The creators of new Lord of the Rings TV series The Rings of Power have promised that it will be family friendly viewing, calling it "a show for everyone".
When it emerged that an intimacy coordinator had been hired for the New Zealand set of the forthcoming Amazon Prime Video show, a role needed for series heavy on sex scenes such as Normal People, fans voiced their concerns that the adaptation was going to turn into a Tolkien-themed version of Game of Thrones.
But in an interview with Vanity Fair, writers Patrick McKay and JD Payne said that parents of children keen to tune in would have nothing to fear.
McKay said that their goal was "to make a show for everyone, for kids who are 11, 12, and 13, even though sometimes they might have to pull the blanket up over their eyes if it’s a little too scary".
He added: "We talked about the tone in Tolkien’s books. This is material that is sometimes scary—and sometimes very intense, sometimes quite political, sometimes quite sophisticated – but it’s also heartwarming and life-affirming and optimistic.
"It’s about friendship and it’s about brotherhood and underdogs overcoming great darkness."
The series, set to begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video in September, is set in the Second Age of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth world and will differ from the film adaptations by compressing events that would have spanned hundreds of years in the books to a shorter time frame.
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Payne explained that otherwise "human characters are dying off every season because you’re jumping 200 years in time, and then you’re not meeting really big, important canon characters until season four", adding that viewers should not expect "a documentary of Middle-earth".
The Rings of Power will also see more diverse casting than the Lord of the Rings films, with Ismael Cruz Córdova as the first person of colour to play an elf onscreen in a Tolkien adaptation and whose character will be involved in a forbidden relationship with a human healer, Sophia Nomvete will play the first female dwarf, and Sir Lenny Henry will star as a harfoot elder.
Executive producer Lindsey Weber said that "Tolkien is for everyone" and added that they had felt the series should "reflect what the world actually looks like" as Tolkien's stories are "about his fictional races doing their best work when they leave the isolation of their own cultures and come together".
The Rings of Power will stream on Amazon Prime Video from 2 September.
Watch: Amazon releases teaser for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power