Many of us do not cease to wonder how it would feel to explore Middle-earth. The idea of walking through Tolkien’s fictional land, situated between Aman and the Land of the Sun, perhaps meeting Elves, Ainurs, Dwarfs and adorable Hobbits, sounds like a dream to many of us.
Tolkien had us fall in love with his dream-land and follow his heroes on their journeys. The movies made us feel a bit closer to how it might have looked when Tolkien was imagining his fable. However, some of us were left wanting even more. In that case Amazon has got your back. In November 2017, Amazon beat Netflix and HBO to win a $250 million rights deal to produce at least five seasons of a Lord of the Rings TV series, writes Alex Flood for NME.
The twitter account for the series came to life on February 13th with Tolkien’s quote in which he described the creation of the fantastical world of Middle-earth that we came to love: “I wisely started with a map.” In this fashion, Amazon decided to tease future viewers of the series.
Fans all over the world are already worked up, counting the days until the release — which is slated to happen sometime in 2021, according to NME.
Links to a series of interactive maps of Middle-earth have been posted on LOTRonPrime social media, along with lines from J.R.R. Tolkien’s epigraph to The Lord of the Rings which begins:
“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky”.
The series itself is shrouded in mystery with not much detail of its release being shared on the internet. The only firm detail so far is that Star Trek film writing team J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have been brought onboard as showrunners.
The possible involvement of Peter Jackson on this project is still a matter of speculation; while news outlets including IGN Germany reported in June 2018 that Jackson would be “putting the creative team [behind the series] together,” Digital Spy approached his agent who, they write, “told us [on Thursday, June 7th] that the director is not involved in Amazon’s project at this time.”
In a December 2018 interview for Comicbook, Jackson said “I don’t have thoughts on it because I haven’t seen [anything]. I think they’re going to send us some scripts to see if we can help them along. I wish them all the best and if we can help them we certainly will try. It’s a big task.”
With so many unknown facts and without precise details, LOTR fans are left to ponder over the meaning of the map. Many started doing so immediately, and soon began hotly debating what the storyline for the first series will be about, based on their interpretation of the map.
Rumors that it will focus on a young Aragorn could be dashed, wrote TheOneRing.net on February 21st, because “the region widely known as Rohan is designated as Calenardhon,” but “Aragorn wasn’t born until … over 400 years after the region was renamed.”
The downloadable maps are drawn in the beloved Tolkien-like style that served to guide readers through his fictional world. They allow fans to zoom in and scroll around to familiarize themselves with the layout of the land.
The first map to be released featured no text, leaving fans to compare it to Tolkien’s own drawings. Two more updated versions were subsequently added to the site, each with a little more detail in terms of place names. We anticipate that more will be added as the release date grows closer.
The task in front of the creators of the series is huge, as the rendition must be perfect in order to compete with both Tolkien’s and Jackson’s masterpieces. Devoted fans, many of whom are experts on the entire history and lore of Middle-earth are already studying the map and they will sure be very detailed in judging the upcoming series.
It seems that the Amazon crew is aware of this as they have already spent $250 million on a deal with the Tolkien Estate when purchasing the rights. So far, it has been the most ambitious project to come from Amazon Studios.
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