The Rings Of Power Vs Books: 5 Biggest Differences

Amazon’s Rings of Power is designed to bring new life to Middle-earth and help us return to the wonderful realm we know and love. After the success of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Middle-earth returns to our screens in the form of The Rings of Power. A show set in a new era, with new characters.

Film, television and books are completely separate forms of media. Likewise, any customization must be accompanied by certain… well… “customizations.” A strict one-to-one retelling is not feasible due to the different media usage. The Rings of Power are no different. While it’s heavily inspired by Tolkien’s work and carries Peter Jackson’s flair, it’s ultimately its own thing.

Rather than adapting books like Peter Jackson, showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay opted to delve into the lesser-known stories of Tolkien’s Legendarium. They took material from The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings appendices to tell a relatively new story.

Because of the different paths the showrunners have taken, The Rings of Power differs from established canon in several surprising ways. While many purists may be disappointed with the changes, many new fans would welcome them. After all, it’s impossible to please everyone.

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Here are some of the biggest differences between the show and the books.

A new time, a new world

The Rings of Power takes place in the Second Age, which was the time when many significant events took place. From the forging of the titular Rings of Power to the fall of Numenor. Many of these events are mere worlds that shape the world of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but those are the major plot points here.

Because The Rings of Power doesn’t retell the story of a single book, but instead considers many different stories, expect creative liberties to fill in the blanks.

Untold Stories

The Rings of Power introduces many new characters that are entirely new. As a result, this period of Tolkien’s story is quite disjointed and is told through different stories. However, the showrunners have created new characters that fit seamlessly into the events and accompany them through their adventures.

The show includes many characters who lived during this time such as Galadriel and Elrond. However, most of the cast is entirely new, including Nori Brandyfoot, Bronwyn, Arondir, Halbrand, and many others. However, don’t expect Aragorn or Frodo to show up.

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Speaking of Galadriel, she is one of the main characters of the show and one that is very different from the books. On the show, she takes a pragmatic approach to fighting the forces of darkness. Most Tolkien fans will probably remember her as a lithe and beautiful maiden wearing a gown of white silk. In the show, she trades that for a sword and armor.

There is no mention of Galadriel’s participation in the wars in The Silmarillion And The Unfinished Tales. In the books, she does not believe her people have the power to stop the Dark Lord Morgoth.

Galadriel’s decision to leave Valinor and go to Middle-earth is also different. The show details her decision to leave so she can take the fight to Morgoth. However, in the books, Galadriel is one of the Noldor. The Noldor are a group of elves who leave Valinor to retrieve the magical Silmarils.

The harfeet

Harfoots are a tribe of halflings who are the ancestors of hobbits. They are considered reclusive and live apart from the other free people of Middle-earth. Harfoots are only briefly mentioned in The Fellowship of the Ring. They are not the focus of the plot as they are cut off from the big events of the world around them.

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The show features Nori Brandybuck, a Harfoot who becomes involved in the biggest events of her age. But of course that contradicts the books, which don’t mention Harfoots going on any adventures or doing anything unexpected.

The showrunners have explained that the Harfoots were primarily recorded to add a bit of that “Middle-earth feel” to the show. McKay told Vanity Fair, “Really, does it feel like Middle-earth when there aren’t hobbits or anything like hobbits? It seems the inclusion is intentional in order to have relatable characters.

Beardless dwarf women

No, this is not a joke. Tolkien described that dwarf women have beards, just like their male counterparts. However, her hair isn’t nearly as bushy. Dwarves are an important part of the Rings of Power, and the House of Durin plays a prominent role. Princess Disa was one of the previously revealed characters, and her images sent purists into a meltdown.

Disa is shown without a beard, which violates the franchise’s preestablished canon. Dwarf women have been shown with beards in the media, but this tends to vary. Ultimately, it’s not a big difference.