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26 November 2017 @ 06:17 am
One ring to rule them all...  
As I'm sure most are aware by now that Amazon is going to produce a Lord of the Rings television series with a multi-season order. Christopher Tolkien has also resigned from the Tolkien Estate, which may coincide with this recent news.

There have been a lot of mixed reactions to this, as suspected. Purists are upset about this, some are scratching their heads wondering why this even was considered since nothing will ever top the films, while others are tentatively curious. I, myself, was rather skeptical when this was first announced, although it's been said that this will be a prequel and not a remake of the films, which made me relax a little. In truth I've come to the conclusion that, in the right hands, a television series that explores different areas of Middle-earth that we didn't see in the films would be interesting. I've always believed that television gives more room for exploration and development than films do, and if done right it can give us so much more content taken from that world and universe and expand it further. I do agree that when it comes down the faithful adaptations, Peter Jackson's films are the closest we'll ever get and nothing else will ever compare. But even his films were a mere interpretation of Tolkien's world, which was a risk at the time when he was starting making them. Who is to say that nobody else should take a chance at it as well? True, it could end up being completely disastrous, or it could surprise us and actually end up being really good. This is the gamble with adaptations. At the moment we don't know anything about the series yet since it's still in the early stages and was just announced, but I do have a couple of qualifications of things I want to see happen with this series.

Don't make it grimdark. We don't want or need another Game of Thrones-style show. Lord of the Rings is the antithesis of that series anyway, so there is no need to make it something that it isn't. I know that this series will probably be made to fill in that void once Game of Thrones has ended and no doubt it will be compared to it, but it should not follow in its footsteps. Fantasy, particularly high fantasy, doesn't have to be "dark and gritty" in order for the audience to be engaged.

Have more women be included in the story. One of the things I appreciated was Peter Jackson trying to include women in the films (Arwen having a more included role, the creation of Tauriel and the women of Laketown picking up arms to fight alongside the men in The Hobbit), though I do wish there could have been more inclusion. So having more women characters in various roles is something I want to see in a television series, no doubt about that. Also, I want more women to be involved with the production of the series, this means women writers, directors, and producers.

Actually hire and have significant roles for minorities. Speaking of inclusion, this should be a no-brainer. There needs to be more representation of non-white actors portraying fantasy characters, something that neither film trilogy did which was disappointing.

Film in New Zealand. Or, at least film somewhere that has gorgeous scenery and landscapes.

As a whole, this is going to be interesting to watch unfold. I'm still a tad apprehensive, but at the same time I'm also intrigued on where this could potentially lead if done well.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Nine Inch Nails - Just Like You Imagined
Profiterole_profiterole_ on November 26th, 2017 03:46 pm (UTC)
I'd like to see more heroic fantasy on TV. I absolutely love Shannara, S1 was great and S2 was even better, adding a lot of diversity. But I don't think I'll watch a LOTR TV show, because the movies already felt too long for me. It's nice for those interested in seeing more, but there are so many fantasy book series out there that could have been chosen instead. Hopefully, this won't stop here and other networks will option some of these other book series.
Renée: LotS. Kahlan/Cara.rogueslayer452 on November 27th, 2017 06:09 pm (UTC)
I do wish that there were more variety when it comes to fantasy shows. There are a lot of scifi and paranormal shows out there of varying degrees which is fantastic, but you hardly see much when it comes to fantasy. We need more of things like high fantasy, urban fantasy, lighthearted fantasy, heroic fantasy, and so on. Not everything has to be grimdark and dreary. And I'm pretty sure there are plenty of fantasy books out there which are perfect to adapt from, or even just an original idea from a creator who wants to do something new and interesting with the genre itself.
(no subject) - _profiterole_ on November 27th, 2017 07:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Nina: <skins> waiting for better timeshoneymink on November 26th, 2017 05:09 pm (UTC)
Fantasy, particularly high fantasy, doesn't have to be "dark and gritty" in order for the audience to be engaged.

Case in point, "The Shannara Chronicles" though I have only watched the first season so far but really enjoyed that.

I never watched "The Hobbit" movies but I'm thinking about it.
Renée: Kahlan. Swept by the wind.rogueslayer452 on November 27th, 2017 06:42 am (UTC)
For me it was Legend of the Seeker, it was such a fun lighthearted fantasy show that deserved more attention (and a third season, dammit). And interestingly, it was also filmed in New Zealand. Fantasy can be fun and engaging and interesting without going into dark places. You can explore dark themes and plots without succumbing to being grimdark in nature, if that makes any sense.

