Details About The Lord Of The Rings TV Series Revealed


After a quiet start, it seems that Amazon
is finally gearing up to return to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. From release schedules to casting choices,
and astronomical budgets to familiar filming locations, here’s everything there is to know
about Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series. When Tolkien fans learned that Middle Earth
would be coming to screens for the first time since Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, it’s
only natural that their first question would be: “When?” Sadly, an exact answer hasn’t become clear
yet, as no official release date has yet been announced. However, there are a few pieces of information
that might offer a few clues as to when the series might drop. First and foremost, there’s a legal factor
to all this. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter,
Amazon chief Jennifer Salke confirmed that part of the deal for the rights included the
condition that the show had to be in production within two years. She added that the hope is to have the show
“on the air” by 2021, with some even hoping for 2020. While it may feel a long way off, you don’t
simply conjure a project of this size and scope out of thin air. The idea that Amazon could be able to pull
the first season together within four years of purchasing the rights is about as good
as anyone could ask for — especially if you don’t want to sacrifice quality along
the way. While exact budgets are always hard to pin
down, especially early on in production, there can be little doubt that Amazon’s adventures
through Middle Earth are going to cost the studio a tidy sum. Right out of the gate, the rights alone cost
Bezos and company a whopping $250 million. As if that wasn’t enough, rumors immediately
began swirling around how much Amazon planned on shelling out to actually make the show. Entertainment Weekly reported early in 2018
that the first two seasons alone were going to double the cost of the rights — that’s
half a billion dollars. Since then, that number has only gone up. At this point, when all costs are considered,
a cool billion stands as one of the lower estimates out there, while others have pushed
the figure comfortably north of that mark. While it’s easy to trot out the old line that
“it takes money to make money” — especially in an era rife with luxurious production budgets
— the idea of dropping somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion on a single television
show is about as excessive as it gets. Over the course of a few weeks in early 2019,
Amazon Studios posted a number of interactive maps to their official Twitter account, each
accompanied by new annotations and a line from the famous poem inscribed on the One
Ring. The first few depicted the Middle-Earth Lord
of the Rings fans will all know and love, albeit with a few hints that the maps actually
portrayed an earlier version of Tolkien’s world. Rohan, for example, was labeled ‘Calenardhon’
— the name of the Gondorian province that preceded Théoden’s Rohan by at least 500
years. On March 7th 2019, Amazon Studios posted one
final map along with the last line of the poem: “One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness
bind them.” The last map had a much wider view of the
world than had the previous versions, and this macro view of Middle Earth exposed one
critical piece of information in the bottom left corner that changed everything: the island
of Númenor. The reason this not-so-little island is a
big deal is because it only existed during the Second Age of Tolkien’s mythology. Founded after the catastrophic war that ended
the First Age, the island nation served as a home for the Númenóreans, a society of
divinely-blessed humans that flourished during the Second Age — in fact, the Numenoreans
were the ones who founded the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor on the mainland. But thanks to the disastrous rule of a tyrant
king and the influence of a certain ne’er-do-well called Sauron, the Numenoreans were destroyed
and their island sunk beneath the waves shortly before the Third Age began. Since Amazon’s map depicts Númenor, it has
to mean that the studio’s creative team has its sights firmly set on the Second Age. While there’s been little other information
about the setting, the revelation that Númenor will exist during the show’s run has brought
a new kind of excitement to the venture, as it means fans will get to experience a part
of Middle Earth history that has never before been explored on screen Considering this series will be such a huge
undertaking, you would think that Amazon would have put in place a fellowship of actors pretty
much immediately. But that hasn’t been the case — or, at least,
if it is, Amazon is keeping quiet about it. “Alright then, you keep your secrets.” “Huh?” So far, only one cast member for the series
has been confirmed. In July 2019, Variety reported that young
Australian actress Markella Kavenagh had been cast in a regular role on the series. According to the publication, Kavenagh will
be playing a character named Tyra. Curiously, no character with that name exists
in Tolkien’s writing. The Walking Dead star Tom Payne also stirred
the waters back in early 2019 when he stated in an interview that he wanted to keep his
luscious locks partly because Amazon was “casting Aragorn,” clearly implying that he wanted
a shot at the role. In another interview, Sir Ian McKellen was
asked about who else should play Gandalf if the wizard makes an appearance in the new
series. McKellen replied: “What do you mean another Gandalf? I haven’t said yes because I haven’t been
asked, but are you suggesting someone else is going to play it?” The return of Sir Ian McKellen would actually
make sense no matter when the show is set in Middle Earth history — Gandalf is thousands
of years old, after all. However, the return of any other actors from
the original Peter Jackson-helmed trilogy seems unlikely, if for no other reason than
the timeline the series will reportedly explore. While casting choices may be scarce so far,
