The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (TV Series 2022– ) Poster

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I expected much better after all the hype
twillbox3 September 2022
Ok So where to begin. I gave it a 2.5 stars or a 5 out of 10 because I don't want to seem like I am review bombing. I notice the positive reviews seem very general whilst the mediocre and bad reviews seem much more specific, which I find telling. Yes the Cinematography is great and most of the production values are also very good, though some are off key as well. After two episodes I have little idea where the plot is going and the scene writing seems very weak. The dwarves are pretty well represented but all the humans except the one lead female seem like idiots. The Harfoots/halflings are kinda cool. The elves seem very poorly represented and very off key on so many levels. So yes, I have read just about everything JRR wrote himself, but I don't mind some adaptation for TV/Film either, but this really seems to miss Tolkien's tone. Most of the Elves just don't look or act like.. well...Elves...Period. That's a big problem. Sorry but it is. Many are miscast. Elrond? Come on. No dis to the actor, just wildly miscast and badly written. Most of the Elves are poorly written and directed, and they are the backbone of the story here. I like the actress playing Galadriel, but the way her character is written is ridiculous and not very engaging or likable. It seems everyone making entertainment content from classics wants it to be something it isn't. They would have been better off making a different show that was original or based on something they actually wanted to be somewhat faithful to in their representation. Instead it feels like a rip off.

Most of the dynamic and action based scenes have way too close in camera work and are jolting and unclear. And they jump back and forth too quickly between story lines so it is hard to get invested. Written for people with really short attention spans perhaps? The CGI is ok but I honestly don't see where they spent all the $ unless it was in a critic payoff slush fund. Or perhaps most of the critics are not really familiar with the source work at all and don't know the stories and tone that this is supposed to be based off of.

I had trouble getting through both episodes. Honestly, most of the adult characters seem whiney, immature and kind of stupid. Many of these folks are already classic adult developed characters at this point in the timeline, not the whelps they seem to be here. Again, very poor writing and character development. I am struggling to like or care about anyone in the show, though I do like Arondir & Nori.

I will probably keep watching the show for the visuals and the pastime but it seems like it should be so much more than it is. I really don't mind creative license to fill in the plot development if it's well done. It just seems like it is not well done here. They could make things up that match the gist and tone of Tolkien's second age, but instead it almost seems like a completely different world/story which is not how they presented the show in the lead up marketing campaign. I mean they have been hawking this thing mercilessly for months and months like the second coming of Tolkien. And really building on that point, It seems like they used the name to capture an easy audience when they did not have enough of the rights, or the desire to do a solid adaptation. Seems like a marketing gimmick. Meanwhile Amazon has bought and tied up the rights to many fine 20th Century SciFi and Fantasy works by the top talent of the time and then failed to bring them to market. The works of Roger Zelazny and Marion Zimmer Bradley are two great examples of fantastic properties that they have bought and then let languish, where they could be first to the table in high value adaptations of the Chronicles of Amber, or the Darkover stories just to name a few. Instead they went for the easy name recognition and then made a visual spectacle with little real substance. What a shame, and a squandering of both opportunity and a ridiculous amount of $.

I could say more but I don't want to just rag on the show. I know many fine people put their talent and hard work into it, and taken as a stand alone perhaps it is not so bad. Unfortunately for everyone except people who just take whatever they are given, it was not presented as a stand alone, but rather and important adaptation of Tolkien's work, which it clearly is not.

If you don't care about Tolkien much or any continuity of the world building or tone, then one can watch it as reasonably entertaining eye candy I suppose, in an entertainment world that is long on content but short on quality.

I wrote this to inform not to simply be critical.

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First Season - Disconnected Bits & Pieces With An Incomprehensible Story line
mikeh-540444 September 2022
To be fair, like the late Christopher Lee, I re-read LOTR every year or two.

The design of the sets, CGI is totally faithful to that of Peter Jackson's team. Wonderful!

The "writers", a term I use lightly, seem to have never heard of the basic rules of storytelling. A story is about people at whose fate we develop an interest, fascination, curiosity through the efforts of the writer(s). In order to make this happen, the writer structures and paces the story with a beginning, a middle, and an end that neatly integrates and resolves the fate of the characters in an interesting manner.

This "offering, despite having spent obscene amounts of money in its production, contains zero of these storytelling elements. It seems to consist of isolated bits and pieces; entirely disconncted from one another; and no story in sight. It is boring, annoying, and makes no sense of any kind.

Professor Tolkien, armed with just a pen and tablet; unable to even afford to have the manuscript typed, created an enduring classic. Perhaps the "writers" should buy themselves a couple of pens, a tablet, and try to summon the genius of Professor Tolkien.
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2 Episodes in: "It's okay."
KissMyAss311932 September 2022
I honestly didn't really have any expectations, except for a general respect. Respect for the source material, respect for themselves and most importantly respect for the audience.

