The Best Lord Of The Rings Actor Refuses To Watch The Prequel

By Douglas Helm | Published

bernard hill lord of the rings

Tens of millions of people have watched the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power but Bernard Hill is not one of them. Hill, who played King Theoden in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, recently spoke to Metro (via Movieweb) and gave his opinion on the prequel series, saying “It’s a money-making venture and I’m not interested in watching that or being in it… Good luck to them and all that stuff but it’s not like the real thing.” Of course, Hill isn’t alone in his thoughts, as the series is pretty divisive amongst fans too.

Despite Bernard Hill’s thoughts and other detractors, Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power had an incredibly strong debut season if you’re just counting viewership. The series became the biggest premiere ever for Amazon after the first two episodes pulled in 25 million viewers globally. By the end of September, total viewership numbers for the series were approaching 100 million, so clearly, the fanbase and interested new viewers are showing up to watch.

While Bernard Hill’s thoughts about the series being a cash grab aren’t completely without merit, but Amazon is also dropping a ton of cash to produce The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The first season alone reportedly cost around $465 million and the series is expected to pass the $1 billion mark when all is said and done. If that ends up happening, the series will be the most expensive TV series ever made.

bernard hill lord of the rings
Bernard Hill in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

To be fair, The Rings of Power has a lot to live up to. Not only are J.R.R. Tolkien’s books revered as some of the best fantasy novels of all time, but the original movie trilogy is also revered as one of the best adaptations of a beloved fantasy book series. Actors like Bernard Hill were a big part of the Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings adaptations being so successful, so obviously their opinions are going to be considered by fans. Fans are very touchy about these adaptations being made, especially when there’s already a shining beacon of perfection that precedes them.

The last big adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work was The Hobbit movies, which was met with lukewarm to negative reception. While The Hobbit trilogy started out strong and featured nearly pitch-perfect casting, it stretched one book out to three movies and added in a lot of unnecessary fluff (on top of some subpar visual effects due to a rushed production schedule. Bernard Hill touched on The Hobbit trilogy in his interview too and expressed a similar sentiment saying that they did it well but “you can only stretch a piece of elastic so far.”

Anything that is adapted from The Lord of the Rings lore is going to have some division and contention amongst the fanbase, so it’s really just up to the individual viewer if you appreciate what The Rings of Power is doing. With such huge viewer numbers and success, they’re definitely going to be giving us more episodes in the future with a second season already greenlit and starting production. In the meantime, you can stream the first season on Amazon Prime Video now to see if you agree with Bernard Hill or if you agree with the adoring fans.