Here Are The Lord Of The Rings TV Series Pitches Amazon Turned Down

In case you haven't noticed, we happen to find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a burgeoning arm's race for prestige fantasy shows. With original hits such as Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and HBO's "Game of Thrones" over and done with, the next stage of competition has begun with their newest incarnations: Prime Video's "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" series and the spin-off/prequel series "House of the Dragon." In this age of "content," of course, that means storytellers have had to dig through each property's respective source material to find stories that are actually worth telling. As you can imagine with a creator as protective and picky (and slow-moving!) as George R.R. Martin, many proposed concepts to expand the universe of "Game of Thrones" never quite made it to the finish line.

But as far as we knew, only rumors pointed towards the concepts that were ultimately passed over in favor of what would eventually become "The Rings of Power." In a new report, however, the two showrunners for the new "The Lord of the Rings" series have opened up about the pitches that never quite passed the smell test and were destined for an untimely demise.

That's right — in some alternate timeline, we could've been looking forward to "The Lord of the Rings Origins: Aragorn," "The Continuing Adventures of Gimli," and who knows what others. Check out all the details below.

'They said the field was wide open — any story within that material, you could tell'

While "The Rings of Power" is set thousands of years before the events of "The Lord of the Rings" or "The Hobbit" and in a separate continuity altogether, that doesn't mean that there aren't any shared connections between the two distinctly different time periods in Middle-earth history. Some familiar faces, previously-seen locales, and that same Dark Lord Sauron hanging over it all will all help fans get their bearings when the time comes to contextualize where "The Rings of Power" fits in the overall timeline. But what if Prime Video had instead taken a much more direct route altogether?

In a new interview with Total Film, "The Rings of Power" co-showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay were asked about the could-have-been's that might have come to fruition had the decisionmakers chose differently. Somewhat surprisingly, Payne indicates that anything and everything was on the table.

"When we first went up for the job, we were told there were literally dozens of other people who were also throwing their hat in the ring, and everyone was coming in with different things. Amazon bought the rights to the trilogy, the appendices, and 'The Hobbit.' They said the field was wide open — any story within that material, you could tell. So you had people pitching the Young Aragon show, or the Gimli spinoff, or other kinds of things."

In addition to confirming previous reports, this quote also gives quite a bit of insight into just what material Prime Video is able to dip into (as I reported here while on the ground at Comic-Con).

We'll find out on September 2, 2022 whether "The Rings of Power" proves to be, as Payne puts it, "worthy of Tolkien."