Fans of The Lord of the Rings, either the books or the movies or both, are somewhat torn when it comes to the new Amazon series The Rings of Power. The show will give fans more of Middle-Earth, which is wonderful, but since these aren’t based on actual novels written by J.R.R. Tolkien, there is still a lot of concern. However, one Tolkien fan, Neil Gaiman, has seen some of the show, and he’s on board, calling it the prequel he always wanted.
Neil Gaiman has a working relationship with Amazon Video through the Good Omens adaptation, which is probably how he scored screeners to the upcoming Rings of Power. In response to a fan who asked what he thought, Gaiman responded on Twitter that he found the series to be a lot of fun, and exactly what the stories he wanted from another Tolkien classic, The Silmarillion. Gaiman says…
Most fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's work seem to work through it in a similar way. We find The Hobbit as kids, then when we get a little older, we give The Lord of the Rings a try. After that, if you’ve become absolutely obsessed with Middle-Earth, then you have probably picked up a copy of The Silmarillion.
The problem is that, if you’re looking for another adventure with elves and hobbits and dragons and rings of power, The Silmarillion is not that. It’s closer to a text book about the land of Middle-Earth than it is a story like Lord of the Rings. The book deals with a lot of the history and lore that makes up the land that all the characters we love inhabit. The Silmarillion is certainly being used to inform the new show, but it’s not a narrative adventure in the same way.
The Rings of Power, according to Neil Gaiman, is what he wanted when he first picked up that book. It’s a prequel that tells the story of what happened before The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but in a more traditional way, more like the way those other stories worked. For the most part Gaiman’s response to the show matches the critics that have seen The Rings of Power, as most find the show to be promising.
This is almost certainly what everybody else wants The Rings of Power to be, and coming from as respected a source as Neil Gaiman, these words will likely carry a lot of weight. The fact that he plans to enthusiastically watch the rest of the series when he can, will probably increase the enthusiasm that a lot of people, who have been less sure of the show, will have.
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