Rumor: Amazon To Retool ‘The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power’, Sideline Current Showrunners After First Season Was “More Of A Failure Than They Could Have Been Anticipated”

With Amazon’s live-action bastardization of JRR Tolkien’s seminal fantasy works underperforming by virtually every metric, a new rumor suggests the company will “remodel” The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power for its second season – starting with the sidelining of their current showrunners, JD Payne and Patrick McKay.

Markella Kavenagh as Elanor ‘Nori’ Brandyfoot, Lenny Henry as Sadoc Burrows in The Lord of the Ring: The Rings of Power

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Word of this apparent shake-up was first suggested by noted film critic, industry insider and Movie threat founder Chris Gore during an appearance on the 314th episode of the YouTube livestream show Midnight’s Edge in the Morning.

Discussing the show’s first season finale with Today’s panel, Gore was eventually asked by host Andre Einherjar, “What have you heard from your peers in the industry, is everyone so impressed by Rings of power like the showrunners suggest we should be?”, to which the critic admitted back, “Um, no.”

In fact, Gore said, his industry contacts were not only unimpressed with season one, but its reception was so generally abysmal that Amazon has set out to correct the course for season two.

Joseph Mawle as Adar in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

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“I heard from somebody who has a connection at Amazon that — if you want to know — that they’re actually going to remodel,” he explained. “And [Payne and McKay] are more than likely … they won’t be publicly fired, but their role will be reduced.”

“Potentially just staying in the writers’ room,” he added, “but I understand they’re looking for more experienced showrunners.”

Source: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1 Episode 7 “The Eye” (2022), Amazon Studios

To that end, Gore explained that Amazon is “well aware of the issues,” before noting that while “there’s what they say publicly,” there’s also “what they’re actually doing behind the scenes.”

“And what they’re doing behind the scenes,” he then asserted, “is they’re getting scared that this was more of a failure than might have been expected.”

Robert Aramayo as Elrond and Benjamin Walker as High King Gil-galad in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

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As for what has made the higher-ups seem to sit up and get their act together, Gore speculated that there were three main reasons for this change.

“I think the quality of the show is the most important thing,” he thought at first. “[Audiences are] like ‘Why am I still seeing this? This is sleep-inducing.'”

Source: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1 Episode 8 “Alloyed” (2022), Amazon Studios

“The other thing is the total rejection from fans,” he then suggested. “I can’t believe … there must be very few people left who still like it.”

“And thirdly, the direct competition from House of the Dragon,” he concluded. “Even as pre-seed and post-seed [of the show’s airing]it started earlier and ends later [thus keeping it in viewers’ consciousness for a longer period of time]”.

Charles Edwards as Celebrimbor and Robert Aramayo as Elrond in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

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While it may be years before Gore’s speculation is directly confirmed or denied, the damningly low ratings the series currently has on aggregate reviews, Metacritic, and Rotten Tomatoes make it clear that something needs to be done if Amazon hopes to justify their 1 billion Lord of the Rings investment.

In writing, Rings of power currently has an overall 2.5/10 rating across 2422 on the former outlet:

Source: Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Review Scores, Metacritic

While on the latter, 35548 fans have left the series with a scathing 39% “rotten” average.

Source: Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Review Scores, Metacritic

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It’s clear that even without delving into the massive waves of discourse surrounding the glorification of Tolkien’s work or the cast and crew insulting the author’s fans, the series has failed to land with viewers.

Charlie Vickers (Halbrand), Morfydd Clark (Galadriel) in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

And while some may feel justified in pointing to its respective 71/100 and 85% fresh ratings from critics, those numbers are demonstrably suspect thanks to Amazon Studio Boss Jennifer Selke’s own admission that they censored reviews from critics who had ” views that we would not support’, suggesting an obvious bias in the sentiments communicated by the reviews that were actually published.

Further, that Amazon tried to skew the public’s perception of the series in their favor, the fact that Rings of power still has such an abysmally low audience score, speaks volumes for how little the audience really enjoyed this busy tour.

Morfydd Clark as Galadriel in The Lord of the Ring: The Rings of Power

The entire embarrassing first season of Amazons The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power now streaming on Prime Video.

Source: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1 Episode 8 “Alloyed” (2022), Amazon Studios

NEXT: ‘Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Showrunner Accuses Show’s Critics of Being ‘Blankly Evil’



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