It’s official, Middle-earth is coming to the small screen. Apologies for the lack of exclamation point, but at this point there’s too many unknowns to determine if more flamboyant punctuation is needed.
What is known is that Amazon has acquired the television rights for the beloved J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings.” I’ll give you a moment to let the sheer poetry of that sink in. The online retailer responsible for killing the brick and mortar bookstore just bought the television rights for one of the most popular book series of all time.
Okay, now that your soul has died just a little bit more, let’s take a moment to ponder why Amazon made this move. While they’ve had some mediocre original content, they have yet to truly compete with other original content kings like Netflix and HBO. The latter of which is about to wrap up its monster hit series, “Game of Thrones.” In case you’ve been living under a rock, the world of “Game of Thrones,” bears more than a passing resemblance to the one created by Tolkien…on the surface at least.
To the untrained eye, the two literary, and now television, universes might seem very similar. They both exist in mythical lands filled with mythical creatures and are told on an epic scale, and that’s about all they have in common. For one thing, Tolkien’s Middle-earth started out as the setting for a children’s story. There is darkness in Tolkien’s tales, but it’s much subtler than the vices of Westeros.
While the idea of a hobbit wandering anywhere in King’s Landing, or Westeros, is amusing the two worlds are very different. Although, one does wonder who would win in a battle between an orc and a wight.
Could Middle-earth be updated to a darker version of itself for a modern audience? Of course it could, but it probably shouldn’t. Considering Amazon plans to start with a prequel to “The Lord of the Rings,” with the potential for spinoffs, well, anything is possible.
For now, Tolkien fans, we’ll just have to wait and hope for the best…and maybe even a spinoff for the lost, but not forgotten Tom Bombadil.
More on the Story: The Atlantic
…just for fun: