If there’s one criticism you’ll never hear leveled at Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it’s that the films were light on content. On the contrary, the amount of author J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium Jackson managed to cram into his trio of three-hour epics – longer, if you shell out for the Extended Edition home releases – is nothing short of amazing. That said, there are limits to how much material any filmmaker can squeeze into even the most butt-numbingly long cinematic outing. Ultimately, cuts had to be made.
As a result, many hardcore fans have been left clamoring to see more of this world and its history adapted for the screen. Not even the release of the Hobbit prequel trilogy was able to fill this void – which explains why Amazon has greenlit a big-budget Lord of the Rings TV series, which promises to depict events from the books only hinted at in the movies. While this is undeniably exciting news, based off what we know about the show so far, it’s important fans accept that some of their favorite Middle-earth moments still won’t wind up being reimagined on film.
10 The New Shadow
True Tolkien aficionados will already be aware of this, but for those not fluent in Elvish, The New Shadow is the title of the aborted sequel to The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien took several stabs at a follow-up to his magnum opus before tossing it in the trash for good less than a chapter in.
So while there’s a slight chance at least some of the material on this list could sneak its way into the Amazon series, we’re 100% confident nothing from The New Shadow will see the light of day. For one thing, Tolkien obviously never finished it – although that arguably wouldn’t stop Hollywood – and for another, it’s set in the Fourth Age, several thousand years after the show’s Second Age setting.
9 The Hunt For Gollum
Let’s just address something now: You’re going to see Aragorn’s name crop up a lot on this list. That’s partly because early rumors about the Amazon Lord of the Rings series mooted everyone’s favorite Ranger-turned-King as its main protagonist – so he’s still very much at the forefront of our minds. But there’s another, more logical reason why we’re fixated on Aragorn’s past: Dude lived a crazy-eventful life prior to his introduction in the films.
Seriously, even the least exciting of his escapades - his quest to track down Gollum - still constitutes a major development in the Lord of the Rings’ backstory. Indeed, it’s only thanks to Aragorn’s efforts here that Gandalf could interrogate Gollum for vital intelligence concerning the One Ring, a significant plot point the Amazon show won’t touch upon due to its Second Age milieu.
8 The Blue Wizards’ Adventures
Much like in Tolkien’s novels, Gandalf the Grey and Saruman the White are the most prominent wizards in The Lord of the Rings movies, with Radagast the Brown playing a small but memorable supporting role in The Hobbit. However, these three aren’t the only sorcerers at large in Middle-earth; an off-hand comment by Gandalf reveals the existence of two Blue wizards, however, we never meet them – not even in the books!
This clearly presents a great opportunity for the Amazon series to finally reveal what the Blue Wizards were up to during the War of the Ring, exploring the likewise unseen Eastern regions of Middle-earth in the process. The only snag? According to Tolkien’s established timeline – which he admittedly tinkered with in later life – the wizards didn’t arrive on the scene until the Third Age, long after events of the TV show.
7 The War Of Wrath
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies are renowned for their epic battle scenes. But those titanic clashes barely rate as minor skirmishes compared to the conflicts in The Silmarillion. Released posthumously, The Silmarillion is essentially Middle-earth’s answer to the Old Testament, and the struggles between good and evil within its pages are about as bombastic as that description suggests.
It’s hard to say which battle in this tome is the most impressive, but the War of Wrath sure is a doozy. Supercharged elves engage dragons in day-long duels, while demi-gods and other celestial beings enter the fray. The world is literally never the same again after the landscape itself is altered by the ensuing fallout! Annoyingly, the War of Wrath went down just before the start of the Amazon series – but we still have our fingers crossed that it might appear, however briefly, in flashback.
6 Aragorn’s Incognito Military Career
As anyone who has read The Lord of the Rings – or watched the Extended Edition of The Two Towers – can attest, Aragorn is quite a bit older than he looks. We’re not talking about a few years, either: despite presenting as a fit fortysomething, Aragorn is actually well into his 80s! One of many benefits of this protracted lifespan is that it afforded the man who would eventually ascend the throne of Gondor plenty of time for adventuring.
