The Rings of Power Season one China

Amazon’s ‘The Rings of Power’ Gets Lukewarm Reception in China

The first season of ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ has received conflicting reviews from Chinese fans, with an overall score of 6.8/10 on the rating platform Douban

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3 months ago 1 mins read

The first season of Amazon’s high-budget series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, an adaptation of legendary fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and its appendices, wrapped up on October 14. Like other audiences around the globe, fans in China had mixed feelings about the show, although Chinese review sites were seemingly spared the onslaught of negative critiques that plagued some Western platforms.


Morfydd Clark as Galadriel and Lloyd Owen as Elendil in The Rings of Power

Morfydd Clark as Galadriel and Lloyd Owen as Elendil in The Rings of Power


More than 17,000 Chinese viewers rated the show on the review platform Douban, giving it an average rating of 6.8/10. Meanwhile, The Rings of Power holds a disappointing audience score of just 39% on the American review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes and 6.9/10 on IMDb.


Following the initial release of The Rings of Power, the series suffered from a phenomenon called review-bombing, where displeased fans gave the show extremely low ratings for a range of reasons, from anger over Black characters to a belief that the plot strayed from author J.R.R. Tolkien’s canon.


To combat review-bombing, Amazon took the unusual step of temporarily suspending the review function on its Amazon Prime Video streaming service.


The lukewarm response to The Rings of Power has not lived up to the legacy of Peter Jackson’s adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit in China, which enjoy considerably higher Douban ratings and set impressive box office records.


Amazon’s adaptation of the storied fantasy novels has even failed to surpass the Douban rating of Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 animated reimagining of The Lord of the Rings, which currently holds 8.8/10 on the review site.


Lord of the Rings China The Rings of Power

The city of Armenelos in The Rings of Power


Many Chinese viewers felt there was not enough action in the first season. One user of the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo wrote, “The settings were beautiful, but overall the show was a letdown. It was nearly 10 hours long, but the only big scene was a volcanic eruption.”


A Douban reviewer, who gave the show a favorable rating, wrote that the season felt like a “large-scale preview.”


An apparent redeeming quality of The Rings of Power was the reveal of big baddy Sauron in the finale, which some referred to as “the best episode of the series,” and left watchers excited for the second season.


Other conflicting comments by Weibo users included those calling the series “flat,” “the best fantasy epic in years,” and “pretty good.”


The Rings of Power reportedly has four more seasons to shut up the naysayers, with season two likely arriving sometime in 2024.


All images via IMDb

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