It doesn't exactly succeed in any of these aspects, but it doesn't entirely fail them either. At least not most of the time.

This show's quality level is right between the Hobbit trilogy and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It's not that brilliantly amazing, nor that breathtakingly bad, so it's okay.

But it's certainly lacking. It didn't leave a strong impression at all, mostly because of the extreme speed of things. There is no real build up of the characters or story, which serves to turn every action scene into a giant bore-fest. These characters have not yet been established and already they're fighting snow trolls, orcs and discover mysteries.

The actors are doing a good job, mostly. Cough! Cough! Charlie Vickers. Cough!

But there is no breathing room for these characters to expand. It's all: NOW! NOW! NOW!

Yet in 2 hours time this show introduces just about as many characters and as much plot as the Fellowship of the Ring did, only here it feels so much less important. I'm not just talking about the fact that we are mostly following the story of characters, who we already know will make it to the end of the show anyways, but the sheer lack of actual steaks. We have yet to establish something to care about. Something to lose.

If you want to watch this, you probably already cared about this universe way before and they know it.

TLDR: It's kinda fun. Kinda stupid. Great visually. Not offensive. Take it or leave it.
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i will be honest
lobitoneors2 September 2022
I was expecting a total fiasco but I must admit that aesthetically and visually it is an excellent job. But, Galadriel disappoints me, she is very belligerent for the thousands of years she is supposed to be and the elves in general seem to lack all knowledge before the outside world. The detail that the elves have short hair disappointed me a lot, the elves are not being treated and portrayed as they should. The representation of the Elven Kingdoms is wonderful.

I like the dwarves, they don't get out of the picture and Khazad-Dûm is a monument to the art of Durin.

Speaking of the story, for a fanfic based on elements of the appendages and being built, they treated the elves poorly in the first instance.
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Surprisingly good
Rasalgheti_20002 September 2022
A pleasant surprise, the cinematography is impeccable, the characters quite well done, the plot looks like a link between the stories of the First Age, the Silmarillion and the stories of the Lord of the Rings of the Third Age, the rhythm of narration is pleasant albeit a bit slow. If the outcome of the series will be to narrate how Sauron forged the Rings of Power, it will definitely be something to watch. Until this moment, I think that in general terms, at least the first chapter delivers. I think enough to be cautiously optimistic about what the next 7 episodes might turn out to be. I must add, again that I am pleasantly surprised.
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Not as good as Jackson's films, but then again, what is
elljawa2 September 2022
It's inevitable that this gets compared to Jackson's LOTR films. It isn't as good. But it wasn't likely to be. Hell, even Jackson wasn't able to follow up his own work all that well.

I would say, this is better than The Hobbit, even if it does lack some of the directorial flair of the film.

Pilots are always hard and usually pretty bad and by that metric,. This is a far better pilot than manh others. Far too much time was spent on a somewhat clumsy prologue, but once it got going it's pretty good

It's more visually appealing than it looked in the trailer. It seems maybe the saturation was closed in the trailer, the show itself doesn't look nearly so digital or artificial. I'm enjoying the lighting and cinematography for the most part. There is one shot of CGI blood splatter on a camera lens that is pretty jarring but not a huge deal

The writing is pretty standard for fantasy. The characters could be stronger. It gets the job done

Looking forward to the rest of this. Time will tell if this pays off for Amazon. I hope it does.
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I'm Feeling It So Far
koltonbrett3 September 2022
Though I've never done any of the reading, I'm a major Middle Earth fan. The original trilogy will forever be among my favorite movies. It's honestly so good to be back in Middle Earth again. Two episodes into this show and I'm really enjoying it so far. I'm going to have no problem watching the complete season. I love that the tone switches back and forth between dark and lighthearted, much like the original The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The different characters and locations are really interesting and I feel like I'm really diving into this world like never before. Visually, it's absolutely stunning to look at it. I heard it's the most expensive show ever made, and it definitely looks like it. I can see a trend already that these episodes are going to keep leaving us with multiple cliffhangers, just like the show Lost did, which I also love.

I feel like as long as the show stays respectful of Tolkien and who he was, and considerate towards fans of the 6 other Middle Earth movies, then this could be something truly wonderful. It can give us the world building and epicness of Game of Thrones without all the explicit content. It's nice to have such a large scale fantasy show that I feel I can watch with my family.
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Very good so far
lu_lou_belle3 September 2022
I am enjoying this prequel so far, though it bites off a chunk of a book if its going for Silmarillion origin stories.

It seems more restrained in story telling style than Peter Jackson's pull out all the stops and all the tropes of epic tales told in the cinematic realm. It's no less beautiful in its camera work and cgi. As a true Tolkien fan I didn't much care for the melodrama and overt sentimentality writ large in LOTR, or the ridiculous cgi that had armies swarming like pikes of fireants in a flood. Those elements were not necessary and detracted from the experience.

