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The Rings of Power - Review

mordor's tongue

20Books Vegas 2022 was a blast. I’m still watching recorded sessions from the biggest indie conference in the world and will be doing so for days to come, possibly weeks, depending on how many I want/can see in a day.
But first thing first, here’s The Rings of Power’s review.

I’ve been a member of The Tolkien Society since 2008. I read The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of The Rings several times. I also read The History of Middle Earth (eleven volumes out of Twelve), and several other things by Tolkien and about Tolkien.
This doesn’t make me an expert in anything, but it definitely makes me a passionate fan (as in fanatic).
When I heard Bezos had bought the rights to make a series about Middle Earth, I was terrified. After Game of Thrones and how HBO ruined the books (after book 3, as until then they had been mostly accurate, and when they hadn’t it didn’t sound wrong anyway).
Then I discovered that Amazon couldn’t use the original content of the legendarium, and that’s when I understood why a billionaire is so.

As a fan, I wouldn’t have thought possible such an awful idea. As a marketer, however you buy the right to a series but cannot use the stories of that series, only names of places and people. Brand it the Rings of Power and make more billions out of it. Most people haven’t read The Silmarillion, anyway, so what do they know about Galadriel, Elrond, Isildur, and Durin? They would only think about Kate Blanchet, Viggo Mortensen, Richard Armitage, Balrogs, pretty Elves, and dwarves, and boom, you’ve got them hooked.
See why I’ll never be a billionaire? The whole idea makes me sick, but mind, that I’m not saying the series isn’t well done. All I’m saying is that it has nothing to do with Tolkien legendarium, but that was part of the deal, so what was I expecting?


The Review Proper

One thing can and must be said about The Rings of Power: they didn’t shy away from spending a shitload of money, and you can see that in every scene. The costumes and scenography are definitely top-notch. The feel is pure epic fantasy.

If one forgets the legendarium as if it never existed, there’s a feel of Middle Earth, escpecially with Numenor. It’s grandiose. The show is pleasant in terms of story and characters for the most part. I’m not really happy with the cast. Galadriel and Elrond’s faces don’t fit. I mean, ‘Agent Smith’ was odd as Elrond in The Lord of The Rings trilogy, but he was cool. Viggo Mortensem made me swoon every time he was on screen—and still does—therefore I may be slighly biased about him. And I can’t imagine anyone else being as perfect as Kate Blanchet to play Galadriel. Of course, they needed a younger actress (Morfydd Clark), but I don’t believe their choice was well-pondered. She doesn’t strike me as someone good at acting. Same as Elrond (Robert Aramayo), Isildur (Maxim Baldry), and Earien (Ema Horvath). Some members of the cast are definitely better, starting from The Stranger (Daniel Weyman) and most of the Brandyfoot—the forefathers of the Hobbits. I particularly liked Halbrand (Charlie Vickers), and, if they had made a better choice for Galadriel’s character, I’m sure their interactions would have acquired more depth, especially the revealing ones at the end. My favourites are definitely Durin, the Prince (Owain Arthur) and Princess Disa (Sophia Nomvete). Especially the latter. Terrific.
So, if you know Tolkien legendarium, forget about it and be ready to watch an epic fantasy series; you won’t be disappointed.
If you’ve never heard about the legendarium you’ll be fine and probably enjoy this series.
If you can’t think of anything but the legendarium then you’re better off not watching it. But I doubt you’d be reading this review if that were the case.

Until next time.