lord of the rings tv series writers' room

The Lord of the Rings is a very well-known story, even if you’ve never read the books. But that’s not stopping Amazon from taking secrecy to the extreme. The Lord of the Rings TV series writers’ room is reportedly on heavy lockdown to avoid leaks – we’re talking security guards, fingerprint scanners, windows completely taped up, and collars that explode if anyone tries to escape. Alright, I made that last part up, but still – this seems like a bit much.

We know very little about Amazon’s super-expensive Lord of the Rings TV series, and there’s a very good reason for that: Amazon is going to extremes to keep things under wraps. Much like Gollum clutching his precious ring, or Smaug hoarding his precious mountain of gold, Amazon refuses to let others in.

In an interview with THR, Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke detailed the lengths to which the secrecy is being maintained:

“There’s a fantastic writers room working under lock and key. 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.”

I get wanting to avoid spoilers from leaking, but this seems a bit extremed (and also sounds like a major fire hazard). Then again, the Lord of the Rings TV series is rumored to be telling brand new stories we’ve never heard before, so while we all may know the general gist of what happens, we’re completely in the dark regarding where the series is going.

This uber-secrecy is becoming par for the course for major intellectual properties like this. For example: while making Star Wars: The Force Awakens, director J.J. Abrams had Adam Driver shoot scenes wearing an X-Wing pilot uniform, even though by now we all know he doesn’t play an X-Wing pilot in the franchise. This was a bit of misdirection on Abrams’ part, to throw off the scent of those sniffing out a scoop. And while shooting the upcoming final season of Game of Thrones, HBO employed “drone killers” to literally shoot drone cameras out of the sky, in case anyone was trying to use them to spy on the set.

Sooner or later, specific details about the Lord of the Rings TV series will start to trickle out. But it’s clear that that will only happen once Amazon is damn well and ready. For now, if you really want a Lord of the Rings scoop, you’re going to need to try to infiltrate the Santa Monica writers room like Ethan Hunt breaking into the CIA in the first Mission: Impossible film (note: this is a joke; please don’t do this, you’ll go to jail).

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