LOTR Show Got First Reviews & They'll Surprise You

Tolkien experts were invited to a sneak preview of Amazon's Rings of Power, and they had great things to say. Apparently, the showrunners "get" Tolkien. Phew. Details here.

Lord of the rings not woke
Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold wokeness in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. | © Amazon & New Line Cinema

Lord of the Rings, perhaps more than any other fandom, takes its lore seriously. Fans will argue about anything; whether Laiquendi should really be considered Sindar, how reliable Númenórean sources are, and even, did Fëanor really do anything wrong? (He did, see the kin-slaying of the Teleri).

The Amazon show will be no exception, fans will subject it to just the same level of scrutiny as they have with other depictions of Middle Earth. Luckily for those fans though, a group of experts has been allowed a sneak preview, and they broadly agreed that it was loyal to the source material.

Rings of Power Get's Approval From Lore Masters

Highly regarded Tolkien scholars, including Shaun Gunner, Corey Olsen, and Dr. Maggie Parke, were invited to watch Amazon's Rings of Power under a strict NDA. They couldn't give us a full review for obvious reasons, but they were positive in regard to the lore. As Kaitlyn Facista of teawithtolkien said,

The passion that these folks have for faithfully bringing the Second Age to life was really touching and was evident in the way they spoke about Middle-earth and Tolkien himself. I was actually very impressed by their knowledge of the Legendarium and Tolkien’s letters particularly.

That last point is absolutely fundamental. Many naysayers have critiqued one shot in particularly from the show that presents Galadriel in a suit of armor, and preparing for battle. If we're going strictly by the history detailed in the Silmarillion, as those critics are, then the image is ridiculous. Galadriel was not leading armies in the Second Age, she's depicted more like a traditional queen in the Silmarillion, and so rather than fight, she "escaped the Sack of Doriath", for instance.

But if you include Tolkien's letters in your canonical history of Middle Earth then you get a very different version of Galadriel (Tolkien was obsessed with the character and rewrote her many times). If you include this in your history, as the showrunners do, then you can absolutely imagine Galadriel fighting in battles while she was the leader of Eregion.

This is a round-about way of saying that yes, the showrunners actually do have justifications in the lore for their decisions. And people who claim that the show has gone woke are, quite frankly, starting to sound like a bunch of Sackville-Bagginses...