The first episode for Rings of Power may have been one of the more surprising first episodes of a TV show I’ve seen.
Not because of any shocking plot twist within the episode itself. But because of how low my expectations were going into the show. A bad marketing campaign made me quite worried that the show was just being used as a cash cow with little intent to meaningfully adapt Tolkien’s world. And the fact that the screenwriters’ only prior experience had been as uncredited writers for Star Trek Beyond didn’t give me much trust either.
But then the first episode intrigued me. It was slow. But Tolkien didn’t often write fast-paced fiction, and I was quite open for a slow-burn approach. The showrunners seemed to have a deep passion for Tolkien. Middle-Earth looked stunning. And by the end of the second episode, I at least liked Elrond/Durin & Arondir/Brownyn’s plot lines. And my dismal hopes turned into rather rosy expectations.
With slow shows, however, you can’t really measure how good they are until you see the ending they’re building toward. So aside from a few side tweets here and there on Twitter, I intentionally avoided saying much about the show until I could see it in its entirety.
Now that I’ve seen the ending, though, while I didn’t hate the show, I can’t help but feel that the showrunners made a colossal mistake.