‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Episode 7 Review: The Eye of Sauron Looms on the Horizon

Another week, another episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and well, this show is not getting any better. This week, House of the Dragon is going to bring one of the best episodes of television in 2022, and meanwhile, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power keeps being just a pretty picture to look at. The show has been struggling immensely to attract any sort of positive talk, but they are really not helping their case when the writing is just so terrible. Amazon should start fixing things, right now.

This week’s episode is titled “The Eye” of course, a reference to the all-seeing eye of Sauron, one of the most iconic visuals from Peter Jackson’s trilogy. However, there is very little Sauron in this episode, so, it feels strange to name it that way. It is important, sure, but the episode deals mostly with the aftermath of the eruption that we witnessed in the last episode. The characters march from one place to another as they try to regroup after such a tragedy. The explosion of ash and magma resulted in the deaths of many people, but even in this context, the show struggles to make us care.

The episode is directed by Charlotte Brändström and written by Jason Cahill. This is his first solo-written episode on the show. Like in all past episodes, the show really brings the money when it comes to visuals. The aftermath of the eruption is quite as beautiful as it is terrifying. The creatives chose to go with this orange palette of colors that feels very reminiscent of the toxic wasteland that is Las Vegas in Blade Runner 2049. This is a land that no can no longer harvest normal life.

The rest of the episode keeps bringing a lot of visual references into the fold. Maybe, a bit too many. At some points, you can really feel that the series is looking to do things that might bring nostalgia and good memories to the audience. If only the show could take these tasks more seriously and, instead of just being a focused nostalgia show, be something new and exciting on its own accord. If we wanted to see this familiar iconography, we could find it by watching the film trilogy.

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The showrunners have already said that the show will last for 50 episodes, and we should not doubt them. Amazon has spent too much money on the project at this point to just let it be done. However, if the show is going to continue, it really needs to establish itself as a show that should be the flagship when it comes to fantasy on television. This is a show with so much money and so many resources behind it that they could very well be capable of creating new iconic visuals. Instead of relying on what was done before it.

The show also needs to reestablish the way it is introducing and presenting its characters. The entire cast seems to be lacking charisma of any sort. This is the result of wooden choices when it comes to acting, but there must be something else behind it because it feels impossible that every actor has failed to bring life to their characters. This leads us to reason that the cause of the lack of character investment is mainly a consequence of bad writing.

The showrunner should really do a clean slate and invite the new writer to the table. It feels baffling, for example, that for most of this episode the show tries to create tension and drama around the fate of a character that we all know is going to be fine. The episode tries really, really hard to make his absence be felt, but it forgets that most people watching the show know a lot about this character and also know their fate in the future. So, why do we spend so much time creating tension around it? We don’t know, but the writers thought this was the better choice for some reason.

There is only one more episode left for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’s first season. It has been a rough road for the show. The criticism it received was sometimes unjustified, but mostly, the issues critics and the general audience have pointed out since the first episode stand as feedback that should be taken into account. We will get five seasons of this show. Please don’t allow for all five seasons to be as sloppy as this one has been. You have the money now take the time to do something good when it comes to writing. One element cannot stand without the other.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Episode 7 feels very much like filler, and the show is already setting up its second season at this point. Meaning that last week’s episode was the climax of this season, and that feels very disappointing. The number of characters being just plain wrong feels like too many, and at this point, the twist that they have so carefully tried to keep as a secret has revealed itself completely. We might just laugh at it when it gets revealed because the writers really think they are being clever with it.

SCORE: 6/10

  • Nelson loves all things related to storytelling. He has spent most of his life studying narrative, applied across all mediums; film, TV, books, and video games. Mulholland Drive is his favorite film.