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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Review

The two-episode premiere of The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power has been uploaded to Prime Video. 

The first episode features deliciously gorgeous landscapes that accurately represent the lands of elves and dwarves, humans, ents, wizards and all manners of fantastical creatures created by J.R.R Tolkien in his Legendarium. Reviewers have outright called it “TV made for big screens.” The show was created by Patrick McKay and John D. Payne, covering the world’s Second Age.

It’s essentially a prequel to the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series, following characters such as Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), Elrond (Robert Aramayo) and Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker). Critics have compared The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power to its most obvious competitor: HBO Max’s House of the Dragon. Both are TV adaptations of best-selling high fantasy novel series with previous live-action incarnations.

The series is estimated to run for at least five seasons. Reviewers consider that the show makes bold promises through its world-building. The rings do not make an outstanding appearance so early in the show, though there’s more than enough hinting through Galadriel, Elrond, and others of what’s to come in the next episodes.

House of the Dragon had theirs in Game of Thrones, while Lord of the Rings had its own in the Peter Jackson films. They are both prequels.

Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power
Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power © Amazon Prime

The work put into House of the Dragon’s cinematic has been superb, though it cannot compare to the Rings of Power. Not even in the budget department, as this is supposedly the most expensive TV show ever made, with a reported astronomical budget of $465 million for eight episodes.

Many fans tuned in precisely because the Second Age of Middle-earth had never been depicted in movies, though book fans have expressed their displeasure at the liberties the showrunners took. 

The preview trailers tainted further interest for some due to the names given to many new characters.

They were considered inconsistent, a glaring criticism due to how detailed Tolkien’s work on names, languages, and his motivation in designing the legendarium. The first trailer of the show has 1.5 million downvotes against 100k upvotes. 

As with many IP works taken to streaming, viewers already have high expectations before they even press play, and LoTR fans happen to have high standards with how Tolkien’s work is portrayed.

Mysterious figures, survival situations, and political intrigue have earned this prequel worldwide attention. And, of course, the money put into the CGI, the costumes, and the art direction.

Featured TV and Film

Lord of the Rings: What We Know So Far

All you need to know about the mega Lord of the Rings series set to occupy our Autumn!

Lord of the rings is one of the most successful books and film franchises of all time. Next in line is its TV debut on streaming giant, Amazon Prime. The official name of the series is Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power. It will be loosely based on the fantasy works by J.R.R Tolkien, a British author who released the series of books, starting in 1954. Since then, it has sold millions of copies and has been cemented as one of the greatest pieces of fantasy fiction ever created. Its timeless quality means that there is plenty of appetite for more content and producers have seized the opportunity to bring the story to the small screen. And, what they have created looks anything but small. Here’s what we know so far about 2022’s most anticipated release.

Simon Tolkien Helped Shape the Series

Simon Tolkien, the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, has been heavily involved in the development of the series! That’s right, producers have managed to pick the brains of a living descendant of the great author, as Simon served as a consultant. However, Simon is more than just a grandson, he is in fact an accomplished novelist in his own right: meaning that his input in the show will be creatively valuable, as well as being good marketing.

Lord of The Rings series
Middle Earth (We Got This Covered)

The showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay recalled the first time they met Simon, “we had to pinch ourselves — here we were, sitting across the table from the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien himself,” McKay recalls, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “And that was only the beginning of what has proven to be an extremely enriching and rewarding dialogue. His insights, attention to detail, and passion for both the characters and the overall architecture of The Rings of Power are woven throughout the pages of our story. Working with Simon has been the experience of a lifetime.” Usually, remakes and spin-offs get shut down by family members of authors who hold the stories dear to their hearts. The fact that Simon is involved in the process highlights that the series will have a huge level of detail, and will respect the roots of the iconic franchise.

The plot will focus heavily on the rings

Lord of the Rings series cast
The cast (Cosplay Central)

The premise of the series begins at a time of peace in Middle Earth. But, rest assured, the series will also cover “all major events of Middle Earth’s Second Age: the forging of the Rings of Power, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the fall of the island kingdom of Númenor, and the last alliance between Elves and Men.” Also, the title The Rings of Power clearly indicates that the rings will be a major thread of continuity throughout the series. “This is a title that we imagine could live on the spine of a book next to J.R.R. Tolkien’s other classics,” said the showrunners to Variety. “Until now, audiences have only seen on-screen the story of the One Ring –but before there was one, there were many… and we’re excited to share the epic story of them all.”

It has big-budget cinematic episodes

Some official stills (Slash Film)

One of the first headlines about the series touched upon the colossal budget, which will exceed 1 billion dollars. This makes the Rings of Power, the most expensive TV series of all time. It is also reported that the first season alone will cost a gobsmacking $462 million. In recent years, Amazon Prime – the producers of the series – has been in open competition with rivals Netflix, Now TV, and many more up-and-coming platforms. The huge financial reserves behind Amazon meant that they won the bidding, back in 2017, paying $250 million for the television rights alone. With a budget of this size, it is pretty much guaranteed that each episode will be at least an hour long and will feature cinematic-style episodes. It is safe to say that the series will be a collection of mini-movies, combined to create an unforgettable experience for fans.

It’s premiering soon

Since the trailer dropped on February 14th, fans have been patiently waiting for the release date. It is now confirmed that the series will arrive on Amazon Prime on Friday 2nd September. Reports indicate that Amazon is looking to stretch out the story for five seasons, although only two seasons have been confirmed so far.