I really loved The Hobbit trilogy. There had been some mixed reactions to those movies, mostly because people compare it to LOTR, but whatever I enjoyed them very much. Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield made it for me, personally speaking.
(no subject) - honeymink on November 27th, 2017 05:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rogueslayer452 on November 28th, 2017 08:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
Ery-chan: pic#105558586erychan86 on November 26th, 2017 07:42 pm (UTC)
Amazon did a great job with some of its original series like The Man In The High Calstle and Mozart in the Jungle... it has the money to invest in this sort of project... so I guess that if there have to be a tv show, it’s good it’s in its hands... I think that HBO, Starz and Netflix are the networks that can handle this sort of shows in a great way... amazon can too... I am intrigued... :)
Renéerogueslayer452 on November 27th, 2017 05:53 pm (UTC)
I do think there are more options now to do a series of this magnitude than before, because while I couldn't see a LOTR series being made on a regular television network I can definitely see it being on something like Amazon or Netflix or similar alternative places. There is more room for genre shows on such places to thrive. I do hope that they do right by this and show the potential of expanding the story and that world.
Nadine: LotR - Aragornmalicat on November 26th, 2017 07:47 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't have wanted a reboot of the movie trilogy because to me the cast that we got was PERFECT! However,I also found that it was way too white and hopefully this show can remedy that while still have the setting that I love about the movies :)
They need to shoot it in NZ tho,nothing else is acceptable ^^
Renée: Thorin Oakenshield.rogueslayer452 on November 27th, 2017 05:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, I agree, the films were near perfection when it comes to the tone and atmosphere in bringing that world to life, adapting the book the best it could with the budget it had, and they got some of the best actors involved that I cannot see anyone else in those roles. However, it really was incredibly white with the cast, which is a sad thing because fantasy shouldn't be limiting to anyone, and yet it still is a huge unnecessary stigma. I do hope that the television show manages to not only cast non-white actors, but also have them be in roles that aren't stereotypical.

They need to shoot it in NZ tho,nothing else is acceptable

Absolutely. New Zealand has essentially become the home of Middle-earth, so to not film at least a portion of it there would be outrageous in itself.
(no subject) - malicat on November 27th, 2017 03:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rogueslayer452 on November 27th, 2017 06:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
giallarhorn: Olivia Specs!giallarhorn on November 26th, 2017 08:31 pm (UTC)
Ha, I know people who consider the only actual canon to be what Tolkien himself penned, and the stuff that his son did to be hearsay at best. Ironically, they're also probably even less happy that there's no clear successor.

I won't say I'm surprised by the choice, though. GoT's lasting legacy I think is that showing movies aren't always the best/most successful way to go in building lasting franchises, unless you try to do a MCU.

I do think that at this point, the TV show is going to be considered something very similar to the way that GoT is compared to ASoIaF- glorified fanfic, or a divergent, loosely connected adaptation. Which may not be bad- breaking from the mold gives freedom. For all his virtues, Tolkien also did a lot of damage wrt the fantasy genre in the same vein that GoT did to TV with grimdark. The man didn't have enough thought to go beyond an Anglo-Saxon setting/cast, let alone consider that he might want to toss in female characters beyond the Silmarillion, and the genre's still struggling to break from his shadow (thanks also, D&D).
Renée: Kahlan. Elegance.rogueslayer452 on November 27th, 2017 05:06 am (UTC)
Ha, I know people who consider the only actual canon to be what Tolkien himself penned, and the stuff that his son did to be hearsay at best.

I've heard this from other fans, as well. I'm not that deep in the Tolkien fandom so I don't know the general consensus of these sorts of things, but I've definitely heard similar thoughts from various sources. Which is why the news of his resignation from the Tolkien Estate to be rather interesting to how the fandom has been reacting.

I won't say I'm surprised by the choice, though. GoT's lasting legacy I think is that showing movies aren't always the best/most successful way to go in building lasting franchises, unless you try to do a MCU.

Yeah, I think in recent years it's been noticeable that movie franchises, unless planned out well, don't do well in the box office because usually studios want to get everything rushed and out the door within a limited amount of time. Lord of the Rings was a phenomenon that hasn't been repeated since when it comes to fantasy films. And as much as I loved The Hobbit trilogy, it also suffered a lot in regards to production issues and studios intervening and getting everything rushed. Which is rather sad considering the legacy that LOTR had in the box office when it first came out.

glorified fanfic, or a divergent, loosely connected adaptation. Which may not be bad- breaking from the mold gives freedom.

This is true. There have been numerous television adaptations that deviate from the source material and just go their own route and take a life of its own, and sometimes that isn't bad at all. As long as there is an understanding of what the world is about, it shouldn't matter what it does. It is true that certain adaptations lose its way on whether it is being true to the source material or doing its own thing, which is where people get frustrated. One of my favorite shows is Legend of the Seeker which was based off of the The Sword of Truth books, and while it didn't follow the books and it was still very solid and consistent with what it was and where it was going with the characters and plot. It is possible to do that, it's just getting the right people involved.

Besides, considering that this prequel seems to not have anything set in stone yet, there is definitely more freedom to what story they want to tell and how they want to do it.

