Screenshot of show cover image from Amazon Prime

So I’ve been putting off watching Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Not for any specific reason, mind you.

I’m not mad at it. I’m just trying to understand how you can make a whole-ass series about the Second Age without anything more than the LOTR appendices (which, while pretty lengthy, still don’t seem like enough for a 5-season series). I’m a little scared that they’re going to Hobbitize things and add in a bunch of stupid shit. But I’m willing to give it a shot – maybe I’ll really like it. The showrunners, Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne, did work with the Tolkien estate and scholars, after all. Payne stated in an interview with Vanity Fair:

“We have the rights solely to The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, the appendices, and The Hobbit. And that is it. We do not have the rights to The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, The History of Middle-Earth, or any of those other books…  We took all these little clues and thought of them as stars in the sky that we then connected to write the novel that Tolkien never wrote about the Second Age…. We worked in conjunction with world-renowned Tolkien scholars and the Tolkien estate to make sure that the ways we connected the dots were Tolkien-ian and gelled with the experts’ and the estate’s understanding of the material.”

And McKay said in the same article:

“There’s a version of everything we need for the Second Age in the books we have the rights to. As long as we’re painting within those lines and not egregiously contradicting something we don’t have the rights to, there’s a lot of leeway and room to dramatize and tell some of the best stories that [Tolkien] ever came up with.”

So here goes nothing. I’m going to live-blog my reactions to watching these for the first time. 

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