The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Episode 1 Review

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power finally aired on Prime Video (Amazon Studios) and brought Middle-earth to television, technically speaking of course. The Television show tells the tales thousands of years before the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

I would be lying if I said I was not looking forward to this show. Ever since the show was mentioned in 2017, I have been eagerly waiting for it and it is finally here. And I will be recapping all of the episodes of the show.

Be forewarned, there will be spoilers up ahead. I will try to minimize them as much as possible but if you don’t like spoilers, then do not read ahead. Otherwise enjoy!

The Rings of Power The Shadow of the past episode review
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power episode 1 review

A Shadow of the Past

This week, we will be discussing the first episode of the show and what to make of it. It is titled A Shadow of the Past and introduces us to the world that is going to be the setting for this epic show. The vast shots are breathtaking and that alone is good enough reason to watch the show.

The camerawork is amazing and every scene is out of a painting. Half the time, I was just admiring the visuals. This episode starts off slow which was most likely to say “look how amazing the visuals are,” and they are not wrong. 

The show starts off by telling of the war with the Dark Lord Morgoth and his defeat. Finrod, an Elf, dies while searching for Sauron, a servant of Morgoth. Finrod’s sister Galadriel continues his search for Sauron and travels to the ends of the world in the hopes of finding him.

Cut to another scene, and an Elf makes his way into a bar while covering his face with a hoodie. There is no love lost between humans and the Elves and we are later told that the people in the village sided with Morgoth in the previous war.

And lastly, Galadriel and the soldiers searching for Sauron and hailed as heroes and the war is declared over by the king of the Elves, Gil-galad. Galadriel and the soldier sail on a boat to Valinor where thye will live in peace for eternity. At the last second, Galadriel jumps off the ship.

First Episode Thoughts

This was a slow episode and it didn’t do anything to convince me that this show is going to be epic. It did convince me that this is going to be the most-beautiful shot show ever and that is tempting. 

As someone who has read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books, I will say it felt like the directors were setting the mood. More precisely, they were trying to capture the sing-song magical existence of the Elves. And it feels like they did a good job of that. But if someone read the books, they would have no idea what the directors were going for.

An Expensive Endeavor

This show cost $465 million to make and that is on full display. Now, the directors and writers have to do their job and with a lot of source material, they should be able to. To be precise, the show is based on various sources such as the Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings, also known as the “Tale of Years,” and the Silmarillion. 

The writers have filled in the “details” using Tolkien’s prior work. That means the show is unlike the books and a lot of it will be new to readers. Yet it ties back into Tolkien’s mythos so true fans of the books will still be spoiling stuff for you if given the chance.


Episode one was alluring and while it didn’t give me the “I have to watch it,” feeling, I still enjoyed it. Episode 2 is said to have been a better opening to the show and I will be deciding that for myself. Stay tuned for reviews of each episode of this show!

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