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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power


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3 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

The Intro again shows that the time compression is a horrible idea.

The film and merchandise rights. As I understand the rights Tolkien sold to United Artists back in the day did NOT include the rights to make a TV series, so the Estate was able to make the deal with Amazon.

They would probably get a technical win in court, yes. However that win would get them very little and it is just not worth it to jeopardize the current and future deals over peanuts.

Technically speaking, the rights sold in 1969 were "screen rights," which was the terminology of the day but has since caused confusion over what that means. It looks like at some subsequent point the Tolkien Estate clarified the situation (after the Hobbit and Return of the King animated TV films threatened to escalate into legal action) so they retained TV rights in lieu of a massive legal fight, but the Zaentz Company had much greater latitude in merchandising (hence the Zaentz deal making video game and TTRPG spin-offs in the 1980s which they technically didn't have the rights to do). It looks like Zaentz thought he had the better deal there, since who the hell could afford to make a LotR TV show, but then the Estate walked away laughing in 2017 with $250 million.

The fact that the Zaentz Company was cut out of the Amazon deal altogether might be why they're now trying to sell the movies rights out from under Warner Brothers, which WB are very firm that they don't have the rights to do because they got War of the Rohirrim in production before the cutoff date.

Any use of Silmarillion and UT material in Rings of Power must have entailed a fresh legal deal. There could be something along the lines of them being allowed to reference Sil and UT events and have flashbacks to them, but not being allowed to adapt the books directly. There's no way that would be left even to the remotest bit of chance.

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It's unclear who is answering the questions from this article (likely the author himself) 

https://consequence.net/2022/07/lord-of-the-rings-the-rings-of-power-prime-video-adaptation-explained/

but here is what Amazon has rights to according to it

Quote

So, What Specific Books by J.R.R. Tolkien Are Being Adapted?

None! Amazon doesn’t actually have the rights to adapt any book by Tolkien. This isn’t a straight adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, or The Silmarillion. Instead, they have the rights to adapt the settings, characters, and histories of the Second Age. They are also not allowed to contradict any canonical events in the First or Third Ages, so already-established characters like Elrond, at least, are safe from a shocking end-of-season decapitation like Ned Stark suffered in Game of Thrones. 

Worrisome that the Second Age is not specifically mentioned here. 

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4 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

It's unclear who is answering the questions from this article (likely the author himself) 

https://consequence.net/2022/07/lord-of-the-rings-the-rings-of-power-prime-video-adaptation-explained/

but here is what Amazon has rights to according to it

Worrisome that the Second Age is not specifically mentioned here. 

So it is Fanfiction set in the 2nd age using established characters…?

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5 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

So it is Fanfiction set in the 2nd age using established characters…?

Everything is fanfiction from the Second Age unless when directly lifting dialog from the Akallabeth or Aldarion and Erendis.  You want them to make a silent TV show?

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15 minutes ago, Slurktan said:

Everything is fanfiction from the Second Age unless when directly lifting dialog from the Akallabeth or Aldarion and Erendis.  You want them to make a silent TV show?

No.  They could have used the actual stories from the 2nd age.  The creation of the ring.  The foundation of Numenor.  The fall of Eregion…

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2 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

No.  They could have used the actual stories from the 2nd age.  The creation of the ring.  The foundation of Numenor.  The fall of Eregion…

I posted about this earlier in the thread. They have said they are going to do the following storylines:

*The creation of the rings (hence show is called rings of power)

*The rise of Sauron

*The rise and fall of Numenor

*The last alliance

 

They are using "actual stories from the 2nd age". 

 

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7 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

No.  They could have used the actual stories from the 2nd age.  The creation of the ring.  The foundation of Numenor.  The fall of Eregion…

They are doing those stories.

If they were doing those stories only from verbatim Tolkien sources, the show would be 1 hour long and would be a VO documentary. Some degree of creation of new characters, storylines, subplots etc was inevitable.

