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The Marquis de Leech

LOTR prequel TV series 2.0

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Is there actual confirmation that the "hobbits" aren't the fake production team?  Because that sounds like a ludicrously stupid idea if not.

As for the different crews for Men, Elves, and Dwarves, I'd bet the latter isn't because of some giant dwarf plotline but rather so that the actors playing dwarves would have proper sized people/things/extras to act against.  Similarly the Dwarves in the other two production teams would be played by little people extras.  

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Durin's Bane is definitely identified as "A balrog of Morgoth" when they arrive in Lothlorien. As Tolkien more or less said in his letters "The Elf knows what it is".

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2 minutes ago, Clueless Northman said:

Durin's Bane is definitely identified as "A balrog of Morgoth" when they arrive in Lothlorien. As Tolkien more or less said in his letters "The Elf knows what it is".

Yes, and that's how Legolas could say it in the movie (since they had zero access to the Sil or UT at that time).

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5 hours ago, Werthead said:

Morgoth is mentioned in The Lord of the Rings (certainly in the appendices).

And yes, there'll be action in the series. Three stuntmen have been injured, and reportedly the production has been reported to the New Zealand health and safety executive for not following lawful safety protocols.

As an aside, the production would not actually be liable in terms of compensation for individual injuries. New Zealand's Accident Compensation Corporation covers that. They are only liable to the state for law-breaches.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Thinking about the rumoured proto-hobbits more... they might be Druedain?

They could be, given the Second Age setting, which is canonically speaking Hobbitless.

On the proto-Hobbits specifically, leaving aside Tolkien's remarks outside LotR (i.e. his 1961 letter to Mrs E. C. Ossen Drijver where he noted "I am now under contract engaged in putting into order for publication the mythology and stories of the First and Second Ages...There are, I fear, no hobbits...little fun or earthiness but mostly grief and disaster"), is Gandalf's statement that hobbits had hitherto evaded Sauron's attention as a 'race'/sub-race.

This, I would think, restricts where one can faithfully depict them in a pre-Third Age context, because Sauron is pretty much all over parts of the East, and certainly the West in Eriador and Númenor. So, I do hope if actually shown that they keep them a low-key and secretive people that, say, the Númenóreans or Elves come across.

The Druedain are canon for the SA. They could depict Drúedain / Drug-folk not only in Minhiriath in Middle-earth but also within Númenor itself, if they follow the UT notes that have them serving even in the household of Tar-Aldarion. Their early migration from Númenor to ME and attempt to warn against the coming darkness, could fulfil that kind of 'Hobbitish' heart that they may feel is missing from the story, otherwise. Tho, the Drugs are far more of a warrior-people (and with a kind of mystical side to them too). Different but still smallfolk.

However, there's a significant catch with the Drugs, the extent to which they conform to the "noble savage" trope. 

If my memory recalls, Jackson had at one point decided to use a Maori actor for Ghan-buri-ghan but then omitted the character entirely, perhaps due to justified and understandable sensitivities around the 'noble savage' trope i.e. they are attuned to nature yet speak in broken language etc.

At the very least, if shown integrated within Númenórean society early on (i.e. Aldarion's household), it could avoid the tropes of them being 'native' wild men of the woods (as they are later reduced to again under persecution from their former compatriots once the imperialist era sets in, leading them to flee to Ras Morthil).

But Amazon may judge the Druedain a risk just not worth taking, like Jackson ultimately did. We shall see.

 

 

 

Edited by Krishtotter

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1 hour ago, Krishtotter said:

They could be, given the Second Age setting, which is canonically speaking Hobbitless.

On the proto-Hobbits specifically, leaving aside Tolkien's remarks outside LotR (i.e. his 1961 letter to Mrs E. C. Ossen Drijver where he noted "I am now under contract engaged in putting into order for publication the mythology and stories of the First and Second Ages...There are, I fear, no hobbits...little fun or earthiness but mostly grief and disaster"), is Gandalf's statement that hobbits had hitherto evaded Sauron's attention as a 'race'/sub-race.

I read that as hobbits not playing a major role in the stories Tolkien was telling about the previous Ages, and Sauron considering them insignificant, rather than them literally not existing at the time or Sauron not knowing they exist. This series is obviously going into a lot more detail than what Tolkien wrote himself, and I don't think it's a problem to have hobbits feature in minor roles.

