Amazon Prime Video dropped the first teaser to the long-awaited Lord of the Rings series, The Rings of Power last weekend. Long-time fans of author JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth franchise have had a series of divisive reactions towards the most expensive series ever made.
A billionaire fanboy: Following the dramatic announcement of the series in January, where literal molten metal spelled out its title, this is our first look at the big-budget Lord of the Rings (LOTR) prequel. The series that made Jeff Bezos personally dish out $250 million just to acquire the rights to, will cost an estimated $1 billion to produce its five planned seasons, essentially making it the most expensive TV series to ever be made.
To think the franchise was resurrected through nothing but the whims and fancies of an LOTR fan, albeit a billionaire megacorporation owner, doesn’t come as too much of a surprise considering how seriously Tolkien fans are invested in the franchise.
The Second Age: The series is set thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit ever took place on Middle Earth. Described as the Second Age, avid fans of Tolkien would know that the series is set at a time of growing unrest in Middle Earth, during the last alliance between Elves and Men and the forging of the titular Rings of Power by the Dark Lord Sauron.
Showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay based the series off author JRR Tolkien’s appendices to the LOTR trilogy which elaborate on the Second Age and was written under the Tolkien estates scrutiny and approval.
A toxic fandom: However, the series has received divisive responses from fans so far in what has been described as an “avalanche of unveiled, blatant and shameless” racism following the inclusion of people of colour among the cast of characters.
people when the rings of power doesn’t look like the lord of the rings films even though it isn’t supposed to and the creators said they weren’t trying to be like them pic.twitter.com/r2JKbCfO5u— anna 🏹 (@myelessar) July 16, 2022
Since the author’s original text primarily featured white-skinned characters, ‘devout’ Tolkien fans have taken the casting choices as a personal attack, besmirching Tolkien’s name and ruining the integrity of the world he created for tokenistic social approval.
This could literally be any generic fantasy show and you would never know the difference.— MasteroftheTDS (@MasteroftheTDS) July 14, 2022
Defiling the works of Tolkien for agenda and destroying the mythos for diversity.
The Rings of Power 🤪 https://t.co/SO7aLPNuvr
Actress Sofia Nomvete’s portrayal of Dwarven Princess Disa, the first ever female dwarf to grace the screen, Nazanin Boniadi’s role as the human Bronwyn and Ismael Cruz Córdova’s Silvan Elf Arondir were among the characters that received the most hatred from LOTR fans.
You see like 3 black people in this new The rings of power mini trailer and some dudes say it's woke shit.... The racism in the LOTR fandom truly is... Something.— Ορέστης (Orestes) 🟡🦅🟡 (@rararabanme) July 7, 2022
Amazon pushed back against the online trolls, executive producer Lindsey Weber affirmed to Vanity Fair, “Tolkien is for everyone. His stories are about his fictional races doing their best work when they leave the isolation of their own cultures and come together.”
The fact that Amazon is going to such lengths to avoid telling or showing us anything about Rings of Power's story at this point seems pretty indicative to me that the story will be shit. A lot of spectacle with no substance behind it, I suspect.— The Odrin Search Party (@Odrinhereboy) July 17, 2022
A risky investment? A lot rides on the success of the series both critically as well as financially. Though the pre-release material for the series has been met with intense skepticism from fans, the verdict’s still out on whether or not the multi-million-dollar project will be a worthy successor to Peter Jackson’s mantle; and more importantly, a solid investment from Amazon.
good morning another day closer to rings of power pic.twitter.com/OJ8QL3Gz8P— duniya🐉 (@doenjaaa8) July 17, 2022
The Rings of Power is gonna be fantastic. idk why everyone is being a bedshitter— ℂ𝕠𝕝𝕝𝕖𝕔𝕥𝕠𝕣 𝕏 (@icollectbro) July 18, 2022
After reacting to the Rings of Power trailer I am ASTOUNDED at how many people have made final judgments on a show that isn’t even OUT YET. If I ever become that jaded just end me ✌🏻 I cannot fathom being so hateful.— ClarusPolaris🍁🏳️🌈 (@ClarusPolaris) July 18, 2022
me, who saw The Lord of the Rings in theaters, getting ready for the September 2nd premier of The Rings of Power: pic.twitter.com/yYgFLkXaBw— Jokin Rokin Rokin Tolkien 🗡️🏹🪓 (@joshcarlosjosh) July 16, 2022
The Rings of Power is set to drop on Prime Video on September 2, 2022.