Jump to content

LOTR series: a view of the Two Trees


Ser Scot A Ellison
 Share

Recommended Posts

I mean money does not need to be the Estate's motivator here. They might genuinely believe that getting at least some version of the Akallabeth out there to the non-Silmarillion reading Lotr fans is worth having Amazon make changes and they do not want to endanger further projects by being to "purist".

Then of course we do not know exactly how extensive the Estate's veto powers really are (I doubt that Amazon would sign a contract that would let the TE sink their billion dollar project) and how closely they follow the project.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...
24 minutes ago, Scott_N said:

Who are the showrunners for this? What have they done before? I suppose what I'm asking is whether optimism or pessimism is called for?

 

Literally nothing.

The writers have exceptional pedigree, but the showrunners have done jack shit about from an early draft of Star Trek Beyond that was completely rewritten by Simon Pegg. Every single writer they have working for them has a better resume than they do, the highlight being Gennifer Hutchison who was a producer, writer and script editor on Breaking Bad and a writer and I believe executive producer on Better Call Saul, two of the greatest TV shows ever made. Rumour is that she's now shopping a Dishonored TV series around, so might not even stick around for a third season of the LotR show.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The latest leaks from FellowshipofFans:

 

Plus: 

 

Quote

 

Isildur will voluntarily join the Numenor army setting sail for Middle-Earth.

Isildur has 3 friends “Nolion, Valandil, Ontamo” being played by (in no particular order) Anthony Crum, Alex Tarrant, and one other. All 3 of Isildur’s friends volunteer to join the army with him and this scene is known as the “I will serve” scene.

Isildur’s sister (Carine) doesn’t want Isildur joining the army. There is said to be one emotional scene where she chases Isildur through the Numenorean crowd yelling “Isil, isil, isilduurrr”

SCENE DESCRIPTION: “The scene in the streets is a big parade, the Cavalry army marches through the town led by the City Guards, people are singing and shouting and throwing flowers at the soldiers. Isildur is dressed in the cavalry armour.”

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally hope "Carine" (or Carinë, could it be?) is just a production name since, on the surface, it comes off sounding neither Tolkienian nor Númenórean (which is to say, Adunaic or Quenya-sounding). 
 
We do know, though, that 'Carine' apparently had the audition-name of Shay according to Knightedge media:
 
 
 
Shay, Series Regular, Female (18-24) Caucasian – FEMALE 18-24 series regular (up to 6 options)
A physically strong, pragmatic, clever young woman. She is studious and ambitious. She can be serious but has a quick wit and a wry sense of humor. She has the ability to moderate any argument shes a peacekeeper and the lodestone for her family. Shes also deeply politically minded, which presents a particular challenge when the political leanings within her own family become increasingly divided…
 
This could be interpreted as implying that Carine is the real show name, which is flummoxing to say the least if so, because all the other Amazon original Númenórean characters (such as Isildur's 'chums') have eminently Quenya or Adunaic-esque names such as Valandil, Nolion and Ontamo.
 
Even Pharazon's allegedly invented son has a decent Tolkienesque name - Cemen, the quenya word for earth and used as part of regnal Gondorian names such as "Cemendur" the 4th king of Gondor.
 
So "Carine" is weirdly left-field to me, especially for an original character as important as Elendil's daughter (Compare with other Númenórean canon women's names: Silmariën, Ancalimë, Telperiën, Vanimeldë, Míriel, Erendis and so on).
Edited by Krishtotter
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Clueless Northman said:

Shit, why didn't they dare to name her Karen from the pro-Pharazon side of the family? If you're going to get silly with the names, do it right.

I mean, if "Karen" was really what they're going for, I'd appreciate at least the attempt to be somewhat subtle by changing it to Carine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This project started off sounding utter shit (the adventures of Young Aragorn!), then it sounded really good (the Second Age!) and now there's definitely been a downhill slide for a while. Moving from the forging of the Rings to the end of the Second Age was a bad idea (that's not a five-season show), introducing new floor-level characters is okay (like new Hobbits, if we really must, or soldiers) but introducing new extremely major characters whom Tolkien would have mentioned if they ever existed is not, and their solution to every problem seems to be to throw even more money at it.

I wonder if this flops - or even is their biggest show ever but still doesn't draw in the numbers they need to justify the insane cost outlay - at what point they will pull the plug? Is it too big to fail?

Edited by Werthead
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Prime is still an odd thing for me to judge success with... I had it for years just for the free shipping.  I didn't even know that I had the option of free movies/TV until about a year and a half ago or so.  So how do you really judge subscription numbers for Prime?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Rhom said:

Prime is still an odd thing for me to judge success with... I had it for years just for the free shipping.  I didn't even know that I had the option of free movies/TV until about a year and a half ago or so.  So how do you really judge subscription numbers for Prime?

In practice they have about 100 million more people worldwide who have access to Prime than Netflix, but the overwhelming majority of those only use it for free shipping and next-day delivery, and never watch stuff on it.

In practice, the number of people who watch stuff with Prime regularly is apparently way less than half that of Netflix.

