It is pretty ironic that Jeff Bezos, one of the world’s wealthiest men and the creator of his own Isengard, expanding a mechanized world that has claimed dominion over so much of the Earth’s commerce and workforce, would make it his life’s mission to adapt the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Of course, when you picture the massive hoarding of some $152 billion, it’s hard not to think of that old dragon Smaug, fast asleep atop a pile of other people’s money. But this is the world we live in, and what a horrible, weird world it is.
We’re not the only ones who recognize this. In a startling moment when any Rings fan can relate to one of the world’s wealthiest sons, Jeff Bezos’ son told his father not to “eff” up Amazon’s massive Lord Of The Rings series.
Reflecting upon the long, arduous journey to have a billion dollars lying around so that he could go to space and get an adaptation of Lord Of The Rings’ appendices produced, Bezos spoke to the audience at the U.K. premiere of Rings Of Power earlier tonight. “My grandfather’s the one who introduced me to Tolkien,” said Bezos. “I fell in love immediately. I was probably 13 or 14 years old. I fell in love with the adventure, of course, with the detailed universe, with the feelings of hope and optimism, with the idea that everybody has a role to play. And I’m happy to report that that cycle continues today.”
It was when he passed this interest to his kids that he got the sage advice, though. “My kids have become Tolkien fans as well. In fact, one of my boys approaches the level of a Tolkien scholar. He knows so much about this universe. And after Amazon got involved in this project, my son came up to me one day, he looked me in the eyes very sincerely, and he said, ‘Dad, please don’t eff this up.’”
Thankfully, the people making the show were way ahead of him. Toward the top of his speech, Bezos noted, self-deprecatingly, that it’s “every showrunner’s dream to get notes on scripts and early cuts from the founder and executive chairman.“ He then thanked co-showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay for “listening whenever it helped” and for “ignoring” Bezos at the “right times.” We can only hope that the “right time” was early and often.