I also agree that even though Tolkien is considered the grandfather of fantasy, people have been trying to imitate his work as a baseline for years which is really tiring and boring, especially since it's become the standard for anything fantasy related. I want there to be a break in the mold.
Lmeringues on November 26th, 2017 11:47 pm (UTC)
You're completely right - it could be amazing or it could be a nightmare. I guess we'll just have to wait and see which one it's going to be!
Renée: Agents of Shield. Skye.rogueslayer452 on November 27th, 2017 03:06 am (UTC)
It's one of those things where I understand the arguments people have against this news, but since this is just the early stages I'm not going to condemn it until we've seen something from it.
Moongirl: LOTR Hobbits. Made bymoongirl24 on November 27th, 2017 08:50 am (UTC)
I pretty much agree with everything you said. My sister and I discussed it this weekend after we'd finished our re-watch of The Hobbit movies, and I think we're both cautiously optimistic. We're both really attached to the movies and I don't think that anything can ever top those for us, but if this TV series is done well it could end up being a good thing. I agree with you on really hoping it won't be a Game of Thrones type of show, though. LOTR has always been something different and I really hope they don't mess with that.
Renée: Thorin. Smile.rogueslayer452 on November 27th, 2017 04:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, cautiously optimistic is the perfect term to describe my feelings as well. There are a lot of concerns people have which are completely valid, but I think we should be keeping an open mind and not immediately condemn the series just yet until we know more about it and actually see it for ourselves. It won't be exactly like the books nor will it be like the films that we've come to know and love, but that doesn't mean it'll be bad or disrespecting the world Tolkien created. I'm up for seeing what it can provide us with something new and interesting to add to the world through this particular visual medium.
Meredithxfirefly9x on November 27th, 2017 11:49 am (UTC)
I fell asleep trying to watch the movies... and this'll be a nope from me too. Too hyped up, too many expectations.
Renéerogueslayer452 on November 27th, 2017 04:22 pm (UTC)
That's fair, the series isn't necessarily for everyone. For me, I tried reading the books but they are just too difficult for me to get through, because as appreciative as I am of the world Tolkien created his writing style is far too complicated for my reading preference. I enjoy the films more because it's easier to understand, lol.

Edited at 2017-11-27 04:23 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - xfirefly9x on November 27th, 2017 04:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rogueslayer452 on November 28th, 2017 04:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Galadriel.: Lord of the Rings ✽ My namesakesixphanel on November 27th, 2017 06:26 pm (UTC)
Totally agree with you! Specially with the Game of Thrones part *and* with the having more women in it! Please, lords of Kobol, hear our prayers and make this a good thing! We deserve it!
Renée: Thorin. Smile.rogueslayer452 on November 28th, 2017 02:56 am (UTC)
I know that some hardcore Tolkien purists will probably be foaming from the mouth in outrage at the concept of more women being involved in the story, but lol IDGAF. In this day and age, not having women be part of a story is just unacceptable. Same with not having POC getting roles. I love the films and all, but this was a huge glaring flaw that I'm hoping will be corrected with the new television series.
haebin: Joneshaebin on November 28th, 2017 02:26 pm (UTC)
I have to say, I am a little bit excited. I would love to see the different stories of Middle Earth. I would be totally a fan of filming the rise and fall of Sauron. Or the story of Beren and Luthien.
Just film everything and don't screw it up, please. ;_;
Renée: Jessica Jones.rogueslayer452 on November 28th, 2017 03:50 pm (UTC)
Seriously, there are so many stories and arcs they could explore and expand on. It just has to be with the right people who a.) know what they're doing and b.) will still respect Tolkien's work while being given the freedom of expanding the universe on a visual medium. We got incredibly lucky with Peter Jackson with the films, so I hope whoever they get to be part of the production team will be just as good.
(no subject) - haebin on December 1st, 2017 11:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
Avox in Arcadia: Gollumperpetual on December 1st, 2017 11:51 pm (UTC)
I was vaguely indignant about the whole idea of the show, but if they use The Silmarillion as source material, I'll at least give it a try.
Renéerogueslayer452 on December 2nd, 2017 03:17 am (UTC)
It's highly doubtful. Christopher Tolkien/The Tolkien Estate still has a firm steel grip on The Silmarillion, refusing to sell the rights. I don't know whether that'll change in the future. I think the television adaptation will just use the Appendices as their source material, for whatever they plan on doing.
~*Suzy Q*~blakmagjick on December 8th, 2017 12:46 am (UTC)
"this will be a prequel and not a remake of the films" Agreed...if it was a remake of the movies/books that would be silly.
Renéerogueslayer452 on December 8th, 2017 03:21 pm (UTC)
Considering the industry's obsession with remakes, I'm glad that it's been decided that a television series prequel is the route to take. And since that world is massive in itself anyway, I'm very intrigued by the notion of exploring more in that format.
(no subject) - blakmagjick on December 8th, 2017 05:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)