A new TV spot for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power was released by Prime Video, and it comes with the tagline “Nothing is bad in the beginning…”. It’s an evocative little glimpse into what will make this prequel to JRR Tolkien’s books so (controversial) different: a world and its inhabitants that are all more complex than the tale of good and evil Tolkien told in The Lord of the Rings.
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) June 27, 2022
Promotional images and footage for power rings sparked buzz at first – not all good. The prequel series shows versions of races like orcs, early hobbits, and elves — not to mention an iconic figure or two — that are vastly different from what fans have seen before. This is because by the time the series takes place (thousands of years before LOTR), “good” and “bad” are not simple binary concepts represented by rings. Each race has its own culture and politics, and even orcs will be more complicated than the raw henchman we know:
“We spent a lot of time talking about what it would mean to be an Orc in the Second Age,” executive producer Lindsey Weber shared with IGN. “It seemed appropriate that their appearance was different, part of a wilder, rawer, Second Age Middle-earth, closer to the end of the First Age. By the time we meet them, they are not yet organized in armies they’re a bit more spread out and they’ve been digging in. So it’s just a different time in their total history.
For all the backlash power rings got from some hardcore Tolkien fans, the series is pretty faithful to the text that Tolkien himself wrote about the history of Middle-earth. Early reactions from a few of those hardcore (and even graduate) Tolkien fans who screened the TV series are also quite positive:
“@LOTRonPrime took me and @tolkienprof to London last week to see clips from #RingsofPower, Tolkien’s Oxford, and to meet the showrunners, who followed the best of us. Their passion and knowledge made me feel like they were one of us; they get it. I feel very optimistic!” wrote Dr. Maggie ParkePhD, a “self-proclaimed expert in fan management Developing scripts, stories and novels… Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, King Arthur, TwilightFantastic and adaptation In general…”
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is set 1,000 years before The Lord of the Rings and takes place during the Second Age of Middle-earth. It begins during a period of relative peace following the defeat of Morgoth, Sauron’s master. The series chronicles the lives and adventures of its cast and promises to visit the Misty Mountains, the forest elf capital of Lindon and the shores of the island kingdom of Númenor.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is currently slated for a five-season arc. It will premiere on Prime Video on September 2.