Don’t use the term “ambiguously connected” around ‘Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’

Patrick McKayone of the leaders of the upcoming Prime Video program The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Powerpaused a panel at the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles on Friday to make a major edit The Hollywood Reporter.

One reporter referred to the series, which premiered on September 2, as only “vaguely connected” to the work of author JRR Tolkien, unlike Peter JacksonThe popular film trilogy is, as the trade outlet puts it, “based on actual printed materials.”

McKay was quick to make a denial. “We don’t feel that way. We feel like the deep roots of this performance are in the books and in Tolkien,” he said.

“If we didn’t feel that way, we would all be terrified to sit here,” he continued. “We feel that this story is not ours. It’s a story we’re curating that was here before us and waiting in those books to be on Earth. We don’t feel ‘ambiguously connected.’ We feel a deep, deep connection with those people and work every day to be more closely connected.”

Rings of Power is not an adaptation of any particular Tolkien work, but is drawn from elements in Unfinished stories volumes published by Christopher Tolkien after his father’s death. The new series is set in the Second Era of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the adventure from the more familiar films. (This doesn’t mean there aren’t some shared characters, though!)

In addition to defending the “connected” benefits of the new show, McKay also commented on how HBO is launching another big-budget fantasy prequel series, Dragon’s Housea part of Game of Thrones continuously, just two weeks ago.

“It came out and we completely understood where the question was [of a perceived rivalry] come from,” he said. “We don’t think about the show in terms of genre or other shows that might come out. We think about [Tolkien], his life’s work is to create this world. This is Tolkien’s Middle-earth and the regions beyond Middle-earth and we just want to be true to that,” he added.

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