Amazon Temporarily Halts User Reviews for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Earlier this week, the first two episodes of Amazon Prime’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power made their grand debut on the streaming service. But like in Middle Earth, something has crawled from the depths and forced Amazon to temporarily halt the ability to review the new fantasy show. Yup, there are trolls in the midst, and they’re review bombing Amazon’s new series.

Currently, the Rotten Tomatoes score for Rings of Power is steeply divided between critics and audiences. For critics, the show has a certified fresh score of 84%, while the average audience score is at a low 34%. Early reviews were favorable for the show, with critics generally saying that the show had a promising start and setup. But now that the episodes are out in the wild, it’s not quite as clear whether the average viewer or fan is feeling the same.

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“Review Bombing” is what happens when a product, service, or piece of media is flooded with negative reviews. Usually, the negative reviews are from individuals that didn’t even experience the good or service. This is done to ensure that whatever the target is has zero to little success. Disney is also currently facing a similar issue with trolls review bombing She-Hulk.

Related: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Premiere Review: A Spectacular Beginning to an Epic Adventure

What is Wrong with Rings of Power?

Rings of Power has been facing a divided fanbase for several months into its development, with multiple reasons behind fan outcry. Some fans on social media called out against the concept of an original story set in Tolkien’s second age. Many were not happy with the treatment of the lore. The biggest outcry, however, is the casting of actors of color to inhabit Tolkien’s fantasy world. The cast has since spoken out about the issue, with Morfydd Clark calling the outcries “nonsense.”

A representative of Prime reached out to Variety to confirm that the halt on reviews isn’t new. According to the anonymous spokesperson, a new system for reviews was quietly brought in for the premiere of A League of Their Own last August. The system involves a 72-hour delay for all user reviews on Prime Video, which are then checked over to make sure they were not created by a bot or troll before being made public. This new system has appeared to have worked for A League of Their Ownas the show currently has a 94% critic score and 85% audience score.

Interestingly enough, Amazon has not given any restriction to the rating system of IMDB, which they own. Like with Rotten Tomatoes, Rings of Power’s reviews among users are very divided, with the majority either on a 10/10 or a 1/10. This leaves the show at a mild 6.2 overall rating among users.

It’s going to be a messy time in the Middle Earth fandom as well Rings of Power lays out its story. Considering how much Amazon has sunk into the show, renewing it for five seasons, and all the marketing, things will likely be tense both within the fandom and among Amazon headquarters. With time, perhaps fans will be won over by the characters, plot, and impressive visuals. Or perhaps the show will go down in history as one of the greatest failures of streaming. The fate of this show will likely be just as extreme either way as the fans are.

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