Amazon's long-anticipated Lord of the Rings TV Show is upon us, and we have got some more information about it. "The Rings of Power" takes place in the first two ages of Middle-earth and is one of the most expensive TV show productions. Amazon dished out more than $250 million only for the rights to adapt Tolkien's Middle-Earth books into a show! "The Rings of Power" will explore the lesser-known parts of Tolkien lore, and it's one of the most eagerly awaited TV shows of all time. However, there are vocal opinions about the imminent doom of "The Rings of Power." So, here are the top ten reasons why this series might be a massive disappointment.
10. The Amazon's History With Fantasy Series
Amazon has certified inconsistency with the quality of their series. Every masterpiece they make is followed by at least two or three mediocre-to-awful shows. This especially works for their fantasy and fiction shows. The latest jarring example of the fantasy classic mistreatment was the first season of "The Wheel of Time."
Many fans of Jordan's books expressed their disappointment with this show. Hence, the liberal approach to the story and characters wasn't precisely what the audience wanted. After this fan backlash, the fate of "The Wheel of Time" is uncertain. We are afraid the same thing will happen with "The Rings of Power."
9. The Visual Tone
When the first photos of "The Rings of Power" arrived, many people complained about the overall look. Somehow, it lacked Tolkien's epic feel, which was present in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" movies. Instead, it seems that the creators of "The Rings of Power" wanted to reflect the real world in their series. But we'll mention that later on.
The fandom's concern went further after the "The Rings of Power" trailer arrived. Unfortunately, the parts of the show featured in the clip failed to make people more excited. The most significant shortcomings many pointed out concerned the visual identity. The whole thing was too smooth and polished, yet lacking the epic feeling. Fans rightfully compared "The Rings of Power" with "The Hobbit" movies, which isn't a favorable thing at all.
8. Limited Rights
The most surprising thing about "Rings of Power" is that Amazon doesn't have rights for neither Silmarillion nor the main LOTR story. The only rights bought for "Rings of Power" were the appendices at the end of the "Return of the King" book. Those are mutually disconnected stories spanning over the entire Second Age.
Peter Jackson did a similar thing when he adapted the Hobbit book into three three-hour-long movies. Nonetheless, that experiment in unadulterated greed didn't go well. Now, try to imagine 170-some pages stretched over several seasons. Yeah, it doesn't seem bright to us either.
7. No Iconic Characters
Due to the fact "Rings of Power" tells about the Second Age only, that means we won't be seeing some familiar faces. In fact, the only confirmed characters we already know are Elrond and Galadriel. Yet, even they are way different from how we remember them, but about that later.
That means most of the human characters from "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" movies are absent from the "Rings of Power." Furthermore, even wizards haven't been confirmed for "The Rings of Power." Consequently, the fate of an entire long-running, high-budget TV show relies on unfamiliar characters. That kind of risk is admirable but not very wise when it comes to spending Amazon's money.
Don't get us wrong; we don't have anything against the inclusion of people of color in modern movies. Actually, considering the history of non-white actors and characters, diverse casts are more than welcome in most productions. However, that's not the case with "The Rings Of Power."
When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his epic magnum opus, his idea was to recreate ancient English mythology. That part of English history was forever lost after the Saxons conquered Britain. Instead, the entire Middle-Earth was based on ancient German and Nordic mythology. Those mythologies are pretty homogenous when it comes to ethnicity.
5. Covering Too Much
"The Rings of Power" is supposed to cover the entire Second Age of Middle-Earth. That's around three-and-a-half thousand years of fairly complex lore. Indeed, that amount of material would be a challenge to even more experienced showrunners.
Therefore, "The Rings of Power" could be made as an omnibus story, with each episode depicting one crucial event in the Second Age. However, it seems that the showrunners opted for a different approach. Instead, they will try to put all the important events of the Second Age in a short time period. We don't have to say how risky that is.
4. Wrong Characterization
One of the biggest reasons Tolkien fans object against "The Rings of Power" is the depiction of already established characters. Namely, Elrond and Galadriel are entirely dissimilar from their "Lord of the Rings" counterparts. For instance, aside from looking completely different from Hugo Weaving, this Elrond is young, bold, and ambitious.
The even bigger offender is Galadriel. Instead of a serene, wise, and peaceful queen, we've got a warrior princess. This doesn't align with Galadriel from the books at all. Not only is she portrayed in full armor like Jeanne D'arc, but she's also shown leading an army. We are not sure if this is a good move.
3. Planning Too Far Ahead
We couldn't say "The Rings of Power" isn't an ambitious project. After all, it was planned for several seasons in advance, and that kind of confidence is usually a good thing. However, we're not sure the belief in "The Rings of Power" is justified - many things could go horribly awry.
Primarily, the plot and characters controversy could severely damage the ratings. Therefore, there are some reasons for concern. Planning several seasons ahead when the success is not insured doesn't seem very wise. As a result, it may end up canceled after a single one.
2. The Vague Demography
We are not entirely sure who was the intended audience for "The Rings of Power." Apparently, heaps of Tolkien fans aren't very excited about the show's development. On the other hand, someone who doesn't know much about the lore won't make much sense of it.
Furthermore, it seems that "The Rings of Power" will try to be a new "Game of Thrones," which is notoriously different from high fantasy. Hence, it looks like the target demographic is the intersection between Tolkien and "Game of Thrones" fans. We are not sure that's enough of the audience to base the success upon.
1. "Improvement" of Tolkien
Finally, the biggest reason "The Rings of Power" might be a flop is the amount of hubris to change the original Tolkien's world and characters. For instance, Peter Jackson kept as close to the original as possible, and his "Lord of the Rings" movies are considered a masterpiece. "The Hobbit" ones, not so much. That's another proof that respect will bring anyone a long way.
Amazon tries to change Tolkien's universe to reflect today's modern world more. Still, that attempt to "improve" already established and beloved mythos probably won't end well. Tolkien's fans are almost universally appalled by these changes. Thus, if the production continues the current course, we'll witness another failure of a once-great franchise.
"The Rings of Power" represents a bold attempt to present Tolkien's world and characters to modern audiences. However, many hardcore fans aren't very delighted with the production and everything we said in our top ten list. Thankfully, all the questions would be answered once "The Rings of Power" finally hit the screen in late 2022.
Do you think "The Rings of Power" will succeed? If not, can you tell us why?