Why a Lord of the Rings Series will Fail on Amazon

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Why a Lord of the Rings Series will Fail on Amazon

Why a Lord of the Rings Series will Fail on Amazon

There are reports that Amazon is in discussions with both Warner Bros. Television and J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate to do a Lord of the Rings series, which is both surprising and not so surprising. On the one hand, one would not have expected an attempt to make a Lord of the Rings series with the shadow of the movies still looming so close over such a project; on the other hand, it is no secret that Amazon has been searching for a high-profile drama series of some sort that could serve as its Game of Thrones. Given The Lord of the Rings‘s lasting popularity in not just the Anglo-sphere but also other countries situated all around the world, it is the natural choice for such an effort in spite of its potential problems.

Can a Lord of the Rings Series Succeed?

Speaking bluntly, the chances of success for a Lord of the Rings series seem less than impressive. It is true that the Lord of the Rings movies had their problems, with examples ranging from mischaracterizations to the exclusion of non-critical but nonetheless important scenes. However, most Lord of the Rings fans are more than satisfied with the Lord of the Rings movies, meaning that a Lord of the Rings series would have to compete with its predecessor. Should it prove wanting in the comparison, that could prove fatal for its prospects.

With that said, it is important to note that not much information has been released about the potential Lord of the Rings series at this point in time, meaning that it would be premature to speculate too much about its chances of success. For that matter, it is not impossible that such a series might focus on something other than the main narrative, which would prevent it from having to compete with the movies on a head-to-head basis. After all, while the Fellowship of the Ring played the most critical role in stopping Sauron, there were other parties struggling throughout Middle Earth to hold back Sauron’s soldiers long enough for their journey to succeed.

One example would be the Battle of Dale, where the Dwarves of Erebor and the Men of Dale were overrun by the Easterlings. Both King Dain and King Brand were killed at the Gates of Erebor, but the surviving members of their force were able to retreat within the Lonely Mountain, thus resulting in a prolonged siege that could not be lifted until the Easterlings had lost heart because of their failures in Gondor. However, since J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate is involved in the discussions, the much more interesting option would be a series based on the Silmarillion, which contains enough dramatic plotlines for not just one series but multiple series.

Of course, focusing on a part of Middle Earth that has not been covered in the movies comes with serious risks as well. For example, there is a more tenuous connection with the movies, meaning that it would be more of a challenge to convince the people who became fans because of the movies to watch the series. Furthermore, while something like the Silmarillion offers more than enough plotlines for Amazon to film series after series, those plotlines were never fleshed out to the same extent as either The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, meaning that the people behind such a series would have to flesh out the narratives based on the plotlines presented to them. Suffice to say that this would be a complicated undertaking, particularly since a lot of the most dedicated Lord of the Rings fans would be watching them intently for any missteps along the way.

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