Is Rings of Power Really a Threat to Tolkien Legacy, Or Are LotR Fans Just Overreacting?
Some of them say that the show has ruined Tolkien forever, but perhaps the situation is not as bad as it seems.
The show's first season was heavily criticized for mishandling the source material by making unnecessary and (to fans) atrocious changes, dull characters that bore no resemblance to their book counterparts, and a weak story.
Some fans treated it as a literal end of the world, saying that it bastardized Tolkien's works and irreversibly tarnished their reputation in the eyes of the general public. But is The Rings of Power really as damaging to arguably the most famous fantasy universe as they say?
First of all, Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy also made some changes to the source material, but they were minor in the grand scheme of things, and the movies followed the events of the books relatively closely.
Also, the movies were great, with some fans of the universe even preferring them to the books, so the fact that Jackson's trilogy has become the first thing that comes to the average person's mind when they hear the title is actually a good thing. The public perception has been cemented with this positive image, so it is unlikely that Rings of Power will change that.
Another thing is that the show has little chance of surviving the test of time, which is the case with most mediocre products, so not many people will remember it in twenty years, while the books are timeless.
Speaking of timelessness, Tolkien's works have already been elevated to a higher state of sorts that transcends the rules that apply to most other creations. They're almost 70 years old and still in demand, so the series won't tarnish the author's legacy in any way.
After all, it is not an official retcon of the books, but a side project based on them. Die-hard Tolkien fans will always be able to enjoy the books.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2 is currently in production, the release date hasn't been announced yet.