The new ‘Lord of The Rings; Rings of Power’ trailer feels like something is missing

A review of how the new trailer looks a little underwhelming, and how its left fans worried with its differences to the original films, that were so successful.

In 2017, Amazon announced plans to release a new ‘Lord of The Rings’ series, buying the rights for the franchise for $250,000,000. Five years down the line, ‘The Rings of Power’ has showcased its first trailer, but it has left fans underwhelmed.

‘The Rings of Power’ undoubtedly has a lot to live up to, making it a potential poison chalice for Amazon, as there are such enormous expectations. This is both due to the massive budget and due to the quality of the original trilogy.  ‘The Rings of Power’ is also reported to be the most expensive TV show in history, at around $1 billion, and fans are therefore anticipating something special. So no pressure then Amazon. As we saw with the Disney ‘Star Wars’ films and the final series of ‘Game of Thrones’ though, a huge budget and sense of anticipation does not necessarily bring great results. The trailer conjured a sense of unease among Lord of The Rings fanbase, that the series could be a disappointment.

‘The Lord of The Rings’ original trilogy directed by Peter Jackson, that came out between the years 2001-2003, won an astounding 17 Oscars, as well as elevating many stars such as Vigo Mortenson, Orlando Bloom and Elijah Wood to household fame. While comparisons between the series and the films are somewhat unfair at this early stage. Due to the legendary status of Peter Jakcson’s trilogy, they are inevitably going to happen. Many noticeable differences from the films, including more modern production techniques as well as a complete shift in tone that are present in ‘The Rings of Power’ trailer, beg the question. Why change something if it isn't broken? 

One ‘Lord of The Rings’ fan had this to say on the new trailer. 

‘It seems that the show runners have decided to deviate heavily from the source material: Creating new characters, and changing the appearances of certain races within the world, basically making them look more modern. Also, the trailer seemed to show lots of CGI, as opposed to practical effects, making the show look kind of cheap and tacky.’ 

It is true that the trailer appeared extremely heavy on CGI, so much in fact that you could be forgiven for thinking it was a trailer for a new upcoming video game, rather than a live action series. A factor that made the three ‘Lord of The Rings’ movies feel so real and immersive, was the use of practical effects and real life models when possible. To deviate from this would be a real shame, and would take away the realism and grittiness that was present in the films, that despite being 20 years old have aged incredibly well. 

Another element which made Jacksons trilogy so gripping, was the dark and perilous tone. The grand scale was almost intimidating and the villains and threats felt menacing. From the trailer, ‘The Rings of Power’ came across as slightly childish and a little too cliche’ and fantastical, whereas the films were much more grounded in realism and there was always a lingering sense of threat. This made for an immersive edge of the seat experience that the new ‘Rings of Power’ trailer threatens to have lost.

However, a one minute trailer is not enough to condemn a 1 billion dollar piece of art. Maybe the writers of ‘The Rings of Power’ have something new up their sleeve that will pleasantly surprise fans. Certainly, a book should never be judged by its cover, however in this instance the new ‘Rings of Power’ trailer has certainly left fans sceptical as to what is to come. Perhaps the legacy of the films is too much for Amazon to handle? Only time will tell. With the release date set for September of 2022, and a further more in depth trailer expected before then, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet. 

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George Elmitt

George Elmitt

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