On Friday 2 September on Prime Video the first two episodes, out of 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 de The Lord of the Rings.
Given that for two weeks HBO (and Sky in Italy) have published the first two episodes of House of Dragonprequel-spinoff of game of Thronesit is inevitable to make a comparison between the two series, or rather on the “noise” they generated on social networks.
From this point of view, the comparison is rather merciless, as you can all notice. Because if that is true House of Dragon has broken all television audience records for the first episode of a TV series, already yesterday afternoon on social media The Rings of Power it’s literally on everyone’s lips and wall.
Of course, the public response to this Tolkenian series is not exactly unanimous. Particularly negative is the opinion of the most uncompromising fans of the majestic, mammoth and masterful work of JRR Tolkien, who reproach Prime Video for having taken too much liberty in transposing the texts of the English professor to the small screen.
What Tolkien fans scold at Prime Video
Before the release of the series, the most visible controversy of the Lord of the Rings fans was linked to the presence in the cast, as evidenced by trailers and photos from the set, of a non-white actor like Ismael Cruz Córdova in the role of Arondir, a wood elf. who did not figure among the characters of the literary universe.
In practice, Prime Video was reproached for wanting to do a politically correct series, at the cost of inserting a black actor in a world in which, according to these fans who are very attentive to respect for Tolkien’s texts, there are no black characters. . A controversy very similar to the one that hit House of Dragon, in which at the center of criticism there was / is the black Corlys Velaryon (whose interpreter he answered for the rhymes).
Now that the first two episodes have been released, titled respectively The shadow of the past And Adriftthe criticisms have expanded considerably, so much so that many iron Tolkenians have already promised that they will never see an episode of The Rings of Power.
In short, there are two aspects that these readers / viewers have not taken down: the lack of respect for the Tolkenian 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 up to 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 The Rings of Power is taken
As hardcore fans already know, Jeff Bezos and Amazon did not buy the rights to all of Tolkien’s works, but “only” the saga of the Lord of the Rings, 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, in practice, the authors of the series, JD Payne and Patrick McKay, in turn Tolkenians of iron, 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 have introduced us, or perhaps better said brought back, to this universe. We met Galadriel as a child, and her brother, and then she explained to us how the Elves left Valinor (yes, of course, 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 orcs and the forces of evil.
We have therefore seen adult Galadriel, who after the death of her brother swears eternal revenge (eternal indeed, given the immortality of the Elves) to Sauron, despite the different opinion of his soldiers and also of his king.
And we began to know the Pelopiedi (Halfmen like the Hobbits) with the curious and kind Nori, the Dwarves with Prince Durin, the men, the love between the elf Arondir and the human Bronwyn. And then who will be that mysterious giant fallen from the sky and 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 you could already guess from the billionaire budget of the series) and a clear difference between the spirituality of this series and the “carnality” of those inspired by novels by George RR Martin. Then everyone is free to love or hate The Rings of Powerbut at least for now Amazon has won its bet.