I just rewatched the Lord of the Rings trilogy with my wife over the past two days, and it got me really excited over the upcoming Amazon tv series! While watching the films, I was thinking of where they could go with the show, and there are some really cool options for sure!
So first off, they have already announced that this show will take place before Fellowship of the Ring, so no follow up on Frodo as he crosses the western Sundering Sea into the Undying Lands, Valinor. Or on Samwise Gamgee as he becomes Mayor of Hobbiton, and then his trip to Valinor as well (true story) (or canonical story).
So where can we go before Fellowship of the Ring? Before Bilbo’s 111th birthday? Well I doubt that they would just recreate The Hobbit, because 1) it just came out, and 2) they already stretched the story out beyond recognition turning it into three movies. Much less three seasons.
This makes as much sense as a show about the whole Bible. Spanning Milleniums, the creation of the world, the rise and fall of empires, according to the LotR wikia, The Silmarillion is about:
The Ainulindalë – The creation of Eä (Tolkien’s universe) and Ainur by Eru Ilúvatar and the start of the corruption of Melkor
The Valaquenta – A brief description of the Valar and Maiar, the supernatural beings
The Quenta Silmarillion – The history of the events before and during the First Age, which forms the bulk of the collection
The Akallabêth – The history of the Second Age
The Rings of Power and the Third Age
The only way you could really pull this off is in an American Horror Story kind of way, meaning each season has a different cast of characters telling a different story.
Something that would make a lot more sense, would be to take a single Age, and tell THAT story, such as…
The First Age
This involves much of the creation of Middle-earth, as well as Melkor, who was Saurons mentor. This would not really hit a lot of points that fans of the movies and regular TV watchers want to see. I think this is a project that someone could take on later, after we have a show about…
The Second Age
This would be the rise and fall of Sauron, and the creation of the Rings. Basically the first five minutes of Fellowship of the Ring, as well as a lot of the lore touched on during the Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War videogames. This makes the most sense to me.
If they want to hit more points that fans are familiar with, however, that only leaves stories from the Third Age, which is when the Trilogy and The Hobbit are set.
When Aragorn is still running from his destiny, he is a “Ranger of the North” with the name of Strider. This implies that there are lots of Rangers in the Northern part of Middle-earth, and we could see more of that. He is 87 years old when we meet him in the Prancing Pony, due to him being not a regular human, but Dúnadan, meaning he can live a lot longer (250 years), stronger, and taller (6’4″+). He has had many years as a Ranger, and there would be some pretty cool stories about that.
But if we are going to have a show like that, hopefully it would involve him more traveling around the rest of Arda (Earth). We only see it for a little bit during the movies, but there is more to Arda than just Middle-earth and Valinor. We see mercenaries and armies that Sauron and Saruman gather during the final battle in Return of the King, with the boats and the Oliphants. Hopefully we can see Aragorn traveling Arda and meeting all these other places. Saruman says that with the fall of Gondor and Rohan, it would be the fall of Man, so why aren’t these other places taken into consideration? Are they not Men? Also, maybe not so many white people in the cast? Diversity is a good thing!
Dwarves of Middle-earth
The last story I could think of would be the fall of The Lonely Mountain to Smaug. In The Hobbit movie we see 13 dwarves, and in the Trilogy, we see four at the Council of Elrond. In neither do we see any kind of city or civilization, except for the fallen Mines of Moria, which Gimli didn’t even knew was not only destroyed, but clearly destroyed for a long, long time. So much so, that both Gandalf and Saruman knew about it, and even had a book about the fall! What is going on with the Dwarves of Middle-earth??
Basically there is so much that we could see with this new Amazon show, and we have been promised at least two seasons, so hopefully they choose a route that is awesome, and not just finding justice for Tom Bombadil, because really, who cares?