Negative reviews revolving around the Rings of Power


Asher Hagan

It wasn’t the greatest because there were only so many people in the show Sauron could have been, but it was still good and I liked the way they did it. 

Asher Hagan, Arts/Graphics Editor

With all of the shows coming out these days, most easily faded into the background. One thing that helps, however, is having the backbone of an already famous film franchise to boost your confidence. 

In November 2017, Amazon made headlines when they bought the television rights to the critically acclaimed film series Lord of the Rings for $250 million. 

The show premiered almost five years later on September 1, 2022 on Amazon Prime. The show follows a lot of characters including well-known characters such as Galadriel and Elrond. It also introduces new characters such as Adar, Halbrand, Durin, Celebrimbor, and the first appearance of Gil Galad and Isildur, who appeared in the backstory of the first Lord of the Rings movie. 

The show essentially starts the same way Lord of the Rings starts, with a narration. They introduce the idea that Morgoth, the predecessor of Sauron, has died and Galadriel is one of the few elves that still believes Sauron to be alive even though it has been quiet for years. It comes to light that orcs, being led by Adar, have been secretly attacking human villages and growing powerful in secret. The two are shipwrecked, which leads them to Numenor, a famous city in the Lord of the Rings universe. 

With the help of the people in Numenor they have to stop the orcs and learn that things are worse than they thought. In addition, because it is not Sauron leading the orcs the question arises of where he is in the story.

There are so many more subplots in the show, but the main story is about determining who is leading the orcs.

Because there’s so much happening, so much happening, from different perspectives, it is difficult to follow at times. Due to the enormous cast of characters, there are some episodes were some members don’t even appear. 

I don’t mind this because it does make it easier to keep track of the characters that are doing things now. 

This does sometimes cause some confusion in the overall timeline in the show. The show follows a condensed timeline where a single event that might take 100 years, is shown in a single episode.

I think because of this, or because  of this it seems like the writers simply forget things and some events get a little lost in translation.

 For example, a character could be in one place in one scene, then in a completely other place the next with no explanation of how they got there. This is not a major thing but it is something that I noticed while watching the show.

Another very apparent thing the show does is to rely heavily on views pre-existing preexisting knowledge of Lord of the Rings. It doesn’t really go into detail about certain characters and just drops some characters in there. 

A good example of this is Elrond, a character from the original trilogy of movies. They don’t really spend time going into what Elrond’s role is in Lindon, the main elven kingdom in the show. Because of the fact that the show seems like it was written by a bunch of Lord of the Rings fans that were just told to go wild, there’s also a lot of “fan service” especially in the middle of the season. 

What I mean by “fan service” is the show doing something specifically for old fans of the Lord of the Rings without adding anything really special to the show. For example, the thing that comes to my mind is Elrond, Durin, and the Mithril. 

Mithril is a rare ore in the Lord of the Rings universe and Durin is a dwarf prince and Elrond’s friend in the series. 

What happens is when the Mithril is first mined Durin gives a piece of it to Elrond and calls it a “token of their friendship.” This is a direct parallel to Throin giving Bilbo a chainmail shirt made from Mithril in the Hobbit and calling it the same thing. 

That being said, I don’t actually mind this parallel and I don’t have a major problem with a lot of the connections to the original movies, but it is very clear what they are referencing and who they’re trying to appease. 

It is also very clear where they are going in the story when they talk about Mithril and then mention a balrog.

In the original movies one of the things Gandalf says is that a balrog attacked a dwarf city because they mined too deep and uncovered something. This something being Mithril. In addition, the balrog in Lord of the Rings is called Durin’s Bane and is named that because it killed Durin. This is a problem with sequels. 

When making a prequel, something that is really difficult to do is to break away from the original story of what you are prequeling. When you know where everyone has to end up, it’s really difficult to create twists and turns in the story. This is one thing a show such as House of the Dragon, the prequel series to Game of Thrones, does really well. 

They take the source material and change it ever so slightly so that the source material is still true but it comes to light in a different, less predictable, way. The one part I do think they did a pretty good job of this with is in the finale.

In my opinion, the finale episode was the best one of the season. The entire show the question has been where is Sauron, and the finale answered that episode in a way that was kind of a twist. 

It wasn’t the greatest because there were only so many people in the show Sauron could have been, but it was still good and I liked the way they did it. 

The first season dragged a little in the middle and they mostly filled the time with setting things up and doing fan service, but they filled the finale really well. Unlike some of the middle episodes, there were no points in the episode where I was sitting on my couch just waiting for the episode to end.

Overall, I think that there are a lot of places that they could take the show and I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. 

They’ve already said that the max amount of seasons they’re going to do is five, and that might just happen given the fact that the show is produced by Amazon and Jeff Bezos’ son is a Lord of the Rings fan. 

I don’t know how they are going to stretch this story to five seasons, but I think that no matter how much fan interest drops, the show is in the clear.

 I don’t think it’s a bad show but it certainly wasn’t the best. My hope is that the first season was only slow because they were setting stuff up. I can only hope the future seasons of the Rings.