Earlier this week Amazon displayed a wondrously barren sense of imagination by announcing they're making a brand new Lord of the Rings telly series for their upstart streaming platform Amazon Prime.

Lord of the Rings? Really? Dear god. Who in Frodo's name wants that? Thanks to Sir Pete's exhaustive and butt numbing series of films I reckon I've seen enough hobbits, orcs, goblins and elves to tide me over for at least another decade. Possibly longer.

Heck, I'm still fatigued from battling my way to the end of his three Hobbit films. The thought of going anywhere near there and back again over four or five seasons of television fills me with at best indifferent boredom and at worst weary dread. At this point I feel like I couriered that bloody ring to Mordor myself.

This televisual adaptation, Amazon's official blurb explained, will "explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring".


Translation; it's a prequel, exactly like The Hobbit. But they're also saying "new storylines" ruling out Bilbo's fun-filled jaunt to the Lonely Mountain and his discovery of the ring.

It's not clear if these new storylines are going to be lifted from the voluminous tomes detailing the longwinded and complete history of Middle Earth that Tolkien penned or if Amazon is just gonna go ahead and make them up. But neither option appeals much.

The only thing that Sir Pete's made up bits added to The Hobbit was time. And there's a very boring reason why only Tolkien die-hards enthuse over the writer's painstakingly detailed, nerdishly encyclopedic history of his made up world ...

While Amazon hasn't revealed if the series will keep the look and feel of Sir Pete's movies they did gush that there might even be "a potential spin-off series". Yay?

Look, I get it. With Game of Thrones rapidly approaching its fiery and/or icy conclusion everyone's frantically looking for the "next Game of Thrones".

It's almost like they've forgotten that the next Game of Thrones is most likely to just be Game of Thrones. Right now there's currently five - yes, five! - GoT spin-off's in development. They won't all go into production of course but we're not going to be wanting for songs of fire and ice.

So when it comes to fanciful fantasy we're pretty much covered. Giving us more of the same, no matter how recognisable the source material may be, is not the way to become the next big thing.

I reckon that the next Game of Thrones - meaning show that captures the whole world's imagination - won't have anything to do with dragons and swords because we've literally just seen it. No, the next Game of Thrones will be something completely different because that's how bottled lightning tends to work.

But if Amazon are 100 per cent the fantasy boom is set to continue they could have at least dug out something original. I haven't read that much fantasy but I can think of at least two other fantasy series that would make for amazing television.

Robert E Feist's Magician books would make for a rip-snortingly good TV series. It takes the traditional fantasy world and spins it on his head by introducing a race of alien invaders. It's got great characters, a fast pace, thrilling battles and an original and exciting story that eventually spans two distinct worlds.

But a true Game of Thrones killer would be The Darkness series by Harry Turtledove. You want an epic story packed with political intrigue, well rounded characters and about a dozen overlapping storylines? Well, here you go.

This phenomenal story - told over six bulky novels - is essentially a fantasy reskinning of World War II. Covering continents the story follows a huge range of characters on all sides of the conflict, from the lowliest frontline grunts right through to the unaffected darlings of high society.

There's spies, soldiers, flying aces, generals, leaders, kings, conspirators, resistance fighters, scientists, politicians, everyday people ... everyone. Not for nothing does each book open with a five-page long "Cast of Characters" to assist in keeping track of where everyone fits.

It's heavy going but at least there's no waiting for winter or an endless walk to a mountain. Instead it's on from the get-go, riffing on WWII's biggest events, most fierce battles, and even the horrors of the holocaust.

But being fantasy it does cool things like swapping out fighter planes for dragons and equipping wizards with magic of mass destruction. Battles with all this going on would be visually amazing and its high stakes story would be dramatically intense.

But no. Instead it's back to tired old Middle Earth to trudge through more of the same. There's been a lot of LotR so forgive me if I'm not terribly excited. I guess I'm just bored of the rings.