It’s official. Amazon has announced that the proposed Lord of the Rings television series will go ahead with a multiple season deal closed.

“The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, Amazon’s new head of scripted. “We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth.”

Most interesting is the fact the the Tolkien Estate is going to be involved in the project. The Tolkien Estate and Harper Collins have previously been denied observers rights on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

“We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multiseason television series for The Lord of the Rings,” said Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins. “Sharon and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings.”

It may be J.K. Rowling’s formidable stance when dealing with Warner Bros. over her Harry Potter material that has influenced an increase in author involvement in screen adaptations of their works. Still, things are far from perfect, considering how little power George RR Martin has over the wild plot departures in Game of Thrones. It was, in fact, rumoured that the overrated HBO was in the running for the show – thankfully they were defeated by Amazon’s bottomless  wealth. The staggering cost of producing this Lord of the Rings series also saw Netflix, who has been producing one excellent show after the other for the last two years, bow out. Deadline reports that the upfront rights cost Amazon $250 million, and estimate that the series would cost $100-150 million per season to produce.

In regards to previously unexplored stories, while Amazon will only have the rights to The Lord of the Rings at present, that  includes excerpts of Middle Earth history in the Appendices and a great deal of material left out from Peter Jackson’s films, including the much-lamented absence of the great Tom Bombadil. This recently apprehensive fan is growing a lot more excited at the prospect of a multi-season series.


About The Author

Olga Hughes is currently pre-occupied with fairy tales, fantasy, misanthropy, medieval history and the long eighteenth century. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts and is currently majoring in Literature and History at Deakin. She has contributed to websites such as History behind Game of Thrones, The Anne Boleyn Files and The Tudor Society.

6 Responses

  1. Jasmine

    So, if I read the article correctly, Amazon is going to reproduce the story as per the films, but with the addition of some material which was left out of them. So you think that fans of the films will watch this or is it aimed at a completely new audience?

    • Olga Hughes

      Yes there was quite a lot of material left out of the films, and Amazon is hinting there will be a lot of new stories.

      I think film fans and will be lining up, and I am sure it will attract new fans. It’s easy to forget how long ago the Peter Jackson film trilogy was made. They were very well done and I think they have set a precedent in terms of what can be done with technology. But his Hobbit film trilogy showed what can be done with too much care for technology. I could have done without the ’48 frames per second’ on the Hobbit, which just makes it look like you’re watching The Bill, and more care over some of the horrible subplots.

  2. Underdogge

    I like The Bill. I know it’s not great art but for what it is, it’s entertaining. It’s still shown on the Drama channel in the UK. I’m grateful to HBO for The Wire. I guess adapting an unfinished saga will always be a thankless task which is why I cut the people involved in dramatising ASOIAF some slack. For myself, I would never have gone near the books which I mostly enjoyed if it had not been for the TV show, so I am thankful to the programme for acting as a gateway to the books, though there were some characters that were cut that I would have liked to have seen on screen. I also liked the fact that book Ellaria kept her compassion despite having suffered.

    I’ve never read the Lord of the Rings though I did listen to an audio-adaptation of it many years ago (Ian Holm who played Bilbo in the films played Frodo in the radio drama) – and with a radio version I could listen when doing the ironing! Even I have to get round to doing the ironing eventually.

  3. Anonymous

    Any information about who will the actors be? I am really curious. And where will it be aired? And it would be very interesting if they make a film adaptation out of Silmarillion, but making it a fun fantastical film would be hard, since it’s more like an history scripture.

    • Olga Hughes

      No word on pre-production, it’s very early stages. I am assuming it will air on Amazon’s streaming service.