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The Rings Of Power Showrunners Start Every Work Day With This Powerful Tolkien Quote

The bar was insanely high the moment the world found out there would be a "Lord of the Rings" prequel series. Amazon Studios took on one of the biggest and most beloved franchises of all time with an ambition to expand it even further with their series, "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power." Set in Middle-earth in the second age, it chronicles the era thousands of years before Bilbo embarked on his adventure and the rise of a powerful darkness in the kingdom.

However, audiences have been much more torn on the series than the critics. According to Rotten Tomatoes, critics love it to the tune of 84%, while audiences feel less love for Amazon's first dive into the series, giving it a dismal 38%. It is hard to know just how audiences feel by reviews alone since the series has suffered a massive amount of review bombing since the first trailer hit the web.

The creators of the series, Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne, are taking the initial stumbles in stride, though, as they reveal a remarkably fitting quote the crew starts every day with.

Pain is part of the joy

The reception of the series seems to have an odd parallel to the story itself, and the showrunners sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss it. They weren't surprised by the response, as revealed by Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke, "We all saw it coming; there were no surprises," she says about the audience response. "Having insight into our global audience, we also have insight into the darker sides of how people can manipulate reviews and have other points of view that we wouldn't support."

But how does a crew as part of the biggest series ever produced navigate this stumble at the starting gate? They look to Tolkien himself and start each day with a quote pulled from the master himself's work. "They passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together, and tears are the very wine of blessedness." J.D. Payne explains that this quote's meaning looks to pain as part of the process. "It's the idea that eventually sorrow can become part of the joy," he says. "Because you've gone through so much pain, and now you're on the other side of it."

While there are definitely some growing pains from trolling fans with harsh words for the launch of the new series, it seems to be precisely what "Lord of the Rings" is about. At its core, the entire story follows the same pattern, the theme of finding hope in the hopeless and finding slivers of light in the darkness.

The theme fits the entire franchise

"How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come." Sam (Sean Astin) uttered those words to Frodo in "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and perfectly encapsulated the themes behind the entire story of Middle-earth. While the world struggles to find itself through an increasingly darkening world, there is always hope to be found.

J.D. Payne speaks more on the topic of the struggle they face and his inability to understand the show's critics. "The spirit of Tolkien is about disparate peoples who don't trust one another and look different from one another finding common ground in friendship and accomplishing big things," he says. "That's the spirit we've tried to inculcate into every single comma and period in the show. That this aspiration would be offensive to people and enrage them ... it's very hard for us to understand."

Regardless of how you feel about the beginning of the series, it is clear the showrunners have a firm grasp on the themes of Tolkien's work and look to continue those themes until they become more apparent. The review bombing and negative reviews from fans so far look to only reinforce to them that they are on the right path with what Tolkien tried to teach in his story. A tale of many different people from different races and backgrounds coming together to battle evil and darkness that increasingly covers the kingdom in shadow. While the battle will bring pain, struggle, and sorrow, all of those things will eventually lead to the light we all crave.