The upcoming Lord of the Rings series for Amazon isn’t just one of the most promising shows for the streaming service, it’s also one of the most anticipated and expensive series in television history. With a five-season commitment from Amazon already, which will make the production cost at least $1 billion, it’s clear Amazon has high hopes for this return to Middle-earth. Three years after it was announced, Amazon has unveiled the first synopsis for the show.
Check out the full synopsis for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings right here:
“Amazon Studios’ forthcoming series brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.”
While the synopsis is rather vague in terms of actual details, it does give viewers a better idea of what to expect in J.R.R. Tolkien’s world. The Amazon series will take place thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and is said to bring viewers the “greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen,” a villain who “threatened to cover all the world in darkness.”
The description also states that the show starts in a time of peace, as the ensemble tries to take on this evil that has struck Middle-earth. The Lord of the Rings show will also include a cast of new characters and familiar ones, although this time period does limit which characters might be returning. While the series was originally thought to focus on the young Aragon, the story shifted to focusing on the Second Age of Middle-earth, and is said to feature Numenor – which hasn’t appeared in the film adaptations – as a central location.
Filming on The Lord of the Rings’ first two seasons has already begun in New Zealand. The two-part pilot has already finished filming, and was directed by Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and The Orphanage director J.A. Bayona. The show has already announced dozens of cast members that will appear in the show, although it is only known who a few of these actors will be playing. Morfydd Clark, who will soon appear in the film Saint Maud, will be playing Galadriel, while Legends of Tomorrow’s Simon Merrells will play the character Trevyn.
For such a massive project, it’s a bit strange that Amazon has decided to go with two relatively unknown writers as creators. J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, who are developing The Lord of the Rings, seemingly have only worked as uncredited writers for Star Trek Beyond, as well as having apparently worked on an early screenplay for a Flash Gordon film. But considering Amazon has decided to give them the reins to such a humongous property, they must have a pretty great concept for this gigantic series.
While Peter Jackson, who directed both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, has said that he may offer advice to the creators of the show, but is otherwise not involved with this new series. The Lord of the Rings was originally expected to premiere on Prime Video in 2021, but it’s unclear if the coronavirus has halted production in any way, considering the pilot is apparently already finished shooting. Either way, it seems like we won’t have to wait long before finally returning to Middle-earth.