While the Lord of the Rings and hobbit films are, of course, adaptations of specific works by JRR Tolkienthe same cannot be said of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. While very firmly rooted in the world and lore established by Tolkien, it is not a specific adaptation of any of his books, but draws elements from his works to create a compelling new story.
With the era the story is set in and the addition of characters like Celebrimbor, it would be easy for fans to assume that the series is a loose adaptation of works like The Silmarillion. As for using those works to research and prepare for the role, actor Charles Edwards told Collider’s Steve Weintraub during an interview that he did not read too much in a certain text.
But with this, there was kind of a balance of, okay, well, because we didn’t have scripts and I knew there were issues with permissions and stuff. So you go, well, but if I read too much, say in The SilmarillionIf they can’t, then I’m disappointed. But as it turned out, everything has gone according to plan so far. I’m touching wood as I say that. And the research I’ve done has been thorough and certainly thorough enough to talk about it, but not thorough enough to keep learning.
Edwards then clarified that he was unsure of the details of it as far as “rights issues”. But even if they didn’t own the rights to all of Tolkien’s work, the creators were still able to tell a story set in the world of Middle-earth, connected to characters we already know. This also doesn’t limit them all to one strict version of the story. Edwards points out that Tolkien himself had several versions of his stories:
[T]here are some things, and as we know Tolkien had two or a few versions, for example the Celebrimbor story. So before we started, I was wondering which, in one version, he’s in love with Galadriel. He said, but you were with Celeborn of the Trees, is it called? Celeborn, sort of a full name. And he says to Galadriel, “Because I loved you, but you went with Celeborn of the Trees.” So that’s another, that’s a whole different series.
All this, however, is not to suggest that one version of the story is preferable to the other. As Weintraub noted, the books and the version of the story told there will always exist. Edwards agreed, pointing out that the evolution of stories is something Tolkien himself understood.
And any story over time, like Brothers Grimm or fairy tales, as we know Tolkien was fascinated with, adapts, changes slightly depending on the age it arrives at. And as Tolkien said, whatever his quote was about new hands taking over my job. And inevitably it will shift. And according to the rights issue, there are things, if they had the rights to… The Silmarillionwould they make The Silmarillion. But that is not it. So it is inevitable and welcome.
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1 is now streaming on Prime Video. Check back soon for more information about our interview with Edwards.