The Lord of the Rings trilogy st ar Sean Astin had a powerful reaction to the first trailer for Prime Video's The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Astin played Samwise Gamgee, Frodo's dedicated companion and, some would say, the true hero of Middle-earth in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Prime Video's Rings of Power occurs centuries before then, during Middle-earth's Second Age. Astin attended Calgary Expo 2022, where he reunited on stage with fellow hobbits Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, and Billy Boyd for the first time in 10 years. During his panel, Astin shared his reaction to the first Rings of Power trailer and his sense that Prime Video is too invested in the franchise not to get it right.
"I for one am excited," he said (via IGN). "I saw the preview for it, and it gave me chills. It looked like they got it. I've been saying the whole time, they're gonna do it right. There's no way Amazon is gonna pay almost a billion dollars for a franchise just to screw it up."
Reports suggest that Prime Video will spend $465 million on The Rings of Power's first season. That's three times as much as HBO is spending on its upcoming Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon.
Astin thinks the show will expose new fans to J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy universe and cause a surge in The Lord of the Rings fandom. "You just think, how long before it will be fresh? For an entire, at least one or two generations, it'll be brand new," Astin says. "They'll end up discovering our version of The Lord of the Rings as a consequence of seeing what will be new to them."
He continues, "It will bring new awareness to what we did, so it's all good. And if in the unlikely event it's not good, okay. I still credit people with being determined and trying and expressing themselves. And I feel that way about all remakes. You have classics that you think 'please don't touch that,' but the truth is, nothing can ever take it away."
Speaking to ComicBook.com in December, Astin explained why he thinks Tolkien's idea of heroism has remained popular decades after The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were first published. "I think for Tolkien, he really thought about it, he really dissected it, he really understood the full contours of heroism, born in his own military service, as the parent of a service member who was fighting in the big war, the crucible of that kind of emotional experience," Astin said. "And he was a man of letters. He was a don, right? An Oxford don. And these guys read their asses off, and he was so deeply read. He was a philologist, and to and to say he understood languages, he understood language at its core, the sounds, the shape of language, the ideas.
"It's the Shire, and they're pastoral people and they're sort of portly and there's this quaint feeling that kind of overlays the beginnings," he explains. "And you can tell, even if you're it's your child and you're just listening to that, that something's coming, and this little tone that's being described is not going to last, and when it's recovered at the end, it won't be the same. I feel like he took a spiritual x-ray of heroism and depicted it."
The Rings of Power will debut on Prime Video on September 2nd.