With just around a week left for its long-awaited release, Amazon Prime Video’s The Rings of Power series has finally been screened for a select group of critics.
The series, which takes fans thousands of years before the events of the original Peter Jackson trilogy, and explores a wide variety of themes — from the subtleties of elf and dwarf politics, to individual stories of adventure, and even dark backstories for the epic events we’re already familiar with.
With over $1 billion and five years invested in the property, it’s also set to be one of the most expensive shows ever. Naturally, expectations are high. Amazon certainly has a lot running on the show’s success, having teased a huge 5-season plan.
While several voices on social media debated on whether or not the show would be a smash hit, critics have offered a ray of hope for Tolkien fans after watching the series’ first two episodes.
Here’s what the lucky few have to say about the series:
Carly Lane-Perry, Collider
“The Rings of Power is definitely a promising return to Middle-earth based on the first episodes. Stunning visuals, compelling characters, and a magnetic lead in Morfydd Clark’s Galadriel, who refuses to surrender the widely-held belief that Sauron is defeated. Can’t wait for more.”
Preston Barta, DentonRC
“The Rings of Power is truly an impressive feat. All the money is on the screen thru its impeccable production design, costumes & FX. Manages to wield the power of Tolkien’s fantastic world building while making unique & stunning touches of its own.
Wonderful character work, too! Morfydd Clark and Ismael Cruz Cordova’s performances are going to knock you on your ass — they’re so good!”
Germain Lussier, Gizmodo
“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power instantly captured my imagination w/ captivating stories & characters in a Middle Earth that’s both familiar & new.
The story/setup is so dense, however, the pacing in EPs 1 & 2 is rather slow, but it definitely leaves you wanting more.”
Vanessa Armstrong, Slashfilm
“I’ve seen the first 2 eps of The Rings Of Power. Yes, it’s as visually stunning as the trailer promises.
It also sets the stage well for the clearly epic tale heading our way. I liked some characters/storylines more than others, but I’m hooked & ready for more.”
Daniel Bapista and Shahbaz Siddiqui, The Movie Podcast
The Rings of Power is cinematic excellence. The scale of this story has never been done before, making each moment epic and breathtaking. The marriage between practical and computer-generated effects will set the standard for everything that follows.
The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power is an achievement in cinematic storytelling that redefines what’s possible for television. Immersive & epic, the interconnected worlds of Tolkien feel grand and fully realized. Absolutely mesmerizing.”
Lauren Sarner, New York Post
“I’ve seen the first 2 episodes. I had been sceptical…but I was very pleasantly surprised. It is actually good! Very good! Visuals & tone are just right. IMO, a great addition to the Tolkien world.
It’s too soon to tell how it compares to the movies having only seen the first 2 episodes, but I think fans of the movies will be happy.”
Call me a buzzkill, but like several fans, I’m not too easily sold on this reaction. While plot points and general treatments are still under wraps until the series goes live, I can’t help but feel that these reviews are a bit… samey, for lack of a better term, and some fans agree:
While the online battle for Middle-Earth’s future continues, many fans defended the series’ launch, accusing detractors of pushing close-minded political agendas over the release:
On the bright side, atleast we’ll know for sure who’s right soon enough.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is set to debut on Amazon Prime Video on September 2nd.
Lead Image: Amazon Studios