We all know there’s one ring to rule them all… But the number of films and TV shows set in the world of Tolkien’s Middle Earth just continues to grow. The latest addition, if it happens, will be a Lord of the Rings prequel series set in Middle Earth’s Second Age, to be made and released by Amazon.
For those who are not obsessed with Lord of the Rings backstory, the Second Age is the time when Sauron first came to power and was eventually defeated. That introduction narrated by Galadriel in the 2001 film Fellowship of the Ring—that stuff happened during the Second Age. We could get to see more dwarf drama, a younger Galadriel and Gandalf, the witch-king of Angmar before he became the witch-king, and of course, the actual making of the One Ring.
As with a lot of these types of fantasy world spinoffs, it’s not as if Amazon has a complete roadmap to follow in making the Lord of the Rings prequel series Tolkien wrote plenty of notes, and he started a tale about the island of Numenor (Aragorn’s family digs) called Aldarion and Erendis. But he didn’t finish the book, which means the creators of the new LOTR series will be playing with the storylines they know and improvising.
Will Amazon be able to pull it off? That’s the question rolling around in the minds of just about every fan. It’s hard not to think of what happened in the last two seasons of Game of Thrones, which didn’t have the benefit of finished George R.R. Martin books to use as reference. For some of us, those seasons jumped the shark, or perhaps we should say jumped the dragon.
All that to say—it’s not easy crafting a new story in an existing fantasy world, especially when prior films and TV shows are memorably good and the fans demand excellence. But Amazon is moving ahead anyway.
Filming on the Lord of the Rings prequel began back in February 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. You remember—back before the COVID-19 pandemic shut filming down all over the place? Like other productions, LOTR had to go on hold.
But the production is supposed to be back to filming again this month. For now, Amazon is still planning to premiere the series in 2021. And a second season has been ordered and is already in the works—meaning you can expect that with the money that’s being put down, some version of this series will be seen somewhere, if only to make the money back. The production is rumored to cost at least $1 billion, meaning it’s expected to be the most expensive TV show in history, per IMDB.com.