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Elden Ring Could Become the Next Lord of the Rings




by Xtreme HD IPTV

Summary

  • J.R.R. Tolkien’s
    The Lord of the Rings
    is arguably the greatest fantasy franchise of all time, with the books and films holding up today.
  • George R.R. Martin created the lore for
    Elden Ring
    , a hit video game developed by FromSoftware, the studio behind the popular
    Dark Souls
    series.
  • An
    Elden Ring
    adaptation, whether through film or television, would be challenging to create, but the world that Martin helped bring to life is expansive enough to make a fantasy franchise similar to
    Lord of the Rings
    or
    Game of Thrones
    .



The legacy J. R. R. Tolkien left behind in the fantasy genre is immeasurable, with him shaping and inspiring creators going forward and defining the genre. It is hard to see a series or property more beloved than The Lord of the Rings trilogy, estimated to have sold over 150 million copies, and the sales of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books have surpassed 600 million. For a long time, his writing had been unparalleled until George R. R. Martin’s works gained traction, with some going as far as to call him the “American Tolkien.” Given the success of his A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series and subsequent TV series based on the books, this claim is not unwarranted.


However, George R. R. Martin would work on a unique project that would not necessarily see the same cross-over in fandom, having written the lore of the immensely popular and fan-favorite video game Elden Ring. We will catch those unaware of his work for the fantasy/RPG video game up to speed, as well as explore how it has the potential to become a cinematic/TV franchise that could parallel the popular Lord of the Rings.


What Is FromSoftware’s Elden Ring?


Elden Ring is an action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game is based around a nameless protagonist, a ‘tarnished’ who experiences the world through exploration. The player is given different branches they can explore by building their characters’ stats, weapons, and specific NPC storylines that change based on the player’s interactions. Known for its challenging, difficult, and engrossing/expansive world with a dark edge, the game has become one of the most beloved game franchises of the modern era, with a 96 score on Metacritic by critics and an 8.0 audience score.

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George R. R. Martin was brought to establish the game’s lore, which took place 5,000 years before the main story began. He was tasked with building the world and crafting its history, including the characters, their relationships, and the powers they possessed, which he provided 3-4 years before the game was complete. For those unfamiliar with the process of making a video game, you can get a better idea of Martin’s role from this short interview. This is Martin’s second time involved in game production, with him providing the story outlines for 2012’s Game of Thrones action RPG, though Elden Ring distinguishes itself by being a fully original concept and not building on what was already created.

Watch the launch trailer of Elden Ring

How Elden Ring’s Lore and George R. R. Martin’s Involvement Would Work in an Adaptation


Summarizing the Lore of Elden Ring is near impossible, with countless channels and websites diving deep into the game and offering in-depth analysis. On YouTube, you can find various channels with videos over an hour going into speculation and facts about ‘bosses’ and other travelers of the ‘Lands Between.’ While this may seem daunting to an outsider, looking at it from the perspective of developing the video game into something else only means there is plenty of deep lore to be explored for a television series conceptualized under the fantasy master George R. R. Martin.

While Martin’s contribution to the series may not be inherently apparent to outsiders, once one digs into the writing in the game on items and spoken dialogue, the vast, grandiose scale of the world of Elden Ring becomes obvious. An area with the last remaining fire giant may just seem like a way to build up to a boss battle, but collecting armor pieces and weapons of nearby foes and their descriptions paint the picture of an ancient battle that has shaped the landscape. Stumbling across dancing, cackling women inhabiting windmill towns may be a disturbing find, but once one analyzes the words spoken about them and the surrounding relics, one starts to understand the religious fervor that drove them to madness.


The stories are there for those looking for them, and they could easily enrich a cinematic universe or TV series by using the lore already in place. In addition, FromSoftware’s character designs are impeccable; from the hauntingly beautiful to the terrifying and grotesque, there is ample inspiration to craft an adaptation defined by its aesthetic as much as its story. Still, the path there would be difficult, with some potential downfalls that must be navigated.