I do get the opinion that if you can't make a faithful adaptation because it is not possible, you should not attempt any adaptation at all. But I think the issue is also if that an adaptation is inevitable (because money) then there should also be an acceptance that changes from the source material, or in the case of Rings of Power (and House of the Dragon for that matter), massive additions to it are inevitable.

Whether those changes are well-executed or not is another matter, and the dividing line on changes where they are absolutely necessary or if the writers are changing things for the sake of change, will vary a lot.

For example, I don't think anyone cares about the elimination of the 17-year timeskip from the LotR books to the movies, because that was a weird WTF moment in the books that is easily dispensed with. Similarly, if they had compressed the events surrounding the forging of the Rings and the War of Sauron and Elves into a few years, and the events of the Downfall, the founding of Gondor and Arnor and the Last Alliance into another set of few years a timeskip later, that would have been fine. Compressing more than half of the entire Second Age into a few years does sound like a recipe for problems.

Edited by Werthead
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54 minutes ago, Werthead said:

For example, I don't think anyone cares about the elimination of the 17-year timeskip from the LotR books to the movies, because that was a weird WTF moment in the books that is easily dispensed with. Similarly, if they had compressed the events surrounding the forging of the Rings and the War of Sauron and Elves into a few years, and the events of the Downfall, the founding of Gondor and Arnor and the Last Alliance into another set of few years a timeskip later, that would have been fine. Compressing more than half of the entire Second Age into a few years does sound like a recipe for problems.

Thank you.  It is not any and all changes that make me go… “Huh”.  I agree the time compression from the start of the film FotR has a certain degree of sense to it.  But other changes (as I have discussed ad nasueum) had less purpose and more damaging impacts.  The idea of compressing more the two millennia of Tolkien’s legendarum into a few meer decades makes me deeply uncomfortable.  I could be wrong.  It could be amazing.  We will see.

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The trailer and, I believe, some of the info given in those long articles implies that the story starts not long after the end of the War of Wrath. Galadriel is hunting for the remnants of the enemy, but she's told to put down her sword because the war is over. So she gets ship wrecked, we don't know why she is on a ship, and ends up in Numenor which is in all its glory but there is a shadow on it. We see that a cult of Melkor has taken root. A shadow grows in the east as well. Khazad-dum is at the height of its power as well, and mithril is discovered.

It took many centuries for Numenor to become the great empire it was. Sure, some of this can be compressed. You can reason that their expansion could have been achieved faster, but not in just a few decades, especially so fast after the devastation of the War of Wrath. Or is Galadriel obsessively hunting for the remnants of the Shadow for centuries?

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6 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

It took many centuries for Numenor to become the great empire it was. Sure, some of this can be compressed. You can reason that their expansion could have been achieved faster, but not in just a few decades, especially so fast after the devastation of the War of Wrath. Or is Galadriel obsessively hunting for the remnants of the Shadow for centuries?

Perhaps there are centuries of peace but then a resurgence, other Sauron cultists turn up, maybe orcs are seen gathering and Galadriel decides to investigate at that point.

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On 7/29/2022 at 11:26 PM, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

No.  They could have used the actual stories from the 2nd age.  The creation of the ring.  The foundation of Numenor.  The fall of Eregion…

There are no actual stories from the second age except the two I mentioned. There is a tale of years with massive gaps that takes up roughly two paperback pages.  Say for example the war of the elves and Sauron is 6 entries encompassing 12 sentences.  You want to make a tv show about that which isn't 99% fanfiction other than those 6 vague events? Again do you want a silent movie with a cue card for all the sentences or maybe one at a time?

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4 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

So what part of the canon does Amazon own the rights to? I had heard it was only a couple hundred pages of supplementary material, but now I’m seeing claims that they own the rights to both the main trilogy and The Hobbit.

