Imagine making a TV show so bad, that chimes so poorly with the built-in fanbase, that you need to provide a therapist? This is what happened with The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Amazon TV. It was to be the next Game Of Thrones, expectations were sky-high for a breakthrough show that would ride the Thrones wave, while building on a solid fanbase of hardcore Tolkeinites and casual fans pulled in by the Peter Jackson movies. Then it came out, and it was just… there.
During production, the noise from fans started to grow as more was revealed. According to Variety, an on-site therapist was provided to support cast and crew as the backlash mounted. In a recent interview Ismael Cruz Córdova, who portrays Arondir, told the Just For Variety podcast that the negative reactions received regarding the show’s inclusivity and diversity were the main factor. He said:
“You need support when this happens because the voices are so loud and they’re coming at you from so many places.”
Preceding The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by thousands of years, the show was to tell the story of a peaceful time that becomes threatened by the ominous resurgence of evil in Middle-Earth, taking in the Misty Mountains, the forests of Lindon, the elven capital, and the island realm of Númenor.
The show premiered to strong numbers, with an impressive 25 million viewers breaking records for the streamer along the way. By the end of the eight-episode first season, Amazon Studios head Vernon Sanders was all over the place talking about the studio’s “most watched show ever” being seen by 100 million people worldwide with more than 24 billion minutes streamed. However, a follow-up by The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that in the United States only 37 percent of viewers who started the series stayed to the end of the run.
The show has made one notable cultural splash. Reworking the much-mocked character intro video has become something of an internet craze.
Feminine itch? Rings Of Power has you covered:
The show’s second season started production in October of last year, and filming is reportedly close to completion with no delays expected due to the ongoing writer’s strike.
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