The hype surrounding The Lord of the Rings series is immense. Amazon, which acquired the rights to Tolkien's universe, has put in place means never before seen for a series. But the scriptwriters will be placed under close surveillance so that the script does not contain any deviation from what Tolkien put in place.
To put it simply, if Tolkien did not detail an element of the story or a character, it can be invented. If the writer described it or even mentioned its presence, the scriptwriters will have to comply with what has been written! A very restrictive freedom which should make flash-backs very complicated to establish.
‘You can add new characters and ask a lot of questions, like: What has Sauron done in the meantime? Where was he after Morgoth was defeated? Theoretically, Amazon can answer these questions by inventing the answers, since Tolkien did not describe it,’ explained Tom Shippey, the man hired to have the script writing monitored.
A colossal job for the writers but one that also reassures us. This will prevent them from moving too far from the original work and losing the thread of the Lord of the Rings' history.