Several Ph.Ds, published authors, Tolkientubers and TikTokers have shared their first impressions of completed footage from Prime Video’s massive new Lord of the Rings TV series – The Rings of Power. (Check out our report too!)

We’ve gathered all of these reactions in one convenient post on TORn. Enjoy!


Amazon assembled a wide group of Tolkien fans for this adventure, but if anyone on the trip is to be considered a celebrity, it is Dr. Corey Olsen. Known as the Tolkien Professor, he is founder and head of Signum University, an accredited online-only graduate school which counts Stephen Colbert as an avid viewer. Corey held court from the first introductions, entertaining a revolving circle of fellow Ringers and fans of his work throughout the week. I loved seeing how excited folks were finally to meet him! While I’m sure he will share his thoughts over the coming days and weeks across his many broadcasts on twitch, Corey’s small but powerful statement has made waves, as an acknowledgement of the quality of the showrunners in charge:


The Tolkien Society, currently headed by Shaun Gunner, is probably the most respected LOTR fan group, since its founding while JRR Tolkien was still alive. They have always championed the literary legacy of Tolkien’s works, and often are a strong and balanced community voice among the hype that Hollywood generates. It’s no small thing to earn a positive review from the Tolkien Society, and in their post about Amazon’s event Shaun praises what he saw & heard:

The show has been created with a level of craftsmanship and attention-to-detail which is unparalleled, and which is a love letter to the Professor… this is a level of commitment and interest that can’t simply be faked. Speaking with the showrunners, I am convinced that they are the right people to adapt Tolkien’s works.

– Tolkien Society chair Shaun Gunner

Nerd of the Rings, one of the biggest YouTube channels who started talking about lore and has grown into wonderful interviews with some of our favorite people, shared a 30-minute travelogue with an essential comment at the end: ”My trajectory on this show has gone from cautious to cautiously optimistic, with excitement creeping in.”


My count may be off but there were around 30 influencers at this Prime Video LOTR event, each with an incredibly personal perspective and deeply engaged audiences.

Tea with Tolkien, whose aesthetic I will always strive to reach but never attain, posts:

As a lifelong Tolkien fan, I’m no stranger to seeing adaptations go off the rails or Tolkien’s creative works being exploited for profit, so I will always retain some level of nervousness toward anything set in or inspired by Middle-earth. But after learning so much more about the show and its creators, I do feel quite a bit more confident going forward. From what I’ve seen, it seems to me that this show is in competent hands. 

Tea with Tolkien

Tiktok star KnewBettaDoBetta, who was a breakout lore hero for our marathon 6-hour trailer analysis livestream, shares his excitement:


Kili from Happy Hobbit was there too, known for co-authoring ”Middle-earth From Script to Screen” with Daniel Falconer and Peter Jackson. She has mined the Weta archives, and brings a unique perspective on Amazon’s show which I hope we get more of on TORn Tuesday soon.


Want more opinions on what Rings of Power looks & feels like? Here are more scholars and fans who shared first impressions.


El Anillo Unico, often considered the Spanish equivalent of our little site since the earliest Peter Jackson days, wrote (in translation):

The most important thing we have discovered and believe we can make public, Tolkien Estate is involved in the creative process, and had active participation during the process. This gives us an idea that Amazon has really had people who are experts in the field and have helped to fill in the gaps that exist in what is written about the Second Age. We loved the music, the visual aspect is very good and it gives us an air of something already known. Quite different from the trailer itself that was released months ago

El Anillo Unico

Dr. Maggie Parke, director of the Mythgard Institute:


The top Brazilian LOTR fan group (who I am so excited to have met, thanks to this opportunity!) wrote, “The wisdom and depth of the entire team in Tolkien’s work is something never seen before.”


Still don’t believe the hype? Here are further respected voices from the Tolkien community, for you to peruse:


And finally, to everyone’s – and perhaps no one’s! – surprise, the #1 leaker of things and Bezos’s bane against secrecy, Fellowship of Fans was invited to see and share what real finished footage looks like (instead of grainy cell phone pics).


Big thanks to Varking on reddit for assembling everyone’s takes and being there in person with his own perspective! And thanks to all of the merry company, with whom we had such a great time, and whose opinions are always worth hearing. Find many of the folks from this post around our Discord, where more conversation is happening. discord.gg/theonering You can also join us tonight, 5pm PT for TORn Tuesday, when we’ll have some of these folks as our special guests. And before that, you may want to check out Corey Olsen and Maggie Parke at Other Minds and Hands, as they discuss last week’s events in their livestream (1pm PT).

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, a 5-season adaptation of tales from Tolkien’s Second Age, comes to Amazon Prime Video on September 2 this year.

Today (depending on where in the world you are) fans of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien join together in a worldwide celebration of the late author’s works for Tolkien Reading Day.

The theme for this year’s event is Love and Friendship in Tolkien’s works.

Tolkien Reading Day takes place every year on March 25, and commemorates the date on which Frodo and the Fellowship were successful in destroying the One Ring and defeating Sauron. It’s a communal and international act of fellowship in recognition of the achievements of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. Anybody with a copy of his works can take part (it’s also a great opportunity to introduce for children to Tolkien’s works).

And if you happen to be in need of a copy of a particular Tolkien book, we understand that Amazon’s digital “Deal of the Day” (in conjunction with publisher HarperCollins) will be will offer up to 80% off select Tolkien books. So now might be a good time to go hunting.

Reading events are occurring today all round the globe.

For example, Tolkien Guide will be hosting a number of excellent guests for discussions of Tolkien’s life and works throughout the day (including TORn staffer Cliff “Quickbeam” Broadway). You can also always pop by our new Discord server at discord.gg/theonering if you feel like participate in some fine talk with fellow Tolkien fans.

