Amazon disables user reviews for The Rings of Power

User reviews for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Prime Video have been suspended by Amazon after the new series found itself the target of review-bombing.

An Amazon source told The Hollywood Reporter on September 2nd that user ratings for The Rings of Power are being held 72 hours to help weed out trolls and to ensure each review is legitimate. While some fans may find Amazon’s decision to temporarily disable user ratings for a show unusual, the source later noted that Prime Video started the policy this summer on all its content.

Since The Rings of Power’s user reviews on Prime Video remain suspended as of writing, how the show has exactly been received by the audience on the streaming service is not yet clear. But on Rotten Tomatoes, the series currently has a “rotten” average audience score of 39% ― way below its “fresh” critics score of 84%.

What is review-bombing?

Review-bombing is an occurrence wherein a number of people with multiple accounts post negative user reviews on the Internet in an attempt to harm the popularity of a product, a service, or a business. While a review bomb may just be the result of a large number of users independently criticizing something for poor quality, it may also be driven by a desire to draw attention to perceived political or cultural issues rather than its actual quality.

For instance, some negative user reviews for The Rings of Power on Rotten Tomatoes take an issue with the diversity of the show’s cast. “Nobody has a problem with seeing people of color in movies, series, or stories … but this story was already written and should not have been sullied,” read one of the politically-driven user reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

Another example is: “Reflecting world diversity in Middle Earth is an odd goal, albeit good for marketing maybe, but it was clearly more important than making a functional TV series.”

However, browsing through the negative user reviews for the show on Rotten Tomatoes would reveal that the majority of the bad critiques for the series are actually pertaining to the quality of the series and don’t have something to do with diversity and other political issues.

“Save yourself the heartache and don’t watch this nonsense. Bad writing is only the beginning,” wrote one user.

“Writing, story, and characters (especially Galadriel) are all dull & for lack of a better term, basic,” commented another.

The Rings of Power IMDb user ratings

Though Amazon owns IMDb, it hasn’t suspended that website’s audience ratings for The Rings of Power. As of writing, nearly 87,000 users have given a weighted average vote of 6.8/10 to the series.

The Rings of Power viewership

Despite the review-bombing, Amazon announced that The Rings of Power had been watched by 25 million viewers around the globe in the first 24 hours that its first two episodes were available on Prime Video ― the biggest premiere ever for the service.

This was the first time that Amazon had publicly stated viewership data for Prime Video. It’s worth noting, however, that the company did not specify how much of an episode a user needed to watch to count as a viewer.

What is The Rings of Power about?

Developed by showrunners J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay, the series is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It begins during a time of relative peace and covers all the major events of Middle-earth’s Second Age: the forging of the Rings of Power, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the fall of the island kingdom of Númenor, and the last alliance between Elves and Men.

The Rings of Power release date

The Rings of Power debuted on September 1st on Prime Video with its first two episodes. Succeeding episodes of the show’s eight-episode season 1 will drop every Friday, starting September 9th until October 14th.

The Rings of Power trailer

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, ComicBook.com

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