The new Lord of the Rings series from Amazon is being kept more secret from fans than the One Ring was from the Elven-kings, Dwarf-lords, and Mortal Men. Apart from very vague and mysterious teases like a map laden with easter eggs, Tolkien fans know next to nothing about the upcoming series that hopes to somehow co-exist with Peter Jackson’s fantasy films after the latter defined Middle-earth for a generation. And that’s partially because of how Amazon’s writers’ room is protected.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the team responsible for creating the first season of LotR TV has been even more isolated than Gollum in his cave. That’s not totally unheard of, as mega-properties like Marvel blockbusters and Game of Thrones already separate up scripts or have other safeguards in place to prevent leaks. But The Lord of the Rings seems to go a bit farther.
“There's a fantastic writers' room working under lock and key,” Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke said of the show. “They're already generating really exciting material. They're down in Santa Monica. You have to go through such clearance, and they have all their windows taped closed. And there's a security guard that sits outside, and you have to have a fingerprint to get in there, because their whole board is up on a thing of the whole season.”
Lock and key, sure. Go through clearance, okay. A fingerprint scanner? Um.
Okay, sleuths, so a windowless locked-down building with a guard and fingerprint scanner somewhere in Santa Monica. Mordor was easier to traverse. But that makes sense. This show has a gigantic budget and the reputation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate on the line -- precautions must be taken, especially if the show aims on implementing any of the “creative work that [the Tolkiens] haven't shown the world yet.”
Rumors have flown all around the mysterious show, as well as plenty of speculation thanks to the cryptic map released on social media, but unless someone Mission: Impossibles the board where the writers have broken the season, fans will have to wait until the series’ nebulous release sometime in the future.