Amazon, eager to find its own Game of Thrones for its Prime Video, has paid 250 million dollars for the rights to the saga of Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien. In the agreement with the heirs of Tolkien, the Harper Collins publishing house and the New Line Production Company is committed to producing several seasons and the possibility of creating a spin-off of the mother series and it is said that stories will be told before La community of the ring, the novel that starts the trilogy.
Middle-earth has already been transferred to the cinema by director Peter Jackson (some would say he has overexploited it); first, he triumphed with the three films that adapted The Lord of the Rings (with Oscar for best film for The Return of the King included), a success that precisely paved the way for HBO to be animated with Game of Thrones. And, afterwards, he tried to recover that magic by stretching The Hobbit until he also had three movies.
Is there anything to tell that Jackson has not played yet? The neophytes of the saga may surprise you, but the New Zealand director has only touched the tip of the iceberg.
In fact, Christopher Tolkien has lived decades of writings that his father left halfway to death and sketches of what would later be The Lord of the Rings. Peter Jackson already pulled the appendices of The Return of the King to complete the plot of The Hobbit, and Tolkien himself wrote his own Bible of Middle Earth, The Silmarillion. Those responsible for the Amazon series have a choice, and these ten stories could be good inspirations.
1. The Silmarils
Only with the myths of the creation of Middle Earth and the stories of the Valar, the closest thing to gods imagined by Tolkien, Amazon would have for hours and hours of content. These foundational myths are told, as we say, in The Silmarillion, and among the first stories derived from them is that of Elf Feänor and the Silmarils , three jewels of great power that brought together the light of the Two Trees of Valinor (of which Valar would create the Moon and the Sun),
Feänor was very proud of his creation, to the point of beginning to distrust the whole world, believing that they wanted to take away the jewels. Its history is crossed with that of Melkor, the rebellious Valar (a figure similar to Lucifer or the Loki of Norse mythology, not that of the Marvel films), which destroys the Trees and steals the Silmarils, which concentrate the only light that it remains of them. Melkor, called from now Morgoth, flees to the north and Feänor swears to fight against him and recover the Silmarils at all costs.
2. The fall of Númenor
Númenor was the first kingdom of men, an island ceded by the Valar in which this town became a hotbed of explorers and navigators who, with the passage of time, also began to be jealous of the immortality of the elves, of those who in theory were allies. The Numenoreans ended up divided between those who maintained that alliance and those who hated the elves, among whom were Númenor’s own kings.
One of these kings would end up having as a prisoner, first, and then adviser to Sauron, a follower of Melkor, and his challenge became so great that Ilúvatar, the sole creator of Arda (the land), sank the island into the sea. It is the translation to Middle Earth of the myth of Atlantis. The Numenoreans who survived founded the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor, and others remained as followers of Sauron.
3. The Power Rings
Three rings for the elven kings under the sky.
Seven for the dwarf lords in stone houses.
Nine for the mortal men doomed to die.
One for the Dark Lord, on the dark throne
in the Land of Mordor where the Shadows extend.
A ring to govern them all. A Ring to find them,
a Ring to attract them all and bind them in the darkness
in the Land of Mordor where the Shadows extend.
This poem explains what are those Rings of Power to which the One Ring belongs that Frodo must destroy in The Lord of the Rings.
They were forged by the elves following Sauron’s instructions and a series of consequences can be drawn that these rings end up having in their receivers. The human kings, for example, ended up so consumed by their power that they became the Nazgûl, the Ringwraiths, ghostly slaves in Sauron’s service, and at other times in The Lord of the Rings we discovered that both Gandalf and Galadriel have separate rings that belonged to elves.
4. The trips of Aragorn
When Frodo and his Hobbits friends meet Aragorn at the Inn of Pony Pusher, they only know him by his nickname, Strider, and he seems a human with a rather threatening aspect. Then they do not know that, in fact, he is a descendant of the Numenoreans and Isildur’s heir to the throne of Gondor, and that as such, his mother took him to Rivendell, after the death of his father, to hide him among the elves.
There he will fall in love with Arwen, daughter of Elrond, but he can only marry her if he manages to unify the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor. So Aragorn leaves Rivendell and travels throughout Middle-earth, fighting against the hosts of Sauron and acquiring wisdom.
5. Beren and Lúthien
The great love story of the Tolkien saga is that of Beren and Lúthien, a human and an elf who are something like the Tristan and Isolde of Middle-earth. Her father disapproves of their union, so they both flee and live all kinds of adventures. Among them is the recovery of a Silmaril from the hands of Morgoth. It is one of the most important ballads of all those that are included in The Silmarillion , clear predecessor of the later romance between Aragorn and Arwen, human and elf.
6. Túrin’s misadventures
Also the wars against Morgoth leave histories like the one of Turin, that suffers the curse that the evil being threw against its father, Húrin, and that becomes a warrior of great fame and, at the same time, with tendency to surrender to the wrath. An important part of his story is his imprisonment by the dragon Glaurung, and subsequent confrontation against him. The other great dragon in Tolkien’s stories is Smaug, which Bilbo Baggins defeats in The Hobbit.
7. The odyssey of Eärendil
Elrond’s father was Eärendil, a kind of Ulysses from Middle-earth, an experienced sailor who left for Valinor, the land of the Valar, to request help in the war of humans and elves against Morgoth. On his travels by sea, he carried on his ship the Silmaril that Beren and Luthien had taken from Morgoth. The Valar granted him the help he asked for, and launched the great offensive against the original Dark Lord.
The final destination of Eärendil would be to wander eternally through the sky with the Silmaril , turned into a star, and to be the guardian of the Sun and the Moon. He was the first character that Tolkien created from his mythology.
8. The past of Galadriel
Of all the elves we know in The Lord of the Rings, the most powerful is Galadriel, the Lady of Lothlórien. His is one of the rings of power, Nenya, but he is very aware of the connection he has with Sauron and he uses it very rarely. He even tries to hide the three rings given to the elves to prevent his power from being even greater. He left Valinor because he wanted to see Middle Earth and rule his own region.
9. Tom Bombadil
More than for series, this character could perfectly appear in some episode to solve that Peter Jackson left him out of the film The community of the ring. It is a favorite of Tolkien’s readers although it appears briefly in the first book, offering refuge to hobbits as they pass through the Old Forest. He is someone inclined to songs and cheerful, but his true identity is a mystery. He is able to wear the One Ring without being affected, and he is dedicated to protecting the forest and all the creatures that live in it.
10. The fall of Moria
One of the most disturbing places of all who visit the Company of the Ring are the Mines of Moria, ancient kingdom of the dwarves who fell into disgrace after their greed for digging mithril led them to awaken the balrog, an ancient demon of fire . From its fall can also be extracted a series, perhaps even the spin-off to which Amazon has committed.
Or they can try to tell how the Shire is after the War of the Ring, when Frodo and Sam return home and have to rebuild a region plundered and destroyed by the hosts of the wizard Saruman. Material to adapt to a television series, or several, there is plenty left without leaving the stories that Tolkien tells in The Silmarillion, which was already published posthumously. If Amazon claims that they are working with the idea of focusing on periods before The Ring Community, they are likely to choose that path.