The eagerly anticipated foray into Tolkein’s cherished fantasy universe made its streaming debut last week on Amazon Prime Video. The two Peter Jackson trilogies set in the same universe as The Rings of Power only served to fuel and grow the fan base that Tolkein’s legacy had already attracted. As a result, The Rings of Power has always carried a heavy burden.
After initially receiving mostly favorable reviews from critics, the joy of Rings of Power’s debut quickly turned sour when viewers took to the Internet to criticize alleged changes to the illustrious source material. A few people took issue with the racial diversity of species like elves and the harfoots, the forerunners of hobbits (Tolkein himself described them as having “browner of skin”).
Others had issues with the first two episodes’ journey of the female character Galadriel. Gaiman, a veteran of the fantasy genre whose works include American Gods and The Sandman, previously dismissed the criticism as uninformed about the source material. The Rings of Power’s post-premiere problems only grew worse despite the well-known author supporting the series, and Amazon had to suspend reviews as a result of review bombing and trolls.
Neil Gaiman slaps back at Musk’s Rings of Power criticism
Elon Musk was the most recent person to criticize the two-part Rings of Power premiere on Twitter, prompting Neil Gaiman to respond with another succinct tweet. Musk’s two-tweet thread was overly simplistic, and Gaiman’s satisfying retort seemed to miss Musk’s apparent point about the series premiere.
It’s unlikely that the conversation about the Lord of the Rings prequel series will slow down any time soon, especially with tech tycoon Musk stoking the flames of the Rings of Power debate. Even though there is much to love about the young series, the negative reviews and complaints from self-described Tolkein fans could jeopardize it.
The Rings of Power, which airs on Fridays, will hopefully reassure viewers in the upcoming episodes. The Rings of Power has already been renewed for season 2 by Amazon. So whether or not the online skeptics change their minds, the show will likely continue to expand on the intriguing fantasy world introduced in season 1.