Amazon Prime Claims Record High Viewership After THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER Premiere

Poster courtesy of MMPA – Amazon Prime’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”

Amazon Prime Claims Record High Viewership After THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER Premiere

By Movieguide® Staff

Amazon claimed that the debut of their new series, THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER, brought in 25 million viewers worldwide on Sept. 2, Amazon Prime’s most successful premiere to date.

“It is somehow fitting that [J.R.R.] Tolkien’s stories — among the most popular of all time, and what many consider to be the true origin of the fantasy genre — have led us to this proud moment,” Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said in a statement. “I am so grateful to the Tolkien Estate — and to our showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, executive producer Lindsey Weber, cast and crew — for their tireless collaborative efforts and boundless creative energy. And it is the tens of millions of fans watching — clearly as passionate about Middle-earth as we are — who are our true measure of success.”

Amazon announced THE RINGS OF POWER is also their most expensive series yet, with just the first season costing 465 million in U.S. dollars.

Despite early comparisons to GAME OF THRONES, the debut episodes of the series—based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic “Lord of the Rings” series and Peter Jackson’s movie adaptations—upheld the values of the original work.

A portion of Movieguide®’s review of the first episode reads:

The first episode of THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER on Amazon Prime follows Galadriel from her childhood to her youth as she becomes a warrior trying to destroy the evil in the world. Galadriel’s brother has died due to the evil Sauron, which has led her to want to fight Sauron’s evil. The elven king tells Galadriel the battle is over, and she can set aside her arms, but Galadriel believes there’s evil still out there to fight.

The first episode of RINGS OF POWER has a moral compass and Christological references, which accompany intense battle scenes and gruesome creatures. A tremendous amount of money was spent on creating the series, but the review link had a problematic sound mix and graphics that sometime didn’t look as credible as they should. Aside from the production quality, the first episode moves quickly and has constant jeopardy and many positive references to true faith such as “the true king will return.” MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for younger children for the first episode of THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER.

Notably, this is the first time Amazon has released its streaming totals to the public.

However, if THE RINGS OF POWER continues to honor Tolkien’s vision for “Middle-Earth,” the series could have much to offer for fans uninterested in the grotesque violence and sexual content of GAME OF THRONES.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Amazon revealed more plot details for the highly anticipated multi-season series, THE RINGS OF POWER.

Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of The Rings,” the Amazon Prime project also announced its cast. While the series plans to introduce new characters to fans of Middle Earth, THE RINGS OF POWER will feature familiar names like Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo).

According to the show’s creators, Patrick McKay and John D. Payne, the story follows 22 different characters and their involvement in the “forging of the rings.”

“Rings for the elves, rings for dwarves, rings for men, and then the one ring Sauron used to deceive them all. It’s the story of the creation of all those powers, where they came from, and what they did to each of those races,” McKay told Variety. “Can we come up with the novel Tolkien never wrote and do it as the mega-event series that could only happen now?”

Payne in McKay revealed that they were the surprise choice to direct the LOTR series, a franchise with a loyal fanbase and high standards.

Despite 13 years of work in Hollywood, their first listed credit on IMDb is THE RINGS OF POWER.

“We felt like hobbits,” Payne said. “We felt like two very small people in a very big world who had just been entrusted with something that meant so much to so many different people. Patrick and I will often look at each other in challenging moments of the show and say, ‘I’m glad you’re with me, Sam.'”

“From the very beginning, I trusted these guys,” director J.A. Bayona said. “I knew what they were going through and they knew what I was going through also, because can you imagine going back to such a beloved world and [facing] the high bar of the Peter Jackson movies? We were, all the time, very aware of the massive expectations.”

Die-hard fans breathed a sigh of relief after Amazon recently announced that THE RINGS OF POWER would be rated TV-14.

After Amazon hired an intimacy coach, some feared that the new series would more closely align with HBO’s GAME OF THRONES instead of Tolkein’s beloved Middle Earth.
“My worry would be if it becomes a Game of Thrones in the Second Age,” Dimitra Fimi, a Tolkien scholar and lecturer at the University of Glasgow, said. “That wouldn’t be what one would associate with Tolkien’s vision. It would also be derivative.”

McKay confirmed the TV-14 rating and said that he wanted to create a piece of entertainment that is safe for the whole family and honors Tolkien’s books.

“[I wanted] to make a show for everyone, for kids who are 11, 12, and 13, even though sometimes they might have to pull the blanket up over their eyes if it’s a little too scary,” McKay said. “We talked about the tone in Tolkien’s books. This is material that is sometimes scary—and sometimes very intense, sometimes quite political, sometimes quite sophisticated—but it’s also heartwarming and life-affirming and optimistic. It’s about friendship and it’s about brotherhood and underdogs overcoming great darkness.”

“We think the work will eventually speak for itself,” Payne added. “Before an orchestra starts, audiences will talk to each other, but then as soon as the music begins, you’re in and you’re listening to that music.”

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