"The Rings Of Power" Advanced Screening!
On Tuesday, August 23rd, I had the immense pleasure of attending a special NYC screening of the first 2 episodes of "The Rings Of Power" followed by a live Q&A with the show runners and executive producer!
Like many Tolkien-fans, I have awaited this show for years and I can’t believe that I was lucky enough to experience the arrival of "The Rings Of Power" in such a special setting!
Prime Video invited a bunch of us out to New York City for the screening so of course I had to document the trip! It started the day before with a smooth flight into the Big Apple and arrival at a beautiful hotel right next to Central Park!
It was supposed to rain that day so I brought my lil yellow rain coat but we actually got fairly lucky and I was able to enjoy a nice day in the city, tea time included!
Upon check-in, I was greeted by some amazing "The Rings of Power" swag! This is the biggest water bottle/thermos I have ever seen in my life lol, surely it will keep me hydrated on many trips to come! And Prime Video also gave me a portable power bank which is an item I never leave the house without! I also appreciate the hand sanitizer haha!
After coming back from my stroll through the city, this exquisite dessert platter awaited me in the room! The truffles and macarons were delicious, but I was most delighted to discover "The Rings of Power" placard was EDIBLE white chocolate!
Furious nibbling ensued.
Munched until I got to the "INGS OF POW" lol
The next day started with a lot of anticipation and excitement! Prime Video was so kind to offer makeup and hair styling sessions for us along with a luncheon so after I did my base makeup, I went down to have my hair done! My stylist was a magician! She arranged this fancy look in record time and even glued in gems for an extra ethereal look! I was not expecting to have such fancy hair for this occasion, wow!
Then it was time to get dressed, and for once I got really lucky because I already owned a great dress for the event! As a cosplayer, I'm used to being in costume more than in formal wear, but I bought this backless Guess dress a few years ago and can we say "nailed it"??
Naturally, the look wouldn't be complete without cosplay shoes haha, my Carmilla pumps to be exact.
Once dressed, everyone gathered in the hotel and waited for the shuttle to take us to Lincoln Center for the screening. Naturally, I couldn't resist getting some fancy photos in the gorgeous hallways - cosplay has conditioned me to never let a photo op pass by lol!
It was really awesome to meet other Lord Of The Rings fans who were invited as well, although my giddiness made me forget to get any photos with the group! Thankfully, Brian had the foresight to snap a couple of pics with our friends Alyson and Indra who looked radiant and who we were so blessed to share this amazing experience with.
We arrived at Lincoln Center in a flurry of excitement! Here's a shuttle selfie and my perpetual smile while walking into the venue! "The Rings Of Power" displays outside got us so hyped!
Walking inside, we saw this HUGE "The Rings Of Power" photo area, and one by one, we got to walk the black carpet (nice touch) and have a glam moment in front of it! At this point, my hype meter was at max level and I really had to try to hold it together hahaha
In fact, you can watch a lil vlog here and see how goofy I am between snaps lol
After that very POWERful photo moment, we were treated to a swanky reception with free-flowing bubbly and yummy ordoeuvres! I loved this event because it gave us a chance to get to know the other invited influencers! Even the cast and crew made a surprise appearance although I was too shy to say hi to any of them haha.
Before we knew it, 7pm rolled around and it was time to head into the theater for... "The Rings of Power"!! It was a packed house, and after being welcomed by one of the heads at Prime Video (woah!), the show started....
MY SKIN IS CLEAR MY CROPS ARE WATERED I HAVE 20/20 VISION AND AM LIVING MY BEST LIFE IN MIDDLE-EARTH!
After watching 2 episodes of "The Rings of Power" I think I've become an optimist for the future of fantasy television! This show far exceeded my expectations, and I'm not saying that because they flew me to New York to watch it! I grew up reading the Tolkien books. I watched the 1978 animated film A LOT. I was enthralled in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy... then sorely disappointed in The Hobbit trilogy. And by OTHER fantasy adaptions who shall pointedly remain unnamed.
While waiting for "The Rings of Power" series, I went through all kinds of emotions from "OMG a more diverse world of Middle-earth!" and "I hope it is amazing" to "What if it doesn't capture the vibe of the books?" and "What if it's a let down?"
Well, after watching the first two episodes, all my worries are gone! I am relieved. Thrilled. I might have shed some tears during the screening.
My immediate reaction is captured toward the end of this video which I recorded right outside the theater. Look at how out of breath I am.
It has been almost a week since I saw the show (writing this on the Monday after!) and I still recall scenes and moments from it. I still feel affected by it. I think what made me the happiest was how "The Rings of Power" conveyed the fantastical aspect of this ancient vast world but somehow remained grounded the entire time. Each settings the characters interact in is impossibly grand and otherworldly, while simultaneously feels lived in and real.
Same with the characters. They are clearly larger-than-life mythical beings (some literally centuries old) doing epic adventure-things but the show presents them with such raw vulnerability and limitations that they appear sympathetically human.
This juxtaposition is what I always seek out in fantasy storytelling and why I loved The Lord Of The Rings books so much as a child. I am so pleased the creators captured that nuance so well and I'm very excited to watch these characters go on their respective journeys.
The screening was immediately followed by a live Q&A with showrunners J. D.Payne and Patrick McKay and executive producer Lindsey Weber, and yes, I did not leave my seat for almost 3 hours.
It was so cool to listen to how much the show means to these creators, how they started each day with a Tolkien quote, and how excited they were to hear our reactions in the theater. One stand out moment was when they told the story of the day production shut down in New Zealand in March 2020 and how poignant the scene they were filming on that day was.
I really got the sense these creators are genuine lovers of the Tolkien-world and felt a tremendous responsibility in making this show, which gave me an extra layer of appreciation for it.
Lastly! We also didn't know until the episode screenings ended that almost the entire principal cast was in the front row and watched the show with us (!), which made the experience that much more precious. I'm kinda glad we didn't know until afterward because the theater was very responsive to many scenes and all that clapping and hollering would have been way embarrassing if we had known the people we were screaming for were listening from the front row lol!
Me, trying to capture the feels afterward and not wanting the night to end
What can I say - a huge thank you to Prime Video for inviting me to NYC for this unforgettable night!
Tonight, September 1st, "The Rings of Power" airs on Prime Video at 9pm EST and I'm SO excited for everyone to experience it. Friends, set all your fears and worries and uncertainty aside. Let yourself be wrapped in a warm soft blanket of love and wonder cuz we're going back to Middle-earth. The MAGIC is here. Just let go and enjoy every second of the ride.