Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show is now fully in development, but when can audiences expect it to release and what can they expect from it? A few years ago, Christopher Tolkien resigned from the Tolkien Estate, and it was around that time that Amazon Studios confirmed plans to develop a Lord of the Rings TV show for Amazon Prime, though they didn't specify what the show would be about nor if it would tie into Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies.
In November 2017, Amazon Studios acquired the global franchise rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books and announced their commitment to developing a massive, multi-season TV show that would explore Tolkien's Middle-earth before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring. However, that statement didn't mean much as the history of Middle-Earth spans thousands and thousands of years, especially with Lord of the Rings' stories taking place at the tail-end of the Third Age.
Even though Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show is still in the relatively early stages of development - with writing duo JD Payne and Patrick McKay heading the project, with Game of Thrones writer and co-executive producer Bryan Cogman helping oversee the lore - the studio started promoting the new series on social media, which have revealed key details about the story. So when can audiences and Tolkien fans expect the Lord of the Rings TV show to release, and what can they expect from it when it finally does?
Last updated: May 21, 2019
Lord of the Rings TV Show Release Date Info
Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV show is expected to release in 2021. A specific release date hasn't been set for the Lord of the Rings TV show yet, but considering that Amazon Studios' contractual agreement with the Tolkien Estate indicates that the Lord of the Rings TV show must go into production latest by 2020, it makes sense that Amazon is planning for a 2021 release.
Given Amazon tends to have at least one major series release every holiday season, with The Man in the High Castle ending later this year, it would be good to see the Lord of the Rings TV show to release in holiday 2020. That would fall in line with the releases for Jackson's movies. However, having the Lord of the Rings TV show release in holiday 2021 would also give Amazon the opportunity to capitalize on the 20th anniversary of Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
The Lord of the Rings TV Show's Story
The Lord of the Rings TV show is confirmed to take place in the Second Age, but details shown on Amazon's Middle-earth map - such as the inclusion of Numenor and the removal of Mordor (as well as Barad-Dur) - suggest that the series takes place relatively early on in the Second Age, specifically from S.A. 1350 - 1600. Taking that into account, it seems that the Lord of the Rings TV show may focus on the forging of the Rings of Power, considering the fact that Amazon started promoting the Lord of the Rings TV show by quoting lines from the Ring Verse as well as the Rings being created during that time period.
Furthermore, audiences may see the rise and fall of men in Numenor, including the founding of Mordor. Aside from the main Lord of the Rings story, one of the most important time periods in Middle-earth history is the mid-Second Age, which included Sauron's rise and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. The War of the Last Alliance resulted in Sauron's defeat, which was shown at the start of The Fellowship of the Ring. It ultimately ended the Second Age and started the Third Age. Since the Lord of the Rings TV show takes place around the start of the events that lead to this happening, audiences could see it take place throughout the series.