‘The Rings of Power’ Already Beats ‘House of Dragon’ With Two Episodes

Friday September 2nd on Prime Video were released streaming the first two episodes, on a total of 8 for the first season, of The Rings of Power – The Rings of Powerthe Amazon TV series that acts as a spinoff and above all as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings.

Given that for two weeks HBO (and Sky in Italy) have published the first two episodes of House of Dragonsprequel-spinoff of game of Thronesit is inevitable to make a comparison between the two series, or rather on the “noise” they have generated on social media.

From this point of view, the comparison is rather unforgiving, as you can all see. Because if that’s true House of Dragons broke all television audience records for the first episode of a TV series, already on social networks yesterday afternoon The Rings of Power is literally on everyone’s lips and wall, all over the world (UPDATE: Prime Video reports that the first two episodes were viewed by 25 million people on their first day of release).

Of course, the public’s response to this Tolkenian series is not exactly unanimous. What is particularly negative is the opinion of the most intransigent fans of JRR Tolkien’s majestic, mammoth and masterful work, who reproach Prime Video for having taken too many liberties in transposing the English professor’s texts onto the small screen.


What Tolkien fans reproach Prime Video

Before of the series’ release, the most visible controversy among Lord of the Rings fans was related to the presence in the cast, as evidenced by trailers and set photos, of a non-white actor like Ismael Cruz Córdova in the role of Arondir, a woodland elf who he did not figure among the characters in the literary universe.


In practice, Prime Video was reproached for necessarily wanting to make a politically correct series, at the cost of inserting a black actor in a world where, according to these fans who are very attentive to respecting Tolkien’s texts, there are no black characters . A controversy very similar to the one that struck House of Dragon, in which the center of criticism was/is the black Corlys Velaryon (whose interpreter he answered for rhymes).

Now that the first two episodes have come out, titled respectively The shadow of the past And Adriftthe criticisms have widened considerably, so much so that many iron Tolkenians have already promised that they will never again see an episode of The Rings of Power.

In short, there are two aspects that these readers/viewers didn’t like: the lack of respect for Tolken’s epic and an excess of freedom of the showrunners of the series. On the one hand, therefore, the representation of an almost androgynous Sauron, a Galadriel not worthy of her literary fame, an Elrond with hair of the wrong color; on the other, ultimately, characters invented from scratch by the authors of the series.


The books from which Rings of Power is based

As the most ardent fans already know, Jeff Bezos and Amazon have not purchased the rights to all of Tolkien’s work, but “only” the Lord of the Rings saga, The Hobbit and the Appendices to the main work. For example, a work such as the Silmarillionwhich in more detail explained the facts prior to The Lord of the Rings.

So, basically, the authors of the series, JD Payne and Patrick McKay, iron Tolkenians themselves, brought together other great experts and created a narrative universe that starts from some sentences, some passages, notes and anecdotes contained in the books of above, they added new characters and created a story that, in fact, or at least in their intentions, should complete the original universe.


The plot of the first two episodes

In all of this, the first two episodes introduced us, or perhaps better said brought us back, into this universe. We met Galadriel as a child, and her brother, and then she explained to us how the Elves left Valinor (yes, sure, like the Targaryens and Valyria) to fight Morgoth, and crossed the sea to land in Middle-earth, where they fought for decades and centuries against Sauron, the ogres and the forces of evil.


We have therefore seen an adult Galadriel, who after the death of her brother swears eternal vengeance (truly eternal, given the immortality of the Elves) to Sauron, despite the different opinion of her soldiers and also of her king.

And we started to get to know the Pelopedes (Halflings like the Hobbits) with the curious and kind Nori, the Dwarves with Prince Durin, men, the love between the elf Arondir and the human Bronwyn. And then who will be that mysterious giant who fell from the sky and was found by Nori and her friend Poppy (who remind us of Frodo and Sam)? We have an idea, but we stop here to avoid even involuntary spoilers.


For now we limit ourselves to noting what cannot be denied, namely an exceptional television set-up (as could already be guessed from the billion dollar budget of the series) and a clear difference between the spirituality of this series and the “carnality” of those inspired by the novels of George RR Martin. Then everyone is free to love or to hate The Rings of Powerbut at least for now Amazon has won its bet.

Rating: 7.5

‘The Rings of Power’ Already Beats ‘House of Dragon’ With Two Episodes