Now that’s how you do a season finale! THE RINGS OF POWER’s first season finale answered some big questions and left me wanting for so much more. Amazon was smart enough to give us the Second Age of Middle Earth instead of a retread of what we’ve already seen on screen or a solo story about Aragorn or Frodo. For book purists, there’s a framework, but still so much to explore. And for those who haven’t sat down to read Tolkien’s works released posthumously, it’s magical to revisit Middle Earth again after the underwhelming HOBBIT films. 

I wish I weren’t the kind of viewer who is always looking for a twist, but unfortunately, I am. Some of the ALLOYED’s big “surprises” had been on my mind for weeks. Of course, it helps that I’m already a massive fan of THE LORD OF THE RINGS books, films, and THE HOBBIT novel. Even though the twists and turns may not have blown my mind as they may yours, I still enjoyed every single moment. 

To reiterate something I said in my last review, I’m so grateful the showrunners took the time to build this world and allow us to care for these characters. Without those steps, the stakes – both good and bad – raised in EP9 wouldn’t have felt earned. My biggest critique of this series so far is that the production has moved from New Zealand to the United Kingdom. I’m biased, as Peter Jackson’s films inspired my travel to NZ, but those islands ARE Middle Earth to myself and millions of others. 

I’m not sure when the penultimate TV series episodes started being bigger than their finales. Was it LOST? BREAKING BAD? GAME OF THRONES? All had revered second to last episodes (of their respective seasons) that overshadowed the season finales themselves. Was this a thing before “the golden age of television”? THE RINGS OF POWER dropped their BIG episode with ÛDUN (E6), giving the story time to breathe and react to those events before ending. I loved that episode, but I loved ALLOYED even more. It’s more personal, more heartfelt, and even more intense than a village being raided by Orcs. 

Naysayers be damned, THE RINGS OF POWER delivered a spectacular first season. It surrounded us viewers with a magical world and characters we’ve grown to truly care about. The second-to-none cinematography, score, and costuming were just extra treats on-top of our Middle Earth sundae. May each season moving forward be as good or better than this. And I genuinely hope production can recreate the beauty of New Zealand on the other side of the earth. 

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RINGS OF POWER S1 is streaming on Amazon Prime. 

Jami Losurdo

When not writing film and tv reviews, Jami is expanding her collection of colorful sunglasses, lifting weights, and working her day job as a Digital Advertising Director. An alumnus of NYU Tisch for Film/TV, Jami made Los Angeles her home in the early 2000s and continues her quest to find the very BEST tacos of all time.

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