Unlike almost anything else produced by Amazon Prime Video, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power seemingly had at least some personal involvement from Executive Chairman of Amazon Jeff Bezos. The company's founder is reported to have been instrumental in securing the rights to the Tolkien mythology for their streaming service. So what does the man think of it all? Speaking in a new interview with Variety about the series, Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke opened up about Bezos' reaction to the show, revealing they talk about it all the time and he "loves the show."
"Jeff Bezos loves this show and this whole endeavor as much as anybody possibly could," Salke revealed. "I've talked to him a lot about it. He loves the show, and I can tell he's proud of it. And he respects the integrity of what we're setting up and the intelligence and thoughtfulness behind it. And, of course, we hope that more and more people come to it, because it's five seasons of storytelling."
Salke went on to talk about Bezos' involvement in the series, noting that the importance to all of Amazon and Bezos himself was very clear. She adds, "They rallied behind making this extraordinary rights deal that was also very groundbreaking for us as a company and in the industry. Bezos is a huge fan of Tolkien and has a great knowledge of the lore. The whole idea of why we got the rights to begin with was to tell the story of good versus evil — of people coming together from all different worlds to fight evil, really. That was really the essence and the heartbeat of the whole thing. And that's why it resonates with people."
Following news that the series had set an Amazon Prime Video record in its first day of release (two episodes debuted at the same time in September), Salke offered a bit of a tease as to the success of the show as of this moment. According to the Amazon Studios leader, the series is "cresting toward 100 million customers having watched it." It's unclear how that shakes out specifically, have 100 million people watched A episode or are they watching all the episodes? In any event Salke adds they expect "huge turnout" for the final three episodes, the second of which arrives this Friday.
The new series can only be streamed on Amazon Prime Video, be it directly through an internet browser or on a Prime Video app on a Smart TV or other device. The series is only available to watch for Amazon Prime subscribers, available on a monthly or annual subscription, but you can sign up for it here.