A week after the airing of the last episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, it is time to take stock.
A week after the broadcast of the last episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, it’s time to take stock. Has the Prime Video series won us over? Back to this ambitious project for the SVOD platform.
When the giant Amazon launched in the SVOD sector, these first steps in the sector were quite discreet. First thought of as an option for holders of the Amazon Prime subscription, the platform nevertheless had the ambition to go close to the biggest, Netflix in the line of sight. The mayonnaise quickly caught on with users, who could take advantage of a selection of series and movies, in addition to free delivery and many other benefits.
Nevertheless, confronted with the giants from N rouge, such as Stranger Things or even more recently The Witcher, Prime Video lacked a strong license. The arrival of the series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power therefore sounds like the key moment in the development of the SVOD offer.
Having beaten many of its competitors, the platform intended to bet on the universe to intrude itself into the living rooms of series enthusiasts around the world. But tackling such a popular license is a risky proposition, has the challenge been met?
A free customization
When she acquired the rights to adapt Lord over call, the platform made the wise decision not to get too close to the plot explored by Peter Jackson in his two trilogies. Instead, she would unveil a shadowy part of mythology, the way the rings of power were forged. This piece of Middle-earth history was touched upon by Tolkien, but in a rather superficial way, at least not enough to keep viewers engaged for five seasons.
The series is therefore more of an invention from Tolkien’s universe than an adaptation. Many liberties have thus been taken, much to the displeasure of readers of Lord of the Rings and all related works. The campaign nevertheless relied on the Lord of the Rings stamp to ensure it attracted attention.
For those who have only had the opportunity to see Peter Jackson’s two trilogies, the work sounds like a homecoming, with aficionados struggling to find their account. But the adaptation game lies above all in the way a story is transformed to support a new format, and at this point the series does quite well.
A good series?
With his first trilogy, Peter Jackson had done miracles. Rather true to Tolkien’s works, Lord of the Rings has established itself as one of the strongest sagas of the early 2000s. However, the plot is so colossal that it could have spanned several episodes of a series. When Amazon decided to develop its new project in this form, its approach had something to excite us.
Several productions of the genre had already shone in the field, starting with Game of Thrones which will mark a turning point in television history. If the tone and the universe are very different, we nevertheless find certain mechanics inspired by the adaptation of the Iron Throne. Choir story, the series explores the fate of several characters before they come together for a grand finale.
If the first episode could be enough to make us dizzy, given the astronomical amount of plots and characters, the following finally managed to hang up the wagons quite well. During this journey to Middle-earth, we fell in love with many of them, starting with the little Harfoots. Humans, dwarves, elves, and mysterious wizards must band together to fight an ancient evil.
But even beyond the liberties of the story, the series suffers from a lackluster rhythm. Where she skims over certain plot elements, she sometimes dwells on details that could have been covered with less precision. Our characters often face challenges and challenges that they overcome in moments, or turn around just as quickly.
Nevertheless, after a soft underbelly between the third and fifth episodes, the series catches up with us in full flight in preparation for the conclusion. To tell the truth, it is only at this moment that the series finally gets to the heart of the matter, we finally attack the main theme: the rings of power.
This first burst of episodes is therefore more of a long introduction than the beginning of a saga. Season 2 should pick up in intensity, while the first eight episodes have delivered almost all of their secrets.
However, note that the creators have shown a bit of laziness, limiting the mystery of the plot to the sole search for Sauron’s identity. A weakness in the writing that cannot be forgiven over several seasons, the next one must gain a lot in intensity to stay in the good graces of the audience.
It is nice
With a budget of over 400 million dollars, just for Season 1, the series is the most expensive in the history of the small screen. For Amazon, on the other hand, the operation should be profitable, since the consequences will be numerous, and in particular on the side of its e-commerce platform.
It appears that a good portion of this envelope was dedicated to the visual aspect of the series. Filmed in New Zealand, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power thus relies on real sets and others that are simply digital. From the first paragraph it is clear that the envelope has been put to good use.
Thronging with details and bathed in light, the series is a large painting that stretches out before the speechless eyes of the spectators. Everything in the series exudes grandeur, color and light. Even on the side of more practical effects, Amazon’s copy is nearly perfect. The orcs are particularly terrifying, Prime Video had the good idea not to bet on CGI to hatch the license’s monsters.
A season 2 that fascinates
This first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has its flaws, especially in its writing. But when it finally gets to the heart of the matter, the series by JD Payne and Patrick McKay promises to increase in intensity. The avenues to explore for the narrative are numerous, this long introduction has laid the groundwork for a great saga that should be spread over several seasons. The creators are currently planning to produce 5 on behalf of the SVOD platform.
We therefore make no secret of our impatience at the thought of learning more about the rings of power and the creation of the one destined to rule them all. However, to fully convince us, the series will need to gain in efficiency and perhaps shed a little more of its bombastic dialogue and its very Manichean approach to mythology. Season 2, according to Payne and McKay, was going to be a little darker, and that’s not to displease us.
We will probably see you in 2024 to discover this new series of episodes on Prime Video. If the platform hasn’t specified the release schedule, we already know that filming has started in England. New actors are expected to join the cast.
Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Prime Video