Following HBO and House of the Dragon, Amazon Prime is launching The Rings of Power series this Friday, inspired by Tolkien’s cult trilogy The Lord of the Rings. From this confrontation, the world of fantasy emerges victorious.
On streaming platforms, HBO’s “House of The Dragon” crosses blades with “The Rings of Power” on Amazon Prime. And the introduction of their products with great appeal by the two giants benefits the democratization of the imagination, often reserved for an initiated public.
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Thanks to series like “Game of Thrones” the genre is indeed experiencing a real turning point. “Fantasy is accessible to a whole new audience, much broader than that of the cinema [au genre de la fantasy] enter the world of franchises and rise to the level that Marvel or Star Wars might want to reach by developing series on dedicated platforms,” explains RTS Anne Besson, Professor of Comparative Literature at the University ‘Artois, France.
A very rich universe
Thanks to franchises, the future of fantasy is secured. “It has a lot to offer for its serial and transmedia development in the form of franchises, because the universes that the authors have created from A to Z by inventing peoples, languages and cultures are extremely rich, dense and coherent”, continues Anne Besson . Fantasy fits perfectly with these new formats, taking the opportunity to explore new messages as well. It’s a genre that evolves over time.”
A time of mega productions too, because the series is considered the most expensive in television history. Amazon paid $250 million to buy the rights, and about $465 million was spent on the first season alone. The group has committed for five seasons, the final sum should well exceed one billion.
Amazon’s latest is being funded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, the e-commerce giant’s founder and huge Tolkien fan.
The challenge is daunting: the series features heroes and their enemies who are barely (if at all) sketched in the trilogy and its appendices and appendices, while the cast and creators remain largely unknown.
A scene from the series ‘The Rings of Power’ airing this Friday on Amazon Prime. [Amazon Prime Video – Keystone]
Install the characters
The Rings of Power is set in Tolkien’s Second Age in Middle-earth, thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Although some characters from Peter Jackson’s films appear in the new series (mainly young versions of elves like Galadriel and Elrond), we won’t see Frodo, Gollum or Aragorn. Some characters were even created from scratch for the series.
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“Season 1 is really about setting up the characters and introducing new characters (…), bringing to life a lovely skeletal world that Tolkien just created in the Second Age,” Maxim Baldry told AFP, as revealed in a flashback fighting Sauron at the beginning of Peter Jackson’s trilogy.
In the series, Maxim Baldry plays the young version of this tragic hero who grieves for his mother, struggles with the pressure of his authoritarian father and is driven by a burning desire for adventure.
Series creators Patrick McKay and JD Payne pitched their concept to Amazon in 2017 with just a few projects on their resumes.
“We wanted to come up with a massive Tolkien saga. And Amazon was crazy enough to say, in the best way possible, ‘okay, let’s go,'” Patrick McKay said at Comic-Con.
At Tuesday’s series premiere in London, Jeff Bezos admitted that “some people have questioned our decision” to bring in “this relatively unknown team.” “But we saw something special there,” he said, according to Variety magazine.
Reviews so far have been generally positive. Morfydd Clark’s (Galadriel) rich costumes, sets, special effects and acting were widely praised, although Time Magazine criticized her for a show “full of beautiful imagery and hackneyed clichés.”
This breathtaking cost comes with the utmost discretion. Plot details and reviews were strictly banned until Wednesday, two days before the show’s launch, and even the cast didn’t know the fate of their characters.
“No idea! I don’t even know what’s going to happen next season,” assures Megan Richards, who plays Poppy Proudfellow, a Harfoot, ancestral race to the Hobbits.
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The first two episodes of The Rings of Power series are available on Amazon Prime. Then every Friday from 6 a.m. one episode per week.
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