Some Thoughts on Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power

I have been watching the new Lord of the Rings show on Amazon since it premiered, and I wanted to take a moment to say how much I’ve been enjoying it. The acting has been great. The characters are complex. It’s beautiful to watch. The songs have even been top notch. (Special shout out to This Wandering Day, which was perfect.)

I’ve loved how so much of the show resonates with Peter Jackson’s movies. Yes, the characters are played by different actors. Yes, the politics are all different, since it’s thousands of year before LOTR, but the dwarves feel like dwarves. The elves feel like elves. The armor, the scene design, the world building: all of it fits for me.

Of course, there have been a vocal few who have been frothing at the mouth that there are elves and dwarves and ur-hobbits of color. They’re not all white. And to some, apparently that’s just sacrilege. Except elves and dwarves and hobbits are all counterparts to humans. There are humans of multiple races. Why in the world wouldn’t there be dwarves or elves or hobbits of the same? And why in the world should it matter? (But mind you, I also didn’t have an issue with the elf/dwarf romance in the Hobbit movies, because if you can have elf/human, why not elf/dwarf? So maybe I’m just a heretic.)

It’s disappointing to me that so many have somehow reduced the show to a horse race with House of the Dragon. Yes, they are both fantasy movies, but their audience only partially intersects. There are many people I wouldn’t recommend House of the Dragon to at all. HBO may pride itself on how “gritty” and “adult” its shows are, but due to those very qualities, they aren’t shows I’d ever watch with my kids, and they aren’t for anyone who’s turned off by extreme violence and sex. (And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the extremes of the show are unnecessary to tell the story the show wants to tell. I don’t think they’re necessary to tell any sort of story. But that’s a post for a different day.)

Rings of Power, on the other hand, is a show I would recommend to just about anyone. Well, probably not small children, but teens and up? Easy. It’s got humor, adventure, wonder, and more. I’m having an absolute blast with it, and I hope they get to see it through to completion.

What have you thought so far?

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