According to Middle-earth canon, Aragorn fought alongside both the Riders of Rohan and his own people, adopting the alias Thorongil so that he could fly under the radar. This could provide fertile storytelling ground for the creative team behind the Amazon TV series – but unless the narrative includes a massive time jump from the Second Age into the Third, there’s no chance it’ll happen.
5 The Tale Of Beren And Lúthien
What’s the greatest love story in Middle-earth’s history? If you said "Aragorn and Arwen," you are mistaken. Don’t get us wrong: The romance between those two is undeniably beautiful – especially as recounted in the appendices to The Lord of the Rings – but it pales in comparison to the raw power of the Tale of Beren and Lúthien featured in The Silmarillion.
Fittingly enough, the pair are Aragorn and Arwen’s (distant) ancestors, who were themselves star-crossed lovers: Beren a mortal man and Lúthien an ageless elf. Together, they stood firm against staggering odds – they even went head-to-head with Sauron, as well as his boss, Morgoth – so it’s too bad this all occurred millennia before the Amazon TV show kicks off!
4 War With The Witch-King
Sauron’s defeat at the end of the Second Age meant that the Dark Lord was out of action when the Third Age rolled around. Fortunately for him (if not for the rest of Middle-earth), Sauron’s chief lieutenant, the Witch-King, was on hand to carry on his master’s not-so-good work, waging war against the northern kingdoms.
Once again, it’s beyond frustrating that this time period falls outside the scope of what the Amazon TV series will cover. Not only is the Lord of the Nazgûl’s campaign of terror an action-packed affair, but it also encompasses events that set-up backstory elements that are ultimately paid off further down the line in The Lord of the Rings (more on that later).
3 Dagor Dagorath
Most mythologies have an “end times” legend, and the lore created by Tolkien is no different. The name of the apocalypse he devised was Dagor Dagorath – which translates to “Battle of Battles” – and it amounts to nothing less than the final, conclusive showdown between the powers of light and darkness.
Sounds like great fodder for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series, right? That may well be the case, but there are a few roadblocks here. For starters, the show takes place during the Second Age, presumably several millennia before Middle-earth meets its inevitable doom. Then there’s the not-so-insignificant fact that Dagor Dagorath’s canonical status is at best dubious – Tolkien ditched the concept during subsequent world-building exercises – so it’s unlikely we’ll ever see it portrayed in any adaptation!
2 The Line Of Kings Is (Almost) Broken
Whether you’re a Lord of the Rings fan familiar with the books or the movies, you’ll know that Gondor went without a king for centuries, until Aragorn is crowned in The Return of the King. But only those who’ve read the novels will know how the throne wound up empty in the first place – and while it’s a story that deserves to be told, it can’t possibly fit the timeline of the Amazon TV series.
For those too lazy to read the source material themselves, what it boils down to is that over 800 years before Aragorn was born, the Witch-King challenged his ancestor, King Eärnur to a duel. Eärnur accepted and ventured into the dark fortress Minas Morgul, never to return. This seemingly ended the line of succession forever and destabilized the world of Men for centuries (way to go, dude).
If The Silmarillion is Middle-earth’s Old Testament, then the opening section, Ainulindalë, is its Book of Genesis. In this creation myth, the origins of Middle-earth (along with the rest of Arda) are explained, while the following section, Valaquenta, answers several questions casual Lord of the Rings fans have, providing the full low down on Sauron, Gandalf, and other supernatural beings.
Now, it’s entirely possible that Ainulindalë could serve as the prologue to the Amazon TV series, before the narrative fast forwards to the Second Age. But honestly, we think that’s a longshot – if for no other reason than the story’s somewhat abstract nature would be difficult to replicate on screen.