The only issue I have with Amazon committing to bring more Lord of the Rings to life concerns what parts of J. R. R. Tolkien’s appendices are key to the shaping of The Rings of Power? I appreciate the fact the X-Ray feature links to additional material to help folks understand the source, and if its supposed to segway to the films, its not teasing at anything yet!
This multimedia company is promising to produce five seasons. As long as they can deliver the episodes on a timely basis, I’ll be watching. I don’t mind a soft ten month break, but any longer can be tough.
As a casual fan, the ring-verse which portends the future can’t be altered; we know the finale–about how the One Ring must be destroyed to save all of Middle Earth in the main series, which takes place in the far off future. As for The Hobbit, there’s no Sméagol–I’m fairly sure he isn’t born.
To see how it all begins is based on the indexes and notes Tolkien scribed. However, not everyone wants to read the unfinished tales and compendiums to understand where everything fits. And I’m glad showrunners John D. Payne and Patrick McKay are attempting to unpack all of this scholar’s works into a serialised format.
The first two episodes are heavy. A lot of introductions are needed to bring fans back up to speed, and what we see has to establish who are the good guys and the bad. Or, in this work’s case, is fated to fall to the might of Sauron when he returns.
Galadriel’s (Morfydd Clark) a teenager in this timeline, and although she proves to be a capable soldier, she’s not the same type of role model by the time Jackson’s films roll around. She’s supposed to return to the promised land, Valinor. But in truth, what that means is a willingness to face death in a different form than to meet it by the sword.
In what happens in the first episode, they are sailing towards the sun, and if they’re spirited away, that’s best left for Polygon’s article, “The Truth About Elven Immortality in Lord of the Rings” to excellently explain. But this woman doesn’t want to meet that type of end. Because her brother died by Sauron’s hand, she wants vengence. Her narrative sets the direction for this first season.
Elrond’s (Robert Aramayo) journey is different. He isn’t that respected member of council yet.
Lastly, Elanor “Nori” Brandyfoot is the prerequisite hobbit to round off my top three choices in who to follow. I’m sure each episode will focus on specific characters as the grander narrative unfolds. So far, the dwarves’ role in this saga isn’t all that interesting. Lots of questions are raised in the two episodes available. One visual motif that’s engrained is the burning Eye of Sauron. His return is foreshadowed and inevitable, and as for who owns the sword Theo finds, it looks strikeningly familiar.
As where Sauron is, we are told he’s a lieutenant to Morgoth, and after this master fell, both have disappeared. Galadriel believes he’s hiding somewhere, biding his time. His desire to be god king involves making secret alliances and instituting wars that’s going to lead to the creation of the 19 rings. To witness how the different species come to blows will shape this series’ future.
The current drama is as exciting as reading a Norse Edda. Although it’s very slow to start, I’m willing to commit the next five years to see how it will all unfold. I’m also hoping for a home video release otherwise I’d be eating up my data plan because these episodes several views to catch all the easter eggs, and to understand the story proper.
Because this series is very independent from the books (and movie versions), there’s a lot to soak in. All I can hope for is that Amazon Prime is committed to producing Rings of Power in full. It’d be a shame to cut it short since one season is not enough to establish what fans know of this world.
4 Rings out of 5