For fantasy fans, the second half of 2022 has been a masterful one. After the premiere of House of the Dragon, the promised super production of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power arrives on Amazon Prime Video. The trilogies of J.R.R.Tolkien‘s classics, especially the Lord of the Rings, made movie history, breaking records and collecting well-deserved awards. And if Game of Thrones fans complain they are a small chip compared to demanding readers and Tolkien fans, so the daring to bring the writer’s magical and dear universe aroused suspicion and anxiety. The investment paid off.
Critics repeat adjectives like “splendid” or “stunning” and the quality of production – the most expensive of all time, with an estimate of 465 million dollars – is undeniable. Betting on what worked with the adaptations of Peter Jackson (who is not involved here), it repeats the landscapes of New Zealand, which had already served as a basis in the films to recreate the lands of elves, humans, and dwarves.
The plot focuses on the Second Age of Middle-earth, three thousand years before Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring and even before Sauron forged the rings. At this stage, it is the young Galadriel (whom we know with the face of Cate Blanchett in the films) who leads the series. Played by Morfydd Clark, the elf as a young girl is brave, flawed, and even arrogant, as well as vengeful, bloodthirsty, and brilliant, trying to warn everyone of impending danger.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power faces a paradox: that of living under the shadow of the mega success of House of the Dragon, which is an irony. After all, since the franchise signed by George R.R. Martin made history and broke records, all platforms were looking for a replacement for Game of Thrones, but the American writer himself was inspired by Tolkien to make his books. It is the case of the egg or the chicken. It was because of the existence of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, written in the 1930s, that franchises like Harry Potter or Game of Thrones found a captive audience. Still, The Rings of Power vie for a space full of pups, telling a lesser-known snippet of their history and dealing with comparisons.
I won’t give spoilers, but I guarantee that the most faithful will not be disappointed. With the quality of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power it’s even clearer that the barrier between film and TV is in distribution, not production. And who wins is the consumer.