The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is about to take us to an unexplored period in Tolkien’s legendarium, but that wasn’t always the case according to showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay.
Apparently, the process at Amazon Studios involved a lot of brainstorming, and it wasn’t as if the company was making a beeline for the story of Sauron and the creation of the titular rings of power. As Payne explained in the latest issue of Total Film magazine, there were a lot of writers and teams constantly pitching their ideas.
“When we first went up for the job, we were told there were literally dozens of other people who were also throwing their hat in the ring, and everyone was coming in with different things. Amazon bought the rights to the trilogy, the appendices, and The Hobbit. They said the field was wide open – any story within that material, you could tell. So you had people pitching the Young Aragon show, or the Gimli spinoff, or other kinds of things.”
The idea of a young Aragorn going around the West as a Dúnedain ranger and righting every wrong is intriguing, to say the least. But ultimately, what story could they possibly come up with to support that pitch for a multi-season series?
Perhaps that’s the reason the powers that be eventually decided to give the reins to Payne and McKay.
“‘They wanted to make something that felt worthy of Tolkien,’ Payne continued. ‘And as we really thought about it, and culled through the material, and saw all different kinds of stories – that story of the Second Age, the Dark Lord Sauron, and the Fall of Númenor, and the fight against Sauron at Mount Doom. That arc of the major Second Age events felt like such an amazing, untold story.’”
The Rings of Power will explore that tale in earnest and through a five-season arc, the first of which is set to debut on Sep. 2.