Review: ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’

Tolkein fan Sam Butz reviews the first four episodes of Amazon Studios’ new LOTR prequel, set 3,000 years before The Hobbit


Courtesy of Amazon Prime

A poster for the new TV show “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”

Sam Butz, Contributor

“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” is a newly released TV show that takes place in the magical fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the hit book series The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I love Tolkien’s world and what he has created. 

Made by Amazon Studios, “The Rings of Power” is a very commendable and interesting show.  It takes place thousands of years before the original story of The Lord of the Rings, and is the telling of the creation of the rings and the Dark Lord Sauron’s rise to power. 

In the first four episodes – all that have been released on Amazon Prime by the time of publication – viewers are introduced to four main storylines. The first is that of the Harfoots, ancestors of the Hobbit race. The second is that of the Dwarves, with elf friend Elrond. The third is about the island city of Númenor, the kingdom of men, where the elf queen Galadriel has landed as a castaway. And the last is about the Orcs, the evil creatures of the show. All of these different races coexist in the land of Middle Earth.

Númenor is an island kingdom to the west, in which men created a remarkable city that is incredibly beautiful. Actor Maxim Baldry, who plays Isildur, told TheWrap, “it’s Tolkien’s Atlantis.” The elf queen Galadriel made her way to the island of Númenor as a castaway, and the show tells the story of her time in the kingdom.

Also on Númenor, viewers meet Isildur and his sister and father. From the original Lord of the Rings, we know Isildur was the first man to get a hold of the ring of power. Throughout the show, we learn more about the role Isildur and his family plays in the history of Middle Earth. These characters are interesting, and could play a big role in coming episodes.

The next storyline to follow starts with elf Elrond, who was a main character in the original Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Elrond is an exciting young prince who has not yet accomplished anything in life that he is known for. When we meet Elrond in “The Rings of Power,” he is a trusted advisor to the king and very good friends with Galadriel. 

Elrond’s king sends him on a mission to find help for a project that the elves are working on, building a tower for Ost-In-Edhil, a city of jewel smiths. Prince Elrond seeks help from his dwarf friend Durin. 

We are also introduced to the dwarf kingdom Khazad-Dum. This is a remarkable city inside a mountain with awesome architecture. The friendship between Elrond and Durin is fun and entertaining, and Durin sends his people to help with the construction of the tower.

Later in the show, the Dwarves discover a new, valuable ore. They try to keep it a secret but Elrond finds out. This ore is cool, and it’s exciting to see what will happen next with it.

The evil force in the show so far had been the Orcs, and their leader Adar. The Orcs are just as frightening as they were in the original Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies. They are fierce creatures who are taking over the southlands of Middle Earth and destroying villages. Adar, the leader, is part elf (you can tell by his ears), but so far in episodes 1-4, we don’t know his story or where he comes from.

One of the more fun things about the show are the Harfoots. They are ancestors of the Hobbit race, and have the same type of lifestyle and appearance. The story of the Harfoots and how they must move from danger is fun to watch.

“The Rings of Power” is a very promising new series, and hopefully the next episodes are as good as the beginning.