The Rings of Power aspires to being timeless according to showrunner Patrick McKay. McKay spoke recently with Total Film, and their latest issues features coverage of The Rings of Power. Mackay talked about how the goal , like Tolkien, was never to make an allegory of modern politics. Instead The Rings of Power, like Tolkien’s work should have a timeless quality to it.
“This was one of Tolkien’s debate points with C.S. Lewis, his friend and colleague,” co-showrunner Patrick McKay tells Total Film in the new issue of the magazine, which features Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on the cover. “It was very important that what he was creating was not an allegory. He was not commenting on historical events of his time or another time. He was not trying to transmit a message that spoke to contemporary politics. He wanted to create a mythos that was timeless, and would be applicable – that was his word, ‘applicable’ – the applicability across times.
“Every single choice we’ve made at every turn of making this show has been to be faithful to that aspiration, because that’s what we want as viewers. We don’t want to adapt the material in a way that might feel dated. We aspire to being timeless. That’s why these books still speak to people so much, because so much of what’s in them has not aged a day. And we aspire to do the same thing. And I think we feel that once people see the show, and see what the stories and characters and worlds are in context, they’ll feel the same way.”
One of the sides of this show that worries me most is the dialogue. Tolkien had a way with words and that helps with the timeless feel of his works. The Lord of the Rings movies had the benefit of being able to use the majority of dialogue Tolkien did, or to pick and choose where to make changes. The Rings of Power has almost zero dialogue to go on, plenty of details and explanations for the events at play, but no dialogue and no defining of characters outside the likes of Sauron and perhaps 1-2 more.
That is why I will remain hesitant about getting too hyped for The Rings of Power. It looks and sounds great, from the trailers. However that’s really only a very small part of what will make this show epic fantasy or expensive fan-fic garbage. I obviously hope for the former.
The Rings of Power aspires to be timeless, is this the right call? Should all fantasy have a timeless quality to it or not? Thoughts below as always.