Rings Of Power Season 1 Criticisms Addressed By Showrunners

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power showrunners Patrick McKay and J. D. Payne respond to the different angles of criticism leveled against season 1. The ultra-expensive prequel series already has a five-season commitment from Amazon but has aired just six of eight season 1 episodes so far. The Rings of Power is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth and thousands of years before the events of Peter Jackson’s much-adored Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, the new show has faced mixed reviews from some viewers.

Critiques have ranged from aesthetic choices to technical decisions to the Elves’ hairstyles. Even Elon Musk has shared his opinion on The Rings of Power, criticizing the show’s male characters, but the validity of each criticism is up to the individual viewer. It’s also worth noting that The Rings of Power‘s low Rotten Tomatoes audience score, usually one of the most accepted barometers of success, was impacted by racist review bombs following the show’s diverse casting.

In an interview with THR, McKay and Payne spoke about nailing down stakes that new viewers and hardcore Tolkein fans will invest in and what they learned about that during season 1. They also discussed some of the blowback the series has faced and how The Rings of Power can still meet expectations. Read their comments below:

McKay: Some of what’s been hardest to hear is the cynical point of view that this is a cash grab. It’s like, oh my God, the opposite. This is the most earnest production. This is not a paycheck job for anybody. This is a labor of love …

McKay: Some people had nice things to say about the pilot and second episode, or they didn’t have nice things to say, but I hope they stay for more episodes. The bar has to keep going up.

Payne: One of the big things we learned was even when it’s a small scene, it always has to tie back into the larger stakes.

McKay: There are things that didn’t work as well in season one that might have worked in a smaller show. It has to be about good and evil and the fate of the world or it doesn’t have that epic feeling you want when you’re in Tolkien …

McKay: When we talk about the measure of success, what matters to us is if it’s entertaining enough that people are digging into it and debating it.

Payne: Some things get an immense amount of critical acclaim and win tons of awards and are forgotten the next year. Conversely, some things don’t get a lot of love yet become classics being watched 60 years later. I think it’ll take a while for the dust to settle.

Can Rings Of Power Still Win Over Resistant LOTR Fans?

The Rings of Power episode 6 was the best-received episode yet, hinting that the show could be turning the corner now that the scene has been set and the tone established, which it sounds like McKay is especially hopeful about. Buzz about a multi-episode battle in season 2 could keep some viewers invested as they await the ultimate clash of swords, horses, and magic, which could be exactly the sort of high stakes the showrunners reference in their comments. However, some audiences might not be won over with an action sequence, including those behind the distasteful resistance to Rings of Power‘s diverse and female cast. It’s likely little can be done to appease those objectors.

It’s also worth remembering that Amazon invested nearly $1 billion dollars in its long-term commitment to the series. The lofty expenses necessitate that The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power not just survives, but thrives on levels comparable to Game of Thrones. It’s an exceptionally tall task, one that won’t be possible if the series fails to address some of the criticisms against season 1. However, it’s clear McKay and Payne have immense respect for the world of Tolkien and intend to do their best to tell a satisfying story that becomes an eventual classic.

Source: THR

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