Amazon's LOTR Ending Already Looks Impossible To Pull Off – Screen Rant

Amazon's LOTR Ending Already Looks Impossible To Pull Off – Screen Rant

The War of the Last Alliance is a major event in Middle Earth’s history, incorporating numerous different races and lasting over a decade.
Amazon’s forthcoming TV show, Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power, is an audacious project which may be difficult to pull off convincingly. Details have been largely kept under wraps, but the plan is to show events from the history of Middle Earth, surrounding the creation of the great and terrible One Ring, and the War of the Last Alliance which defeated Sauron the first time around. That war, however, lasted for 12 long and difficult years. Doing it justice on-screen while also keeping it engaging for viewers will be a challenging endeavor.
The Hobbit trilogy of movies was marketed as a prequel to the earlier (and much more successful) Lord Of The Rings trilogy, but this was never what The Hobbit was meant to be. J. R. R. Tolkien’s own intent was that the real prequel to Lord Of The Rings was The Silmarillion, which wouldn’t work as a movie. A dense and myth-laden history of Middle Earth with a truly epic scope, adapting The Silmarillion itself is an absurd notion. There are, however, a few pivotal moments in the history of Middle Earth that could work extremely well, developed into stories in their own right. The Rings Of Power aims to tell the story of things that are only briefly mentioned in Lord Of The Rings. These include the rise of the Dark Lord, Sauron, the forging of the rings of power themselves, the island kingdom of Númenor, and the last great alliance between elves and men. With care, expanding on these events, thousands of years before the stories audiences are more familiar with, could make for deeply satisfying viewing.
Related: Every LOTR Movie Character Returning In The Rings Of Power
However, while there are plenty of potentially suitable stories, some may work more effectively than others. The War of the Last Alliance, in particular, may be difficult to do justice to on-screen. In Lord Of The Rings canon, it involved 12 years of conflict, dwarfing the events shown in movies, like the epic battles in The Two Towers and The Return Of the King. When Haldir of Lothlórien arrives at Helm’s Deep with an army of elves in The Two Towers (a change from the original books), he speaks of the ancient alliance between elves and men, saying, “we come to honor that alliance.” This line is specifically referring to the Last Alliance which The Rings Of Power intends to show. This stresses how this story not only links directly to Frodo’s conflict in Lord Of The Rings, but how the showrunners will be under a lot of pressure to get this right. Successfully realizing the scope and scale of this conflict represents a huge hurdle to The Rings Of Power.
In fairness, The Rings Of Power does have plenty of time to make use of. To acquire the rights to make their series, Amazon’s contract with The Tolkien Estate obliges them to make at least five seasons of TV. TV shows have given good portrayals of long fictional wars before, with one stand-out example being Star Wars: The Clone Wars, expanding a timeline of events that the Star Wars movies didn’t really have time for. Similarly, Babylon 5 showed the Shadow War and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was all about The Dominion War, both of which made for compelling stories (despite the much less focussed writing style of 1990s television).
Overall, Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power is in an interesting, if slightly uncomfortable, place right now. While it will certainly be entertaining enough for casual viewers to enjoy, Tolkien’s work has a devoted fanbase that may be harder to please. These are the people who will be paying careful attention to Amazon’s efforts, some with pre-emptive skepticism, others with cautious optimism. Is making a good TV series about the War of the Last Alliance an impossible goal? Perhaps. But people once said the same thing about making a movie trilogy of Lord Of The Rings, until Peter Jackson did exactly that.
Next: Galadriel Is Very Different In The Rings of Power To LOTR
Xan Indigo is a science fiction and urban fantasy author, and renegade astrophysicist. They have a love of good stories, bad movies, and wild ideas, and can be found on Twitter and Instagram as @XanIndigo.

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