The Rings of Power’s sparkling success can’t save it from fan backlash
Things didn’t seem right in Middle-earth – and that was before Dark Lord Sauron made him feel his gift again.
how did it get here?Well, despite debuting on Prime Video last weekend (September 2-4), Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series Ring of Thrones is still facing a backlash from die-hard JRR Tolkien fans and the same audience.
First, good news for Amazon Studios: As revealed on Twitter (and via an Amazon press release), Ring of Thrones’ two-episode premiere is the largest in Prime Video history. The show attracted 25 million viewers in the first 24 hours of its release, breaking records for the streaming giant’s various Prime Video series and movies. Comparing it to Ring of Thrones’ fantasy counterpart, aka HBO Max’s “House of the Dragon,” which debuted with just under 10 million viewers, Amazon Studios can rightly claim it’s in the so-called intense stream. The first battle was won in the media wars. duo.
Add to that the mostly positive reviews it received before its release – in our spoiler-free review we said The Ring of Thrones was “an expensive Lord of the Rings gamble that pays off in fantastic fashion” – And Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series looks like a winner.
Join 25 million viewers worldwide this weekend to watch #TheRingsOfPower only on @PrimeVideo. There are new episodes every Friday. pic.twitter.com/QlFe74KUzmSeptember 4, 2022
Those solid ratings and critically acclaimed review scores don’t tell the whole story, though. The Ring of Thrones was criticized in some quarters before its release, with parts of Tolkien’s fanbase denouncing its diverse cast, questionable VFX, and why it even needed a second era set Lord of the Rings TV show.
However, Amazon’s hopes of dissipating that negative sentiment with the launch of the series didn’t materialize. Well, anyway, in most cases.
According to data accumulated by social media-led consumer research firm BrandWatch, 60% of online discussions about Ring of Thrones after its premiere were predominantly negative, with less than 40% of mentions on social media being positive reviews category.
According to BrandWatch’s research, viewers found The Rings of Power’s plot to be “slow,” “full of bad writing,” and “lack of a cast.” Other viewers complained about the series’ over-reliance on CGI components, while some felt the show’s characters were similar to those developed by Tolkien when he created The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and the rest of Middle-earth Characters are not literary.
Still, as mentioned earlier, The Rings of Power isn’t a bad watch in the eyes of others. Television fans have commented that it hits the right story rhythm and introduces engaging new characters, while respecting Tolkien’s beloved source material. Meanwhile, other fans said the film was “stunning”, the acting was “excellent” and that the show’s multiple episodes were “full of hope and intrigue”.
Still, Ring of Thrones had more negative reactions than positive ones. So what gives? Why wasn’t it as popular with the general audience as the critics?
On the one hand, those who criticize the series are likely to be the ones who didn’t want it in the first place. For months, some Tolkienists have been lashing out at Amazon’s Lord of the Rings project, claiming it doesn’t fit the legendary author’s work or his vision for the Lord of the Rings franchise.
The comments may also have subconsciously influenced the opinions of more casual Lord of the Rings fans before they were released.In an online environment, it’s easy to formulate your opinion for you, so some viewers may have watched the first two episodes and thought how They want to react to the series, if they realize it’s not as good as they hoped, before actually doing it.
This is the worst show I’ve ever watched. Bad acting, dialogue and story. I’m now glad this has nothing to do with Tolkien or Lord of the Rings.September 4, 2022
There’s also the fact that Ring of Power is methodical in its approach to storytelling. Yes, the series got off to a slow start narratively – but it had to be. As we pointed out in our review, Ring of Thrones has a lot going for it – new and returning characters, locations we’ve never seen on screen before, multiple storylines, and A brief look at what happened in the First Era to set the scene for where we were when we joined the show’s main players.
To be sure, Lord of the Rings has been slow going, but its first two episodes had to be so that we can find something good from episode three onwards. If it passes the opening salvo at breakneck speed, the audience will complain that it moves too fast to follow. As such, the producers of Ring of Thrones have no idea how they will introduce the series to established Tolkien fans and newcomers to the franchise.
In fact, the negative impact was so great that Amazon had to delay publishing Rings of Power reviews on IMDb.com, a review-aggregation site it owns (according to type (opens in new tab)). User reviews now have to undergo a rigorous 72-hour evaluation to determine whether they are genuine reviews or reviews written by online trolls or bots.
At the time of writing, the Ring of Power Has a score of 6.8 out of 10 (opens in new tab) From nearly 110,000 IMDb user reviews. However, nearly 25% of them (25,645 reviews) rated the show 10 stars out of 10, so Amazon moved to limit when user reviews were approved.
Sorry, I thought all the haters were telling me it would fail? pic.twitter.com/yZG8TYjUMnSeptember 3, 2022
Sadly, Ring of Power isn’t the only show that’s been bombarded by reviews on IMDb lately. Another Prime Video show in A League of their Own, as well as Marvel projects such as Ms Marvel and She-Hulk, received negative reviews simply because they had female characters in the lead roles. For Amazon, however, Lord of the Rings’ negative reviews took a double hit, related to its positioning as a major TV release this year and the popularity of the Lord of the Rings franchise.
While Ring of Thrones was a smashing success from a viewership and critic standpoint, it wasn’t the universal victory that Amazon had hoped.
It’s a shame to cry. Tolkien himself wrote, “Is there no end to the adventure? I don’t think so. Someone has to keep telling the story” — a quote that aptly explains why fans should be before a full verdict on Ring of Thrones Give them a fair chance. There are six episodes left in the first season, and the second season is about to start filming.
Well, it’s time for fans to give The Rings of Power a chance to really shine. Those criticisms will be ineffective if it doesn’t deliver on its early promises. But, before we throw this particular show into the fire at Mount Doom, let’s give it a chance to flash.
For more Ring of Thrones content, read our feature interview with cast and crew on how and why Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series broke with franchise tradition. Or, find out what the show’s producers and executive producers have to say about the new owner of the Lord of the Rings IP.