‘The Rings of Power’ Writers React to 5 Fan Criticisms of Their Show

‘The Rings of Power’ Writers React to 5 Fan Criticisms of Their Show

From short-haired elves and dwarf-wife beards, to Galadriel’s portrayal of the character, Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings’ series showrunners respond to some common Tolkien fandom complaints.

J.R.R. J.R.R. Tolkien fans love the way that Tolkien’s fantasy world is so vast yet so specific. It’s not surprising that Amazon’s The Rings of Power has caused some controversy in trying to adapt Tolkien’s Second Age for global TV viewers. Showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have seen the chatter and were down to respond to some of the most oft-repeated online comments (then, amazingly, McKay even asked, “What are you not buying about the show?”). As noted in The Hollywood Reporter‘s deep-dive Rings of Power cover story this week, the writers and producers privately debated many of the same topics fans have been discussing since the show’s Sept. 2 debut. They were prepared to address the following five complaints.

“Dwarf wives in The Rings of Power don’t have beards”

J.D. Payne: It’s not true. We examined different versions of what facial hair might look like on dwarf women. These are the beard hairs that are lovingly applied one at a. [onto Disa actress Sophia Nomvete] And there are these mutton chops on either side.

Patrick McKay: I would go further to say that Tolkien himself — if you study his entire body of work — has answered this particular question both ways. It’s clear that dwarf women should have beards. But, it’s also clear that they don’t. We are happy with where we have landed.

“Elves do not have shaved heads “


Payne: If Tolkien ever wrote a comprehensive style guide to hairstyles in Middle-earth over its thousands of years of history, I would love to see it.

McKay: Part of this show is to go deeper and broader into each of these races and cultures. To say that any culture as rich and with as long of a history as the elves would all have the same hair for 9,000 years … that doesn’t seem to correspond and harmonize with the breadth of the imagination that Tolkien left us.

“Galadriel acts too masculine and she never went to Numenor”

Payne: I would love to see in Tolkien where it says Galadriel never went to Numenor — that doesn’t exist. Second, her nickname is “Nerwen,” which translates to “man-maiden”. Third, she doesn’t act masculine.

McKay: Also, the name “Galadriel” is loosely translated in Elvish as a maiden with a crown of golden hair. Because she was a fighter with other elves, she would braid her hair and place it on top of her head [to keep out of harm’s way]. The etymology of Galadriel refers to her as a warrior.

” The costumes look too new “

McKay: I certainly don’t agree with that note. I believe we are always talking of a lived in world and we’re always discussing adding breakdown [to give costumes an older, worn-in look]. You can also wear it. Is it new or not?

[ I confirm that my shirt is brand new. ]

McKay: Guess what? Sometimes, clothes are brand new.

” The show’s pace was too slow “

Payne: I hope that people can key in for the journey. Many blockbusters move at a breakneck speed, where you are constantly being taken from one set piece to another until it all collapses under its own weight. Tolkien will slow down and allow you to sink into characters. I hope people will have the patience and perseverance to enjoy a Tolkien epic.

That said, in THR‘s The Rings of Power cover story, the duo conceded that some scenes in season one weren’t as urgent as they could have been. McKay stated that there were things that didn’t work in season one that might have worked on a smaller show. McKay stated that it must be about good and evil, and the fate of the planet. Otherwise, it doesn’t have the epic feeling you get when you’re in Tolkien

To be chosen for the Prime Video series, the showrunners had to beat dozens of potential rivals. Amazon executives cited McKay and Payne’s passion for Tolkien’s world and depth of knowledge. They also acknowledged that they learned a lot from the first season’s complex episodes and that the show’s episodes improve with each season. They expect the second season’s episodes to be “bigger” and “better” at “every level… by an order-of-magnitude.”

The duo teased (stuntiler-free) next week’s eighth episode of their debut season.

McKay asked, “When the world crumbles — quite literally), how do you begin to pick up the pieces?” “Quite often, serialized television’s last episode is the one that sets the table for the second season. We don’t feel this way. The final episode is the culmination of all the fuse we’ve lit over the seven previous episodes. “Hopefully people are satisfied with the big booms which happen — though these might be emotional booms than volcanic ones.”

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