Amazon bought the rights to The Lord of the Rings last year and went on to confirm a web series. Now, this web series will almost certainly not follow the main War of the Ring saga with Sauron and the One Ring and all. It should not, as we already have an iconic, hugely successful trilogy directed by Peter Jackson. That leaves a prequel. Although they likely will not adapt The Hobbit either, I am still including it on this list since, well, you never know. The Hobbit film trilogy was also a huge success, but many diehard JRR Tolkien fans were less than pleased. They asked why a 300-page book was turned into three bloated films instead of two shorter films as was originally planned.
So here is a list of ideas taken from the enchanting world of Middle-earth that Amazon can (and should?) use in making their high-profile web series based on the franchise. Here is hoping for the next Game of Thrones. Well, a less brutal, dark and violent version anyway.
The Hobbit reboot: I loved The Hobbit trilogy by Peter Jackson, but ofttimes it felt like it was bursting at the seams. The plot was spread thinly over too long a runtime. It was as though the makers really wanted to make another LOTR trilogy but they forgot that this time they were working with a 300-page children book, instead of a 1200-odd page tome. The result was three very likeable films, but you could sense that they could have done so much better with two shorter movies. So yes, Amazon should reboot The Hobbit.
A Lobelia Sackville-Baggins sitcom: Lobelia is your typical greedy, small-minded hobbit. But she is more like a human in other ways with a dour disposition and inclination to own what is not hers. Sauron is not the real evil in Lord of the Rings, it’s actually Lobelia. There is an opportunity to make a sitcom on the huge Baggins family and their adventures in the Shire, with Lobelia as the main character instead of Bilbo and Frodo.
Silmarillion: Okay, I know it is explicitly stated that the deal does not cover Silmarillion, but the Third Age has already been done in live action. It makes sense to finally explore the terror-filled reign of Morgoth, the Lucifer of Middle-earth, and Sauron’s master. Also, the Creation of the world of The Lord of the Rings by Eru Ilúvatar (the supreme being in Tolkien’s writings) would look quite lovely on the screen if done well. Maybe a minor adjustment in the deal would do the trick?
Aragorn: One of the main protagonists of LOTR, Aragorn is already an old character by the time the War of the Ring begins. 87 years old to be precise. He is played by Viggo Mortensen, an actor who looked to be in his 30s then, and the reason is Aragorn is one of the Numenor, a race of men in Middle-earth whose members age slowly. A web series on Aragorn’s exploits before he met Frodo and the hobbits would be awesome.
Elves: The immortal, pristine beings are now essential in a lot of fantasy fiction, but they were only limited to Germanic folklore and myths apart from a few works of fiction when Tolkien was writing. Thanks to Tolkien, an epic fantasy story today seems incomplete without elves or elf-like beings. It is worth making a series on the race. Apart from high drama that often accompanies several elf families in the Silmarillion, the series could also explore philosophical implications of being an elf, like what happens when one is an immortal. Does that make one detached from life itself? The perpetual war and suspicion between elves and dwarves could also be traversed and perhaps contextualised in today’s race conflicts. The possibilities are, well, endless.