual delivery.

For example they may have brand recognition of "Lord of the Rings" and can vaguely remember (or even recently seen) the Jackson films. But will they care all that much about how much this series will change characters and lore when they weren't all that engaged with it to the same extent that many of us here are?

I think what's more important in judging whether this show ends up being successful (or 'well-liked' by viewers) is whether they can come up with a compelling story and characters that people want to watch. The trailers give us the broad strokes (and the legacy characters do seem to diverge from their counterparts on the page to an extent that they may as well be completely original characters), but will that interest your average viewer?

As much as we want the original mood, tone, themes, characters and intentions of Tolkien to be present, the showrunners may just be using it as window-dressing to get people to watch the show in the first place. As has been discussed by you all above, I think that's pretty creatively lazy and disingenuous, but again how much do people who aren't familiar with Tolkien's work going to care?
 

Lord Boron

Sr Member
99% of the amazon viewing audience doesn't know anything about middle earth outside of the Peter Jackson films and isn’t likely to care how accurate it is to the source material. Even when the Peter Jackson movies came out, the LOTR faithful were crying about changes they made. But most people could not have cared less If Tom Bombadil was in the movie or not.
 

Psab keel

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
From what I recall most of the changes Jackson made from the books for his films were pretty minor by comparison to the ones being made from this show from everything I'm hearing. I'm not well versed in Tolkiens work other than the Hobbit and having read the LOTR once.

It's one thing to omit a character (Tom Bombadil) or to condense certain characters, expand them, as with Arwen, from what I recall, wasn't as large a figure in the novels, but from what I've heard this show is completely inventing entire scenarios and redefining characters, which are far greater changes than what Jackson did.

I'm not even going to address the Hobbit Jackson films because those were a mess.

Ultimately the general audience won't care, but for the true believers this show is going to be a problem.
 

Axlotl

Master Member
Tom Bombadil...
I've never read The Lord of the Rings books, because I can't get past Tom Frikking Bombadil. I've tried numerous times, but every time I get to that part of the first book... nope. I can't do it.
 

Psab keel

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
If you can get past the first 90 pages, which deals with Shire real estate (literally) and then Tom Bombadil, who is nothing more than an aside that never factors in again, other than a mention, and the rest is astoundingly great. Those two caveats aside it's worth reading at least once. Tolkien, though long winded at times, was a phenomenal writer.
 

Bigdaddy

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I love Jackson's LoTR films but let's not forget he left out the scouring of the shire and years later butchered the Hobbit.
Frankly I don't see much more of Tolkien's middle earth worthy of producing into a show or film at all. His quintessential works have already been done very well, it might be time to stop retreading everything.
 

batguy

Sr Member
Peter Jackson's LOTR movies came out when teenagers were playing Nintendo GameCubes and listening to Blink-182. It was a lifetime ago in Hollywood years. I'm not gonna get butthurt if Amazon wants to revisit the franchise now.

But IMO this new series looks rickety. It looks more Wokien than Tolkien.

If some people like that, fine. Let them watch the new series. Whatever. I've got my copies of JRR's books & the Peter Jackson movies.
 

Ron

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I can understand why a casual viewer might be interested in this show. I can't fathom for the life of me why a Tolkien fan would be interested in it.

I guess a simpler example would be wanting to adapt a bestselling novel, but you only have the rights to the synopsis, the table of contents and the indexes... of the sequel to that novel. So while the names of some the characters, the locations and concepts are Tolkien's, a majority of it would have to be made up by the writers to connect them together. As they have been quoted, they're trying to "write the novel Tolkien didn't write". At the end of the day, it's mainly fanfiction, and an expensive one at that.

Both George and Disparu have been killing it with their videos about the show.
 
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dascoyne

Master Member
I'm scared Amazon will push out this project and power through the negative press until some actual fanbase develops in the end.

Remember, the Star Wars prequels were an absolute abomination to every person who grew up knowing the original films. Inevitably came a generation of people who never knew the original trilogy and grew up on the prequels. (You see where this is going....)

Star Trek demonstrates another principle where TNG developed the ST universe to such a degree it became bigger than TOS. Let us not forget the first season of TNG was infused with late 80's wokeness, too.

I shudder to think Amazon is banking on paralleling that strategy with RoP. Amazon simply has to pump out more and more hours of product for limitless seasons until their brand of Tolkein-based lore overwhelms and displaces Peter Jackson's LotR in the public consciousness by sheer volume.

SW and ST at least drew from source material, and the creative forces had existing ties to and an appreciation and love of the older works. Amazon, on the other hand, in promoting revisionism up front, is in competition with their source material - both Tolkein's works as well as Peter Jackson's films.

What happens when we are 8 seasons into RoP and a 6 year old girl one day shows up at a convention cosplaying as warrior Galadriel?

What are you going to do about that?
 
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batguy

Sr Member
From what I understand, the majority of the Tolkien estate (but not everyone) signed off on this Amazon deal. If the new show screws up the franchise, well, it was inevitable.

The only sure way to prevent franchises getting screwed with, is for the creators to nut up and refuse to let any more stories be done.

Notice that 'Back to the Future' remains stopped at 3. It's possible if the IP owners have the willpower. (Having independent sources of financial security helps a lot too.)
 

CB2001

Master Member
From what I understand, the majority of the Tolkien estate (but not everyone) signed off on this Amazon deal. If the new show screws up the franchise, well, it was inevitable.
Well, I did hear that Christopher Tolkien didn't like The Lord of the Rings films because he thought they bastardized his father's work by turning them into action films. So, if anything, it's more than likely that he's distilled that belief into his children. And if the franchise fails, it'd be because of Christopher's jaded view of the film trilogy that he's passed on.
 

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