The Rings of Power Deserves to Be Seen on the Biggest Screen Possible

The Rings of Power Deserves to Be Seen on the Biggest Screen Possible
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Twenty years ago, The Lord of the Rings trilogy broke new ground as a faithful fantasy trilogy that won both critical and cultural appeal. Ten years later, The Hobbit arrived with another epic trilogy but one that needlessly padded out Tolkien’s source material. Now, another ten years have passed and we have The Rings of Power, which somehow manages to find a middle ground between its predecessors.

The Rings of Power is a beautiful return to Middle-Earth in every sense of the word. Set long before the events of either The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, it justifies its existence by expanding on Tolkien’s lore with new characters and rich storylines that are planted in the same visual ideas and thematics the franchise is known for.

The first thing that strikes you about The Rings of Power is just how naturally it seems to fit into this franchise. From its web of interweaving storylines to the sheer scale and scope, this is a Tolkien fantasy through and through.

The first episode kicks off with a heavy dose of exposition, which is unfortunately very easy to get lost in, particularly for those unfamiliar with the The Lord of the Rings history.

Middle-Earth is experiencing a time of peace in the Second Age, after a brutal war against Morgoth that resulted in the deaths of millions. While many are willing to put these bloody days behind them, Morfydd Clark’s Galadriel is not one of them.

After finding a suspicious insignia on her dead brother, Galadriel is unable to shake the feeling that the Dark Lord Sauron is still out there and she cannot rest until she knows the truth.

lord of the rings the rings of power
The Rings of Power (Image: Prime Video)

While the throughline between Clark and Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel is clear, the version we see here is very much the brave and battle-hardened warrior who struggles to put down her sword in the aftermath of so much loss.

Galadriel isn’t the only familiar face in The Rings of Power. Her friend Elrond, portrayed in the Third Age by Hugo Weaving, is now played with much charisma by Robert Aramayo. Elrond’s journey takes him from the side of King Gil-Galad (Benjamin Walker) to the aid of legendary craftsman Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards). He’s our window into the worlds of both the elves and the dwarves and brings us an endearing friendship with the dwarf prince Durin that will rival that of Gimli and Legolas.

Alongside the elves and dwarves, we also meet a group of Harfoots, who fill the role of the hobbits in the series. The Harfoots’ storyline brings a very charming change of pace to the series in large part thanks to its two young breakout stars, Nori (Markella Kavanagh) and Poppy (Megan Richards).

The duo definitely capture the same loveable friendship as that of Frodo and Sam, and embark on their own journey tinged with humour and darkness as they stumble upon a mysterious stranger in the woods.

the rings of power
The Rings of Power (Image: Prime Video)

Add on to this one more storyline, if you will, which follows a growing evil in the Southlands seen through the eyes of an elven soldier, Arondir, and a human mother and son, Bronwyn and Theo. All three are characters invented for the show and quickly earn their place in Tolkien’s world.

Arondir and Bronwyn’s romance is put at risk due to the brewing discomfort between elves and humans, but they’re quickly pulled into more serious business as they investigate a danger that threatens their home. Theo meanwhile gets up to his own share of mischief as he is tempted by a shady-looking sword. Just fantasy things.

The Lord of the Rings has always painted a sprawling picture of interconnected storylines and that’s very much the same here. While we don’t travel to the human city of Numenor in the first two episodes, expect that to be another big storyline to add to the list in weeks to come.

The first two episodes of The Rings of Power take their time setting up each of these individual plot threads. While some parts can be overly expository and feel slow, it’s a solid foundation for things to come and it’s peppered with enough action to entertain.

The Rings of Power seems to have avoided the pitfalls of The Hobbit in that it doesn’t stretch too little into too much. The documentation of the Second Age is fairly sparse in Tolkien’s lore and the show writers have effectively been able to flesh out this roadmap into something compelling and original. While we already know how things end up in the Third Age, there’s still a sense of anticipation and excitement in seeing it all unfold in this format.

the rings of power
The Rings of Power (Image: Prime Video)

The main thing that many will take away from The Rings of Power is its size and scope. It’s been well advertised that the series has one of the biggest budgets of all time, but it really shows.

I can easily say I have never seen something this cinematic on television before and it deserves the biggest screen possible.

There are sweeping visuals that blend incredible natural landscapes faultlessly with CGI creations. The music seeps with the grandeur of a full-force orchestra and the colours in every scene are vibrant and dazzling. The dialogue between characters is regal in a high fantasy sense but the exchanges are emotional and charged by solid performances from a large ensemble cast.

Due to the timing, comparisons will inevitably be drawn to House of the Dragon. As a fan of both what I will say is that they’re different in the best ways. The Rings of Power is lighter in tone and deeper in genre, offering escapism and more wholesome values than you’ll find in the Game of Thrones world.

However, it does lack the sort of riveting cliffhangers, daring grit and complex character drama that creates those watercooler moments. It’s lucky for us then that we can enjoy both these options over the next couple of months.

The Rings of Power raises the bar for spectacle television and reinvigorates the passion held for Tolkien’s fantasy world. It really is a good time to be a fantasy fan.

The Rings of Power review: The Verdict

lord of the rings of power
Image: Prime Video

Pros: Spectacular visuals, an intriguing new story in Tolkien’s world, well-drawn characters that are easy to invest in.

Cons: Heavy on the exposition, easy to get lost amongst the lore and characters.

Watch it if you liked: The Lord of the Rings (ofc), Harry Potter, The Wheel of Time.

The Rings of Power debuts weekly on Prime Video from September 2.


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