The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

The Balrog's of Morgoth were a special army of creatures in the First Age. They were terrible creatures that went in the down low when Melkor got his tushy voided. Those that escaped, hid. The one in the mines of Moria was woken up when the dwarves kept digging and opened up his hidey hole.
 

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‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ EP reveals which Tolkien books they can use

Basically

“We have the rights solely to The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, the appendices, and The Hobbit,” He said. “And that is it. We do not have the rights to The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, The History of Middle-earth, or any of those other books.”

“There’s a version of everything we need for the Second Age in the books we have the rights to,” McKay noted. “As long as we’re painting within those lines and not egregiously contradicting something we don’t have the rights to, there’s a lot of leeway and room to dramatize and tell some of the best stories that [Tolkien] ever came up with.”
 

JEB

Legend
‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ EP reveals which Tolkien books they can use

Basically

“We have the rights solely to The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, the appendices, and The Hobbit,” He said. “And that is it. We do not have the rights to The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, The History of Middle-earth, or any of those other books.”

“There’s a version of everything we need for the Second Age in the books we have the rights to,” McKay noted. “As long as we’re painting within those lines and not egregiously contradicting something we don’t have the rights to, there’s a lot of leeway and room to dramatize and tell some of the best stories that [Tolkien] ever came up with.”
Kind of strange to do a series set in the Second Age, but opt not to spring for the rights to the most substantive source material for that era. It's not like Amazon couldn't afford it...
 


JEB

Legend
The Tolkien Estate is not selling, is the issue. They aren't waiting for an offer, there is no purchase option on the table.
Huh. I did not know that. (More information here, fellow readers in ignorance.)

I have to say, though, that if he thought the LOTR and Hobbit films did a hack job on his father's work, I really doubt he'll enjoy a semi-Silmarillion without anything actually from The Silmarillion...
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Huh. I did not know that. (More information here, fellow readers in ignorance.)

I have to say, though, that if he thought the LOTR and Hobbit films did a hack job on his father's work, I really doubt he'll enjoy a semi-Silmarillion without anything actually from The Silmarillion...
Christopher Tolkien passed away a couple years ago, so he's not the decision maker here. The issue is that the Appendix rights were already sold with the Lord of the Rings.
 

JEB

Legend
Christopher Tolkien passed away a couple years ago, so he's not the decision maker here. The issue is that the Appendix rights were already sold with the Lord of the Rings.
I looked into this a little more. According to this article (which quotes Vanity Fair):
“We have the rights solely to The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, the appendices, and The Hobbit. And that is it. We do not have the rights to The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, The History of Middle-Earth, or any of those other books…We worked in conjunction with world-renowned Tolkien scholars and the Tolkien estate to make sure that the ways we connected the dots were Tolkien-ian and gelled with the experts’ and the estate’s understanding of the material.”
So the Tolkien estate is working with them on the show... but is refusing to open up the rights to the rest of the Tolkien lore? If they were taking Christopher Tolkien's "no thanks" position that'd be consistent, but if they are actively working with Amazon on the show, that makes the denial of access rather odd.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I looked into this a little more. According to this article (which quotes Vanity Fair):

So the Tolkien estate is working with them on the show... but is refusing to open up the rights to the rest of the Tolkien lore? If they were taking Christopher Tolkien's "no thanks" position that'd be consistent, but if they are actively working with Amazon on the show, that makes the denial of access rather odd.
Yeah, it's a change. Maybe theybare willing to sell now, but even Bezos money isn't white up to it. Or Amazon is waiting to see if the show is a hit before biting the bullet.
 

JEB

Legend
Or Amazon is waiting to see if the show is a hit before biting the bullet.
Eh, I think Amazon has pretty definitely decided not to bother with The Silmarillion rights at this point, now that they're completing production on the first season. Success means they don't need the rights, and can work with what they have; failure means they're more likely to end things there, rather than spend more money on the additional rights.
 

Eh, I think Amazon has pretty definitely decided not to bother with The Silmarillion rights at this point, now that they're completing production on the first season. Success means they don't need the rights, and can work with what they have; failure means they're more likely to end things there, rather than spend more money on the additional rights.

They can't "end things there", as from what I remember reading, their deal for the rights requires them to do a certain number of seasons. So Amazon cannot cancel after just one season.
 

JEB

Legend
They can't "end things there", as from what I remember reading, their deal for the rights requires them to do a certain number of seasons. So Amazon cannot cancel after just one season.
Interesting, but I still doubt their response to a failure would be to shell out more cash to get the additional rights. Especially since there's no guarantee a more authentically Silmarillion-y approach would be any more successful.
 

That they can't use stuff in the Silmarillion gives me a squirmy feeling of nervousness about this series that wasn't there before. That being said, the appendices of The Return of the King does have a lot of the basic details, so maybe I'm worrying for no good reason.

