Arab fans react as ‘Lord of the Rings’ draws in 25 million viewers

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DUBAI: With Amazon announcing that its big budget series “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” marks the biggest premiere in the history of Prime Video with 25 million viewers, it is no wonder that Arab fans are declaring their excitement about the show online.

The first two episodes of the show, which has an estimated budget of close to $1 billion, aired on Friday and will run until Oct. 14.

Arab fans took to Twitter to share their opinions about the epic show, based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

“A promising first two episodes that managed to transport me to Middle-Earth with the Harfoots, Elves, Humans and Dwarves… The visual experience is impressive and the storyline is clear and well-built… Excited for what’s to come,” Mohammed Al-Dosari in Alkhobar tweeted.

“The Rings of Power” is set during Tolkien’s Second Age in Middle-earth, thousands of years before the events of “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings,” Tolkien’s cult trilogy which has already been adapted for film.The first season cost a staggering $465 million to make — roughly 10 times the price of the first season of “Game of Thrones” 11 years ago — with a planned $1 billion for the intended five-season series on a whole.

“It has the best cinematography I’ve seen in my life,” Fahad in Riyadh commented on the larger than life special effects, which Rebecca Nicholson at The Guardian said are “so cinematic and grand that it makes ‘House of the Dragon’ (HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel) look as if it has been cobbled together on Minecraft.”

However, not all the comments online were positive, with some social media users lamenting the slow pace of the series.

“I could not get through the first episode… without stopping every 10 minutes and watching an episode of ‘The Office.’ I don’t know if it’s boring or if I should just be patient with something that I’m not excited for,” a user named Faisal tweeted.

“To me, the first two episodes… is a weak attempt at imitating the writing, performances and directing of the film series. I never felt like I was watching ‘Lord of The Rings,’ Abbas Salih wrote

The series is crucial for Amazon, which wants to play in the ultra-competitive streaming landscape, where Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max are already battling it out.