Two episodes in and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has me well and truly hooked.
The production looks beautiful. Shot in New Zealand, of course, and with an eye-watering per episode budget that means the CGI, sets and costumes are spectacular, no-one could fault the visuals. It also has the feel of Game of Thrones – when it was good – flying us over the continents to the various elven, dwarf and human kingdoms to catch up on the different story threads.
But possibly the most powerful drawcard is how they use familiar characters and set them up in intriguing storylines. Every plot thread is strong and compelling. Galadriel (played as a driven warrior by Morfydd Clark) is determined to find Sauron and avenge her brother’s death, searching for centuries even though everyone else thinks he must be dead (or do they?) The fact she meets up with a certain prince in episode 2 foreshadows even more in the way of struggle, triumph and betrayal. Meanwhile, Elrond (Robert Aramayo) is embarking on a new and mysterious project – even he’s not sure what it will lead to – that sends him to the dwarven kingdom.
There are new characters too, including Arondir (Ismael Cruz Cordova) a Silven Elf garrisoned in the lands of Man struggling with forbidden love and uncovering a string of mysterious occurrences that could threaten the lives of everyone there. And then the Harfoots (a type of Hobbit) and the adventurous Elanor Brandyfoot (Markella Kavenagh) who discovers a strange man in unusual circumstances. I have my own ideas who this may be and if it is, this may be the most intriguing plotline of all.
It’s saddening to see that a number of misguided individuals have attempted to review-bomb the show because they have a problem with the colour of some actors’ skins.
For everyone else, give The Rings of Power a watch. You won’t be disappointed.