image: Shutterstock Crying Angry Man Shutterstock Stock Photo

‘The Rings of Power’ Is Getting Review Bombed by Racists—Cause Here We Go Again

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premiered on Amazon on September 1st, 2022, and, of course, was met with some hesitation from Lord of the Rings fans. After all, The Rings of Power has some big shoes to fill coming along after Peter Jackson’s groundbreaking and magical Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies. Not only that, but J. R. R. Tolkien’s work has been growing its fanbase for nearly seven decades and many feel very passionately about it. With The Rings of Power being a mixture of originality and tales based on Tolkien’s work, the show certainly could rile some fans up for not closely following its source material.

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However, so far, critical reception of The Rings of Power has been largely positive. The majority of critics praise the show’s visual grandeur which is cinematic in nature (and very reminiscent of the live-action film series). Performances, cinematography, and the musical score were all praised, as well. The only hesitations seem to be with The Rings of Power‘s storytelling, pacing, and the question of whether it can add something new or meaningful to an already well-established franchise.

The Rings of Power, so far, has an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and received a score of 6.5 out of 10 on IMDb. However, audience reception has been an entirely different matter. The Rings of Power has been getting brutally review bombed, despite the fact that it just premiered and only two episodes are available so far. Disgruntled internet users have been swarming review outlets, with The Rings of Power‘s audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes falling to 35%. Additionally, the MetaCritic audience rating is a meager 2.5, as opposed to the critic score of 71.

Why are people review bombing The Rings of Power?

Sauron brooding with his hood up
(Amazon)

The major reason that people have been review bombing The Rings of Power is because they feel that the show isn’t faithful to Tolkien’s work. Usually, when review bombing occurs, it is carried out by bigots who attack a show/film merely because it features women or minorities. For instance, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law got review bombed by men who had a problem with the show centering on a female superhero. Meanwhile, The Rings of Power has faced its fair share of backlash and trolling for its diverse cast.

The Rings of Power features more female actors than males and it also has several Black actors portraying Elves and Dwarves. This riled folks up who wanted the show to follow Jackson’s films, which had a predominantly white, male cast. Some users argued that having Black Elves and Dwarves, or females being warriors, goes against how Tolkien originally imagined his universe. However, that just sounds like a feeble attempt at masking their own racism and sexism.

With that being said, the poor audience reviews weren’t entirely about the casting—there were also many negative audience reviews, on MetaCritic and Rotten Tomatoes, attacking actual aspects of the show, such as the performances of the actors, plot, storyline, and especially the deviation from Tolkien’s work. Many bemoaned the fact that the show, allegedly, has nothing to do with The Lord of the Rings. Of course, intermingled with these reviews are bound to be some trolls, too. Meanwhile, this is only the nature of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and MetaCritic. It’s difficult to say what the motives behind the bad reviews on Amazon were because, well, we can’t see those reviews anymore.

Why Did Amazon Suspend Ratings?

If you go to The Rings of Power on Amazon, you’ll notice something unusual. It has no customer reviews. This is because the review bombing of the show on Amazon was so bad that Amazon temporarily suspended customer reviews. The Hollywood Reporter stated that the reviews are going to be suspended for at least 72 hours. They say this will allow Amazon the chance to screen the reviews and to attempt to diminish the number of reviews from trolls.

It is not surprising that Amazon chose to suspend ratings. The Rings of Power came with a hefty budget and is poised to be one of the biggest shows on their platform. Naturally, they don’t want users to see, after only two episodes, that the series has hundreds of 1-star reviews and a painfully low overall rating. And certainly, no one wants a show’s reviews to be filled with racism and misogyny.

Regardless of whether it is Amazon, Rotten Tomatoes, or MetaCritic, it’s hard to miss the fact that these reviews are unusually harsh. Even if The Rings of Power has some shortcomings, the amount of users giving it 1 star outright is quite strange. This seems to indicate many individuals are, potentially, going into it with a closed mind, either because of their feelings towards the cast or because of their loyalty and love for Tolkien’s work.

(featured image: Amazon/Shutterstock)


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Author
Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.