The series format seems better suited to the multiple stories lines, would have been better for LOTR and the severely stretched Hobbit.

It's early in this series, so I hope the trend continues.

If you liked Peter Jackson's POV, you might find this a little bland, but its worth a try at least.

Edit early October after 5 episodes:

Oh well. First two episodes set my expectations too high. It's a muddled romp through scenes with no overarching theme, and whether its writing or story editing, seems to assume facts not in evidence, doesn't offer any reason d'etre for the action, or any reason for audience to care about the actions of its characters with the exception of the dwarves and the proto-hobbits, and one fallen elf. Elves as a collective people seem to be suffering from adolescent existential angst, drama without much purpose, with the numenorians and all of middle earth a prop for their catty behavior. Chief among storyline weaknesses:Galadriel as presented is not a capable epic hero rallying her peers to her quest. Still worth watching out of disinterested curiosity whether or not the production works its way out of the mire its has become 1/2 way through. Not gonna be a bingeable classic.

At this point, best thing that might happen would be an 'in the middle of the film' 5th wall chorus of Monty Python Knights dashing through a scene shouting "Get on with it!"
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i have read the book and love this show
classic-cap2 September 2022
This was great in my option, loved the Humans, Elves, and humans in this, the halfling was the only thing I felt was not that great.

But all if this was filmed beautifully, from the locations to the sets to the clothes and even the props, all of it has been the best I have seen in any tv show.

The sound is on point, love the music and sound effects,

story is the only thing that is not great (the halfling story) , I have only seen two episodes, so it could get better, who knows? But i have enjoyed it and does remind me on Tokens books, more than the movies, ( in my opinion).

And that is my thorts on this, and mine alone of for some reason this makes you angry, it is just a tv show in the end, so see it as that, this was not writing by Token, so if you do not like this don't watch this.
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Everything's great apart the elves
visekrunalena3 September 2022
6.5 is the real number for this, speaking from the point of view of somebody who's read all the books. It's beautifully done, but it's just another beautiful series. There's nothing different than GOT. Looks exactly the same. The elves have no grace, are not different than men, and have no long hair which is... There are too many simple details that are missing that would have brought a dash of uniqueness to the elves. And if the Moon man is Gandalf then this is a blasphemy. I liked how the dwarves and Hardfoots are done, liked the atmosphere and actors. I can't say the same for elves. I'm not sure if the actress is bad or they've destroyed Galadriel's character but she's not the strong, wise elf she should be. Don't make mistake, she can be considered as 'young' but she's thousands of years old, faced many battles and gained much wisdom. To be played as some sort of stubborn general is really not her. And to be shorter than men is laughable. Such simple things as the height and hair are the details done wrong. Nothing special about the elves. They're just better dressed and have different ears. The missing grace is... When Galadriel comes to Numenor I really think there won't be any difference between her and Numenorians which is... I liked the actors Elrond and Celebrimbror, they may reach transformation into the graceful elves. I really hope that I'll change my mind until the end. Fingers crossed.
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Impressed so far, missing something though
kaydrelia7 September 2022
Huge LOTR fan, love Tolkien and I enjoyed Peter's trilogy. This series isn't too bad despite all the people acting like they knew Tolkien personally and decide to attack it. Mixed feelings on the elves, they don't seem as "superior" as I expected, and the character development across the board seems messy. I refuse to engage in the arguments about there being black actors playing certain parts, who cares? It's Hollywood, it's pretend, use your imagination, there's bigger fish to fry in the world. Hoping for more character development, I would also love to see more backstory to the very beginning of time, I'm a nerd like that I guess, but so far it hasn't been bad at all, just harder to follow than I'd hoped. Looking forward to more episodes, the CGI is beautifully done so far!
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Peerless Perfection - E01&E02 Review
BijeshNagesh3 September 2022
"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" has practically become a declaration that rolls off the tongue and gathers tones of fan-crazed passion and pop-culture promise before it leaves the mouth. What Amazon Studios did with this production is nothing less than a game-changing take on what is even possible for a television show. Streaming and series will never be the same again.

In its dual-episode debut, "Rings Of Power" created a golden benchmark for not only established adaptations but also storytelling for the small screen. Both episodes made me feel as though I was back in theatres watching Peter Jackson's trilogy come alive. While it was saddening to hear they didn't get back to the man who gave us three of the most evergreen titles that will grace the "Lord of the Rings" franchise, the team who worked on "Rings of Power" regardless served excellence that would have made Jackson smile.

But I cannot continue without first stating just how proud this production would have made J. R. R. Tolkien. That was no mere man but a legend who has in recent decades inspired a slew of rich adaptations. But originally, the outstanding nature of his writing has been a constant source of inspiration for writers and novelists everywhere, especially those interested in world-building and high fantasy. No reader worth their salt will come away from a Tolkien book the same.