JRR Tolkien sold the movie rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, which is what the Peter Jackson movies are based on. The Hobbit movies make use of the appendix to The Lord of the Rings. The Amazon deal is a different story. It's about TV rather than movie rights and they payed a ton of money. And the deal was made after Christopher Tolkien, who opposed all adaptions, had stepped down as chairman of Tolkien estate. I'm not sure that the details of the deal with Amazon have been disclosed, but allegedly they paid 250 million dollars, which must have bought them more than the rights to some appendix. 

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20 hours ago, Slurktan said:

There are no actual stories from the second age except the two I mentioned. There is a tale of years with massive gaps that takes up roughly two paperback pages.  Say for example the war of the elves and Sauron is 6 entries encompassing 12 sentences.  You want to make a tv show about that which isn't 99% fanfiction other than those 6 vague events? Again do you want a silent movie with a cue card for all the sentences or maybe one at a time?

If you merely stick to LOTR Appendices, sure. If you look at what Tolkien actually wrote, you have a lot of stuff, tens and tens of pages. Which is why you have to be a complete lunatic to actually do "2nd Age" series without having actual access to Silm and Unfinished Tales material.

Heck, were I the Tolkien Estate, I would've actually checked if I couldn't stop them from doing something that silly, because when you have rights to Hobbit and LOTR, you should basically be stuck with 3rd Age stuff, even merely late 3rd Age stuff, as far as I'm concerned. That the Estate didn't do a thing led me, alas, to suspect that, after Christopher's death, they've just become greedy without any consideration for Tolkien's literary creation and legacy.

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On 8/1/2022 at 3:01 AM, The Bard of Banefort said:

So what part of the canon does Amazon own the rights to? I had heard it was only a couple hundred pages of supplementary material, but now I’m seeing claims that they own the rights to both the main trilogy and The Hobbit.

They have the following rights:

  • TV rights to The Lord of the Rings (and its appendices) and The Hobbit
  • Unspecified rights from New Line Pictures and Warner Brothers, which is believed to include the rights to certain visual designs and cues from the movie trilogies
  • It appears unspecified "extra" rights to other Tolkien-written material on a case-by-case basis, but not the full rights to The Silmarillion or Unfinished Tales
  • The film rights to The Hobbit once Amazon's acquisition of MGM is completed
On 8/1/2022 at 8:01 AM, Loge said:

Allegedly they paid 250 million dollars, which must have bought them more than the rights to some appendix. 

It was the TV rights to LotR and The Hobbit in full, plus unspecified access to other Tolkien writings.

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1 minute ago, Werthead said:

They have the following rights:

  • TV rights to The Lord of the Rings (and its appendices) and The Hobbit
  • Unspecified rights from New Line Pictures and Warner Brothers, which is believed to include the rights to certain visual designs and cues from the movie trilogies
  • It appears unspecified "extra" rights to other Tolkien-written material on a case-by-case basis, but not the full rights to The Silmarillion or Unfinished Tales
  • The film rights to The Hobbit once Amazon's acquisition of MGM is completed

It was the TV rights to LotR and The Hobbit in full, plus unspecified access to other Tolkien writings.

Interesting. So we’ll probably get more LOTR shows in the years to come then.

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2 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Interesting. So we’ll probably get more LOTR shows in the years to come then.

Possibly. The deal was for one five-season show with an option for a possible spin-off (with the Estate's approval).

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Not sure which thread to put this, so I'll just put it here.

Am I the only one feeling a bit overwhelmed with shows this next month? IN a good way. I can remember a time where we would wait years for a single movie in a given franchise. Within a single 30 day window, we'll have new shows starting in Middle Earth, Star Wars, and Westeros. (Not to mention another Marvel show). That's a new show for three of my all time favorite franchises ever. If Wheel of Time came out, it would round out my top 4.

I respect concerns about timeline compression of Second Age, quality of new show vs money grab, etc, but damn: I'm looking forward to these next few months.

 

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