D. Payne, who oversaw the production of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, acknowledged viewer complaints about the show’s plodding pace. Taking place in the same Middle earth as J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the Prime Video title is an expansive series investigating Sauron’s rise during the Second Age. However, as the series progressed, it veered away from its initial focus on Galadriel’s pursuit of Sauron and her eventual involvement in the fighting Orc armies in the Southlands. Among these narratives is one in which a band of Harfoots stumbles upon a man who apparently fell from the sky, another in which a band of Dwarves unearths mithril that the Elves want to use, and yet another in which numerous plot arcs center on citizens of the island nation of Númenor.
Since the beginning of its run, the ensemble drama’s fan base has voiced displeasure over a variety of issues. Amazon banned reviews of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power for the first three days of the season due to racist abuse directed at the show’s multicultural cast. Devoted readers of Tolkien’s works have also criticized the show for what they see as inaccurate character designs, such as female dwarves who don’t have beards and Elves who have long hair. Some have complained that the first season of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power moves at too slow of a pace and doesn’t introduce enough new characters or plot points.
- D. Payne, the showrunner for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, responded to complaints that the show moved too slowly in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. However, Payne thinks the series’ pacing is spot-on for Tolkien’s world, so viewers should stick around for more. Read what Payne had to say about it below:
I hope that people can key in for the journey. A lot of blockbusters have a breakneck pace where you’re wheeled from one set piece to the next until it all collapses under its own weight. Tolkien will take his time and let you sink into the characters to a journey, and journeys can be hard in Tolkien. I hope people will have the patience to settle in for a Tolkien epic.
The season finale of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power airs next Friday. It looks like the last seven episodes have been building to a satisfying conclusion. Payne makes direct references to Tolkien in his speech, setting up the season finale to justify the show’s pacing. The Southlands were revealed to be Mordor at the end of Episode 7. Several heroes, including Queen Meriel of Númenor and Galadriel, warned that Adar’s Orc armies would not be the last to encounter Middle-earth. The episode also concluded on a cliffhanger, as Isildur—the boy who will trigger the events of the Third Age of Middle-earth—was nowhere to be found after the eruption of Mount Doom.
Payne’s response is reassuring, showing that there is a method to the methodical, even though The Rings of Power’s slow pace may be frustrating for some viewers who want to know where the story is headed sooner. Payne’s latest statement elucidates the dedication behind everything in The Rings of Power and confirms that the show is planned all the way through season 5, which will likely be it’s final. Concerns about the show’s pacing may be addressed in the format of Season 2, which is currently in production. That or Payne and Rings of Power co-showrunner Patrick McKay won’t let negative feedback change their minds.