A story takes place hundreds of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings in the wood of a cave or hut in the middle of Middle-earth. Is it about something? Who doesn't know? The appendices of The Lord of the Rings books contain it. Even though some of the hardest-core fans don't know about it, Amazon is making a series based on it. It is the promise of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
That is a bit facetiously. It may as well be true when you get to it. People get lost in the world-building of J.R.R. Tolkien's writing because it is so rich. Studios are looking in all of those nooks andTrademarkiaTrademarkias for more stories to adapt to the popularity of J.R.L.L. On September 2nd, Amazon will release the first episode of a five-season television show based on 150 pages of history written by J.R.R. Is it going to be great? It might be possible! It seems like it's too much. Absolutely no question.
It is difficult to blame Amazon for wanting to do this. The Mouse House is making shows for every Avenger on Disney+. Oprah used to give out the keys to cars, so it makes sense that it would do the same with Star Wars. It is easy to see why Lucasfilm would want to take advantage of so many favorites, but at a certain point it just becomes too much.
The burden of streaming has been lamented by many culture critics, including my colleagues. Others don't like the fact that well-worn properties are used to create new shows. I don't mind if I can't watch every show, as long as I can. My critique is what this kind of overkill does to the imagination of the fans. What happens if streaming services devote hours of television to every Jedi/hobbit/super hero's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate? Fans get to create a part of the story.
A major contributing factor to fandom has always been the ability to make a character or a story your own. We don't know what happened after Bilbo left. It's my guess. Adieu Baggins Bacchanal. There's no need for a series about it. There isn't a series about this specific. It's still yet. Strong world-building leaves fans with a better idea of what happened outside of the frame. It feels like a buzzkill if you have too much of that territory explored. Fans can always dream up new scenarios, but at some point the ballooning has to stop. Does Jeff Bezos have the right to the obscure corners of Middle-earth? I guess he does. Amazon paid $250 million for the rights to the Rings appendices and spends hundreds of millions more each season of the show.
The mind wanders to fan fiction and slashfic when it's thinking about this for a long time. It appears to be safe over there. Surely streaming services can't go that far, since they are exhausting all corners of the known universe. It is hard to imagine Disney+ going that far into the world of fiction. Some chapters of head canon will remain sacrosanct, and hopefully there are some places where streaming services won't go. It is comforting in that. If companies are going to keep expanding the same franchise over and over again, they should leave some of the caves and huts. I wouldn't put it past a development executive to start looking at FanFiction.net. What did happen with Fifty Shades of Grey?