Amazon’s expensive Lord of the Rings gamble pays off in fantastical fashion: The Rings of Power review

The Rings of Power: key information

– Launching on Prime Video on September 1 (US) and September 2 (worldwide)
– Created by JD Payne and Patrick McKay
– Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendary Lord of the Rings novels
– Set during Middle-earth’s Second Age
– First season comprises 10 episodes
– Morfydd Clark, Robert Aramayo, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, and Markella Kavenagh among 23-strong main cast
– First season cost $465 million

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power represents a massive gamble for Amazon Studios. The multinational entertainment division has enjoyed relative success with its other movie and TV offerings, including The Boys and Invincible. However, Prime Video – Amazon’s streaming service – lacks a cultural behemoth, such as Netflix’s Stranger Things, the Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), or HBO’s Game of Thrones within its extensive back catalog.

With The Rings of Power, a Prime Video series set in legendary author J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantastical world of Middle-earth, Amazon has the opportunity to muscle in on Netflix‘s, Disney Plus’ and HBO Max‘s prestige TV turf. Such aspirations are fraught with danger, though – after all, The Rings of Power’s first season cost $465 million. If it completes its $1 billion, five-season run, it’ll be the most expensive show ever made. And should it struggle to obtain positive reviews, the negative financial and reputational impact on Amazon could be catastrophic. Simply put, failure is not an option.