Prime Video and Amazon Studios shared a The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Superfans review for the newly released trailer for the upcoming television and the focus of the review has to do with racial identity politics.
The Superfans review was shared to the Amazon Prime Video UK YouTube channel. It was hosted by Mistah Islah, a BBC Asian Network Presenter, and featured “the fellowship of influencers” that included Chanel Williams, Joel Rochester, and Kelsey Ellison.
When asked by Islah to describe the teaser trailer in three words, Williams responds first saying, “Breathtaking, I literally didn’t breathe. Exhilarating and intriguing.”
Next, Rochester stated, “I would say like expansive because we’re getting this whole new look into the Second Age on screen. And it’s going to be so amazing.”
He continued, “I also want to say representative because we’re getting like more diversity within this series. Like we’re seeing our first black Elf. We’re seeing the first female Dwarf. I’m very looking forward to looking at that.”
Finally, he concluded, “And then I guess like intriguing because obviously this period of history within the Middle-earth is very rife with notions of the plot of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and seeing how the rings of power are being forged.”
Ellison then said, “I would say awestruck, mystified, and starstruck.”
In the next bit, Islah begins saying, “So, in the teaser trailer and obviously there’s a lot of stuff that you’ve probably read about it — we’re introduced to the first black Elf, we’re introduced to the first female Dwarf. Now, diversity especially on screen as an actor means a lot to me because growing up I hardly saw that watching TV and watching a lot of films and stuff. I never saw people of my color so it’s exciting to see that diversity is being explored in The Rings of Power.”
He then asks, “What are your thoughts on the casting decisions?”
Rochester is the first to answer. He says, “I’m very excited for it because Tolkien’s work was always about being inclusive. I mean we see it through The Fellowship. Like a bunch of people from different backgrounds coming together in order to face a common enemy being Sauron.”
“And just seeing the casting decisions it’s really really exciting to see. It’s just gonna mean so much to me personally because it’s getting that representation in Middle-earth. Young kids are gonna see that on screen and it’s just gonna be really nice for them to be like, ‘Oh, hey, there’s someone that looks just like me.’ At being like an Elf and a Dwarf. And it just fills me with a lot of hope for the future of The Rings of Power. And seeing much more diversity being included as well,” he concludes his thoughts.
Islah adds, “It’s gonna be inspiring, right? For the next generation.” Rochester confirms, “Definitely.”
Williams is then prompted to give her thoughts which she does, “In the original film series, which I absolutely adored, but there are not many women in it. And the three women who are in it never speak to one another. So it will be so cool to be able to see more female representation. To maybe see them actually interact with one another. Very excited to see it.”
Ellison adds, “It just makes me so excited for the next generation. And because, as you said (pointing towards Williams) like growing up like I was still excited about being an Elf or a Hobbit and joining in with it even though I wasn’t represented like either like my disability or my queerness wasn’t represented. But just makes me so happy. Makes my heart warm going to be seeing younger people… (Prime Video cuts the segment here).
After highlighting the show’s racial identity politics through its casting, the so-called influencers then give vague statements about what intrigued them the most. Ellison detailed it was the various rings saying, “Rings happening or being formed.”
Her answer appears to be cut again as Rochester provides some details about how Sauron trained the Elves in the forging of the rings saying, “In the lore, Sauron basically helps forge the rings. And so I think they start making some initial rings that don’t have much power.”
Rochester goes on to reiterate the expansiveness of the show is what intrigues him and how Prime Video plans to explore the Second age.
Williams and Ellison would also express that they want to know what’s actually happening, where are they, who is involved and Ellison even asks why are people fighting and what for.
From there, Islah asks about the main characters and the conversation quickly gets back to identity politics as they discuss Galadriel and her new warrior makeover.
Islah, showing his ignorance of not only Tolkien’s novels, but Jackson’s films as well, describes Galadriel saying, “In the movies, she’s been very flowy, more serene. She’s not doing much. And this time she’s like full on action (as he slams his fist into his palm).”
Williams then adds, “We are so far in the past and I’m so excited to just see this younger version of her and there’s so much.”
“I’m definitely excited to see this kind of younger and maybe more inexperienced Galadriel and how we see through The Rings of Power like how the experiences will shape her,” Rochester opines.
The rest of the video sees the “superfans” talking about their trip to Malorca to watch the trailer, a little bit of their fan theories, and then explaining why you should watch the trailer.
Ironically, after putting the focus on real-world identity politics, Islah does state, “You’re just gonna be transported to another world and you’re just gonna forget your own for the whole time you’re gonna watch it.”
What do you make of these fellowship of influencers for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and the clear promotion of identity politics in order to promote the show?