In "Rings of Power", just the way they captured the life and times of disparate races - Elves, Dwarves, Humans, Orcs - and creatures galore from Tolkien's literary Second Age of Middle-Earth was a testament to the screenplay writers' sheer determination to make this series a resounding success.

I loved every frame, and am now surprisingly confused about which scene I should start praising. As with most breathtaking undertakings of this kind, I shall endeavor to start at the very beginning. The creation myth Tolkien crafted in his book "The Silmarillion" found admirable translation in "Rings of Power".

Episodes 1 and 2, namely "A Shadow of the Past" and "Adrift" respectively, were directed by J. A. Bayona, who brought excellence to bear on each frame. Writers J. D. Payne, Patrick McKay, and Gennifer Hutchison did superb work scripting the magnificence I saw on screen this night.

Bear McCreary's musical scoring was stirring, warm, chilling, and brilliant. He captured the soul of this franchise and that's saying something after what Howard Shore did with the original trilogy, and "The Hobbit" movies that came after.

Aaron Morton, Alex Disenhof, and Oscar Faura created enormously high standards for cinematography with their work in "Rings of Power" - such sweeping panoramas and intimate close-ups. The production design and editing teams deserve their weight in gold for their work in helping bring this story to life. The art direction and set decoration teams did superb work. Hair-makeup, sound effects, and stunts were outstanding. Kate Hawley's costume design was exemplary - every stitch and hem was on point.

As for the CGI and VFX teams, they were the de facto hobbits from the Aragorn-crowned scene in "Return of the King". According to Variety, they used "20 VFX studios, nearly 10,000 VFX shots to revive Middle-earth". This crew certainly bows to no-one but we shall bow to them.

Galadriel, played by Morfydd Clark, was outstanding - her performance redefined so much about this iconic and inspiring character. In just two episodes, Clark proved to be the Wonder Woman of the Tolkien-verse. Her acting also paid due homage to Cate Blanchett's take on the character.

As for Sauron, he is a particularly significant character in the Tolkien-verse. In connection to him, we are yet to see what actor Bridie Sisson will be bringing to the series. Perhaps some sort of religious devotee or ritual summoner? Sisson lived up to that 'aura', as witnessed in the trailer. Future epis may reveal Sauron's true identity.

Poppy Proudfellow, played by Megan Richards, was remarkable. Elanor "Nori" Brandyfoot, played by Markella Kavenagh, was great. Some 'new Frodo and Sam' vibes with those two, only Harfoots instead of Hobbits.

The stranger, potentially Gandalf (!), played by Daniel Weyman, was intriguing - his performance was rife with mystery and magic. Fans know the true origins of Gandalf, and wizards like him. They are not exactly human. Future epis will reveal more, I'm sure.

Celebrimbor, played by Charles Edwards, was good. Theo, played by Tyroe Muhafidin, was also good. Elrond, played by Robert Aramayo, was superb - so many subtle and skillful throwbacks to Hugo Weaving's acting in the original trilogy. Arondir, played by Ismael Cruz Cordova, was amazing. Bronwyn, played by Nazanin Boniadi, was good. Thondir, played by Fabian McCallum, was also good. Halbrand, played by Charlie Vickers, was noteworthy.

Sadoc Burrows, played by Lenny Henry, was memorable. Malva, played by Thusitha Jayasundera, was quite good. Marigold Brandyfoot, played by Sara Zwangobani, was great. Rowan, played by Ian Blackburn, was notable. High King Gil-galad, played by Benjamin Walker, was quite good. Princess Disa, played by Sophia Nomvete, was superb. Prince Durin IV, played by Owain Arthur, was exceptional - his 16-piece beard transformation was itself a lesson in hair-makeup excellence.

We saw what turmoil the villain at the start of this epic, namely Morgoth, brought to bear. We also saw how his tyranny and power-lust influenced and inspired the rise of his devoted servant, the sorcerer Sauron, he who was responsible for later forging the One Ring, which mastered the titular rings of power smithed by Celebrimbor.

All other cast and crew did enchanting work in "LOTR: Rings Of Power" E01&E02 now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

As I write this review, I am dumbfounded and incredulous about the sheer magic they wrought in "Rings of Power". Every scene was akin to an immersive painting - languages, cultures, races, cities et al. What a relief for us fans who have been waiting with bated breath to see just this at long last. They not only set the groundwork but also built Tolkien's world atop it all in wholesome and glorious detail.

