Rings of Power Isn’t Pure Tolkien

If you need unadulterated J.R.R, read the books.

A.J. Bryant


Lord of the Rings — the golden ring of power written in Elvish, displayed in an open palm
Photo by Ergo Zakki on Unsplash

Nobody is putting a gun to your head to watch the Amazon series.

You aren’t being forced to watch The Rings of Power (RoP). If you don’t like a show, then watch another one. There are dozens of shows released monthly across streaming platforms.

I’m sure you will find something you like. RoP isn’t for everyone and that’s fine.

In our divergent culture, you’d be hard-pressed to find a singular television show that everyone loved, let alone watched. There’s so much negative chatter about the series and it annoys me.

First off, don’t review the show or tell me your opinions unless you’ve at least watched it. Otherwise, your opinion holds no weight. If you have, then feel free to comment on this piece. I’ve watched the entire first season. In a few months, I will re-watch it.

There are three elements to its backlash; Jeff Bezos and Amazon, Game of Thrones (GoT), and this notion of Tolkien purity.

A Tolkien Interpretation

Enjoy the show for what it is, based on Tolkien’s writing, but a stand-alone project.

It was never marketed as a faithful recreation of the books. Not once. It’s based on lore characters and events that Tolkien wrote about. No one was in the dark about its creative and exploratory underpinnings.

I look at it as a creative interpretation of Middle Earth. In that vein, I enjoyed it. I was not upset about what I thought it should be.

Full disclosure: I’m not a Tolkien purist. I appreciate his writings. I loved the movies (less so The Hobbit). And I generally know Middle Earth’s characters, and stories

RoP is a show that seems to create its own path or forge it, to use the author’s vernacular.

Yes, some timelines are compressed or characters are different from how you think they should be portrayed. You’re not the creative director.

People of color can be cast in the main roles. I have no problem with that. It’s a bit strange only because our minds are programmed to see characters in fantasy settings with white skin.



A.J. Bryant

Adopted from Kerala. I write about adoption, my intercultural marriage, and contemporary India. Prawns are my love language.