'This was not our Game of Thrones': Amazon exec says fans don't want 'Rings of Power' to have 'sex and a level of provocative violence'
- Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke says "The Rings of Power" is "not our 'Game of Thrones.'"
- She said fans didn't want the show to include "sex and a level of provocative violence."
Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke doesn't want Amazon's "Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" compared to its big-budget fantasy counterpart, HBO's "Game of Thrones" — at least in terms of the show's tone.
"We knew from the beginning that this was not our 'Game of Thrones,'" Salke told Variety. "In fact, the fans spoke up from the minute the deal was closed, saying, 'Please don't try to insert sex and a level of provocative violence,' things that don't feel true to the stories that Tolkien wanted to tell."
Salke said that Amazon wanted to bring "something to our global customer base that is hopeful and has light and that a family can watch."
"So many people have grown up with this literature, and we wanted this series to pay it forward for new generations of Tolkien lovers," Salke said. "The line we've been using is 'If you're old enough to read the books, you're old enough to watch the show.'"
Indeed, "Game of Thrones" and now its prequel, "House of the Dragon," feature not-safe-for-work depictions of sex and violence that "The Rings of Power" has stayed away from, though it still has its moments of bloodshed.
But following in the footsteps of "Game of Thrones," just as "House of the Dragon" is also airing, has invited comparisons in other ways.
The series had a strong-enough debut, with viewers watching the two-episode premiere for 1.25 billion minutes in the first four days of release. That would break down to around 10 million viewers in the US, though it's not a perfect science. HBO said the premiere of "House of the Dragon" was watched by nearly 10 million viewers in its first night.
Still, Amazon says "The Rings of Power" is Prime Video's biggest original series yet.
But it's also faced growing pains that "House of the Dragon" hasn't, including poor audience reception and what's appeared to be lukewarm online engagement.
At any rate, Amazon has already spent hundreds-of-millions of dollars on the show and is committed to five seasons.
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