If a series is to succeed Game of Thrones as the undisputed No. 1 show, put me down for Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series. Like GoT, Lord of the Rings has a strong base of casual and dedicated fans. Amazon Prime Video has the resources and budget to give the show the support HBO gave GoT.
Tuesday, the upcoming Lord of the Rings series released its much-anticipated synopsis:
“Amazon Studios’ forthcoming series brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.”
Middle-earth’s return has almost unlimited potential, but the expectations are equally large. The Lord of the Rings book series is the pinnacle of the fantasy genre, and the film series of the same name is the most acclaimed trilogy to date. Yet the Hobbit films were disappointing. Star Wars can get away with average quality. Tolkien’s brand demands prestige.
So far, though, so good. In the synopsis, the “greatest villain” line is a reference to Sauron. His return is the absolute best route for Amazon.
The map, which was released last year, is the other major clue.
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) March 7, 2019
The plan is for the show to run over five seasons. While recent trends indicate series are best suited for short runs, I’m optimistic the depth of Tolkien’s world can be told over five or six years.
Lord of the Rings on Amazon is expected to debut sometime in 2021.