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Review: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Impossible to compare, but every bit as good: the new Lord of the Rings TV series, The Rings of Power, looks set to be another TV mega-hit, earning its place beside Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon as one of this year’s most impressive debuts.

Launching at 9am Perth time this Friday on Prime Video, the eight-part series — which at $US1 billion over five seasons comes in as the most expensive TV production of all time — is the first imagining of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy universe for the small screen, and comes 21 years after the release of Peter Jackson’s acclaimed Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

Given its high profile — and even higher budget — it’s understandable audiences will want to compare The Rings of Power, which launches two weeks after the Game of Thrones prequel became the most-watched show of 2022 globally, to its blockbusting predecessor. Bold in scope, visually beautiful and with incredible world-building digital special effects, it has much in common. But trying to compare House of the Dragon with The Rings of Power is like trying to compare apples with oranges.

Or, to use a more Tolkien-appropriate analogy: Orcs with Oarni, Hobbits with Hobgoblins or Men with Mountain Trolls.

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