One does not simply walk into the offices of the Tolkien Estate and secure a lucrative Lord of the Rings TV show deal... unless one happens to be Amazon.
The retail giant has become a major player in the video streaming sector since throwing down the gauntlet to Netflix in this arena, and the rights to J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy epic will no doubt be an important weapon in its bid for market domination.
Rather than retell the events of the blockbuster Peter Jackson movies, Amazon has entered a multi-season agreement to bring a series of tales set before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring to the small screen, along with possible spin-offs, and that could mean any number of things.
Tolkien's work within Middle-earth was not limited to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, with short stories, poems and lore compilations laid down around these tomes, and these could serve as the outline for further adventures set in this universe.
Alternately, Amazon's showrunners could tell original tales based on the characters Tolkien created, set before Gandalf arrived in The Shire to celebrate Bilbo's birthday.
Either way, the internet retailer could have a Game of Thrones slayer on its hands.