Amazon's 1 Billion Investment In Middle Earth Determines Fate Of Streaming?

$250 million on the rights. $465 million on the first season alone. The unparalleled expenditure by Jeff Bezos and Amazon in acquiring, building, and releasing 5 seasons of Lord of the Rings concerns analysts this may be the beginning or end to a new age of streaming. Truth or Fiction?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-24/with-rings-of-power-amazon-amzn-bets-a-billion-that-streaming-tv-hasnt-peaked

Amazon Prime pays for itself with free shipping, so anything they want to offer on streaming is a bonus to me. I like Lord of the Rings. I have no earthly reason not to watch.

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And I don’t plan to watch a minute of it. So I guess Bezos is wasting money where I’m concerned.

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This is the next logical step for “Prestige TV” that I’m not going to watch.

Bloat on fetid beast! I can’t wait to see what replaces you!

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Being able to throw a Billion Bucks at adapting what is essentially supplementary material in the back pages of a book AND still having enough left over to build rockets to the moon is a sure sign you have TOO MUCH MONEY.

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Why are they adapting The Lord of the Rings again? We just got a really good film adaptation very recently and I’m not that old.

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It’s a prequel to the movies basically unoriginal to Tolkien. I’m not sure what the point is. I wouldn’t want to see a prequel to Romeo and Juliet about the Montague-Capulet feud’s beginnings.

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I… am slightly happier about anyone doing just a straight-up Lord of the Rings prequel as opposed to torturing The Hobbit into being a Lord of the Rings prequel.

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I might actually watch that, which I can no longer say about R&J.

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I know it’s going to sound pedantic, but the elves having short hair and the dwarf queen having no beard really bothers me. Also the fact that they seem intent on turning every character into an action hero turns me off. I am just not excited. That said, I will give it a chance.

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Interesting contrast to Dubby-D’s claim that there’s no money to be made in streaming new, expensive content. I mostly hope Amazon proves that guy wrong, despite any views about megacorps and obscene amounts of money.

Likewise I have to laugh at the Tolkien estate taking all that cash, even after saying Peter Jackson’s films “eviscerated” the work of its decedent. (Those copyrights aren’t going to last forever.)

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TBH I don’t think I’ve even seen a trailer for it yet so I have no shell in the game. I used to think more LOTR in the world was a good thing until they stretched out The Hobbit now I have my doubts.

I’ll check it out though. I have Prime so it’s already paid for lol

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So what would there be if streaming went away. Just… people reading books? Going into cryo-sleep?

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Going back to books wouldn’t be the worst thing. Too many people (including myself) don’t read enough.

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I read a lot… still paper books, pretty much exclusively. But I do like watching stories once in a while.

One of these days the stock market will just announce, “We have decided it’s no longer possible for any enterprise to be sufficiently profitable. The economy will therefore consist solely of mega-corporations shunting money around among themselves. We recommend the rest of you plant gardens and learn how to siphon gas.”

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I mean I’m not going to advocate for an end of all television on a forum dedicated to a TV show…

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I should remind everyone that streaming entertainment is exactly why we’re all here. (Granted, it’s the BEST EVER streaming entertainment…)

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Speaking as a life-long fan of Lord of the Rings and a student of J.R.R. Tolkien, I will not be watching this program even though I already have an Amazon Prime account.

What is the reason? Quite simple. Tolkien created Middle Earth and wrote his works primarily as an exercise in the restoration of a English mythology that he felt had been lost. Partly also as a linguistic exercise (he was a philologist), his objectives were to enrich and preserve English culture. On many occasions he lamented and decried the practice of other people who might sully his intentions and vision. He was not generally in favor of post-modernist deconstruction, and certainly had no intention of his work “reflecting modern sensibilities” (in fact he stridently objected to that sort of approach).

All of the information I have on the Amazon show indicates that they are very much “adapting” Tolkien’s work rather than respecting his vision. Their intent is to re-interpret it to reflect modern sensibilities rather than adhering to Tolkien’s text and intent.

The reason people are fans of LotR is not because they want to see modern sensibilities inserted into Middle Earth. They were fans because Tolkien’s skill and vision were pure and good in and of themselves and required no such ‘modernizations’. They were universal and appealed to all people regardless of their race, sex, or anything else. And so people who have been fans of ME and Tolkien are not pleased that the purity, goodness, and integrity of that vision are being sullied by post-modern attitudes in direct contradiction to that integrity (however well-intentioned it might be).

If Amazon had just created some absolutely new intellectual property and called it “Ruler of Bracelets: The Bracelets of Energy” they could have inserted all the post-modern sensibilities and themes they wanted and nobody would have really cared. But they didn’t. They “bought” access to Middle Earth because they wanted a pre-built fan base and existing recognition. They made a horrible mistake in doing this, because actual fans of Middle Earth and LOTR do NOT want post-modern themes inserted into Tolkien’s world because that is a direct contradiction of what Tolkien was doing.

I’m sure the show will be OK. But it will NOT be Middle Earth, and it definitely is NOT Tolkien. I do not want the “show runners” to put their post-modern catsup on my Tolkien ice-cream. As such, I will be ignoring this show completely. It isn’t Middle Earth. It isn’t Tolkien. It’s something else. Hard pass. And (apparently) a whole lot of the LotR / Tolkien fan base agrees with me.

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Read the books (I first tried The Silmarillion when I was 9 - what the heck was I thinking?), grew up watching the first adaptations (can still sing “Frodo of the Nine Fingers” from memory), loved the Jackson Trilogy, didn’t really care for the Hobbit Trilogy, and am looking forward to The Rings of Power.

And I like streaming services because they allow me access to content I otherwise would not have had AND the ability to watch it when I’m able to instead of holding me to a broadcast schedule. I do agree there are WAY too many of them and collapse / consolidation is inevitable, and can only hope that quality content can outlast over the filler dreck.

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I don’t mean to get conspiratorial, but even if the show is terrible, Amazon has the money and clout to buy off enough reviewers to sway public opinion on that.

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