Amazon is working on a retelling of the sage of Middle Earth contained in J.R.R. Tolkien's classic fantasy novels, and immortalized on the big screen in Peter Jackson's movie adaptations of The Lord of the Rings. Reporting on Amazon's upcoming Lord of the Rings TV show, the Twitter handle @theoneringnet recently name-dropped some significant characters from Tolkien's mythology who will be making an appearance on the show, namely Sauron, Elrond, and Galadriel.
"Lord of the Rings SDCC update: JA Bayona is CURRENTLY filming in New Zealand, the biggest production in the world to resume filming post-COVID. New NZ cast added. More NZ crew than any production ever. Galadriel, Elrond & Sauron confirmed. Cast has a tighter bond than ever."
From what is known so far, Amazon is reaching far back into the lore of the series, and the show is set to take place in Middle Earth's Second Age, many hundreds of years before the events of The Hobbit led to Bilbo Baggins finding the One Ring.
What this means is that although Elrond, Galadriel, and Sauron have all appeared in The Lord of the Rings, they will likely be very different people, personality-wise, in the upcoming show. During the second age, Sauron was still in possession of his ring and used its power to rule over Middle-Earth as a God-King. Meanwhile, Galadriel and Elrond, instead of being distant advisers, were very much in the thick of it all trying to stop Sauron from gathering his army and turning all the lands into extensions of the desolate Mordor.
Given that the series takes place in the second age, and not even the incredibly long-lived Gandalf was around at that time, it is not feasible to have the main cast of the universally beloved Lord of the Rings movies reprise any of their roles on the show, something which had previously prompted Elijah Wood, who played Frodo Baggins in the films, to take issue with the title of the Amazon show.
"They're calling it The Lord of the Rings,' but I think that's slightly misleading. From what I understand, the material they are working on exists chronologically further back in history in the lore of 'Lord of the Rings' or Middle Earth than any characters represented in 'Lord of the Rings. It sounds more 'Silmarillion' era. Not to get nerdy, but it's the Second Age of Middle Earth."
For many fans, imagining a Lord of the Rings series without Frodo Baggins is unthinkable, and Wood has stated he would be interested in being a part of the show if his appearance makes sense narratively.
"If there was a world where that made sense and was organic to what they're doing than yes. Look, any excuse to get to go to New Zealand to work on something I am absolutely there."
It remains to be seen if the Amazon show will be able to capture the world's imagination like Peter Jackson's movies did, and whether it will be able to take the crown as the most popular fantasy show since Game of Thrones.