And yup, the metrics for a showing being success for them are difficult to measure. Seeing a big spike in new subs after a show launches is good, but then how do you judge if they're sticking around for the show or for the accumulated other benefits? It seems a bit vague.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Rhom said:

Prime is still an odd thing for me to judge success with... I had it for years just for the free shipping.  I didn't even know that I had the option of free movies/TV until about a year and a half ago or so.  So how do you really judge subscription numbers for Prime?

Deadline had an article on how fuzzy and difficult to read numbers are right now from streamers, because of a lack of transparency. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/3/2022 at 12:12 PM, Werthead said:

This project started off sounding utter shit (the adventures of Young Aragorn!), then it sounded really good (the Second Age!) and now there's definitely been a downhill slide for a while. Moving from the forging of the Rings to the end of the Second Age was a bad idea (that's not a five-season show), introducing new floor-level characters is okay (like new Hobbits, if we really must, or soldiers) but introducing new extremely major characters whom Tolkien would have mentioned if they ever existed is not, and their solution to every problem seems to be to throw even more money at it.

I wonder if this flops - or even is their biggest show ever but still doesn't draw in the numbers they need to justify the insane cost outlay - at what point they will pull the plug? Is it too big to fail?

Honestly, some of the leaks have dropped my interest a fair bit. I'm not exactly enthused by a lot of what I'm hearing, frankly. And what makes things even more concerning is that, with the showrunners having nothing under their belts but rejected scripts, there's no real way to gauge their abilities with this material. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/3/2022 at 12:12 PM, Werthead said:

This project started off sounding utter shit (the adventures of Young Aragorn!), then it sounded really good (the Second Age!) and now there's definitely been a downhill slide for a while. Moving from the forging of the Rings to the end of the Second Age was a bad idea (that's not a five-season show), introducing new floor-level characters is okay (like new Hobbits, if we really must, or soldiers) but introducing new extremely major characters whom Tolkien would have mentioned if they ever existed is not, and their solution to every problem seems to be to throw even more money at it.

I wonder if this flops - or even is their biggest show ever but still doesn't draw in the numbers they need to justify the insane cost outlay - at what point they will pull the plug? Is it too big to fail?

I'm partially in agreement with you, inasmuch as the leaks that have come out recently seem to indicate some seriously jarring things re the quality of the show (i.e. what on earth has someone coming down on a comet and appearing to a group of proto-Hobbits got to do with the Akallabeth????).

However, while this may be an unpopular opinion, I actually like the source material for the Downfall of Númenor. 

The basic frame of the story outlined by Tolkien (as we all know) is of the greatest human civilization - a people blessed with supramundane long life, natural and material resources - destroying themselves through their inability to accept their fundamental mortality and through jealousy of the immortal race, the Elves. 

In the course of exploring this theme, we start with a far-sighted and penitent monarch - Tar-Palantir - who aligns with one religio-political faction in Númenórean society, the Faithful, and tries to bring his kingdom back in line with these beliefs and thus restore good relations with the Eldar and the Valar (gods). He is thwarted in this effort by his own brother, Gimilkhad, who with his son Pharazon leads a rival faction that increasingly reflects the majority sentiment in Númenor: let's reject the old faith, the Elven tongues, friendship with the Eldar and obedience to the Valar and if we can find away of avoiding mortality and conquering as much of the known world as we can. And so the royal house itself echoes the nation it rules in being critically divided over religion, language, politics (i.e. imperialism) and values.  Finally, a civil war and rebellion ensues in which the charismatic but vainglorious nephew of the king, Pharazon, seizes the throne in the name of the rival King's Men faction and forcibly marries the rightful heir, the old king's daughter Míriel, to legitimate his usurpation. 

All of this places the 'good guys', the Lords of Andunie led by Amandil and Elendil, in a fundamental quandry. They are secretly of the Faithful but Amandil sits in the Council of the Sceptre that advises the King and his house prides itself on being, at once, steadfast in its allegiance to the 'gods' (the Valar) now rejected by much of the people and the new ruling faction, yet also obedient to the 'Heir of Earendil', to the royal house. We have divided loyalty and an environment of increasing persecution of a minority group. 

Then, in the far East, we learn that a Dark Lord is rising/has returned after millennia of peace after the War of the Elves and Sauron, and is assaulting Númenor's Middle-earth colonies and forming a 'theocracy' (to quote Tolkien) that is alarming the elven king Gil-galad, Galadriel, Elrond and many of the native men of Middle-earth. This being calls himself 'Lord of the Earth' and 'King of Men', titles that the King of Númenor - Ar-Pharazon - thinks belong only to him. Ultimately, the Númenóreans are led into war against this rising supernatural threat, not out of any love or alliance with the Eldar as of old, but simply because they believe he is threatening their empire. 

But this being, Sauron in fair form, is taken captive back to Númenor where he ultimately seduces and corrupts its King, gets himself freed from chains to become the monarch's chief advisor, and starts to turn the nation even more towards 'the darkness' through the religious worship of Morgoth (the fallen Vala).

