Middle-earth fans rejoice!
By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
For those who enjoy an escape into high fantasy, or for those of us who feel an affinity to hobbits – short, adventurous, and obsessed with food, what’s not to like? – this news will come as a welcome surprise. Amazon Studios confirmed the synopsis after it was first revealed on the Tolkien fan site, theonering.net, although due to filming delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the date for the season’s premiere is yet to be set.
Unfortunately, for those of us for whom Viggo Mortensen’s Aragorn played a significant part in our formative years, it’s unlikely many of our mortal favourites from both the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) or The Hobbit films will be returning, as the television series will be set thousands of years before those tales. Following the rise to power of Sauron – the Dark Lord who featured mostly as a flaming eye in the films – the series will follow a group of plucky protagonists as they confront the growing evil that will eventually culminate in the LOTR events. Some of this ensemble will feature “familiar characters” so the good news is that it’s likely that some of the immortal or long-lived protagonists from previous films will make an appearance.
According to the synopsis, the series “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.” Fans have speculated that material will be taken from Tolkien’s Unfinished Works, set in the rich tapestry of the universe of Eä, and many believe Galadriel and Celeborn will feature heavily.
To do justice to its epic scale, the drama is being filmed once again in the lush landscapes of New Zealand, and allegedly has already cost billions of U.S. dollars, which will make it the most expensive television series in history. We’re sure it’s worth it, as the synopsis is promising a triumphant return to Middle-earth for fans, “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.”