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Posted (edited)

Jackson also had the origin story of the Orcs in FotR. I guess things like that, which were not part of the novel or the appendices, are part of the reason why the Tolkien Estate successfully sued NLC/Warner and got a pretty large compensation. They did include stuff they didn't have the rights for in the LotR movies.

As for the Hobbits in the show, the only way this could make sense would be if they were still living together with other men, and nobody would view them as a different race. In that fashion, Hobbits could even be in Númenor, even more so if they go down with the island and none of them accompany Elendil back to Middle-earth.

Edited by Lord Varys

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Jackson also had the origin story of the Orcs in FotR. I guess things like that, which were not part of the novel or the appendices, are part of the reason why the Tolkien Estate successfully sued NLC/Warner and got a pretty large compensation. They did include stuff they didn't have the rights for in the LotR movies.

The Orcs/Elves thing can be accessed via Treebeard's in-story comments.

The legal case was about share of the profits, IIRC.

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On 7/22/2021 at 4:25 PM, The Marquis de Leech said:

The Orcs/Elves thing can be accessed via Treebeard's in-story comments.

The legal case was about share of the profits, IIRC.

Oh, yes, I know they wanted a slice of the cake, but they must have had some arguments as why they were entitled to this. JRRT sold the rights, so they shouldn't have been able to profit from the movies ... unless the contract involved some profits going to the Estate.

But where exactly does Treebeard elaborate in detail on the origin of the Orcs? I don't recall that at all. And Jackson is rather specific in FOTR, having Saruman tell his henchman that the Dark Lord captured and tortured some elves long enough for them to become Orcs.

And unless I'm very much mistaken the first mentioning of that idea is in the Silmarillion, not in the LotR. There the nature and origin of the Orcs remains obscure. They are just there.

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9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Oh, yes, I know they wanted a slice of the cake, but they must have had some arguments as why they were entitled to this. JRRT sold the rights, so they shouldn't have been able to profit from the movies ... unless the contract involved some profits going to the Estate.

The original 1969 contract stipulated x% of proceeds would return to Tolkien or his estate, and that remained in force throughout (and to this day).

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9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But where exactly does Treebeard elaborate in detail on the origin of the Orcs? I don't recall that at all. And Jackson is rather specific in FOTR, having Saruman tell his henchman that the Dark Lord captured and tortured some elves long enough for them to become Orcs.

Treebeard claims that Trolls were made in mockery of Ents, just as Orcs were of Elves. That's enough wiggle room to connect Elves to the creation of the Orcs.

(Tolkien, of course, later pointed out that this is just Treebeard's view, not canon). 

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

The original 1969 contract stipulated x% of proceeds would return to Tolkien or his estate, and that remained in force throughout (and to this day).

Ah, okay. I expected something like that.

1 hour ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Treebeard claims that Trolls were made in mockery of Ents, just as Orcs were of Elves. That's enough wiggle room to connect Elves to the creation of the Orcs.

(Tolkien, of course, later pointed out that this is just Treebeard's view, not canon). 

If I had to make a call then a specific claim that Orcs were made from Ents goes beyond that idea. That's something we first read in the Silmarillion, and it is actually not an idea Tolkien liked very much. The text Christopher used was taken from the Annals of Aman and Tolkien dismissed the idea that the Orcs came from Elves in the margins.

He struggled with the problem that he did not want to give Melkor the ability to create independent life, but also had problems to make his Elves the source for the Orcs.

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He never seemed to have come to a definitive answer, but hesitated between: Orcs come from Elves. Orcs come from Humans. Orcs come from a mixed bag of Elves and Humans. Some of the most powerful Orcs come from fallen low-level Maiar. Or all of the above.

Still, unless I'm remembering it totally wrong, it's tricky to assume Orcs are just perverted humans, because their appearance was quite early and would nearly conflict with the quite late date of the birth of men.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

He struggled with the problem that he did not want to give Melkor the ability to create independent life, but also had problems to make his Elves the source for the Orcs.

But Melkor made dragons, didn't he? Or were dragons mysterious evil spirits to which he gave bodies?

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1 hour ago, Clueless Northman said:

He never seemed to have come to a definitive answer, but hesitated between: Orcs come from Elves. Orcs come from Humans. Orcs come from a mixed bag of Elves and Humans. Some of the most powerful Orcs come from fallen low-level Maiar. Or all of the above.

