As the credits rolled on the series finale of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, things got awkward. My partner turned to me to express his excitement for series two – just as I realised with absolute certainty that I couldn’t, in good conscience, watch the show again.
My reaction came as a shock – to both of us. Hours earlier, I’d been champing at the bit to see the final instalment. Yes, the Amazon Prime programme has been widely panned by critics for everything from the CGI to the ‘colour-blind’ casting, but we’d loved it. In fact, it’s the first full series we’ve made it through as a couple, which only added to the disappointment of my decision.
So, what led me here – to feelings of remorse so strong that The Rings are powerless? Well, my objections have nothing to do with entertainment, and everything to do with ethics.
Strange as it might sound, the groundwork was laid the night before when we watched The Long Way Home, also on Amazon Prime. It’s a documentary narrated by Morgan Freeman telling the story of the Jewish refugee crisis following the end of the second world war and the creation of the modern state of Israel. One of the many horrors highlighted was the use of forced labour in German industry during the Nazis’ reign – and the companies (including many big names still operating today) that profited.
The next evening, just before we settled down for The Rings of Power, I was browsing Instagram when I saw a post by Remake