How Tolkien Estates’ Restrictions Can Benefit Amazon’s LOTR Series


With Amazon already renewing their Lord of the Rings series for a second season before the first one has aired, lets go over some of the tidbits that we know so far and how this is going to benefit the Tolkien estate.

The fact that it appears that we have been spared a ‘Young Aragorn’ series with the character roving the wilds to fight the agents of Sauron is a huge plus, at least to me. No Gandalf or much sign of tiresome Hobbits, which will make the show something apart from the six Jackson movies.

And we should see at least a glimpse of the God-like Valar.

The Second Age stories are are more nuanced in terms of the human characters – who either steadily fall into corruption or decide to fight the decadence of power – and most importantly in having a corporeal Sauron (aka Annatar -‘Lord of Gifts’) it will have a ‘proper’ main villain.

It will also see the creation of the Rings of Power and their malign influence on their eventual human and dwarf bearers. Sauron has an elf-like appearance during much of the Second Age, which will be both strangely more sinister and less on-the-nose/boring than a giant red lidless eye…

Peter Jackson actually shot a brief ‘fair’ version of Sauron in The Return of the King, but decided against its use – and a rock troll was CGI’d over the character instead – to the film’s detriment (IMO):

The Second Age stories aren’t all doom and gloom either – the great kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor were founded in Middle-Earth after the fall of Númenor (the Atlantis-like land where Aragorn’s long-lived ancestors dwelt).

After the fall of Númenor Sauron was no longer able to present himself (Jackson’s attempt notwithstanding) as anything other than in a terrifying aspect.

The Second Age stories can provide a contrast to what we’ve seen before in terms of Tolkein onscreen, harder-edged and more GoT-like in the political machinations of Sauron and crew…

What are your thoughts? Are you excited about this series?

Stephen Arnell

Culture Comment Content Provider. Portrait courtesy of artist Darren Coffield. 'Non satis me tempo'