“We have the rights solely to The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, the appendices, and The Hobbit,” He said. “And that is it. We do not have the rights to The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, The History of Middle-earth, or any of those other books.”

“There’s a version of everything we need for the Second Age in the books we have the rights to,” McKay noted. “As long as we’re painting within those lines and not egregiously contradicting something we don’t have the rights to, there’s a lot of leeway and room to dramatize and tell some of the best stories that [Tolkien] ever came up with.”
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
That they can't use stuff in the Silmarillion gives me a squirmy feeling of nervousness about this series that wasn't there before. That being said, the appendices of The Return of the King does have a lot of the basic details, so maybe I'm worrying for no good reason.
Why? I mean, it is a fictional story in a made up land. There is A LOT of space to do interesting things.

I'm 100% certain a huge subset of fans will hate this and be verbal like crazy. There will be another set that takes it as a story that takes place in a made up world and doesn't care how it meshes. I'm hoping the second group is massive, and we get years of good content.
 

That they can't use stuff in the Silmarillion gives me a squirmy feeling of nervousness about this series that wasn't there before. That being said, the appendices of The Return of the King does have a lot of the basic details, so maybe I'm worrying for no good reason.

I am more bothered that they will be doing serious time compression for the 2nd Age. Stuff that happened hundreds or thousands of years apart will now happen within the lifespan of the main human characters. Oh, and I still greatly dislike the "not Hobbits" that will be in it, just so the show can have that connection to the movies.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Why? I mean, it is a fictional story in a made up land. There is A LOT of space to do interesting things.

I'm 100% certain a huge subset of fans will hate this and be verbal like crazy. There will be another set that takes it as a story that takes place in a made up world and doesn't care how it meshes. I'm hoping the second group is massive, and we get years of good content.
This.

I find it irritating that the complete rights are separated between the original novels and the supporting books like the Silmarillion and massive volumes (oops, edit -- "The History of Middle-Earth"). But the reason behind that are both complicated and silly at the same time, IMO.

But regardless, all I want is a good story from Amazon. I don't need it to religiously adhere to the entire canon. Most book-to-movie adaptations change details anyway, this won't be different.
 
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ART!

Legend
But regardless, all I want is a good story from Amazon. I don't need it to religiously adhere to the entire canon. Most book-to-movie adaptations change details anyway, this won't be different.
Same - and honestly, if it did adhere strictly to canon, then it would contradict itself, just like Tolkien's writings. Example: do dwarven women have beards? Yes, no, and there are no dwarf women - Tolkien said all those things.)
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Interesting, but I still doubt their response to a failure would be to shell out more cash to get the additional rights. Especially since there's no guarantee a more authentically Silmarillion-y approach would be any more successful.
No, no, I meant their response to a runaway success would be to expand the rights.
 

Why? Simply because the largest and most detailed concentration of lore about the Second Age is off limits to them.

That being said, I'm still rooting for the show to be awesome.

Why? I mean, it is a fictional story in a made up land. There is A LOT of space to do interesting things.

I'm 100% certain a huge subset of fans will hate this and be verbal like crazy. There will be another set that takes it as a story that takes place in a made up world and doesn't care how it meshes. I'm hoping the second group is massive, and we get years of good content.

The time compression is fine by me - I can understand why they wouldn't want to have to churn through the human cast in the course of the series. Adding hobbits, likewise I understand why they're doing it, though I'm inclined to think of it less kindly than the former. But I get it, people think of hobbits when they think of Lord of the Rings.

I am more bothered that they will be doing serious time compression for the 2nd Age. Stuff that happened hundreds or thousands of years apart will now happen within the lifespan of the main human characters. Oh, and I still greatly dislike the "not Hobbits" that will be in it, just so the show can have that connection to the movies.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I'm in wait and see mode. Though I need to question why is this a thing again? It's like somebody got the rights to Lion King 1/2 without the rights to the Lion King and is filling in the blanks while compressing years/months of plot into a single afternoon. And is it in continuity with the PJ trilogy or not? Because if it is intended to be, then the PJ movies just got way darker/creepy...

I need to see when it drops.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
I'm in wait and see mode. Though I need to question why is this a thing again? It's like somebody got the rights to Lion King 1/2 without the rights to the Lion King and is filling in the blanks while compressing years/months of plot into a single afternoon. And is it in continuity with the PJ trilogy or not? Because if it is intended to be, then the PJ movies just got way darker/creepy...

I need to see when it drops.
There will likely be a similar visual style to the Peter Jackson films, but there is no connection between the two productions. It is unlikely the new series will be in continuity with the Jackson films . . . . but it's also likely only super Tolkien nerds will notice any discrepancies. Stephen Colbert will notice!
 

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