Judging a series based on the first two episodes is tricky. The recent Sandman on Netflix, for example, made it to the fifth and sixth episodes, but the rest could easily be called a missed opportunity. According to the opening two hours spent after years in Middle-earth, it seems that even the new Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series will be looking for a reason for its existence. However, it would be unfair to immediately anticipate that he will not find it.
The eight hour-long episodes take place in the so-called Second Age of Middle-earth, when the last alliance of elves and men overthrew Sauron.
Amazon, which bought the rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for $250 million, is actually adapting the prologue from the original Fellowship of the Ring, which begins with the forging of the rings of power. In Peter Jackson’s film, this introduction was narrated by Galadriel, and it is her younger version who seems to be the most prominent character of the expected news.
Showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay are said to have considered that the series could focus on other Tolkien heroes, such as young Aragorn or Gandalf, but in the end we follow an intrepid elf who tracks down evil in the icy wastes, even though everyone tells her that she is fighting in long-won battles.
Two episodes, however, also present the world of hairy feet, the predecessors of hobbits, dwarves or people who got involved with evil in the east, which returns stealthily through the tunnels dug by goblins.
This gradual lifting of the mysterious shadow thus connects the series with the atmosphere of the original trilogy, but the novel may benefit if the creation of this nostalgia is avoided at all costs.
Just remember the Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts, which gradually tried to hide its emptiness more and more convulsively by winking at Harry Potter fans. Here again, it’s likely that the dwarves will dig up the balrog, and that the stranger who fell from the sky might one day don a pointy hat. Hopefully it won’t be a creative peak for the creator.
So far, it seems that everything is in the right place here on paper, but the strength in the details of filmmaking ingenuity is missing, which has always surpassed the hundreds of millions of dollars poured into the production, which does not ignite creative inspiration by itself. There are images that are still remembered twenty years later, such as the lighting of the beacons from The Return of the King. But you won’t find a relaxed and hedonistic atmosphere like the Hobbit movie trilogy.
As for the characters, since the first trailers and posters it has been discussed whether dwarf women can have beards or elves with a skin color other than white, but this rather hides the fact that the staff here is not very drawn out by internal conflicts. Don’t look for any Boromir here yet.
While the actress Galadriel Morfydd Clark may well find an edge in other works, the elf-human couple is so bland that you almost mistake them for staffage. On the other hand, the “hobbit” Nori, who, as is often the case with her kind, can only surprise.
Amazon plans to pump a billion dollars into several Lord of the Rings series, which would make it the most expensive television project in history. But we already know that rumors about the “most expensive projects” are above all a grateful marketing trap that all the media fall for – it usually has little to do with quality, just look at “the most expensive movie on Netflix” The Gray Man.
So the rings of power must understand in the following works and maybe even series that their power should not be only in how much they flash.