Still, unless I'm remembering it totally wrong, it's tricky to assume Orcs are just perverted humans, because their appearance was quite early and would nearly conflict with the quite late date of the birth of men.

He wanted it to be Men in the end, and was willing to change the first appearance of Men to make the story fit, but never properly did that.

Another pretty likely take was that Orcs were effectively 'intelligent animals' like Huan. But that's also something that doesn't really fit well with the depiction of the Orcs in LotR. The idea there is that Orcs don't have souls but appear that way because the Dark Lord trained them to behave in this manner.

If you cut to the chase the best way to resolve the issue would have been to have different kinds of Orcs - more demon-like Orcs, monstrosities created from lower Maiar spirits and the perversion of intelligent animals, whereas 'the modern Orcs' who feature in most of the stories would be corrupted Men.

Most/all the Orcs in the Silmarillion would have been modern Orcs, anyway, in light of the fact that Men were already around at the time of the great wars. And it would make more sense if the Melkor of the Utumno days worked mostly with corrupted spirits as his instruments in light of the fact that he was defying his fellow Valar. He couldn't have done that very effectively with an army of corrupted elves.

It is rather fun to realize he really felt he had to answer that question for himself in a satisfying manner rather than keep it vague. After all, no story ever takes into the bowels of Angband or Utumno to witness the creation of the Orcs firsthand. It could have easily enough remained a mystery where those creatures came from.

29 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

But Melkor made dragons, didn't he? Or were dragons mysterious evil spirits to which he gave bodies?

Dragons also seem to fit in the 'intelligent animals' department, although Glaurung seems to be a special case. There are hints that he is to be understood as either a corrupted spirit in dragon shape or an extension of Morgoth's will, a sort of puppet through which the Dark Lord himself could/would speak.

On a worldbuilding level with Smaug in mind I'd say dragons should be viewed as the descendents of lesser Maiar/Ainur. How exactly it makes sense/goes that those beings take on animal shape and then procreate isn't really clear, nor what kind of metaphysical status such beings have. We have the same kind of problem for Lúthien - does she have the soul of an Ainu or the spirit of an Elf? We don't know.

It is also possible that spirits in animal form procreate with real animals ... but what effect that kind of 'perversion' would have on the souls of the descendants of such unions is also unclear.

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3 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

But Melkor made dragons, didn't he? Or were dragons mysterious evil spirits to which he gave bodies?

It's  bit vague, but the inference from the books and HoME is that the dragons and balrogs are corrupted Maiar spirits like Sauron, of somewhat lesser or different force.

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Posted (edited)

Wow, looks like Tirion, the city of the Eldar in Valinor, with the Two Trees Laurelin and Telperion behind. 

I guess, those rumours about them having Silmarillion rights really did have legs then (and all the selfies the cast were taking with copies of the Silmarillion on Instagram).

September 2022 though? Boy, that's further away than I expected given that the show started filming in February 2020 and has just wrapped. The VFX requirements must be enormous.

EDIT: According to The Hollywood Reporter:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/lord-of-the-rings-release-date-photo-1234991590/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
 

Quote

The above photo is from the show’s first episode, but the studio is not identifying the character or actor at this time (so let the speculation begin). 


Methinks this is either part of a prologue harking back to the Years of the Trees in Valinor or a memory flashback sequence.

But it's definitely from the first episode, apparently.

Edited by Krishtotter

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1 hour ago, Krishtotter said:

Wow, looks like Tirion, the city of the Eldar in Valinor, with the Two Trees Laurelin and Telperion behind. 

I guess, those rumours about them having Silmarillion rights really did have legs then (and all the selfies the cast were taking with copies of the Silmarillion on Instagram).

September 2022 though? Boy, that's further away than I expected given that the show started filming in February 2020 and has just wrapped. The VFX requirements must be enormous.

EDIT: According to The Hollywood Reporter:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/lord-of-the-rings-release-date-photo-1234991590/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
 


Methinks this is either part of a prologue harking back to the Years of the Trees in Valinor or a memory flashback sequence.

But it's definitely from the first episode, apparently.

Considering the earlier leak about elf hair, I would say the character is a Noldor, but I don't know if they have the rights to show Fëanor, who would be the likeliest choice to serve as a connection with the Second Age story, given that Celebrimbor is one of the main characters.

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