Why Now is the Perfect Time for a ‘Lord of the Rings’ Television Series

Matthew Loffhagen
New Line
(Photo: New Line)

It’s been over ten years since Peter Jacksons’ Lord of the Rings movie trilogy set a new standard of excellence for cinematic adaptations of existing stories. The movies performed the impressive triple-whammy of earning a smattering of Academy Awards, making bank at the box office, and pleasing hardcore fans of the original novels by JRR Tolkien.

To many, these works have become untouchable; the perfect live action depiction of The Lord of the Rings, and something that could never, ever be topped – especially not by a television series.

In spite of this, it seems that Warner Bros is eager to get some kind of TV adaptation of the expansive book series off the ground, with reports coming in that the studio is attempting to shop the property around to potential interested networks.

Frodo in Lord of the Rings
Source: New Line

So with a Lord of the Rings TV show pretty much an inevitability at this point, will this be an affront to the beloved movies, and a let-down for those who prefer older versions of the classic story?

Not necessarily. It’s easy to see why Warner Bros is looking to make a TV show out of Lord of the Rings at this time – if anything, it’s surprising that it’s taken the company this long to get the ball rolling.

Game of Thrones is pretty much the biggest thing on television right now, and there’s no denying that its source material, A Song of Ice and Fire, is directly influenced by the works of JRR Tolkien.

With a big budget, gorgeously filmed fantasy series taking the TV world by storm, it’s no wonder we’ll be looking at a similar treatment for the granddaddy of the genre.

But can it live up to the last big adaptation?

Frodo and Sam in Lord of the Rings
Source: New Line

If this TV series was coming out immediately after the release of Return of the King, it might be hard to replace that movie in the hearts and minds of fans. Thankfully, though, we’ve since had the far less well received Hobbit trilogy, which has done wonders to prepare Tolkien fans for a different take on the iconic source material.

Thus far we’ve really only seen the live action world of Middle Earth as told by Peter Jackson. Getting a new showrunner with a different vision to interpret the story, especially across an episodic medium that’s perfectly suited to adapting the books over hours and hours of television, could mean a bold, exciting new look at a familiar tale.

So all in all, while the idea of a new Lord of the Rings adaptation might feel a bit risky, now is the perfect time for us to get to see this classic fantasy fiction reimagined for the small screen.