I offer my sincerest gratitude to Amazon Studios for making millions of fan-dreams come true in our lifetimes with the brilliant work and hard-won excellence you forged in this intricate and time-honoured production. In the spirit of Pippin enquiring after 'third breakfast', I eagerly await the third episode with a heart heavy with satisfaction and beating with expectation. This is the stuff Tolkien-dreams are made of.
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Lots of potential
patrickbfitzmaurice6 September 2022
I get people have are over protective of Tolkiens work, his books are unparalleled to any other fantasy and adventure novels. But the books live where they do untouched and any cinematic take on the them will always be something entirely separate. Tolkien would hate any movie or show based on his work and it's likely no one will ever be entirely true to the source material.

With that said, this show is fun and I'm excited to see how it evolves. It already has covered many interesting places, creatures, lands. It really has the potential to grow into a wonderful series. Let's hope the writing stays interesting and the actors develop their characters. Will keep watching!
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My first thoughts of the beautiful series!
kohliej3 September 2022
My initial first thoughts of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power! I absolutely loved what I've seen so far! It's sad to see the haters of the series! Adaptions aren't going to be perfect but that's okay! Enjoy it for the beautiful cinematography, the lovely composed soundtracks, and variety of stunning special effects!! If the toxicity of the "fans" try to ruin this series success I'll be saddened, I have hopes for this series to succeed! I was drawn in from first moments so I want to see more! As a fan of mainly the Peter Jackson trilogy I love the approach shown in the series. Here's a list of things that I've loved!

The visuals: I am a huge fan of the visuals of this show! Content aside I can just watch and be captivated by the beautiful imagery of what I can view on the screen! Compared to what we've gotten from some recent series or even some films the cgi/effects are impressive. Especially compared to recent Marvel productions. Overall it's great visuals really push it along.

The score: If there's anything that really grabs my attention in series or films it's the score. Growing up loving music, it's a great treat to hear such beautiful written music. The score has its own unique footing but still having a similar feel to Howard Shore's work. I mean Shore wrote the score for the shows main titles which is beautiful! In my opinion my favorite written part in the score is Galadriel's theme. It's excites my soul hearing it. The others pieces of the score are beautifully written and is music to my ears.

The characters: It's always so intriguing to see the characters and creatures that we come across in this vast world of Middle Earth. The characters, from the leading roles and even some of the smaller roles have the opportunity to stand out in multiple ways. I love how diverse the cast is, and how it's wonderful to see it throughout the series. The characters that have stood out to me so far are Galadriel, Nori, and Arondir to name a few. They're plenty of fantastic characters who add so much life to the world and are so awesome to see play a part in the story!

The story: As I stated I am a big fan of the Peter Jackson Trilogy, and that being said I can't criticize the story of the show because from my point of view I'm excited to be back in middle earth. The story so far has been a lot of world building for the story more or less. I find that exciting from a storytelling stand point. I can see why others might seem stand off-ish about it. It's slower than what you might find elsewhere but I can see that picking up as the series progresses. As what I've watched so far, I'm invested to see what else is to come from the story!

Conclusion, overall these are my initial first thoughts on the first two episodes so my opinion could change but as of now, I absolutely love what I've seen and ecstatic to see what else is in store!

For those who do read this review/thoughts of the series! Give it a chance!
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Captures Tolien's writing well with a good story, but characters are a bit boring
prhilmes-15 September 2022
The first two episodes were very good. Don't expect a big action-packed adventure just yet like the movies. Expect something closer to the first few chapters of one of Tolkien's books. Lots of characters and story lines are introduced. And enough story has been told that I am very interested to see what happens next.

Overall, I think the show does an excellent job of capturing the essence of Tolkien's writings and so far it seems to have a really good story to tell. The characters (writing and acting) are probably the weakest part of the show. They all just seem too boring. I hope they develop better over the coming episodes becoming more interesting, engaging, and exciting. They aren't bad - they just aren't great. The best part of the show is probably how well it looks from the tiny details in the costumes to the elaborate sets and top quality CGI. It's even better than the movies. Thankfully, it is not just resting on its looks as I do find the stories being told to be compelling so far. We will see where it goes, but I definitely recommend it.

Also, I like that it is appropriate for most of the family (middle school and up). Too many shows these days are chalk full of profanity, sex, violence, drugs, etc. In this sense, it's very refreshing.
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Morfydd Clark leads a powerful opening salvo for Rings of Power
deanfwilson3 September 2022
I had my doubts. I really did. I am an avid Tolkien fan, and approached this series with some trepidation (though not the irrational hate that I saw from some others).

Some slightly dodgy Irish accents aside (I'm Irish, for what it's worth), this was a wonderful opening episode, with a standout performance from Morfydd Clark as Galadriel (and I say that as someone who felt that Cate Blanchett's performance was nigh impossible to match).

This, to me, captured the "Biblical" feel of The Silmarillion (even though it barely touches on those events and instead focuses on a understandably time-compressed renedition of major Second Age events). The closing scene, in particular, was both beautiful and powerful -- and I really wanted to watch more.

