As Game of Thrones nears its series finale, there's a new fantasy drama primed to take its place. In case you haven't heard, Amazon is working on a Lord of the Rings series, and based on fan reception alone, it might be the next best thing to happen to television.
After it won a bidding war against Netflix, Amazon procured the rights to Tolkien's series, which reportedly cost around $250 million. The deal affords the studio a five-season show that will bring the One Ring story to everyone's screens — but that doesn't even factor in production costs. If you throw in possible expenditure on casting, production, visual effects, and marketing, the series could cost Amazon close to a billion dollars, literally giving GoT a run for its money. It might even go down in history as the most expensive series ever made!
So what's the deal with this pricey Amazon project? How does it relate to the books and films, and who will star? Let's dig in.
What will Amazon's Lord of the Rings show be about?
The unnamed show's plot is still under wraps, but fans have long theorized it will center on the life of younger Aragorn, who was portrayed by Viggo Mortensen on the big screen. Popular LOTR fan site TheOneRing.net claimed that according to "sources," we might be getting a deep dive into Aragorn's family history, as well as his ascension as king of Gondor.
However, the show's latest developments might have debunked that rumor. On Thursday, the official Amazon LOTR Twitter account dropped another hint about the plot, along with a map of where the series would take place.
"Welcome to the Second Age," the tweet read. Since Aragorn was born in the Third Age, it's safe to say he won't be in the show.
Since it's confirmed the series will be about the Second Age, it could cover events like the development of Rivendell, the dwarves settling in the kingdom of Moria, the rise of Lord Sauron, and a whole lot more. Excited yet?
When will Amazon's Lord of the Rings show take place?
Don't give up hope on the Third Age just yet. It's very possible the series will feature multiple timelines. If you look closely, the map also shows Númenor, a lost city that was destroyed way before Frodo and Aragorn's time. It was once home to the Dúnedain, a race of man Aragorn descends from. Depending on the years the show covers, an exploration of Aragorn's past is still a possibility.
Who will star in Amazon's Lord of the Rings show?
Unfortunately, since the series is a prequel, we can't expect the actors we know and love to appear (unless the show flashes forward). What we do know is two talented writers are taking the helm — JD Payne and Patrick McKay. Neither has TV writing credits, but they previously worked on the upcoming Star Trek 4 and Disney's Jungle Cruise. What's more, there are rumors Peter Jackson is involved in order to preserve the creative vision of the LOTR franchise. While he may no longer direct, he could executive produce and serve as a creative consultant.
When will Amazon's Lord of the Rings show air?
We have a long wait until the Lord of the Rings series graces our screens. According to Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, the show will be "in production in two years," with the premiere date set some time in 2021.