The Rings of Power: Tolkien readers divided over Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series

Book fans can’t come to an agreement on new Middle-earth series

Jacob Stolworthy
Friday 02 September 2022 13:51 BST
Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power trailer

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is immensely dividing JRR Tolkien readers.

On Friday (2 September), the first two episodes of Amazon’s big-budget series was released on Prime Video.

JRR Tolkien fans rushed to watch the new project, which shines a light on a period of Middle-earth history set thousands of years before Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Naturally, Tolkien readers are rushing to share their respective verdicts on the series – and it turns out The Rings of Power is splitting fans right down the middle.

First up, the praise. Many are agreeing that the show’s costly budget, which positions it as one of the most expensive shows of all time, has paid off, with the series boasting impressive visuals.

@Psidestep1919 said of the first two episodes: “What I like about Rings of Power already is it looks like they put absolutely all that Amazon money to use for scenes. It looks good as hell.”

@marklee3d added: “Rings of Power has done a great job of capturing the feel of Tolkien's world. The challenge is creating a compelling story where one didn't exist before. The show's success lies in pulling that off.”

Agreeing that the “spirit” of Tokkien has been captured, @suzannahtweets wrote: “I’m far less concerned about little lore details than I am about the spirit. And while I thought that Peter Jackson fundamentally misunderstood the spirit of Tolkien in ALL his movies, so far the spirit of THE RINGS OF POWER feels remarkably authentic to Tolkien.”

Elsewhere, on Twitter, “certified Tolkien nerd” @jherskovic wrote: “Based on Ep 1 at least, I’m here to tell you that The Rings of Power is legit. I’m relieved AND happy about this.”

However, others argued the show felt “goofy” and featured “terrible” dialogue, with some suggesting that “Tolkien himself” would be “ashamed” of the series.

‘The Lord of the Rings’ series ‘The Rings of Power’ is out on Prime Video now (Prime Video)

@thirdeldest wrote: “The Rings of Power must be wiped away like the stain on Tolkien‘s legacy it is,” while @sturgeons_Law disagreed with the sentiment that the series captures the author’s spirit.

Rings of Power comes off exactly like what it is, which is extremely expensive fan fiction,” they wrote, adding: “The production design is good, some of the acting is good, etc., but it’s fundamentally not Tolkien in style or caliber.

Find The Independent’s verdict on the series here, and a recap of the opening episodes here.

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