The Lord of the Rings prequel series The Rings of Power is due to start on Amazon Prime on 2 September, so I have started getting ready.
Firstly, I bought myself a nice new iPad yesterday (first time I have ever used click and collect), so that I can watch it in great comfort whilst lying on my Chesterfield sofa. Indeed, as I am very resourceful, I simply used up the giant bank of Apple store credits I possess (how I came to accumulate a giant pile of Apple store credits will take a whole other blog post), so the iPad did not directly cost me a cent.
Secondly, I re-read The Silmarillion. I last read The Silmarillion in my teenage years, some 39 years ago, and I remember it as pretty hard going and a whole lot bleaker than the other Tolkien I have read (whilst I am no Tolkien scholar, I have read The Lord of the Rings at least a dozen times, and The Hobbit quite a few, as well as most of his cutesy shorter works).
However, in some parts, I was quite shocked as to the bleakness, which is far darker than what I remembered.
As context, The Silmarillion is made up of five parts: Ainurdale, Valaquenta, Quenta Silmarillion, Akallabeth, and Of The Rings of Power and the Third Age. I presume that the new Amazon Prime series is going to mostly be based on what is in the latter two parts, and what is covered in the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings.
Akallabeth covers the history of Numenor from its creation until its downfall. It is mercifully short, but in the later few pages, where Sauron is brought as a hostage to Numenor and then proceeds to corrupt the king, Ar-Pharazon, into outright worship of the diabolical original dark lord Morgoth, complete with widespread human sacrifice on a scale not seen in real human history outside the Aztecs, it is quite disturbing.
How this story, complete with a creepy (rather than overtly menacing) looking Sauron, plays out on the screen is going to be rather interesting. But it could very easily turn out to be extremely dark.