Controversy over Lord of The Rings TV adaptation

Emer Handly

The Lord of the Rings is quite frankly one of the best stories ever written. J.R.R Tolkien created an epic fantasy novel, which was then turned into an equally epic film series.

From the older generations to the younger generations, it is hard to find someone who does not love the tale of Frodo’s thrilling adventure to Mordor with his loyal friends. It is a phenomenal tale of strength, hope, love, loss and friendship.

In early November, Amazon announced that they had bought the global TV rights to The Lord of the Rings, meaning a TV adaptation of the story is on its way.

The big question everyone is asking is will they create another epic version of the tale or will they destroy the franchise?

It is easy to see why Amazon would want to create a TV version. The book is one of the highest selling novels ever written and the films are amongst the highest grossing trilogies of all time. The story is one that will make them a lot of money.

Most fans were shocked and slightly horrified at the news. Why would you remake something that was already a huge success? Why would you take the risk of ruining such a loved story?

Even actor John Rhys-Davies who played the lovable character Gimli argued that Tolkien would be “spinning in his grave”.

Tolkien’s son Christopher, who resigned as Director of Tolkien Estate in August, also expressed his concerns about the new show, which created even more scepticism among fans.

Yet, there is hope for this new project. Amazon have promised that the series “will explore new story-lines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring”, instead of just retelling the films.

This could mean we get a look the stories within LOTR appendixes, or the Unfinished Tales or from Tolkien’s third book The Silmarillion (an accounting of thousands of years of Middle-earth’s mythology). There’s no denying that is exciting.

Amazon spent around £250 million on the rights and part of the deal is that it will be a multi-season show. It is reported they will spend another £750 million filming it. The fact they are willing to fork out this much money on the project shows that they are taking it seriously.

The Lord of the Rings TV series has the potential to be incredible. It could continue a globally loved story and take us to new parts of Middle Earth we did not even know existed.

The casting and scripting of the show need to be above and beyond that of the films in order for it to be a success with fans.

Whether you are in favour of the TV adaptation or not, it is going to happen. Amazon want The Lord of the Rings series to be the next Game of Thrones, and if they do it right, it might well be.

In the words of Gandalf; “Someone else always has to carry on the story”.