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."
Social media embargo is up for #LordofTheRings #TheRingsofPower #LOTR, so: I’ve seen the first 2 episodes. I had been skeptical...but I was very pleasantly surprised. It is actually good! Very good! Visuals & tone are just right. IMO, a great addition to the Tolkien world— Lauren Sarner (@LaurenSarner) August 24, 2022
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."
The Lord of the Rings: #TheRingsOfPower instantly captured my imagination w/ captivating stories & characters in a Middle Earth that's both familiar & new.— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) August 24, 2022
The story/setup is so dense, however, the pacing in EPs 1 & 2 is rather slow, but it definitely leaves you wanting more. pic.twitter.com/nJJSHFMaLo
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.
#TheRingsofPower is definitely a promising return to Middle-earth based on the first episodes. Stunning visuals, compelling characters, and a magnetic lead in Morfydd Clark's Galadriel, who refuses to surrender the widely-held belief that Sauron is defeated. Can't wait for more. pic.twitter.com/XNf9Xie0Qm— Carly Lane-Perry (@carlylane) August 24, 2022
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.
I've seen the first 2 episodes of #LordOfTheRings #TheRingsOfPower. It is stunningly gorgeous to look at, and the score is beautiful. It also takes a while to get going, and there's a LOT going on. But for fans of the movies, it'll take you right back at points once it's rolling.— Alex Zalben (@azalben) August 24, 2022
My initial, hopefully embargo permitted thoughts on @LOTRonPrime: Harfoots (Harfeet?) freaking *rule.* Love the Harfoots (Google now says it's not Harfeet, and I trust Google)! Harfoots forever. pic.twitter.com/JFmczOGXJu— Liz Shannon Miller (@lizlet) August 24, 2022
I've seen the first 2 eps of #TheRingsOfPower. Yes, it's as visually stunning as the trailer promises.— Vanessa Armstrong (@vfarmstrong) August 24, 2022
It also sets the stage well for the clearly epic tale heading our way. I liked some characters/storylines more than others, but I'm hooked & ready for more#TheLordOfTheRings
Have seen the first 2 episodes of the @primevideo's #LordOfTheRings series. Prepare to be blown away by the scale and scope of #TheRingsofPower. I don’t know how they managed to pull this off, but they made a ‘Lord of the Rings’ show that feels like ‘Lord of the Rings.’ ½ pic.twitter.com/OTZjH41WTS— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) August 24, 2022
Two episodes of #TheRingsOfPower in and ... so far, so good! The production value is pretty remarkable. One breathtaking visual after the next, and the level of detail in the costume and production design is something else. As for the story/characters ... pic.twitter.com/n2HeKHdKPM— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) August 24, 2022
The first 2 eps of #TheRingsOfPower are… so far, very great. The trailers have already shown the show’s brilliant visual spectacle the seeds are planted for a rich & intriguing story that left me wanting more.— Jacob (@JacobFisherDF) August 24, 2022
Review coming to @DiscussingFilm from @darkmotifs later this month. pic.twitter.com/a0Vw2k88i2
I've seen #RingsofPower and I can say for certain you're in for a treat. Big, bold, and beautiful to behold. TBD if it'll sit alongside Jackson's films or deserve Tolkien's name, but for now it's all the maximalist pizazz one might expect from a historically expensive production. pic.twitter.com/Fgwh5L8eYC— Eric Francisco (@EricFrancisco24) August 24, 2022
Morfydd Clark (from criminally underseen Saint Maud) shines as a fierce and ethereal Galadriel. As do Owain Arthur (Durin IV) and Ismael Cruz Córdova (Arondir). There's a lot of characters who've yet to appear but #RingsofPower has already given me "faves" I want to follow along. pic.twitter.com/yFbL5UjOiq— Eric Francisco (@EricFrancisco24) August 24, 2022
Got to see the first two episodes of #LordOfTheRings #TheRingsOfPower and it’s absolutely GORGEOUS. That being said, I’ve never seen a single LOTR movie so I am completely lost, which is kind of upsetting considering it’s a prequel. However, I’m still excited to keep watching. pic.twitter.com/TCiCziwAzv— Tamara Fuentes (@tamara_fuentes) August 24, 2022