The showrunners for new fantasy series from the streaming service Amazon Prime Video, Rings of Power, have discussed concerns about the show’s pacing. Rings of Power is the latest big-budget fantasy series to hit screens, alongside House of the Dragon.
The TV series has received plenty of praise for lots of aspects: the production design, the visuals, its ambition, and the performances of its cast. However the reception hasn’t been exclusively positive. There have been complaints about the pacing of the series, and a perceived lack of narrative momentum.
Now, the creators and showrunners behind the new TV series, J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay have reflected on the conversation around Rings of Power’s pacing. In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, the pair addressed the criticism head on.
They said “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 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.”
Undoubtedly, the comments will prompt their own contributions to the discussion about the new show’s pacing. Some might believe that the comments miss the point of the criticism, and point out that the Lord of the Rings movies were able to tell a Middle-earth story while retaining momentum. On the other hand, others will be sure to agree that a Tolkien-adaptation will have its own unique storytelling requirements, and can’t be judged by typical standards.
Either way, any criticism may, or may not, be rendered invalid when the season finale for Rings of Power comes out next week. The finale could retrospectively solve any problems that audiences have had with pacing by tying things together in unexpected ways. Or, they might add to issues if audiences feel like the plot continues to advance at an insufficient speed.
For more fantastical fun check out our guide to the best fantasy movies of all time.