Overall, the writing is very good, the dialogue is mostly excellent, and the acting is good to great. The visuals are spectacular. The ideas are familiar in places and fresh in others. The soundtrack hits all the right notes. Nothing about this is mediocre. While it's different tonally to the Lord of the Rings movies (it has to be, as it's a very different time period, and a very different story), it gives hope that the rest of the series will actually live up to the promise and do justice to Tolkien's work. If nothing else, this will show people that there is more to the Professor's mythos than the events of the late Third Age.

Quite frankly, the lore issues are more minimal than many made out. We could split hairs over how many whiskers Disa should have on her chin, but the reality is she delivers as a female dwarf in a really likeable way. We could spend all day debating whether there should be two Durins alive at the same time, but we would be fools to think that time compression wouldn't be used in an adaptation of a story spanning almost three and a half thousand years.

If you're in doubt, watch it and judge for yourself. Go in with an open mind and give it the chance it deserves. Find fault if you will, sure, but let people find joy if they will too.
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Never been done before (in a good way)
apersonwatchesmovies2 September 2022
This has to to, objectively, the most beautiful show I've ever seen in my entire life, literally. I mean, that title intro alone with the sand in episode two was just... That has to count for something!

I've read epic fantasy novels my whole life and from my experience, most of them tend to pick up slowly, building with every book, but that's not unusual. I can feel the tendrils of something great, something never done before (on tv) with this story. Right now it's only a promise, having only seen two episodes. It will be a hurculean task, but with right budget and the source material, this may be the only, if not one of the few chances in our lifetimes, we get to see true epic fantasy in a long form tv format at this scale.

I watched the trailer in anticipation and was frankly turned off, especially with that awful pop music, but thankfully, the soundtrack here perfect. Even so, I was critical and a little wary coming in, but I'm a true lover of storytelling, and I have to say this show has won me over. At least, enough to give it a fair shake. I'm looking forward to watching what is accomplished in the upcoming weeks, regardless what anyone else says.
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2 Episodes of Gorgeous Scenery and Intriguing beginnings
marbajc3 September 2022
Every scene is dripping with beautiful scenery, attention to detail, and a full fleshed out world. I was blown away by how beautiful this show is. I can't speak much to the story, because we only have two episodes, but I'm intrigued by the beginnings of all these stories and am looking forward to seeing them all weave together. Excellent beginning. I genuinely don't understand the hate. We haven't seen the story yet, how have many people decided it's bad? You haven't seen it yet. And the complaints it's not "true" to the source material? It is as true as it can be to clearly communicate the story so far. Tolkiens lore is scattered and often inconsistent, so please chill out. It absolutely does feel like an adaption of Tolkien.
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Promising Start and a New Take
jakeobnyc2 September 2022
Obviously nothing can live up to the expectations that original Lord of the Rings Trilogy gave us. There are a lot of ways that this show could completely fail under the shadow of the past iterations of this world, but the first two episodes are quite enjoyable. The show did not try to remake the Lord of the Rings that we know. There is still the magic and light humor of Middle Earth, the grand conflicts, moments of horror, and fantastic acting that we are accustomed to but it's unfair to compare it to films that have been idolized for two decades. This is a new IP, and a new take on Middle Earth, give it a chance.
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An Epic Adventure Back There Again
Mike_O_Dwyer4 September 2022
I used read LOTR every summer during my teens/20s, my go to vacation book. Never read The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion had me dozing off mid-page too many times to be bothered. All that to give some context: love LOTR and Jackson's flawed masterpieces, but not geeked out enough to get hung up on the minutiae of every detail about the world he created - the difference between enjoying the stories and getting hung up on minor historical accuracies of a fictional universe.

If you can find that happy place then TROP is a fantastic world to spend some time in. Like most epic adventures the beginning is filled with introductions and scene setting, with so many characters this takes a bit of time and the first episode is heavy on exposition.

Things lighten and become more expansive in ep2. I'm always wary of shows that conflate seriousness with a lack a humour, as if in the darkest hours no-one ever found humour in a well timed fart. TV shows that dwell in the dark need to have some light to give contrast and depth: think Sam and Pippin and Merry, or Tyrion and Ygritte and Bronn in that other minor TV show.

It looks fantastic, and it's a relief to see CG work that creates something new and fresh while taking hints and cues from Jackson's LOTR movies without going overboard with it in the way he did with The Hobbit movies.

With only two episodes on show it's good to see the characters develop into their respective roles, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of them all. It was clever to release two episodes, with so many characters and exposition it needed some room to find its footing. Smart too, was the decision to end the second episode with questions and a bit of mystery - it's almost like they know what they're doing.

Dwarves with Scottish accents was always cool, but giving Harfoots Irish accents is equally fun - that they don't step too far into the ah sure begorrah top-o-the-morning brogue is a bonus. I did see someone complain that in LOTR the hobbits had distinctly english regional accents, which just shows how petty and small-minded some 'purists' can be. Any Irish person will tell you that it barely takes a generation to have cousins born in England who have completely different accents, because that's how migration and integration work.

