Has anyone been tempted to use Middle-Earth from the lord of the rings as the setting for Torchbearer?

I recently rewatched the movies, and was thus inspired to adapt the setting for Torchbearer.
With all the references to Tolkiens work in Torchbearer already it feels like a good fit.
However, the world of LOTR during the books, I feel is not dark enough.

My ideas for the setting:
  • Sauron gets the ring
  • He conquers Middle-Earth
  • Puts the orcs in power
  • Allies with Saruman
  • Sauron mysteriously disappears


The world is still governed by Orcs, but because of the sudden disappearance of the Dark Lord Sauron the central power disperses.
This allows for people take back a little bit of power in their settlements.
Some believe that the Valar have returned to Middle-Earth and this explains Saurons absence. So new religions emerge throughout the land. People believe that praying to the Valar will liberate them. (Clerics)
Others come across ancient magical artifacts and study forgotten songs and scriptures and it gives them power to change the world of Arda. (Wizards)

Orcs who control most things in bigger settlements wouldn't be kind to adventurers going around making their living outside trade.

One aspect of the LOTR universe in comparison to D&D worlds is an apparent lack of variations in monsters.

What do you guys think of these ideas, how would you do it?
Do you think it would work?
Would you make any changes?
Considering the unforgiving nature that is needed for a Torchbearer setting to work, I felt I had to set it in an alternate time-line where things are more grim.