...yada-yada-yada, we all know what happens next - Sauron convinces the King to become basically genocidal against the Faithful (they start human sacrificing them to Morgoth in a temple) and eventually to declare war against the Undying Lands and the Valar themselves under the false premise that this will enable them to escape inevitable mortality, Númenor is destroyed but Elendil and his sons lead survivors to Middle-earth where they found the exiled kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor etc. etc. It eventually leads to the Last Alliance.

What, in essence, is wrong with this story itself? Why couldn't it be fleshed out and adapted well in theory? 

Edited by Krishtotter
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Krishtotter said:

I'm partially in agreement with you, inasmuch as the leaks that have come out recently seem to indicate some seriously jarring things re the quality of the show (i.e. what on earth has someone coming down on a comet and appearing to a group of proto-Hobbits got to do with the Akallabeth????).

However, while this may be an unpopular opinion, I actually like the source material for the Downfall of Númenor. 

The basic frame of the story outlined by Tolkien (as we all know) is of the greatest human civilization - a people blessed with supramundane long life, natural and material resources - destroying themselves through their inability to accept their fundamental mortality and through jealousy of the immortal race, the Elves. 

In the course of exploring this theme, we start with a far-sighted and penitent monarch - Tar-Palantir - who aligns with one religio-political faction in Númenórean society, the Faithful, and tries to bring his kingdom back in line with these beliefs and thus restore good relations with the Eldar and the Valar (gods). He is thwarted in this effort by his own brother, Gimilkhad, who with his son Pharazon leads a rival faction that increasingly reflects the majority sentiment in Númenor: let's reject the old faith, the Elven tongues, friendship with the Eldar and obedience to the Valar and if we can find away of avoiding mortality and conquering as much of the known world as we can. And so the royal house itself echoes the nation it rules in being critically divided over religion, language, politics (i.e. imperialism) and values.  Finally, a civil war and rebellion ensues in which the charismatic but vainglorious nephew of the king, Pharazon, seizes the throne in the name of the rival King's Men faction and forcibly marries the rightful heir, the old king's daughter Míriel, to legitimate his usurpation. 

All of this places the 'good guys', the Lords of Andunie led by Amandil and Elendil, in a fundamental quandry. They are secretly of the Faithful but Amandil sits in the Council of the Sceptre that advises the King and his house prides itself on being, at once, steadfast in its allegiance to the 'gods' (the Valar) now rejected by much of the people and the new ruling faction, yet also obedient to the 'Heir of Earendil', to the royal house. We have divided loyalty and an environment of increasing persecution of a minority group. 

Then, in the far East, we learn that a Dark Lord is rising/has returned after millennia of peace after the War of the Elves and Sauron, and is assaulting Númenor's Middle-earth colonies and forming a 'theocracy' (to quote Tolkien) that is alarming the elven king Gil-galad, Galadriel, Elrond and many of the native men of Middle-earth. This being calls himself 'Lord of the Earth' and 'King of Men', titles that the King of Númenor - Ar-Pharazon - thinks belong only to him. Ultimately, the Númenóreans are led into war against this rising supernatural threat, not out of any love or alliance with the Eldar as of old, but simply because they believe he is threatening their empire. 

But this being, Sauron in fair form, is taken captive back to Númenor where he ultimately seduces and corrupts its King, gets himself freed from chains to become the monarch's chief advisor, and starts to turn the nation even more towards 'the darkness' through the religious worship of Morgoth (the fallen Vala).

...yada-yada-yada, we all know what happens next - Sauron convinces the King to become basically genocidal against the Faithful (they start human sacrificing them to Morgoth in a temple) and eventually to declare war against the Undying Lands and the Valar themselves under the false premise that this will enable them to escape inevitable mortality, Númenor is destroyed but Elendil and his sons lead survivors to Middle-earth where they found the exiled kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor etc. etc. It eventually leads to the Last Alliance.

What, in essence, is wrong with this story itself? Why couldn't it be fleshed out and adapted well in theory? 

All I can say is, from the leaks, this isn't quite the story I sense they're going for. If I'm wrong, and these are the themes they really want to explore, sure, it will at least be interesting 

The problem, of course, is the Valar and Iluvatar don't exactly come out of this smelling of roses. Sure, men have been led astray and do not understand what death is. But in a world where that explanation can actually be had, the Valar and Iluvatar witholding that information for unexplored reasons doesn't make sense. Sure, I suppose they feel giving that information to men is interference, too, but so was granting extended lifespan to the Numenorians, and so is (eventually) destroying the entire island and civilization in wrath. 

Under it all, the Akallabeth's moral premise is "do not question the gods" which I don't think will fly with most viewers. You could maybe spin it that the sending of the Wizards in the next age was a way for the Valar to recompense their total inaction here, but I'm pretty sure such a message is going to be buried under the massive tsunami that takes all of Numenor away.

And so, I suspect we will see Ar-Pharazon and his supporters be over the top evil, all nuance to the tale removed, and that's what the leaks seem to be suggesting. 

Hopefully, I'm totally wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...