It is safe to assume that Amazon had a lot of money riding on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, not just as an ace up their sleeves in the streaming game but also due to the mere fact that it has already cost them upwards of $1 billion to make.
The live-action show, which had been more than five years in the making, finally premiered on Prime Video a while ago and concluded its first 8-episode run last Friday. The reception to this latest foray into Middle-earth has been a mixed bag; some Tolkienists are just okay with it, others praise it for the sheer scale of the production, and the rest hate it with a fiery passion.
But despite the online community’s consensus being anything but eulogizing, Amazon Studios president Jennifer Salke has told Deadline that there wasn’t a lot of “anxiety” when it came to The Rings of Power and its prospects.
“There was not a lot of anxiety. Of course, the story has to be great and you have to love these characters. If this show had fallen short of what audiences require then it would have felt like a disappointment but it didn’t. You need ambition, scope, and confidence to deliver on that.”
Even if the show has been lackluster in certain areas, the name of The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien’s Middle-earth has certainly managed to rope in audiences. Stalke even claims that the show has had a “halo effect” on other Amazon properties like The Boys and The Wheel of Time, the latter of which is another popular high fantasy series that make up the company’s roster of speculative adaptations.
The Rings of Power crew is already busy shooting the second season, with an approximate release window that puts its debut sometime in 2024.