LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER: SEASON ONE
Starring: Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Charlie Vickers, Markella Kavenagh, Daniel Weyman, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Lloyd Owen, Nazanin Boniadi, Robert Aramayo, and Owain Arthur
Creators: Patrick McKay, John D. Payne
The Rings of Power is a lesson in patience. It masterfully weaves multiple storylines together, but in following four separate plotlines, it takes a bit too long to reach a payoff. But dammit, what a payoff! For some, that slow burn may feel boring (*cough* Q *cough*) or overwrought, but for me, it brought tension to the slowly unraveling mysteries and created connections to captivating characters (especially Owain Arthur’s Durin). It even generated catharsis once the explosive climax begins tying things together in the gripping final episodes. It returned me to the beauty of Middle Earth, and I can’t wait to go back.
While beautiful to look at…and make no mistake, it is breathtakingly gorgeous…if you aren’t already a diehard Ringer, The Rings of Power is boring as hell. The disparate storylines are just far too unwieldy and slow-moving to hold the general fan’s interest. Honestly, I still can’t tell you what the series is even “about.” The unlikable characters (especially Galadriel (Morfydd Clark)) are given weak characterizations too, and the acting comes off as wooden (though, that could be due to the bland Tolkien dialogue they are forced to deliver). As visually stunning as it may be, I can’t believe Amazon backed up the truck for this.
Amazon’s The Rings of Power may not invoke the same emotion as The Lord of the Rings films from which it draws inspiration, but it’s an impressive piece of work nonetheless. Lavishly produced with one hell of a pilot, Season One immediately induces a sense of wonder and majesty in the viewer. As the story continues, there are admittedly a few awkwardly paced episodes, and for only having eight episodes total, that’s not ideal for a debut season. That said, the performances and dialogue all work well enough even then. I’ll watch Season Two, for sure.