Will the Welsh get a look in, here's hoping ;)

For anyone looking to be offended by inaccuracies that don't make any difference to the story, you'll find plenty of reasons to review bomb and feel smug about - and if that's what floats your boat, it must be a very small boat.

EDIT: The above was written after the initial 2 episodes dropped, now there's been 5 and the flaws are more apparent.

There's too many stories involving too many characters with too little happening, and everything has sagged somewhat.

Everyone has a quest/journey, and there's lots of padding in each one.

The Harfoots are on a trek with a stranger. Ho hum, ho hum.

Middle Earth's Southlands have sun-fearing orcs digging tunnels towards them for an awfully long time.

Galadriel and Númenor is a slog, lots of speechifying with forboding pretentiousness - some of the worst dialogue and acting of the show involves almost everyone who is here.

At least the Dwarves have a sense of humour and wit dealing with the needy Elves.

It's still worth watching, but there's far too much of not very much happening. Few of the characters seem fully rounded, serving more as ciphers on which to construct plot-points rather than tell a story. It looks pretty, but that fades rather quickly when it needs some big personalities to step out of the beautiful renders and carry the show. It's beginning to feel like a show that's fallen from must-watch status to wait-to-watch if there's nothing else in the queue.
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Supermanfan-1322 September 2022
After watching the first few episodes the first word that comes to mind is disappointing. I was really hoping for better. While I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, I don't consider myself fan a die hard fan. I still liked it enough to look forward to this series and was naive to think it would be as good as those movies because it's not. This series takes place thousands of years before both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It's not often that a series that's based off a huge movie franchise can live up to its hype and this one doesn't. I do admit that the visuals here are incredible. It seems to me that most of the people who dislike this are really die hard fans who don't like that the changed some things up from the books. I've never been one to mind when a show or movie has to change up a few things from the original source material because I know they have to adapt it for tv/movies and that's hard to do. As long as it's entertaining I'm ok with it but I get why some people may not be. Hopefully this will get better but I'm not counting on it.
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Meh. Special effects and visuals do not make entertainment!
FreddyShoop6 September 2022
Two episodes in, and I find it utterly uncompelling. No character has been developed enough to give a dang about. Please tell me they aren't going to hang this series on the uninteresting, stone faced Galadriel. You can't tell us who we're supposed to like. They've spent absolutely no time making us care about these stories or their characters. It's like saying, "this person wears a white they're good and you must like them. This person wears a black hat, so you have to hate them." No mythology has developed (beyond the basic LOR) The story and dialogue are subpar, stilted and uninteresting. As far as the acting, it is wooden. Durin isn't terrible. At this point in LOR, Gandalf, Frodo, Aragon, Samwise, etc. Were far more interesting, believable, and human than this lot. At this point I'm FAR more interested in the GOT sequel than this mess.
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You can't even hate this.
clawingthepsychosphere2 September 2022
This show feels nothing like LotR, neither the book trilogy, nor Jackson's adaptation. If anything, this show more closely resembles all those epic fantasy copycats that started coming out in the 80s which were LotR fanfic in all but name with only a few elements changed around and renamed. Had you told me that what I was watching was Amazon's Wheel of Time rather than Lord of the Rings, I wouldn't have been surprised - the tone of this show is much closer to that and other poor, uninteresting boomer series like it.

Anyway, this isn't very good, however, the blame is not evenly distributed. The writing is, BY FAR, the worst part about it. Not only is the script weak in how little it accomplishes given the runtime and how long it takes to set stuff up, but the scene-to-scene dialogue is excruciating. The lines meaningless drivel most of the time - they're stupid, borderline incoherent. Not to mention that this sounds like it was written by a person that has no idea what the kind of old-sounding English language should be like, so it comes across as unnatural, similar to when you watch a movie about the military written by someone that has no idea how soldiers talk to one another either in private or formal settings.

Many of the things the characters said made me have to pause and go back to make sure I hadn't misheard. There's also some incredibly awkward use of language, like an en elvish king at one point saying: "... washing away the last remnants of our enemy like a spring rain over the.bones of a spoiled carcass." I don't know what it is about this line that crystallizes to me just how little these writers understand either elves or just writing in general. In what formal setting would a leader start talking about carcasses? And this is not just any king, but an elven king of old, a race that's known for their songs, their poetry, their love of beauty - do you seriously he'd use such a crude example filled with grim imagery to illustrate his point? That would be a fine line for a dwarf, maybe, but not for an elf. But the writers lack the sensibility to see how this would be a problem. This isn't even about being a fan of LotR, it's about having a certain level of artistry and common sense. If you can't imagine a president or a minister saying something, there's a very strong chance a king would never say that either, especially not an elf.

