The Lord of the Rings TV show might not be about a young Aragorn - plus, everything else you need to know

The Lord of the Rings TV show

When it comes to the Lord of the Rings TV show, there’s still a lot that remains out of our grasp. Whether it’s a trailer, information about the cast, or just a Lord of the Rings TV show release date, Amazon is keeping it all to themselves for the moment, but don’t worry!

We’re ready to speculate about what the show could entail, and the recent release of maps from the official Twitter account have got eager fans theorising about when the show could take place, as it’s looking unlikely that it’ll centre around a young Aragorn... to find out exactly what’s in store, take a glance below to see everything we know about the Lord of the Rings TV show so far!

When is the Lord of the Rings TV show's release date? 

An image from Lord of the Rings

It's unclear, but the good news for impatient viewers is that Amazon has to start production on the show by 2020, or their deal is rendered null and void. Reading between the (legal) lines, we can therefore expect to see the Lord of the Rings TV show on our screens by 2021. There’s potentially scope for a crossover with the movies, too, as Warner Bros executives were brought in to finalise the deal thanks to that very possibility.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon Studios Head Jennifer Salke also corroborated with this timeline, explaining that “It’ll be in production in two years: 2021 is the hope. But there are other people who wish it was 2020.”  Indeed, the project's two lead writers/showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay have already been hired, and Salke promises a concrete game plan to be announced very soon.  

The Lord of the Rings TV show map contains valuable story hints

This tweet doesn’t look that cryptic at first - it’s just a map, right? Wrong. Twitter user elfpropaganda (with the unforgettable handle tolkienthot) certainly knows their stuff, and has managed to figure out that the map depicts a Middle-earth from way before Aragorn was even born - almost 1000 years before, to be precise. Other details they’ve spotted include the fact that Moria (the Dwarven ruin where the Fellowship meet the Balrog) is being referred to by its original name Khazad-dûm, meaning the show probably takes place in the middle of the Third Age. 

Other facts that support elfpropaganda’s Third Age theory is that the map mentions Minas Ithil, a city that fell to the Witch King of Angmar and became Minas Morgul, i.e. that green spooky place that Frodo and Sam see in The Return of the King when they’re climbing up those very steep stairs to get to Shelob’s tunnels. Basically what all that means is that the Lord of the Rings TV show takes place before Aragorn was walking around, so can’t be about him. Hmm.

The Lord of Rings TV show won't involve Peter Jackson, but plans to return to New Zealand 

An image from Lord of the Rings

Sadly, original director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy Peter Jackson has confirmed he isn't involved with Amazon's TV adaptation of the material, confirming at a New York Comic Con panel last year that he's  "kind of looking forward to it" as a viewer instead. "I was a guy who didn't get to see the Lord of the Rings like everybody else because I had to make it", Jackson explained, "so I'm looking forward to seeing somebody else's take on the Tolkien world."

That said, recent reports have confirmed that Amazon is in talks with the New Zealand government to arrange principal filming in Jackson's native country, which so brilliantly brought the original movies to life with its fantastical vistas and colourful biodiversity. Expect lots of aerial shots of snowy peaks, rolling hillsides, and craggy cliff faces, just like before. 

But at the moment there’s trouble in Middle-earth: plans to film the Lord of the Rings TV show in New Zealand are in jeopardy. In December 2018 Amazon executives spoke to David Parker, New Zealand’s Economic Development Minister, about the lack of studio capacity in Auckland. However, both Amazon and the powers-that-be in Auckland seem confident that a solution will be found, so this shouldn’t be too much of an issue for the (literally) billion-dollar series. 

The Lord of the Ring's first season will reportedly focus on young Aragorn

An image from Lord of the Rings

According to recent reports from Lord of the Rings enthusiast site TheOneRing.net, multiple sources at Amazon Studios have confirmed that the first season of the show will chronicle the exploits of a young Aragon, before he ever met Frodo and co in The Fellowship of the Ring. Although the above map seems to suggest otherwise, if Aragon is a part of The Lord of the Rings TV show, there's plenty the series could focus on...

Aragorn’s life before his mysterious appearance at The Prancing Pony is a great unknown. We hear that he’s ‘a ranger’ and we know that his adventures are constantly linked to Elrond’s group of elves, where he eventually fell in love with Arwen. There’s enough structure here to make Aragorn’s story relatable to Rings fans, but heaps of creative license to work with: he’s already had a long life before the movies, he seems to know all the evil creatures they face, and there’s a pre-built romance ready to explore. And, let’s face it, everyone loves a handsome rogue.

The casting of Aragorn will be key, and most rugged, beardy actors have already appeared in Game of Thrones. If you’re looking for a bit of a star casting, someone like Alex Pettyfer or Nicholas Hoult could probably carry off a young Viggo Mortensen. Crucially, neither have been in Thrones. 

Check out which series you should be watching this year with the best new TV shows coming in 2019.