To some, that has been a somewhat-tricky question to answer. The series is not based, after all, on a single work, but rather multiple appendices and supplemental writings beyond just the classic trilogy in the show’s title.
We know there have also been a number of conversations with the Tolkien estate throughout the process. There has been a real effort made in order for the show to feel authentic, and that is something that co-showrunner Patrick McKay noted (per The Hollywood Reporter) when facing a suggestion at TCA this week that the series was only “vaguely connected” to the author’s work:
“I just want to sort of quibble with the ‘vaguely connected.’ We don’t feel that way. We feel like deep roots of this show are in the books and in Tolkien. And if we didn’t feel that way, we’d all be terrified to sit up here. We feel that this story isn’t ours. It’s a story we’re stewarding that was here before us and was waiting in those books to be on Earth. We don’t feel ‘vaguely connected.’ We feel deeply, deeply connected to those folks and work every day to even be closer connected. That’s really how we think about it.”
We feel like the goal with this show is to be both similar and different from what you’ve seen in the Peter Jackson movies. (If you missed the news, Jackson said himself that he is largely disconnected from this show.) It doesn’t want to hit everything that you’ve seen before, but there is a real attempt to crazy a story that adds so much more depth and richness to Tolkien’s world. Basically, it is an attempt to give it even more life.
As for whether or not the series is successful … we’ll have to wait until next month to know for sure.
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Photo: Prime Video