18 January 2024

The Rings of Power — Season 2 Rumours


Warning: spoilers about season one of The Rings of Power and rumours about season two below.

The first season of The Rings of Power was visually amazing. I have to give the show credit for some remarkable sets, especially those of Khazad-dûm, Númenor, and Ost-in-Edhil. But the writing — the storylines, dialogue, and so forth — was definitely lacking overall. A few elements were okay — the relationship between Elrond and Durin was often charming, the new character “Adar” was intriguing — but overall it was quite disappointing. 

Especially vexing were all the gratuitous deviations from Professor Tolkien’s creation. I can understand changing elements of the established canon for the sake of the medium (e.g., removing Tom Bombadil and replacing Glorfindel with Arwen in Peter Jackson’s Fellowship of the Ring). But so many of the changes in season one of TRoP were not simply unnecessary but painfully ridiculous. I loathed the “time compression” –- squishing 2000 years of history into maybe a decade or so. The whole “mithril-as-the-cure-for-Elf-cancer” invention was utter nonsense. And the existence of two “Durins” at the same time annoyed me. But I don’t wish to go through all the problems with the first season again.

Because of the weakness of the first season, I don’t have a lot of optimism about the next one. The One Ring website recently reported on some purported leaks about the second season and, well, it looks pretty grim. Granted, these rumours may all turn out to be vapours. But I remember dismissing the “leak” that “Halbrand” was Sauron — it just seemed too ridiculous and obvious — only for that to turn out to be the case.

Granted, the idea of presenting an episode (or a few episodes) from the perspective of Sauron could potentially be really cool (so long as the show didn’t try to present him in a sympathetic light, a kind of “emo Sauron”). And I would love to see the Song of Creation –- the Ainulindalë –- portrayed well on the screen. But, based on the first season, I really doubt that the writers for TRoP have the chops to pull these things off.

And many of the other rumoured elements of the second season look absolutely terrible. A son of Sauron? (Who is killed by Adar?) Tom Bombadil revealed to be in fact Morgoth (apparently bound in this form as punishment from Mandos)? And Goldberry in fact Ungoliant? What? If true … why?!?

I pray to Eru that most of these “leaks” turn out to be nothing more than jokes.

Further discussion can be found at The One Ring and (in video form) The Nerd of the Rings. (As usual, I largely agree with the perspective of the latter.)


  1. I think I'm glad I checked out on adaptations with the start of Hobbit. Didn't even really care for the first trilogy, and what I've caught of Hobbit was painfully bad.

    The books are good enough for me, but there are going to be way too many people who never read them and think the movies/show are the real thing.

  2. I thought the first trilogy was great (not perfect -- the portrayal of Denethor still grates -- but about as good as one could reasonably hope for in a mass market production).
    Everything afterwards has been a disappointment.
    I wish studios would just focus on making "new" series and films, instead of mining -- and warping -- established works, especially those of Tolkien.
    But, alas, familiarity = $$$.


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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).