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 agoEl 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).