Amazon’s most ambitious and expensive series, frankly for any streaming service, just premiered this month, and now with 3 episodes out, we have thoughts on the series as a whole and whether as a fan you should jump into the new series or not. So is it worth a watch? Our thoughts after the trailer.
Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth’s history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness.
Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.
The Lord of the Rings franchise is one that has been beloved by book readers of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work going back generations. And many of them were also fans of the movie franchise that Peter Jackson brought to life as well over 2 trilogies. Covering the second age, the Rings Of Power series takes place an age before the events of the Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit films. There is a massive amount of content and world-building that is there to build from that many thought it was simply not adaptable. But Amazon spent an obscene amount of money to produce the series anyways and to get the rights from the J.R.R. Tolkien estate to do it in the first place.
Now I will stop here and tell you that I have not read any of the books from the Lord of the Rings to the Silmarillion. So my thoughts here are as a fan of the world just based on what I have watched in the films. The Rings of Power has a lot of world-building to do to get fans to want to believe it’s part of the same world and to bridge the time between them. The first 3 episodes of the series do just that, slowly getting us introduced to all of the key races and places in the world for the second age. It sets up the dynamic of things and prepares for us to dive head first into the lore which becomes more and more in-depth as we get into the third episode.
It is very clear the money spent has translated into a visually stunning series for TV/streaming. And so far the casting has been great for everyone we have met, both new and old. I will admit having not read the books, some of those characters they have introduced are unknown to me, while others I remember from the original trilogies being mentioned. I don’t hate it because I don’t know all the characters from the start. I enjoy learning along the way, with everyone else. That is what drives the story and watching each week to continue to unravel it all.
But like any beloved book and world, there are fandoms who will disagree with the adaptation, or in more recent years flat out try to review bomb and cancel said adaptations over their dislike of it. I never fault someone for being upset when an adaptation doesn’t meet a fan’s expectations from the book they read. I personally always go into a series ignoring the source material first to judge it as it stands on its own merits. If the source material is something I know and love, I will then compare the film or tv series adaptation-wise to the material. Not all books translate well, or at all, to the big screen.
I am a more casual fan and as such, The Rings Of Power is enjoyable to casual and die-hard fans alike. There is a lot of story and world-building that is having to take place, so it will require some patience. But I am a sucker for deep world-building and so I really am enjoying the series so far. There will always be disagreement between book readers and long-time fans and I have spoken to many long-time fans of the books with some indicating they are happy with the adaptation and others who were less than happy. In the end, If you enjoy it great, if you don’t that’s okay too but don’t try and ruin it for those that do enjoy it.
The Rings Of Power drop on Amazon Prime every week at 9pm PST Thursdays/ Midnight Friday morning EST.