What are you up for Tolkien Reading Day? (Or if, like me, you live in “Futureland” in the Eastern hemisphere, what did you do for TRD?)

JRR Tolkien

TheOneRing.net will be at WonderCon this year, and we will be hosting two panels over the course of the weekend, April 1-3 in the Anaheim Convention Center. If you plan to attend the convention, please read through the WonderCon COVID protocols.

Our first panel, Middle-earth! Coming to your TV this Fall will be at 4:30 pm on Friday, April 1 (no joke) in room North 200A. This will be our big overview panel, with all the news, rumors, and anecdotes about Amazon’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, as well as the WB’s upcoming animated War of the Rohirrim. There will be an update on any and all Middle-earth news, activities, and events coming up this year. And we can wait to see if anyone has had enough time to create a costume from the recent Amazon Teaser Trailer.

Our Second panel, I am no Man: The Women of Middle-earth will be a deep dive into Tolkien’s legendarium to discuss all the unique and wonderful women that Tolkien created. For those who have just read The Hobbit, Middle-earth feels like an ‘all males club’, but in The Lord of the Rings and some of the books of deeper lore, there are queens and warriors and creators, all women, who had a hand in shaping the Middle-earth we all know and love. The presentation is still being crafted, if there is a specific woman of Middle-earth you wish to see discussed, send an email to Garfeimao@TheOnering.net. Include the character name and a brief note about what makes her so special for you, we will include as many as we can fit into our allotted panel time.

The Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship invites you to participate in our Zoom meet-up with our special guests John Callen and Sarah McLeod from The Hobbit/Lord of The Rings Movies, on the 31st October, 2021.

Sarah McLeod – Rosie Cotton
John Callen – Oin

We are initiating this event to replace our Evening in Middle-earth which is our major annual fundraiser for Kids in Care, supporting “The Pyjama Foundation”.

Due to Covid, for the last two years we have had to cancel our event, but this year we are running it virtually, online via Zoom and are delighted that we will be joined by John Callen and Sarah McLeod.

Our event, “Evening in Middle-earth”, first began in 2013 and in that time our small club has raised over $12 000 for our nominated charity and donated many children’s books also.

We hope you can join this special online event and enjoy a conversation with our guests.

The Zoom will run for one hour but can be extended to an hour and a half if required.

Details to join the zoom

The Registration Form to join is located at:

https://www.brisbanetolkienfellowship.com/post/an-evening-in-middle-earth-zoom-meet

The Meet will be on Zoom and will commence:

7:00 pm New Zealand DST

2:00 pm Western Australia

4:00 pm Queensland, Australia

4:30 pm South Australia

5:00 pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (NSW, VIC, TAS, ACT)

For other locations please check here

Remember the date, Sunday 31st October and invite all of your friends.

An Evening in Middle-earth

Bilbo’s Birthday Speech

Come join the Southern California TORn staff and Tolkien fans on Saturday, September 18, 2021, as we celebrate Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’ shared birthday in Griffith Park. The party will kick off at Noon, and run until about 6 pm. The biggest difference this year will be NO POTLUCK. Please bring enough food and drink for yourself and the group you will be attending with. As always, sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses, and maybe a popup for shade are all good things to bring in order to stay comfortable. We are returning to the Mineral Wells section of Griffith Park, which is near the Harding Golf Course. Please head to the Baggins Birthday Bash Facebook event page for directions and a map. https://www.facebook.com/events/193623342558178/

While this event is scheduled for Saturday, September 18, the dual issues of COVID restrictions and/or Wildfires could become an issue this coming week. Should LA County trigger a restriction of large gatherings or a Wildfire trigger evacuations in the region of Griffith Park, we will post a Cancelation notice to the FB page first, and if there is time, post here on the main website as well.

As for COVID restrictions, the LA County guidelines recommend masking outdoors only in the case of a Mega Event, and that has only happened once. We are recommending everyone have a MASK with them, ready to wear near groups of people and remove when eating and drinking. The outdoor setting should afford us more than enough space to social distance if it makes you feel comfortable. We would PREFER if everyone attending was fully vaccinated, but none of us are qualified to verify the CDC card, so we won’t be asking.

Come and join fellow Tolkien fans from around Australia for a Zoom get together of the 'Hern Ennorath' Tolkien group.

Tolkien fans from Australia are building an online community for Australians to discuss Tolkien and Middle-earth topics.

‘Hern Ennorath’ means South Lands of Middle-earth. The name was chosen to reflect where we Aussies live, in the great southern land, in the southern hemisphere and, so far, is made up of three sub-groups

* Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship;
* Canberra Tolkien Fellowship; and
* Melbourne Tolkien Fellowship.

Each of these sub-groups also have their own individual Facebook pages.

The next online meeting is on 23rd September and the topic will be “Music of Middle-earth”. It will start with a quick ‘getting to know you’, before discussing all things music in Middle-earth. From Tolkien’s lyrical poetry to music that has been inspired by Tolkien. The meeting will run for 1 1/2 hours, but everyone is welcome to come and go as they please.

Just follow these instructions to join

Times: 8pm, ACT, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania
7:30pm NT and SA
6pm WA

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88523894355?pwd=TDdIanRpWE1UUEpjU0JucDFYeFVHdz09

Meeting ID: 885 2389 4355
Passcode: 556704

Alternate link
https://us04web.zoom.us/join

Meeting ID: 885 2389 4355
Passcode: 556706

All are welcome, so mark the 23rd of September in your diaries, grab your favourite snacks and settle in for some “Music in Middle-earth”.


There are also plans afoot to hold an online Middle-earth Trivia Night in November, and a national face-to-face dinner and conference in 2022, so stay tuned for further details.