The ‘Rings of Power’ showrunners are hoping to offer a breath of fresh air in a sea of cynical releases

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (2022)
Image via Amazon Prime Video

The age of streaming has absolutely catapulted television into an unprecedented beast of an indulgence. With a slew of platforms vying for the next big hit, to say nothing of being unburdened by regular cable restrictions, the last few years have brought us the likes of The Boys, Black Bird, The Sandman, and Game of Thrones, each of them cementing themselves into the palates of many a viewer.

But prevailing alongside such content is a certain darkness that, while often entertaining, comes with alternatives that are few and far between; the gore and depravity of The Boys and Game of Thrones come to mind in particular, and while there was no harm done in terms of acclaim or viewership, it’s at least curious that some of the best television seems to have a mandate against warmth.

But J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, the masterminds behind the upcoming Lord of the Rings spinoff Rings of Power, are looking to change that. Speaking to Time magazine, McKay called to mind the relentlessness of cynicism in so much of the television we consume

How do you top the most debased thing you can do?” asks McKay, referencing Succession and Game of Thrones. “Sometimes that’s really good in certain shows, but it’s also relentless.”

Indeed, for what intensity there is in Lord of the Rings, it was never something that got by on its cynicism (source: Samwise Gamgee), and The Rings of Power looks to carry on with a series said to boast plenty of genuine heart.

The Rings of Power releases on Amazon Prime Video on Sep. 2.