Thoughts on ‘The Rings of Power’
Welcome to the new Game of Thrones.
That was my overarching thought as we zipped across the map of Middle-Earth (and beyond), zooming in on different groups of characters, each with their own problems. It’s clear that Amazon wants this to be truly epic in scope, covering multiple plotlines and many seasons. The introductory text is vague:
“We follow an ensemble cast of characters as they confront the re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.”
“These kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies” is the key phrase for me — it promises much without pinning the show to any particular direction. It tells me that we can expect this thing to be on our TVs for a long time to come as it explores many subplots and varied settings.
But how did the first episode hold up?
There’s no two ways about it, Rings of Power is visually stunning. The world looks real and lived-in, and the action scenes were especially brilliant. The creatures the elves confronted in the icy north were scary and the fight was gritty and entertaining to watch; the flashback to a battle scene at the start of the episode was harrowing, and shows us we are in for a more brutal showing than The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings ever gave us. It’s also brilliant to see non-white actors finally featuring prominently in this fantasy world (very overdue).
However, I was thrown by some of the character outfits, particularly the haircuts. I suppose it should have been expected after we got sexy dwarves in The Hobbit, but I was expecting more elves with shoulder-length hair. Not that this is a bad thing! I just personally didn’t expect it.