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LOTR series: a view of the Two Trees


Ser Scot A Ellison
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1 hour ago, fionwe1987 said:

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.

Those are good points and I agree re the King's Men. It is worrying if they reduce the King's Men to mere 'bad guys', without taking into consideration the very valid philosophical/existential angst and confusion that lies at the root of their rejection of the Valar and Eru (by the Sauron phase, they come to believe that Eru Himself is a myth invented by the Valar to control men and keep them in ignorance). 

In the pre-Sauronian phase, before he comes to Númenor and it gets nasty with the human sacrifice rituals, their 'rebellion' against the ban of the Valar is at least sympathetic (even if what they do with it isn't i.e. imperialism) and we can share their incredulity at not receiving an answer as to the alleged 'gift of Men' and their ultimate fate. 

This, I think, is symbolized by Pharazon's youthful friendship with Amandil - although he becomes progressively corrupted, like his people, by jealousy and lust for power - it is clear that he does not start out as a uniformly evil character. He has clear motivations and is described as generous with the people of Númenor (and is capable of being best friends with the leader of the Faithful faction, no less!).

From Tolkien's writings, we - of course - also learn that 'immortality' (in his legendarium) is not perceived by the Eldar to be an eternal blessing either, inasmuch as they fade and are bound to the world yet also need to essentially 'step back' and let the Dominion of Men, the mortals, over Arda take place. 

As it is stated in the Akallabeth itself, when the Messengers from Valinor speak with the King of Númenor: 

 

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But the King said: ‘And does not Eärendil, my forefather, live? Or is he not in the land of Aman?’

To which they answered: ‘You know that he has a fate apart, and was adjudged to the Firstborn who die not; yet this also is his doom that he can never return again to mortal lands. Whereas you and your people are not of the Firstborn, but are mortal Men as Ilúvatar made you. Yet it seems that you desire now to have the good of both kindreds, to sail to Valinor when you will, and to return when you please to your homes. That cannot be. Nor can the Valar take away the gifts of Ilúvatar. The Eldar, you say, are unpunished, and even those who rebelled do not die. Yet that is to them neither reward nor punishment, but the fulfilment of their being. They cannot escape, and are bound to this world, never to leave it so long as it lasts, for its life is theirs. And you are punished for the rebellion of Men, you say, in which you had small part, and so it is that you die. But that was not at first appointed for a punishment. Thus you escape, and leave the world, and are not bound to it, in hope or in weariness. Which of us therefore should envy the others?

And the Númenóreans answered: ‘Why should we not envy the Valar, or even the least of the Deathless? For of us is required a blind trust, and a hope without assurance, knowing not what lies before us in a little while. And yet we also love the Earth and would not lose it.’

(p.312)

 

 

The crux seems to be about learning to accept the "fulfilment (and limitations) of one's own being" and the perils of trying to evade it (or fooling oneself into thinking that humans can ever become immortal/like gods, even if we do have extended lifespans or more healthier/pleasurable lives). 

There was one leaked audition script that does seem to be alluding to some of this - at least, that is, the religious dimension of the Faithful/King's Men political divide:

 

https://redanianintelligence.com/2020/09/26/audition-for-amazons-lord-of-the-rings-hints-at-possible-recast-and-other-casting-tidbits/

 

Quote

Loda: Yet you intend to go the wrong way. Were you to head north you’d run right into our rearguard, but were you to head south instead, you might be in for a much warmer reception. Here in the citadel (Armenelos?) many think the old traditions are myth, superstitions. But in the southern reaches they say there are still outlaw tribes living off the land, clinging to the old traditions, speaking the old tongue. Among our restless youths it’s become a fashionable escape to seek them out

 

 

Edited by Krishtotter
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The Downfall of Numenor would be excellently suited for adaptation as, say, the back two or three seasons of a five or six-season show about the story of the Ring in the Second Age. The first three seasons could be about the forging and the War of Sauron and Elves, and you can go back in time as much as you like for setup or cut away to what's going on in Numenor. And then in the second half of the show you jump forwards to Akallabeth.

Starting with Akallabeth and focusing on that alone, okay, it's weird (it's the second half of the main story in the Second Age), but you can roll with it. You just can't make 5-6 seasons out of it and you shouldn't really be pouring tons and tons of new characters into it. You need some new characters, obviously, but making up entirely new branches of the major family trees I think should be avoided.

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15 hours ago, Werthead said:

The Downfall of Numenor would be excellently suited for adaptation as, say, the back two or three seasons of a five or six-season show about the story of the Ring in the Second Age. The first three seasons could be about the forging and the War of Sauron and Elves, and you can go back in time as much as you like for setup or cut away to what's going on in Numenor. And then in the second half of the show you jump forwards to Akallabeth.

Starting with Akallabeth and focusing on that alone, okay, it's weird (it's the second half of the main story in the Second Age), but you can roll with it. You just can't make 5-6 seasons out of it and you shouldn't really be pouring tons and tons of new characters into it. You need some new characters, obviously, but making up entirely new branches of the major family trees I think should be avoided.

It's also weird that they're supposedly doing prologue episodes with the Sil & Forging stuff and adding storylines with hobbits, somebody arriving via meteor, Father Orcs, Khazad-Dum, all kinds of new characters etc. All in 8 episodes, supposedly. Makes me wonder if the show itself might feel overstuffed.

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9 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

What is this BS about some arriving on a meteor? Sorry, I didn't click on all the links in the thread as I'd rather not know all the leaks, but this would take the cake for me.