several names have been dropped on the production end of things. Star Trek: Beyond co-writers JD Payne and
Patrick McKay have already been announced as the showrunners. In a statement, the pair announced: “We feel like Frodo, setting out from the
Shire, with a great responsibility in our care. It is the beginning of the adventure of a
lifetime.” Alongside Payne and McKay, it’s also rumored
that Game of Thrones’ Bryan Cogman and Breaking Bad’s Gennifer Hutchison have seats in the
writers’ room. Amazon has also locked down Jurassic World:
Fallen Kingdom filmmaker J.A. Bayona to direct the first two episodes of the series. In addition, Bayona will serve as executive
producer along with his partner Belén Atienza. Unsurprisingly, one other name that has continually
been brought up in relation to the series is Peter Jackson’s. Rumors have waffled back and forth regarding
Jackson’s potential involvement in the series. While he initially flat out denied being involved,
multiple reports have refused to confirm this fact, with Amazon’s Jennifer Salke herself
stating that the lack of any specific news wasn’t a negative. In addition, Jackson himself later added that
he was keen to help however he could, even expressing an interest in looking over the
scripts. At present, it’s impossible to say what will
eventually happen. After all, Jackson wasn’t even slated to direct
the Hobbit trilogy until the last minute. For now, though, he seems a peripheral influence
at best. With so much money and time being poured into
the project, it’s probably fair to ask: just how many seasons are Amazon preparing to make? While specifics like exact episode count will
likely be unknown for quite some time, the studio is reportedly laying the groundwork
for a solid five seasons, along with a possible spinoff. While it’s always gutsy committing to such
ambitious plans all at once, the promise of five entire seasons spent in Middle Earth
is encouraging, as it gives the showrunners time to tell the story without hustling in
order to meet artificial deadlines — a concern that infamously caused problems for Game of
Thrones’ truncated final season. The possibility of a spinoff is intriguing,
too. Tolkien’s stories often focus on a single
character for extended periods of time, with characters like Bilbo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee,
Beren and Lúthien, and Turin Turambar all stepping into the spotlight at various points
across the Middle Earth timeline. Spinning that long tapestry off into one or
more tie-in series is a concept with great potential, but only time will tell if the
idea has any merit. The question of where exactly the project
will be produced was officially answered in mid-2019, when it was announced that a “huge”
part of the show would be filmed in none other than Peter Jackson’s old stomping grounds
of New Zealand. The Pacific island nation famously served
as the home to the bulk of the production of both The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies,
and Amazon has apparently decided that nowhere could quite beat the country’s awe-inspiring
scenery. “Fair enough.” Originally, Scotland had been considered as
a serious contender for filming. However, Radio New Zealand put forward the
claim that the Scots had lost out on the project due to the UK’s “tumultuous Brexit situation.” The return to the land of the Kiwis is rumored
to focus around the cities of Auckland on the northern island and Queenstown on the
southern one, with local facilities apparently already busy with pre-production. Auckland has already felt the impending arrival
of such a huge operation, as businesses in West Auckland have reportedly had to sign
non-disclosure agreements as they gear up to do brisk business while Amazon Studios
is in town. Way back in May 2018, a rumor sprung up that
suggested Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series would focus on a younger version of everyone’s
favorite Gondorian monarch: Aragorn. Since then, reports have obviously moved the
timing of the show back into Middle Earth’s Second Age, which leaves it firmly out of
the reach of Aragorn’s lifespan — after all, this is a stretch of time that ends nearly
three thousand years before the ranger was even born. The question of how Aragorn could fit into
a series that is purportedly set three millennia before his time is a curious one, though. Could he be merely be needed for an initial
framing sequence as he rules Gondor in the Fourth Age, before the show flashes back in
time? Or could it be that the earlier seasons will
start in the Second Age and ultimately end on Aragorn in his youth during the fifth season? And there’s still the question of that spinoff
series, too. For now, however, how Aragorn is involved
in the series — if he is at all — is still a mystery. We live in an era where everyone from Marvel
and DC to The Walking Dead and Star Wars have built the concept of an “extended universe”
into their long term plans. Naturally, then, Amazon would be foolish not
to at least have one eye on an extended Middle Earth universe of their own, especially when
they’re working with the dense and storied lore of one of the most popular world-builders
of all time. While specific franchise plans will take a
long, long time to unfold, Amazon has already announced one potential piece of universe-building
in the form of a new Lord of the Rings console video game that is already in development. The game does not appear to be directly linked
to the show, but that hardly disqualifies it as a part of the greater continuity that
Amazon is in position to propagate. Like the show, the game doesn’t have a release
date yet, but it appears to be a free-to-play “massively multiplayer online” game. In a statement, Amazon Studios said: “[The game] will give fans around the globe
a new, immersive game experience for epic exploration of the vast world of Tolkien.” Whether the game ultimately ties into anything
from the coming show or not, it would appear that Amazon’s journey into Tolkien’s world
has only just begun. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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100 thoughts on “Details About The Lord Of The Rings TV Series Revealed

