Just over three years after Amazon acquired the television rights to author J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, fans now have a better sense of what storylines the studios’ forthcoming Middle-earth series will explore. The official synopsis of The Lord of the Rings series has finally surfaced online, teasing some of the familiar locations and characters from Tolkien’s original works.
Prior to the official synopsis, reports suggested Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series would focus on a young Aragorn, the Ranger of the North who would later be crowned King of both Gondor and Arnor. However, such plans evidently changed after the writer’s room was assembled and Amazon released a teaser map in early 2019 indicating the series would be set well-before both Aragon’s birth.
The One Ring obtained Amazon’s official synopsis of The Lord of the Rings series in a report reaffirming the studio’s plans to produce at least five seasons of the show, each one consisting of 8 to 10 episodes. Per the synopsis, the series will depict the “heroic legends” of Middle-earth’s Second Age for the first time on screen, suggesting the project may draw upon Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, a collection of written works chronicling the fictional land’s ancient history. “This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness,” reads the synopsis. “Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.”
With filming of the two-part pilot now complete, production on further episodes begins this month in New Zealand. Showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay also serve as writers on a team that includes Game of Thrones scribe Bryan Cogman as a consulting producer. Amazon recently announced an ensemble cast from around the world who will join previously confirmed Lord of the Rings series stars, including Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, and Nazanin Boniad, in New Zealand.
The Lord of the Rings franchise recently garnered attention when multiple cast members of Peter Jackson’s feature film trilogy called on fans to help raise funds to save Tolkien’s home. In the recently released video, Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, and many more associated with the franchise outlined plans to turn the property into a literary center dedicated to the late author should enough money be raised.
In the meantime, fans are also likely keeping their fingers crossed that Amazon’s foray into Middle-earth will prove to be more successful than Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. Plagued with production issues, the Lord of the Rings prequels were released to considerably less acclaim than their predecessors.
The Lord of the Rings series is expected to premiere on Amazon Prime Video in 2021.