Game of Thrones backlash: Lord of the Rings prequel show is NOT allowed to do THIS

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One of the Tolkein experts working on the show reveals all. It is very usual for most adaptations of books to take some liberties with the source material. Even George RR Martin himself admitted an author has to understand that a TV show has its own imperatives. Game of Thrones creators always knew how Martin would end his still-unfinished saga, but they had some freedom in how to get there. This, of course, has caused increasing frustration among a substantial part of the fandom unhappy with much of Season 8. But how does this work for the Lord of the Rings prequels? What are they based on? What will they change?

Tom Shippey is a Tolkein expert and consulted on the original Lord of the Rings trilogy. He has been brought in by Amazon Prime to work on their new series and explained how much more difficult it was to change anything from Tolkein’s works.

He said; “The Tolkien Estate keeps a very careful eye on everything and is quite capable of saying no. They retain a veto over everything that concerns Tolkien.

“The First and Third Ages are “off-limits”, you can’t have the First Age. Events could be mentioned at the most if they explain the events of the Second Age. But if it is not described or mentioned in the Lord of the Rings or in the appendices, they probably cannot use it. So the question is to what extent they may hint at events that took place, for example, in the First Age, but still continue to affect the Second Age.”

So, when is the show set and what is it about? Will it include some of the most iconic heroes and villains from the Lord of The Rings?

Shippey added: “Amazon has a relatively free hand when it comes to adding something, since… very few details are known about this time span. The Tolkien Estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered. Sauron invades Eriador, is forced back by a Númenorean expedition, is returned to Númenor. There he corrupts the Númenoreans and seduces them to break the ban of the Valar. All this, the course of history, must remain the same. But you can add new characters and ask a lot of questions, like: What has Sauron done in the meantime? Where was he after Morgoth was defeated? Theoretically, Amazon can answer these questions by inventing the answers, since Tolkien did not describe it. But it must not contradict anything which Tolkien did say. That’s what Amazon has to watch out for. It must be canonical, it is impossible to change the boundaries which Tolkien has created, it is necessary to remain ‘Tolkienian’.”

This raises the tantalising prospect of seeing Sauron when he had a physical form, which was briefly shown in the prologue to the Fellowship of the Ring movie. He was said to be handsome and hugely charismatic, which is how he was able to deceive and corrupt the Numenorians, the most powerful men in the world at that time.

It also means we could see characters like Galadriel and Elrond who helped fight Sauron in the Second Age

There was even a time in the Second Age, after the fall of his master Morgoth, when Sauron was not entirely evil and Tolkein tells he had “good intentions.” The show could investigate this period or the later time when he was once again consumed by power and forged the rings. Or the events when he surrounding to the Numenoreans and returned to their continent, half-way between Middle Earth and Valinor, where he hastened the fall of the greatest kingdom of men ever known.

Tolkein has left outlines but there are so many thrilling periods and events the show could explore and expand upon, with no need to ‘change history’ like Game of Thrones and so many other adaptations.

As yet, there is no release date for the show itself but Shipped added this: “As far as I know, they mean to start showing it on TV in 2021, so I don’t think production can start this year, though I don’t know what their timetable is. There is still a lot to do, just think of the costumes, weapons, locations etc.”

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE

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