I will concede that the show looks beautiful at times, but in a fake, plastic sort of way. You can tell it's the product of CGI artists and not a talented photographer finding the right place for a breathtaking shot, and in that sense it feels incredibly soulless. Another problem is that a lot of these beautiful shots feel unearned. If a character braves a dank mine and emerges on the other end to glimpse a heavenly valley, that makes for a satisfying scene. But here the grandiose scenery seems to be used without any rhyme or reason and isn't meant to further the storytelling, I think the point is to wow the viewer. But ultimately all you're being offered is a glorified desktop background with a couple of actors in greenscreen talking in front of it. Hardly the type of stuff to get your heart pumping.

Most disappointing of all might be the score, for which I have no explanation. Bear McReary is a very talented artist. Whether it's Battlestar Galactica, God of War, Black Sails, or even smaller series like Da Vinci's Demons, he always delivers. Here, the music is just... so bad. If you told me it came out of some early 2000s RPG and was made by a teenager without real musical training I would've believed you. I cannot fathom what happened between him and the showrunners. Granted, I wouldn't have thought of Bear McReary's style as a great fit for LotR, but still... How can it be this generic and off? Just how much time did Amazon give the man to work on it? Because given their history, if I have to lay blame on either party, there's no way I'm going to assume it's Bear that screwed up rather than Amazon. Disastrous outcome.

Ultimately, this show is a huge wasted opportunity. I think everyone that loved the movies and books was dreaming of the day the Silmarillion would get an adaptation. And nobody could've even hoped it would come from the most powerful company and wealthiest man in the world. And what did we end up with? Some subpar show that barely even feels related to the source material, based on the appendices, written by a group of people that quite frankly shouldn't even qualify as professionals in their field. I'd be amazed if these guys can write good YA novels, let alone fantasy epics. Given the results, it feels like a lot of the people that worked on this were: a) totally unqualified b) a very bad fit for this IP, or C) soured on the project long before it aired. You can't be handed over what's almost infinite money and come up with something this insultingly mediocre and inauthentic. It just shouldn't be possible. Some of the outfits these characters wear look more like they were ordered off of Amazon for a cosplay. That they don't fit Jackson's LotR is acceptable; but that they feel like they're made of plastic and wouldn't be worn by any normal human being in real life is not. These showrunners seem to think that grittiness doesn't in any way connect to authenticity, and that the way you make some gripping and realistic is by slapping lairs of makeup made to look like grime and dirt on actors' faces. That's simply not the case, and any look at the behind the scenes of LotR or any quality, longlasting movie would've taught you this simple lesson.

Do I recommend this? No, I don't. It's just not worth your time, and if it ever does become good, social media will let you know. I think it might appeal to younger teenagers that have no vested interest in the LotR movies, but that's about it. No adult would find these characters believable or engaging, and there's nowhere near enough action where you can just watch this for the spectacle and turn your brain off. So far, it doesn't even feel like the show has a plot, it's just a series of barely connected vignettes.

A billion dollars on this. Wow.
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Very disappointed after watching the first 2 episodes. Hope it improves.
mluinstra5 September 2022
I will start by saying the visuals are excellent in most parts, but there are also many spots where they are just average. Considering the budget, I was very surprised by this.

The dialogue is terrible in this show, to the point where I was rolling my eyes at many scenes.

The worst part of the series so far is the lead actress that plays Galadriel. She is not likeable at all, and she does stupid things like jumping off a boat in the middle of the ocean when she's like 300 miles from land. Did she expect to swim 300 miles shore?

There are only 8 episodes so I don't understand why they waste so much time on scenes that accomplish nothing. They will waste 5 minutes on a rock smashing competition which doesn't move the story along at all, and serves no purpose in the story.

I really hope the show gets better but from what I've seen so far, I have little faith it will happen. Most of the characters are dull and don't act appropriately for their race. For example, the Harfoots (basically Hobbits) don't act or "feel" like Hobbits. Go watch Lord of the Rings and you will see how engaging and delightful the hobbits are. They make you feel happy and you like them instantly. In Rings of Power, you watch these Harfoot's and you don't feel anything. It's like they are short people hanging around a little village and that's it.

It's too bad because I was looking forward to a fun new adventure series from Middle Earth and got this instead.
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mariamakesmusic11 October 2022
I got up to ep6. I often forgot it was even on but there's so much advertising I'd remember to give it another try. I think 6 episodes was a generous waste of my time. Consider this to be the crazy, lazy uncle of a classic tale and a classic trilogy that's best left alone without any lack luster prequels. Money doesn't ensure a magical cast. I don't really sense there was much connection among these cast members. I think expensive productions can get lost swimming in their own money to produce spectacular effects, costumes and other magnificent cinematography but when a story line is this weak, none of that expensive stuff keeps you tuned in.
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