It was the one deal to rule them all.

Back in 2017, the estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien, along with executives from Warner Bros., was shopping the television rights to “The Lord of the Rings.” Netflix saw a ready-made franchise. HBO was hoping to get another “Game of Thrones.” But in the end, with the backing of Jeff Bezos, Amazon won out, paying nearly $250 million for the rights.