‘The Rings of Power’ From Amazon Releases Setting a Large Precedent

New Amazon Original takes more story from the Tolkien Universe and puts it on screen, leading to mixed feedback and much controversy

Photo taken of one of the many climatic scenes from The Rings of Power.

Creative Commons

Photo taken of one of the many climatic scenes from The Rings of Power.

Cade Goins, Reporter

Amazon released its new original series that dives into J. R. R. Tolkien’s universe of Middle Earth earlier on Sept. 1. Many people know Tolkien from his works of “Lord of The Rings” and “The Hobbit,” with those novels getting movie adaptations many have grown to love. Amazon has based their series, “The Rings of Power,” off of Middle Earth seen in “Lord of the Rings” but also takes some of the story from The Silmarillion, which is a Tolkien book that dives into the origination of the world and how it came to be before the other more famous books and movies take place.

Amazon had bought the television rights to “Lord of The Rings” several years ago, in 2017 to be exact, for $250 million. Along with production costs, “The Rings of Power” is said to be the most expensive television series to date with a budget of at least $1 billion. Many fans were hesitant about this, as while many adaptations by Amazon have been made well, others have let down, and in this case there were already other movies to live up to in comparison in the series.

With this series being a film based off of a book, many literature critics will be judging the adaptation, which historically has had both great and poor reviews. Staff around Liberty High School were asked about their opinions on book to film adaptations, and this was met with a variety of opinions.

If you want the book, you read the book. Don’t go and watch something expecting to see what’s on the pages to display perfectly on the screen.”

— Mr. Eversole

“Film adaptations of books make for great traffic to the library as students wish to see the comparisons between the works and seeing more students interested in reading is always great to see,” library media specialist Kelly Oliva said.

Other teachers like Matthew Eversole beautifully describe, “If you want the book, you read the book. Don’t go and watch something expecting to see what’s on the pages to display perfectly on the screen. Many changes need to be made in order to fit the narrative or direction of the film. Both can be beautiful and if the film is bad it doesn’t affect the books.”

Other teachers had a different opinion, however, with Toby Glavin admittedly whispering, “I don’t read books.”

With the first few episodes of the show being out now with more coming in the following weeks, many opinions have gathered on it so far. A majority of people seem to be split with the choices taken by the production team and whether “woke casting” has influenced the show’s quality. Local opinions seem to enjoy the show so far, however, most agree that it has its moments where there could be vast improvements. The show has great production value, and it captures the essence of some of Tolkien’s original universe with some changes making sense. Contrarily, online arguments have ensued about various controversial thoughts, such as if dwarves could have colored skin as they are people of the underground and would not develop melanin from sun exposure. 

There is still great value in the show as it being a fantasy universe, and not everything would need a scientific explanation. The screen still has plenty of entertainment value, so there isn’t a need to get gritty about casting but to rather appreciate the diversity and opportunities provided to actors that would not have otherwise been able to land a role. Appreciate the positivity that everyone will be able to enjoy something.