  1. Well..I'm guessing but surely it will focus on the forging of the rings of power, the rise of Numenor, the rise of Angmar and destruction of the northern kingdoms culminating in the war and Sauron corrupting the King Ar Pharazon and downfall of Numenor? 🙂

  2. So, the first one cast is a female character who never existed in the books! Way to go lads, sounds like another franchise ruined by the bloody feminists! I think I'll give this a miss, thanks.!

  3. Something I'm curious and worried about is how close to the movies the style of the show will be. I know they can't just copy paste for legal reasons but it would be so weird to see familiar locations or characters like Sauron look completely different..

  4. Okay, am I the only person who wonder, HOW in all hell are they gonna deal with the Curumo/Saruman problem, with Christopher Lee gone we need someone to play him, I mean come, Saruman was born before the creation of Arda.

  5. as for returning cast, elrond and galadriel are very much present in the second age aside from gandalf

  6. Looper: Tolkiens stories always follow one character for extended periods of time like samwise.

    Frodo: Am I a joke to you?

  7. Auckland is pronounced like Awe-kland. Not Orc-land. XD Hmm…actually…that probably wont make much sense to many. lol Emphasis on the 'awe', not the K.

    Whatever. Do what ya want. lol

  8. Gandalf would have a younger personality,super youth make up for ian.
    Aragon and legolas

  9. Please I don't need a TV series I have this feeling it's gonna end up bad.. I love the book series and the movies so if tv series is gonna ruin it, I don't need it.. I can live with the books and movies. and my Aragon forever would be Viggo.. I can never see anyone else as Aragon…

    Good lord LOTR was our childhood, it is too much attached to our hearts ♥️

  10. But yes um exited I grown up reading about the middle earth let's see what will the tv series bring to the table

  11. I wish the Tolkien Estate would allow use of The Silmarillion in my lifetime. It's not like those stories will ever officially be completed and it would be extremely conducive for re-imaginings and re-telling in the future.

  12. The hobbit trilogy was terrible, way too long & loadsa stuff that wasn't even in the books ..
    Proper rinsed it with that crap.
    It was the smallest of all the 4 stories.
    The LotR books just had one movie per book
    Yet hobbit had 3 ( about 9 hours ) Wtf? .
    Loads was left outa the rings trilogy.
    While loads was added to hobbit it was a tiny book & should've been one movie.

  13. I suspect the spin-off series is intended to be the first age/Silmarillion. They might want to see how the proper series does before the Tolkien estate gives up the rights to it.

  14. No Gandalf wasn’t around in the Second Age, you have that wrong. He wasn’t in Middle Earth until over a thousand years into the Third Age. Before “Gandalf”, he was called Olórin, and he existed in a different realm to Middle Earth, known has Valinor, and was only sent to Middle Earth to resist another rise of Sauron.

  15. Cant wait to see a black legolas and a muslim gimley, about time lor gets some much needed diversity from evil racist white men

  16. Star wars was ruined.
    Game of Thrones was ruined.

    Amazon, please do not make the same mistakes they made!
    Make Tolkien proud!

  17. I really hope amazon dont ruin the best trilogy of all time by pouring tons of money into a film and hoping it does well

  18. First this video is really disrespectful towards Tolkien, it`s not a Lord of the Rings searies, it`s middle earth searies…LoTR is in the third age, this series is in the second age. I can see amazon destroying this beloved world with social politics, agendas and other pathetic shit that has no right to be in the world of middle earth. Take the show with a massive grain of salt.

  19. "The return of Gandalf would actually make sense…"

    No no no no.

    Gandalf is thousands of years old yes, but he only arrived in middle earth for the first time during the Third Age. He cannot show up in the show set in the Second Age or it breaks canon entirely.

    The only characters that have any part in The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings that could show up without breaking canon are Elrond, Galadriel, and Thranduil. Obviously Sauron's rise to power is during the Second Age, but he was never a properly cast character, just visual effects in any of the films to date.

  20. As long as peter Jackson isn’t a part of the show – I’m sure it’ll be fine.

  21. I know itll be cool to get more Lord of The Rings but I dont want them to mess it up; to make their own version of it because they want to. Something needs to be stopped when its still good, not after it gets sour and bad.

