On Monday, Amazon Studios announced it had acquired the rights to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to television. The ink’s still wet on the contract, so details are sketchy.
We know only that it will be an ongoing, multi-season series that will “bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings,” according to the press release — and that it will be set before the Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume of Tolkien’s main LoTR saga.
Now: That means it could be an immediate prequel, taking place during the 60 years that stretch between the events of The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring — but what if they decide to double down on the pre- of it all, and set it further back in time?
There’s no shortage of material. Both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set at the end of what Tolkien called the Third Age — but he wrote many, many tales set during the First and Second Ages of Middle-Earth. In The Silmarillion, he provided that world’s creation myth, and in books like Unfinished Tales, The History of Middle-Earth, The Children of Hurin and Beren and Luthien, his son Christopher has woven together fragments of stories and poems that build out the world even more.
The most intriguing passage of the announcement, however, was this:
The deal includes a potential additional spin-off series.
The hunt is on for the series that will be the Maude to…
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