Lord of the Rings TV show faces controversy


"One Ring to rule them all" by bonheureux licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The new “Lord of the Rings” TV series faces backlash from angry fans about the alteration of a portion of pre-established lore. Other fans, however, look forward to a new installment in the franchise and the beautiful cinematography that the series offers. Critics do not share these conflicted feelings, and most one-sidedly agree with the fans who enjoy the visuals and the acting.

William Mullinax, Reporter

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”  released September 1 arose controversy surrounding the race of the elves in Middle Earth despite the positive reviews by critics of the visuals and storyline. The show’s first two episodes met a less than warm welcome as Lord of the Rings (LOTR) fans took it upon themselves to harass the non-white members of the cast, like Sophia Nomvete, who played a dwarf: characters not usually seen as anything except for Caucasian. Despite the controversy, the show presents a 3.2 audience rating and an 84% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes, even with the number of one-star reviews posted due to fans unhappy with mismatched lore, and a timeline that does not exactly follow the established one.

Despite the critics who reviewed the show giving positive remarks, dissatisfied fans harp on the fact that this show does not remain completely faithful to the original movie series and established lore. The critics, however, express their excitement for the television series and illustrate the masterful execution of the visual effects and location management that allows for such a representation of Tolkien’s LOTR.

“It is action-packed, and it is beautiful to look at… LOTR doesn’t aim to toy with its audiences’ expectations; it doesn’t have to,” VOX movie critic Rebbeca Jennings said.

Despite the backlash from fans, multiple still anticipate the new series and all that it will bring with much excitement. Giving fans a new perspective on the beloved series in the form of content before the original movies make it all the more interesting. Hopefully, the next seasons will not remain as harshly treated and the new characters will gain a chance.

“I watched it with my dad and thought that it was pretty interesting and really well made. I’m sure a lot of people who have been looking for more LOTR content are excited about a prequel story,” junior Tristian Roemer said.

The last episode of the first season will air October 14 with the latest episode having aired September 16th, and released every seven days following that. The first four episodes detail the major events that take place in the Second Age of Middle-Earth in which the one ring to rule them all took form. They also hint at the emergence of a great evil; likely the necromancer turned glowing eye of fire, Sauron. They may possibly introduce ringwraiths in seasons to come, beings cursed to serve the One Ring and by extension Sauron for all eternity. Whether or not Sauron will act as the main evil in the first season remains unknown, but it becomes unlikely, if not downright impossible that he will not appear in the series.