The Lord of the Rings has been the cornerstone of fantasy literature for well over half a century. Pretty much everything in the genre published after it had its roots in Tolkien's epic trilogy. Hell, the influence even spread beyond the written word, and into every facet of media from music to video games.
As I'm sure we all know, The Lord of the Rings was iconically adapted for the silver screen by Peter Jackson and company, with three films released between 2001 and 2003. These films successfully encapsulated the magic and adventure of the books, and could well be regarded as the most successful dramatisation of a novel ever made. The Hobbit trilogy that followed a literal decade after had its ups and downs, but for LOTR fans, the chance to immerse themselves in Middle Earth once more was all too welcome.
The news that streaming giant Amazon had got their mitts on some rights to adapt some of Tolkien's work, however, seemed to be met with more skepticism. Will they honour the source material as well as Jackson's adaptations did, or will profits be prioritised at the expense of faithfulness?
They'll have to tread carefully, because LOTR fans are one bunch that FOR SURE do not want their beloved books messed up.
10. The Tolkien Estate Getting Over Themselves
When you're in charge of the legacy of one of the most influential fantasy franchises of all time. You're not gonna yeet the copyright out willy-nilly.
But even with two highly successful trilogies completed, the Tolkien Estate is still very unwilling to let anyone do anything with Tolkien's work. There were over two decades between LOTR and The Hobbit getting film adaptations because of all that red tape. This Amazon series is no different.
With this show to be set in the Second Age, thousands of years before Bilbo Baggins stumbles across a magic ring in a rocky cave, there's plenty of original content that would help any dramatisation. However, the showrunners only have a smidgen of the material available to them.
They have access to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy's appendices, which often touch on Second Age events, but Third Age storylines must be avoided - as those rights remain elsewhere. Oh, and no First Age stuff either, because the Tolkien Estate said no.
But what about The Silmarillion? Well, even though this is the one text actually set in the Second Age, that's not allowed either. Theses rules set for the Amazon series are at best confusing - at worst set them up for disaster.