So Jeff Bezos tweeted about Amazon doing a LOTR TV series. Rumors and reports put the acquisition price between $200 million and $250 million. The studio, in a statement, said that they wanted to ““explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.” [1]

And almost at the same time, Christopher Tolkien, longtime custodian of his father’s legacy, resigns Director of the Tolkien Estate, laying down his pen at the age of …93? Man’s truly old now. [2] Christopher is the greatest Tolkien scholar alive, and has been fiercely protecting his father’s work for years: I suspect that now that he has stepped down, the money machine will go to work milking that IP. The Estate had a recent spat with Warner for precisely that.

I’m not sure how to feel about this new turn of events. One one hand, it looks like we might see the immortal love story of Beren and Luthien, or the dark and twisted story of the Children of Hurin – or at the very least a lesser, but competent ‘fanction’ storyline like the LOTR Online MMORPG. They may even build a universe around it, like Marvel is doing with their movies, with multiple spinoffs; a fantasy to end all fantasies.

On the other hand, if it is anything like that hack shit they pulled off in the Hobbit, I want none of that. Middle-Earth is such a rich, detailed and important universe that only the very best of writers should be unleashed upon it. Perhaps Christopher Tolkien was a bit extreme in his custodianship of his father’s work, but his work has been nothing short of magnificent: I’d rather that level of craft than a weakly written megauniverse jacked up for every possible commercial exploitation ever. 

Now come the days of Bezos, the King: may they be blessed.

 What do you think?

[1] press release: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml…

[2] http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2017/11/15/104426-in-historic-move-christopher-tolkien-resigns-as-director-of-tolkien-estate/

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