In a TORn exclusive, we’ve learned Amazon Prime intends to not just break new ground in its new Middle-earth TV show, but blow fantasy apart with a bold move in the offing.Viewers will be able to interact with the show and decide what choices key characters will make. The choose-your-own-adventure approach could provide up to five hours of viewing per episode in the 10-episode first season.
“Let’s face it: Tolkien’s writings about Middle-earth have a lot of depth and detail in them. Even Peter Jackson didn’t go into one-tenth of what’s available through six long films,” said an Amazon source, speaking anonymously. “We’ll be able to explore Middle-earth like never before through our program – and it’s the viewers who’ll be making those choices about where to go.”
“We saw how popular Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch interactive story was. This ‘Middle-earth Bandersnatch’ will be awesome! Up to 50 hours of Middle-earth viewing just in the first season? Who doesn’t want that?”
Amazon has already started subtle marketing of the multiple story lines through the series of maps that have been published, each one with new locations that will be featured in the series, to test if fans would catch on.
According to our source, some of the story lines include Glorfindel ‘leveling up’ in power every time he returns from the Halls of Mandos, Maglor as a hermit who likes to collect shiny objects, and a buddy-movie sub-plot between two young creatures who grow up to be the Watcher in the Water and the Balrog of Moria. Queen Beruthiel also makes an appearance, as the evil sister of Galadriel.
One story line even positions Glaurung as the forefather of Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion – all part of a future Game of Thrones/Middle-earth crossover series being developed by Amazon and HBO.
“That plot-line will be tough to get to but anyone who does manage to watch it will have one of show’s characters digitally altered to look like them,” said the source. “Unless it’s a dragon. No one wants to see a human face on a dragon.”