  22. The 5 mayar spirits, aka Gandalf and company don’t show up until the year 1000 of the third age…. nerds

  23. No way they screw this up right?….. Pray they don't lol.. Let's get the witch king and the war with angmar for the spinoff!

  24. If I had 1.5 billion dollars JUST for rights, then have to produce it? I would tell them to fuck straight off..

    This is absurd. I LOVE this lore, I love this universe…. And a Macroview of profit if going to prevent all of us from having this becoming to light properly. Because someone "own's" an… Idea….

  25. This is a ridiculous idea .And it is hard to improve on perfect. The cast of the trilogy are the characters they cannot be replaced. . Leave it alone

  26. Really pumped for this and the game. Please don't ruin it, though, Amazon. You've got an incredible opportunity to satisfy our LOTR itch that so desperately needs scratching…

  27. Okay, I am tolkien fan. But I hated Peter Jackson's movies.
    I hope not TV series to cross part film. I am very angry on him cut out of Tom Bombadil and change storyline can be error. And I don't like Minas Tirith portray is not perfect.
    I am sick of Peter Jackson's movies is boring!
    I hope Amazon TV Series of based Tolkien mythology like LOTRO not film

  28. But Aragon died 62 years into third age and he was 87 at 32 years past the third age so in later episodes a young Aragon could come in

  29. I mean we are talking about lord of the rings and Tolkien’s middle earth ambitious is the most little you could say they are aiming for

  30. as a die hard Tolkien fan, and the Middle Earth Mythology is my favorite fantasy of all time, I swear i see one thing about agenda pushing, or some weird thing that screws with the respect Tolkien's work earned.. im out and will lose all respect for anything else coming out of Amazon's media… Don't keep it secret, But keep it safe…

  31. Fingers crossed that they don’t decide to interject a bunch of social justice/politics/ “lessons” into it like Disney did to Star Wars. It’s about the story and the world.

  32. Thanks for ruining all the information with a piece of shitty music in the background.

  33. Prob avoid this series like the plague…. sounds awfully boring. What is so interesting about Aragon… his story is pathetic in comparison to the first age…. Rather get a series about morgoth and the two trees of light. Sounds like this Aragon series will just be plagued with dumb orcs that come off as silly weak enemies.. like you would find in a childrens novel. Hopefully the series ends quickly and goes the right route and tells a story more around the first age.

  34. Really hoping that Amazon doesn't use and abuse Tolkiens work to make a dumbed down story about equality. Like, Equality is important, I'm not discounting that. But that isn't what Tolkien wrote about.

  35. Oh PLEASE, not jackson. After the Hobbit he should NEVER touch Tolkien again. He could ruin a wet dream.

  36. I want to see the really old stuff. Melkor working with ungoliant. Elves fighting gods. Huar the great hound, etc. Maybe the seasons can cover various major events since Iluvitar’s song up until LOTR trilogy.

  37. The literature that this is based on, while epic, is extremely short on detail. The events of the LOTR trilogy were covered in just a couple pages in the silmarillion for example. There will be a huge demand for writing new material, even if they are true to the books. Unfortunately I expect that material to be formulaic and cliche. Let’s hope that I am wrong.

  38. Galadriel went to middle earth after chase of melkor after corrupting numenor, be good to see the integration or corruption of the blue wizards?

  39. If modern writing is anything to go by the main storyline is probably going to be about some transgender nonbinary black dwarf having a sexual relationship with a muslim lesbian elf, while the oppressed orcs try to emancipate themselves by making jazz hand gestures in their safe spaces….

  40. I'd feel more at ease if Peter Jackson was involved in some way. His care for details as advice to the crew would go far imo.

  41. I trust them, but if they ruin it

    There's no curse in elvish entish or tongue of men for this treachery

  42. They need to make the witch king a core character later in the show and bring back the OG armor and look from ROTK for him. That would be epic.

  43. So This series is going to show many things that LOTR hasn't. like why the rings are made actually, who made the rings, history of Sauron, the Nazgul and many more. Excited to watch them.

  44. Am interested aslong as they show Gandalf some cool elves and galandriel or whatever her name is.

  45. waste of money really for f__ sakes really idk about it but to me this series a joke to me tolkien first started it all but he the first and creative person that would notice everything in a point of view if you look at it elves and gnomes pretty crazy

  46. I don’t think any series could be as good as the original movies but it’s nice to see people are still hyped about it

  47. Apparently I've heard its going to cost as much maybe more than GoT.

    Im so hyped!

  48. Will be happy to take up a Amazon subscription for this. Just don't ruin it like the rest of Hollywood's nonsense!

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