There are more The Lord of the Rings movies in the works courtesy of Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, and the Embracer Group, which currently holds the rights to some of Middle-earth’s greatest adventures. So, of course, the next logical question is, what will these new The Lord of the Rings movies be about? And, naturally, we don’t yet have any clear answers. Details about the deal are slim, and, in fact, we don’t yet know the full scope of the rights handed over to Warner Bros. for future movies.
Right now, the Third Age of Middle-earth seems like the most likely setting for any new movies, though, as that’s when The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies take place. And Embracer has before name-dropped “Gandalf, Aragorn, Gollum, Galadriel, and Eowyn,” primarily Third Age figures, as characters to potentially further explore in film. But, before we get any official confirmations about the contents of the new The Lord of the Rings movies, let’s take a closer look at Middle-earth’s rich world. Here are some of Tolkien’s tales and characters that deserve their time to shine.
The Adventures of Legolas and Gimli After The Fellowship Ends
Legolas and Gimli won hearts and minds with their unlikely friendship in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies. But the truth is that they were barely on-screen throughout the trilogy, and their characters didn’t receive that much fleshing out. Fans of the characters and of Tolkien’s books will know that after the matter of the One Ring concluded, Gimli and Legolas became life partners and traveled together for the rest of their days… Even after Gimli became the Lord of the Glittering Caves.
Eventually, Gimli made the greatest journey of all with Legolas. He went west with him, across the ocean, and became the only dwarf to ever travel to the elven realm of Valinor. (Of course, even though Valinor also holds the name of “The Undying Lands,” traveling to them does not grant immortality. And Gimli would eventually die.)
As they say, the tired version of this movie would be a buddy-cop-style outing with lots of snark and orc-killing. But the wired version would be an intricate and passionate romance that spans lifetimes and ends in tragedy, something that feels more like Frank and Bill’s episode of The Last of Us. Neither Gimli nor Legolas, The Hobbit‘s weird interludes aside, even have canonical relationships that would need accounting for. And their relationship is definitely queer in the eyes of Middle-earth. Our eye is fixed on you, Warner Bros.
Tom Bombadil’s Middle-earth Tales (In Song)
Is this an original suggestion? Maybe not. But it certainly bears noting. Tom Bombadil was excised from the original The Lord of the Rings movies, which makes sense because there are many side-quests and meandering tales in Tolkien’s books that couldn’t make it into a more streamlined narrative. But fans have always hoped to see him on the screen. Tom Bombadil has a penchant for singing and telling tales and lives in the company of his beloved Goldberry, who is suspected to be a river spirit of sorts. And why not a The Lord of the Rings musical movie in our new slate?
Of course, there’s more to it than that. Although he appears a jovial sort, Tom Bombadil has great power. He’s implied to be the first living being in Middle-earth, and even the One Ring holds no sway over him. Tom Bombadil is also an other-worldly creature; he’ll step in to assist at times but does not have a full understanding of humanity, even less so than the elves. Definitely the kind of character that would be fun to bring to the screen. And we’d love to see the adventures he has in his Brandywine River Valley home play out, complete with appearances from the nefarious Old-Man Willow, the Badger-folk, and even Frodo Baggins himself.
Galadriel, Celeborn, and the Forest of Lothlórien
Fans of Peter Jackson’s films will know that Celeborn much desires to speak with Gandalf… But little else about the elf. In a new The Lord of the Rings movie, maybe we can actually see them get to have a conversation. But in all seriousness, Galadirel and her paramour are subjects of great interest. As is the mysterious forest realm of Lothlórien.
Galadriel is getting her day in the sun in The Rings of Power. And that will surely leave fans feeling hungry to know more about her Third Age pursuits, after her Second Age existence and before we meet her as the lady/witch of the wood. Tolkien’s books, as is their way, are not completely clear about Galadriel and Celeborn’s Third Age activities, but their paths do cross with evil. The Necromancer, a.k.a Sauron, builds Dol Guldur across the river from Lothlórien, drawing them to the land. And a Balrog of Khazad-dûm plays into their eventually assuming of its command.
Galadriel, of course, is also active in the fight against The Necromancer during this time. And she has ties with Gandalf, Saruman, Elrond, and other notable figures, making her the perfect center of a movie, with Celeborn to taste. We’d also love to finally know the mysterious origins of her all-seeing mirror.
Give Glorfindel His Moment in the New Lord of the Rings Movies
Glorfindel’s book role in helping the Fellowship transferred to Arwen in the movies, which was a necessary change to the story. But this elf lives quite a cinematic life in Tolkien’s writings, one that would suit new The Lord of the Rings movies well. Of course, what we can see on the screen depends on the rights available. But throughout his life, Glorfindel is a mighty warrior with immense power. He dies fighting a Balrog, gets resurrected by Manwë, and returns to fight again. He does not fear Sauron’s ringwraiths, and, in fact, sets up Eowyn’s iconic felling of the Witch-King of Angmar. Glorfindel prophecizes that the Witch-King cannot be killed by a man, which, in fact, holds.
Glorfindel also has divine powers and strength in both the seen and the unseen worlds. We see glimpses of the wraiths’ world when Frodo puts on the ring, but it would be interesting to visit there more fully.
Saruman’s Descent Into Darkness
Just how does Saruman’s pristine white blur into many colors? It always feels a little sudden, although we can see the consequences of it creep into the narrative before Frodo ever sets off on his journey. Still, there’s nothing like a tale of corruption. At some point, Saruman must have truly been a figure worthy of Gandalf’s admiration and trust, but pride and ambition clouded his mind. And then Sauron whispered in his ear, as Sauron always does. At points, Saruman seems to wish to use Sauron as a tool for his own supremacy, and, at others, he yields to the dark lord. This complicated tangle of evil, all mixed up in Saruman’s noble origins, would be an interesting one to watch.
Bonus: Anything Queer in the New The Lord of the Rings Movies, We Beg of You
The time for queerness in Middle-earth is now. Actually, the time was a few ages ago, but if we are getting new The Lord of the Rings movies, then there had better be a queer story front and center. Let’s be honest—Middle-earth elves have always been queer icons. You know it, I know it, I bet even Tolkien knew it. So the fact that there isn’t even one canonically queer The Lord of the Rings character is a travesty. Even The Rings of Power has yet to introduce a queer character, although it flirts with the relationship between Durin and Elrond quite a bit. And, of course, the show has made many important and welcome changes to the world.
Sam and Frodo, Gimli and Legolas, as mentioned above, that’s some true love stuff. And Galadriel. Well, Gimli’s quote, “They say that a great sorceress lives in these woods, an Elf-Witch of terrible power,” basically says it all. Not to mention, fans have thought these thoughts for literal decades. But even if we can’t go all the way there with known characters… Please, let’s just find a queer story to tell in these new The Lord of the Rings adventures.