A leak claims that a character will arrive in Middle-Earth via a crashing meteorite and will land near an early Hobbit village. They will apparently suffer from amnesia. The top candidate seems to be Gandalf. 

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1 hour ago, Ser Drewy said:

A leak claims that a character will arrive in Middle-Earth via a crashing meteorite and will land near an early Hobbit village. They will apparently suffer from amnesia. The top candidate seems to be Gandalf. 

What if this entire LOTR series is just a front and the project is really just an expensive remake of Outlander (not the series, but the film starring Jesus) :P

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1 minute ago, Ran said:

There's even a leaked image...

:crying: 

Rofl.

I do agree that there doesn't seem to be enough material in the Akallabeth for 6 seasons. They'll have to invent a LOT, which may have been part of their motivation, in that they get to do whatever they want?

I can imagine that the capture of Sauron is going to be somewhere around the end of season 2, then a couple of seasons to build up to the attack on Valinor and Iluvatar's intervention, and then 2 seasons of the establishment of Arnor and Gondor and the last alliance with the Elves?

But yes, all the nuance that Tolkien imbues into this story... I'm very worried the falling meteors and other cataclysms are going to become the point and obliterate all this. 

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17 hours ago, Werthead said:

Starting with Akallabeth and focusing on that alone, okay, it's weird (it's the second half of the main story in the Second Age), but you can roll with it. You just can't make 5-6 seasons out of it and you shouldn't really be pouring tons and tons of new characters into it. You need some new characters, obviously, but making up entirely new branches of the major family trees I think should be avoided.

There's plenty of material to the end of the SA that could fill up 6 seasons as there isn't just the Akallabeth.  And that's without even adding Sauron and the elves making the rings.  Its just not stuff you personally want to see obviously.

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I already had to suspend a ton of disbelief even when reading how Tolkien crafted his world. Illuminating lanterns and trees, people living in darkness, etc. Now the show is adding their equivalent of Major Kong? heehaa. 

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2 hours ago, Ser Drewy said:

A leak claims that a character will arrive in Middle-Earth via a crashing meteorite and will land near an early Hobbit village. They will apparently suffer from amnesia. The top candidate seems to be Gandalf. 

Wow… that is incredibly… stupid.

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1 hour ago, Slurktan said:

There's plenty of material to the end of the SA that could fill up 6 seasons as there isn't just the Akallabeth.  And that's without even adding Sauron and the elves making the rings.  Its just not stuff you personally want to see obviously.

No.  Just no.

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2 hours ago, Slurktan said:

There's plenty of material to the end of the SA that could fill up 6 seasons as there isn't just the Akallabeth.  And that's without even adding Sauron and the elves making the rings.  Its just not stuff you personally want to see obviously.

The combined total of all the pages that Tolkien wrote on the Akallabeth period is, maybe if you're generous, about 35 (not counting the earlier draft material from HoME that was discarded or rendered non-canon by later material). There is really sweet fuck-all about it to turn into a 40-48-hour television series without resorting to inventing BS.

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I really haven’t been up to date in this show other than what I’ve read in this thread but this seems like a giant shit show. Maybe like Witcher it will be okay with butchering the source material because production and acting is good enough. But considering the complaints I’ve seen on WoT this is probably not going to be well reviewed by anyone who has read the source so they better appeal to non readers.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

The combined total of all the pages that Tolkien wrote on the Akallabeth period is, maybe if you're generous, about 35 (not counting the earlier draft material from HoME that was discarded or rendered non-canon by later material). There is really sweet fuck-all about it to turn into a 40-48-hour television series without resorting to inventing BS.

My thinking was the Fall of Numenor would be a huge finale in like the third or fourth season of the show, with the Last Alliance stuff following it. I mean, I figured they'd easily make the Forging the main storyline of season one, with the war of Elves and Sauron kicking off at the end and being a big focus in season 2. I imagined Numenor would be weaved throughout the show taking a more central role as we move towards the Fall. But Isildur and Elendil are apparently the main characters here.

The forging of the Rings possibly being a flashback during a show about the Second Age is just so weird to me. It's just so important. It's one of the events of that Age. I'm just not following the thinking with some of this stuff at all. 

Edited by Ser Drewy
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2 hours ago, DMC said:

I refuse to believe the meteor rumor until I see it.  That's just...

After what that got me on WoT, I'm now entering this show prepared for the very worst. That way, there's less opportunity for disappointment.

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5 hours ago, Werthead said:

The combined total of all the pages that Tolkien wrote on the Akallabeth period is, maybe if you're generous, about 35 (not counting the earlier draft material from HoME that was discarded or rendered non-canon by later material). There is really sweet fuck-all about it to turn into a 40-48-hour television series without resorting to inventing BS.

There is sweet fuck all to anything other than the Silmarillion or LOTR.  Of course you are going to need to invent stuff.

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15 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

After what that got me on WoT, I'm now entering this show prepared for the very worst. That way, there's less opportunity for disappointment.

I get the distinct impression that Amazon are sweating shit-buckets over LotR, and in a way the massive success of WoT has put even more pressure on them: fail to match or even massively exceed WoT's level of success, given the show has a minimum of 3x the budget and resources (and possibly as much as 6x) and a much greater level of brand awareness and heads will absolutely roll behind the scenes.

I find it mind-boggling that we are eight months from transmission and we don't even know what the show will be called.

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I find it a bit strange how Amazon shelled out so much money for material that is basically the Akallabeth, a few drafts, a timeline and some notes. And also decided they wanted almost 50 hours of TV from it. 

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