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The Rings Of Power Creators Have Some Intriguing Remarks About Season 1

In the midst of the highly competitive streaming wars, Amazon made an astonishing move by purchasing the rights to "Lord of the Rings" for a whopping $250 million dollars. After the legendary creator J.R.R. Tolkien's son Christopher retired, the opportunity became available and Amazon hastily jumped in. This allowed them to shed new light on Middle-earth with their jaw-dropping juggernaut television series "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power."

"The Rings of Power" premiered alongside the hotly anticipated "Game of Thrones" prequel "House of the Dragon," taking fans to both Middle-earth and Westeros each week. Initial reactions to Amazon's fantasy adventure were mixed and actually faced a fair amount of unwarranted backlash. However, the Orcs overcame the dragon, and "The Rings of Power" came out on top drawing more viewership than the Westerosi drama.

The creators of "The Rings of Power" have been notably quiet about the intense trolling and negativity online, which is usually the best approach in a case like this. Showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne are also increasingly busy as they revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that production for Season 2 has officially begun. They also addressed the negative comments, intense competition with "House of the Dragon," and even indulged in Sauron fan theories.

McKay and Payne have thoughts about those reviews

Soon after the premiere, presumed diehard Tolkien fans and other anonymous entities review-bombed the multi-billion dollar global franchise adaptation with hate. As The Hollywood Reporter points out, this dark trend follows the troll-led online phenomenon starkly contrasting positive critical reception. Rotten Tomatoes gives "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" a solid 84% with critics lauding the gorgeous scenery, sophisticated world-building, and multifaceted characters, old and new. 

That's not even what bothers the showrunners the most, however. In fact, after Elon Musk and others tweeted their thoughts, the notion that the series is a "cash-grab" was the real offense to the creators who were, like most, fans first. "Some of what's been hardest to hear is the cynical point of view that this is a cash grab," Patrick McKay told THR. "It's like, oh my God, the opposite. This is the most earnest production. This is not a paycheck job for anybody. This is a labor of love." 

Though the mind-boggling price tag often accompanies headlines with the newest iteration of Middle-earth, the partnership between Tolkien and Amazon was actually formed out of a commitment to the material and respect for the family. As Amazon Studios TV co-head Vernon Sanders summarized, "It was our collective passion and fidelity to Tolkien that really won the day." This extinguishes those misconstrued takes while also supporting the slower narrative pace of Season 1 that takes its time to establish characters and their complicated dynamics.

The creators say Season 2 is going to be bigger and better

The creators reflected on the expansive and ambitious first season and even teased what we can expect when "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" returns. Patrick McKay noted, "There are things that didn't work as well in season one that might have worked in a smaller show. It has to be about good and evil and the fate of the world or it doesn't have that epic feeling you want when you're in Tolkien" (via The Hollywood Reporter). The truest of Tolkien fans know it's far more about the journey — and are more than willing to take the time to get there.

McKay and J.D. Payne even admitted to the mounting pressure that came when "House of the Dragon" consistently accumulated viewers on HBO. Though the U.S. ratings were impressive, Amazon focused more on the international success of "The Rings of Power" which the global studio prioritizes. Fan engagement has also been crucial to the prequel, especially surrounding the dark presence of Sauron. The creators teased how his shadow will spread and be felt even more intensely in Season 2.

They joked that they could've taken the entire season to focus on Sauron and his encroaching evil. However, they debunked theories of his hidden figure lurking about and shared that having viewers fall in love with the earlier days of Middle-earth would make it even more devastating later. In Season 2, Sauron's infection spreads, which will be "bigger and better [on] every level ... by an order of magnitude."