What I find interesting about this show is that I'm on more equal footing with most of the people watching it. I watched the LOTR movies but just casually. Didn't know the characters or the storyline. Enjoyed the movies but forgot about them almost as soon as I left the theater. Just didn't have enough interest to delve into them deeply. Never read the books either.
With this show, it appears that the story isn't following a book or a story that most people know. Yes, they have future characters that everyone seems to know but it is not necessary for the casual viewer like me. My only "gotcha moment" is when the stranger crash landed. Said right away that was Gandalf. Looks like I was right. Also assumed the Harfoots were the future Hobbits.
That is why I have enjoyed this show more than the movies. Sitting at the movies was like being the one outsider when a bunch of inside jokes were being told.
I certainly think to an extent that the show is more geared to the lovers of the movies for two reasons:
1) there’s frankly far more familiar with the movies than the books
2) the die hard book readers seem to be too attached to the lore.
Jackson’ movies are considered some of the great cinema of our time, and even those, many book readers can’t accept because of changes made. I think a point is reached where you have to just accept that those people won’t accept any adaptation, and move on to appeal to as many others as you can.
Then, as you get into further seasons you start diving into the lore more, telling a compelling story for the casual fan that also includes more of the deeper lore that the book readers know more fully.
At the end of the day, it’s an adaptation and the aim is to tell a compelling and entertaining story.
Is it going to be completely more accurate? Not at all, and for anyone whose read the books, it frankly shouldn’t be.
When I watch a movie or tv show, I always try to focus on what it IS, not what it ISN’T. This isn’t the books, but that doesn’t mean what I’m getting can’t still be really good.
Furthermore, no matter how good or bad an adaptation of something is, the source material will still always be there to be loved by those who love it.