‘Rings of Power’ series expounds on history of Middle-Earth


Naomi Jackson

Board game depicts Galadriel, Orcs and other characters from Middle Earth.

Naomi Jackson, Reporter

This fall, an amazing new series in the Lord of the Rings canon has streamed on Amazon Prime: “The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power.” It takes place long before Bilbo and Frodo’s time and is an amazing portrayal of the dealings of Harfoots, Elves, Dwarves, Men and Maiar in the second age of Middle Earth. It shows a part of Middle Earth’s history we know little about- the rise of Sauron (after the downfall of Morgoth).

The show has several different plot lines happening simultaneously, interweaving different stories. We follow the wanderings of Harfoots, the ancestors of Hobbits. We see the journeys and struggles of Galadriel and Elrond, an age before we meet them in “The Lord of the Rings.” We see the mines of Moria that the Fellowship will travel through, now at the height of their grandeur. We learn about the ancient city of Numenor, about Elendil and Isildur. We see the struggles of the Southlanders and their battles with Orcs. All these stories and places meet and come together in unexpected ways as characters journey. New fans are introduced to a variety of interesting characters, while old fans are thrilled to see more of the characters they recognize. 

It is clear that the writers of the “Rings of Power” have studied deep into the lore of Tolkien. It is always good when, in a show based on the book, you can tell that the writers read the book. There are references and stories from the Silmarillion, a history of Middle Earth. These references excite fans who know the lore. However, these references and stories are told in a way that adds to and does not take away from the plot at all. Fans at all levels will be able to follow what is going on. 

One of the particularly exciting things about the “Rings of Power” is that it shows the origins of many things we see in the “Lord of the Rings”. The show is riddled with plot twists, making fans wonder what role characters will play in the history we already know, and how the things we know will happen will happen. There are some small inconsistencies with Tolkien lore, but it is amazing to see the stories incorporated.

“Rings of Power” is a fantastic show, offering something for every fan. Viewers can deeply feel the sorrows and struggles of all the characters. The show has a quality to it that makes it feel very real, touching the audience deeply. There is destruction and it is terrible, and you can feel how terrible and horrible it is, but also how beautiful the hope is. The show immeasurably excites Tolkien fans, but it is an amazing show all around. Each episode is amazing, captivating the audience with its depth, characters and emotion. This is a world that goes through great sorrow and devastation, the scale of which is clear. The fear seen is felt. Some character names you forget, but you admire what they do. It shows a history, not as a textbook, but as it happened, for history has many parts, and it shows them, showing the lives of those personally affected by the wars and weapons. 

Some dislike “The Rings of Power,” arguing that it doesn’t compare to other works of Tolkien, but it captures the brilliance of the books as the Simarils captured the light of the two trees of Valinor. The first few episodes admittedly are not as great, and some struggle getting through them. But those who keep watching are rewarded with the amazingness of the rest of the season, which cannot be stressed enough. This is really exciting to watch as a Lord of the Rings fan, but will be extraordinary for someone new to the world. It will be thrilling to see how season two plays out, what happens to the three Elven rings, whether Durin’s father Durin allows mining of Mithril, how the Fall of Numenor happens and the One Ring is created.