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Could an Elden Ring TV or Move Adaptation Stay True to the Video Game?


This issue is complex, as there is a definite path to making a TV series/movie closer to the same atmosphere as the video game. Still, it would involve a creative gamble, generally not favored when producers can go for the “proven” path to success. Notably, Elden Ring does not rely on a traditional narrative to tell its story but instead explores lore through exploration, collecting items, and piecing together different stories told by the scant NPCs littering the world. This creates a silent protagonist, which is not necessarily impossible to approach but is a bit more complicated than just having a brooding lead.

Part of the game’s appeal is wandering through a landscape alone, with run-ins not meant to create the ‘bonds’ one would want from a more narrative-heavy work—elements such as romance, camaraderie, or even familiar narrative archetypes. In fact, including these elements would likely prove detrimental to appeasing the existing fandom. At no point in a faithful Elden Ring screen adaptation should the ‘hero’ be pushed forward by a romantic interest or even stumble upon a town of ‘fellow adventurers.’ The landscape FromSoftware and George R. R. Martin created is meant to be devoid of humanity. The player represents the last of their kind in a world that has long since fallen under the various orders, sects, and gods whose meaning and purpose have been lost with time.


It is doubtful that such a project or angle would be taken with an adaptation, regardless of how exciting the prospect would be. Truthfully, the outcome of an adaptation will cause both positive and negative online discourse (including the anti-fans, as Martin has mentioned before), as it always does, but the majority of that lies in the truth that the Elden Ring franchise will likely change to fit a more traditional narrative structure. However, that is not to say that there is no happy balance and that the series can’t establish itself as a powerhouse both in video games and on the screen.

How the Elden Ring Franchise Could Reach the Same Heights as Lord of the Rings


Placing the George R. R. Martin name front and center will be key to helping establish the franchise, as the fantasy author has arguably reached heights paralleling the same success as J. R. R. Tolkien with his Game of Thrones series, which is rightfully heralded as a modern masterpiece. Whether it is a TV series or movie is not as relevant, with each having its own upsides and potential downfalls, but the focus has to be on building longer-form stories, which the game has ample source material to draw from. Shortsightedness would kill the project fast, much like the Witcher series’ decline in both its spin-off and Season 3.

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At the same time, it is important to appease the large game fan base, and even if an adaptation does not follow the same structure, it needs to respect the lore to the extent it can. There is some wiggle room given how purposely vague the game is in much of its lore, but to transform certain characters into parodies or mold them into generic fantasy archetypes would be too strong of a contrast. Doing this will only isolate most of the 23 million+ players. To put it in perspective, that is more than the 19.3 million viewers (Wall Street Journal) for the Game of Thrones finale (though illegal downloads probably make the numbers more comparable). Those who choose to adapt it need to realize that the fan base for the game is larger than the potential new fans, given the cult and critical success of Elden Ring.

Ultimately, leaning into the creative talent of George R. R. Martin, whose work has seen substantial success in fantasy, and finding a balance that pays homage to the games while creating engaging stories could easily turn Elden Ring into a franchise that parallels Lord of the Rings. Would they be able to pull it off? We certainly hope so, and while that remains to be seen, any inkling of adapting the work would be a reason to celebrate, albeit with a bit of trepidation.


With Elden Ring seeing a DLC update in June, it is also an ideal time to explore the option of creating a cinematic adaptation of the work. However, with the recently announced Game of Thrones spin-off Knight of the Seven Kingdoms slated for 2025, we would rather the project be approached with Martin’s full attention to helping develop it.

Elden Ring is available on Xbox Series X and S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC. The Elden Ring DLC, “Shadow of the Erdtree,” will be available on June 21, 2024. The Lord of the Rings franchise and Game of Thrones are available to stream on Max.

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by Xtreme HD IPTV

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