Prime Video has been slowly unveiling pieces of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power for months, finally screening the first two episodes for television critics and other members of the wider entertainment media over the last few weeks. And although the full results aren't in yet, things look promising for Prime Video's expensive (and expansive) epic.
Entertainment journalists didn't quite flood social media with their reactions to what they have seen of the series so far when the embargo lifted on Aug. 23. Perhaps that is because the embargo time was not shared well enough in advance for those writers to craft and schedule short sentiments. (Full reviews are still under embargo for another week, until just days before the highly anticipated series launch.) But there is still enough to glean from those who did post to get a sense of what to expect when The Rings of Power premieres with its first two episodes Sept. 2 on Prime Video.
Needless to say, what the show physically looks like got a lot of attention, as did how it fits into the overall world that J.R.R. Tolkien created. The series creators have already been very open about taking individual lines from his texts and expanding them greatly for this series, including creating brand new characters.
The final trailer for the series was also released on Aug. 23, which may have influenced some opinionated Tweets, and you can watch that below.
The New York Post's Lauren Sarner admitted that going into the show, she was skeptical about it, but after watching the first two episodes she was "pleasantly surprised." She called out both the visuals and tone as being positives and noted it is a "great addition to the Tolkien world."
Germain Lussier of Gizmodo and iO9 seconded the sentiment that it fits into Tolkien's world by noting the "captivating stories and characters" in this Middle Earth (set thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings) are both "familiar & new." However, because there is so much newness to set up, he pointed out that the first two episodes are slower paced than some might expect and "definitely [leave] you wanting more."
Being left wanting more after watching a film or a whole series can sometimes be taken as a negative because the storytellers had ample time to tell their story and certain things should be resolved before the end credits roll. But when that feeling comes after only two episodes of this series, it seems like a positive endorsement that what was delivered so far has excited the viewers for the rest of the action. The Rings of Power has an eight-episode first season with a second season already greenlit and in process.
Collider's Carly Lane-Perry also "can't wait for more," calling the show a "promising return to Middle-earth" and highlighting the "stunning visuals" and "compelling characters," especially Morfydd Clark's Galadriel.
See below for additional reactions. Do you think you can guess what Metascore the series will earn? Let us know! For reference, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King has the highest Metascore in the franchise thus far, with a 94, while the first in the triology, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, has a 92, and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers has an 87. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug earned a Metascore of 66, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies earned a 59, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has a 58.