The Lord Of The Rings TV Show May Debut With A 20-Episode Season

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Even from the word ‘go,’ we knew Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV show was going to be a Herculean effort.

This is, after all, a TV series adapting the renowned work of J.R.R. Tolkien, so it should come as no surprise that the first season may span 20-episodes in length. Or so says Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey, who has been tapped as a consultant for Amazon’s fantasy-fuelled series.

During a recent interview with Deutsche Tolkein (h/t Geek Tyrant), Shippey suggested that The Lord of the Rings‘ inaugural season may well boast 20 episodes in total – a colossal number for any streaming service – while also offering up one or two pertinent details about where the show is headed. This is a transcript from Deutsche Tolkein, so you’ll have to excuse the broken English.

Amazon has a relatively free hand when it comes to adding something […] very few details are known about this time span… The Tolkien Estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered… Sauron invades Eriador, is forced back by a Númenorean expedition, is returning to Númenor. There he corrupts the Númenoreans and seduces them to break the ban of the Valar. All this, the course of history, must remain the same.

So, it seems pretty certain that Amazon has no plans to interfere with Tolkien’s chronology (and why should they?); instead, they’ll pen a new chapter in Middle-earth’s saga.

And the Powers That Be have left no stone unturned in their quest to assemble the best writers and producers in the industry. Just last week, the streaming giant rolled out a short video introducing The Lord of the Rings creative team, which consists of everyone from Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), to Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), and Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire).

It makes for a pretty exciting ensemble, and we’re quietly confident that the one on the other side of the lens will be just as formidable. No casting details to announce just yet, of course, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on The Lord of the Rings as Amazon’s wildly ambitious series begins to coalesce.