Review: The rings of power

Rebekah Corral, Opinion Writer

Official poster for the show.

“The Lord of The Rings: Rings of Power” aired its first episode on September 1st to 25 million viewers, according to Amazon. This show is an Amazon Original show based on the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien. It is a prequel showing the Lord of The Rings movies. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the show has an 85% critic rating but only has a 39% audience score.  

IMBD is ranking it at 6.8/10. I have watched the first three episodes that have been released and feel like I have a good idea why these two ratings are so opposite.  

The show is beautiful. Everything looks grand on the scale of the movies that have come out in the past. The creators of the show took a lot of time and money since it is reported that each episode cost 60 million to make.  

While all this money does show in production value, I don’t think that is appreciated as much by regular people just tuning like it might be a critic. People look for compelling stories and exciting characters. I hate to say this since I am a big fan of the original first three movies, but the show has not been well delivered so far. I am not a fan of creating any show that leans too heavily on prior content.  

This show does give some massive exposition in the initial episode. Despite all the information they give most of the show will still seem confusing if you are not familiar with the original movies or books. In the latest episode, Galadriel is sailing into an unknown city only to reveal it is the great city of Numenor. This is meant to be a big moment for the viewers that resonates because of its references in the films.  

Seeing the city in its great days when the line of men was supposedly strong was cool. All of the grandness is lost on anyone unfamiliar with the stories. A new viewer just sees a city and might even wonder why the dramatic pause when they approach.  

There was even an article by Leona Millin on the Polygon site titled “What is Numenor in Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?” The article details the city, explaining why it is so essential in the show and the connection to the original Lord of the Rings stories.  

The show does feel slow and a bit uneventful in the beginning. Some might argue it is laying a foundation that could be true, but that requires the viewers to trust it is going somewhere.   

Morfydd Clark, the actress playing Galadriel, is a highlight. She shines in her scenes and brings vibrant life to the show that felt lacking overall. Some people took issue with her character being portrayed as a warrior. Yet it did not feel forced within the context of this story and added a significant change from the usual male heroes that bombard the screen.  

I prefer shows that make the episodes more well-rounded, bringing closure to a particular conflict at the end of each episode. Unfortunately, this is not the case with The Rings of Power. I am one for sticking it out to see where things go. Let’s see if the build-up takes the show somewhere good.