The first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has finished and there is a lot to breakdown. How did Amazon do with their blockbuster show that cost $475 million to produce? What did it get right and what did it get wrong? Keep reading to find out all that and more as we review season one.
Spoilers are ahead so if you didn’t finish the first season and don’t want any reveals, then stop reading here.
The Rings of Power Season One Got a Lot of Things Wrong
With an immense budget, Amazon was able to create a show with breathtaking scenes. The first two episodes showed us how beautiful J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world was. Right then and there, everyone was like “I can see where the money went.” But besides the amazing visuals, the show had little to offer.
The plot for season was “Where is Sauron?” Galadriel has been searching for him for centuries to no avail. But a chance encounter with Halbrand leads her to Middle-earth where the orcs have attacked the humans residing there.
This is the first problem with the show. The whole season is built upon the question of who is Sauron from the cast of characters that we have met? It was between the stranger that came from a meteor or Halbrand, the guy that has a dark past. By making it between two characters, it made the guessing game a toss-up and that didn’t last long as it was easy to guess who it was four episodes in.
A Show About Nothing
Having eight episodes built around that plotline is a horrible idea and it showed. The first five episodes are a snooze fest and 5 hours wasted. The plotline is boring and there are no characters to rally behind. It didn’t help that the acting wasn’t that great. And the writing was even worse. There were too many inconsistencies when it came to time, scale of armies, and dangerous threats that seemed to kill only the background characters.
The question that you should ask of any show is why should you care? For The Rings of Power, that doesn’t have an answer. We are told that the future of Middle-earth is at stake but the show fails to create a sense of urgency as the protagonists seems to be in no rush at times. After episode six, Middle-earth falls to the orcs and that is all she wrote. Season one was done with Middle-earth and we still had too more episodes. If that was the integral plot of season one, then why is the show even going on?
The writers created many plotlines and didn’t know which one was important. They obviously chose to do the character reveals of Sauron and the stranger on the last episode. While this works well in a book, it does not for an epic fantasy show that is more well known for its battles. Tolkien’s work has been turned into a game of Guess Who.
Amazon Fails at Making a BlockBuster Show
This was a big show and Amazon botched a lot of it up. Even by ignoring all of the changes to the source material, the show was lackluster. With a budget like that, this show had the potential to rival Game of Thrones easily. Yet it had one epic all-out battle and that did not compare to what HBO had been able to do with Game of Thrones.
And let’s not forget about the horrible name they chose for the show. The rings are nonexistent for the majority of season one and are mentioned in the eighth and final episode. It takes about 15 minutes to conclude that storyline. There will be more rings mentioned in the future but that hardly seems like the focus.
The writers likely chose that name as the rings play a major part in The Lord of the Rings. But if you are going to dedicate 15 minutes to them in a whole season, then choose something that is integral to the show. Middle-earth would have been a better name even though it isn’t as catchy.
There were a lot of things wrong with season one of The Rings of Power. The good news is that season two can focus more on Middle-earth. The writers need to focus more on the plots and not side plots that nobody cares about. Stop trying to make us care about things that we know will turn out fine because this is based on prequel material!
Let’s hope the cast is much better next season and that the writers look at the criticism thrown them and make the right changes. While I do think season one was mostly a waste of time, I am willing to give season two a chance before calling it quits.