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Krishtotter

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  1. Krishtotter

    His Dark Materials Series

    Interesting, I haven't read the books in more than a decade, so I had only faint memories of the finer details.
  2. Krishtotter

    His Dark Materials Series

    Jack Thorne does appear to have written her as a more layered and conflicted villain than she is in the books, where we are never privy to any tender moments. But I think such a characterisation, as well as making for more compelling television, could work towards the audience making more sense of... ....I've not read the books since I was a young teen but I do feel this version of Mrs Coulter's character could more convincingly develop as a character in the manner she does later on, compared with her book version. D&D did much the same for Headey's Cersei Lannister (like Coulter much more one-dimensionally sociopathic on paper) but they seized upon her love for her children, this one redeeming quality, and expanded upon it. Mrs Coulter, likewise, has a soft spot for her daughter Lyra - a growing affection that seems to disturb her (given how amoral and lacking in conscience she is). From my recollection, Coulter had to give Lyra up didn't she, because in her highly religious, theocratic society her adulterous affair with Asriel was especially scandalous and if exposed would have led to her loss of standing in society? Wilson's tears outside Lyra's door appeared to me to be a kind of expression of that hidden pain, which she might not even have consciously admitted to herself before.
  3. Krishtotter

    His Dark Materials Series

    I really liked this episode, much more immersed in the narrative than I was in the rather exposition-heavy pilot. I think Dafne Keen really found her feet as Lyra in this one, she acted the role excellently. Ruth Wilson, again, was a revelation on screen. I loved those delicate moments when she was by herself, looking in the empty bathtub after Lyra had washed or with tears streaming down her cheeks outside Lyra's door after her psycho moment and reveal that Asriel was Lyra's father. And indeed the truly evil scene where she burnt the childrens letters to their mothers and without a shred of empathy went, "aww". And then her overt sociopath turn when the mask fell and she allowed her daemon to callously torture Lyra's, was appropriately chilling. I'm still not sold on the Gyptians. Remains the weakest dimension of the plot by far.
  4. Krishtotter

    Tolkien 3.0

    Since we know so little about the show (other than the fact its set during the Second Age, four reported (but not confirmed by Amazon) actors and the creative time behind it, including the director for the first two episodes), I have basically no expectations at present, whether positive or negative. We haven't had any indications as to plot, other than leaked audition scripts (which were likely written specifically for the auditions) for four roles with presumably fake place-holder names. Amazon is running a remarkably tight ship. So, I'm keeping 'mum' about it at the moment - and withholding judgment until we at least get a scintilla of information. On the plus side, the writers room is stacked with great talent. On the negative, the showrunners themselves are rookies (the writers, such as Gennifer Hutchison from Breaking Bad, are leagues more experienced than them. Which seems, somehow, topsy-turvy). It will be hard, I think, to capture Tolkien's unique mytho-poetic style (in the way Jackson/Boyens/Walsh did so well in the LotR movies but so poorly in the Hobbit) without much in the way of extensive source material from him. There is good Second Age dialogue in Unfinished Tales and the Akallabeth (which they probably won't have the rights to, I imagine?) but its threadbare compared with even a single chapter of LotR. The largest amount of dialogue is found in Aldarion and Erendis, an unfinished but rather lengthy prose story, which we don't know if they will be using. Most of the placeholder names from the auditions seem to be for Elven characters (at least three of five are seemingly Elves), so that might suggest Eregion and preclude Aldarion's era. Or it might be that these are simply the only auditions that have been leaked. Who knows, all guesswork. All we know is that a heck of a lot of money is being poured into this. As its set to be their flagship fantasy show, alongside WoT, one has to hope that it will at least look good, visually, apart from anything else. I'm not sure anything could be worse than the Hobbit trilogy, so the bar has been set pretty low from the ultimate and unattainable high of the original LotR trilogy. It would have to really suck to be as bad as Jackson's The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies.
  5. Krishtotter

    House of the Dragon Series Order Announced

    My most favoured setting, out of all the possible avenues for adaption, would have been the Valyrian Freehold, pre-Doom (on the cusp of the apocalypse of this civilization and empire in Essos) leading up to the Targaryen noble family fleeing to Dragonstone after Daenys the Dreamer receives portents of the looming catasrophe, followed by the Century of Blood with Aurion's attempt to re-establish the Freehold and the brutal wars between Valyria's "Children" - the Free Cities, especially Volantis and all the intrigue involving the two political factions of the Tigers and the Elephants. I still think its a bit of a missed opportunity that a Doom series never managed to get optioned for a pilot or series order - especially since it could have shown viewers Sothoryos, through the angle of Valyrian imperialism - but I do understand the reasons (budget would be through the roof, with high fantasy on full display - dragon-riders everywhere, volcanic lava flowing through the capital, abundant blood magic and the fact that the source material on Valyria is quite thin on the ground, compared with the Dance, although not so meagre as the Age of Heroes). It would have followed a similar arc to GoT (noble families all competing for power and hegemony, heedless of an existential, supernatural threat to their existence that some far-sighted person is trying to warn them about) but with a different realm to that of Westeros and a different magical threat. So the stakes would have been every bit as high. (On the bright side, the Doom of Valyria is basically the ASoIaF universe's version of the fall of Númenor in LotR - derived from the same historical sources, ancient Rome and the Atlantis myth, only with fire/volcanic ash replacing water/tidal wave. So Amazon is basically covering this ground, I guess, sans the dragonlords but with the extinction-level event, human sacrifices and colonialism all there too. The great mountain of the Meneltarma, in the Akallabeth, even bursts with volcanic smoke fumes and earthquakes before Númenor sinks down into the deep. Very Doom-esque.). Next in order of priority, I'd have been most excited to begin with the Conquest - as I do like a bit of William the Conqueror and Norman-castle/keep-builders rampaging over a continental-sized version of England on the backs of Dragons - so I do! That said, the Dance of the Dragons is very fruitful source material for a TV show with a strong focus upon political drama in a medieval fantasy setting....and it has dragons. So I'm intrigued by the premise for the series. I would like to see the subplot of Daemon's war in the Stepstones, as it brings in an interesting new location, politics and international dynamics with the Triarchy/Kingdom of the Three Daughters (Myr, Lys and Tyrosh). Even though he is genuinely an awful person, I find Daemon - aka the "Rogue Prince" - to be a compelling character.
  6. Krishtotter

    His Dark Materials Series

    My appraisal of the first episode is a little less glowing, perhaps, than many of the reviews on here - although I would still rate it positively - indeed very positively in parts. (I note that the professional critiques have been more mixed, as opposed to the near-universal acclaim with which it has been received on the forum, with some - like the Guardian and Telegraph in Britain - loving it and others more along the lines of 'like but not love'.) Overall, I enjoyed the episode and was especially intrigued by the 'rest of the season' preview at the end - so no doubt, I will defo be watching episode 2. I think the bar for Act I of the fantasy streaming wars has been set high, with Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance on Netflix and now His Dark Materials on HBO/BBC. Here's hoping The Witcher, The Wheel of Time, The Lord of the Rings & House of the Dragon can keep the momentum going. (The one bum note for me was Carnival Row, a little ominously Amazon Prime's first high-budget fantasy foray, which makes me slightly nervous for WoT and LotR given that they're the ones I'm most hyped for, along with the GoT Targaryen prequel. Please don't be shit!). But I'm not entirely sold on this as the definitive adaption of Northern Lights quite yet, although I concede that it's already leagues ahead in terms of quality than The Golden Compass (2007) fiasco (which, nonetheless, had largely note-perfect casting in Nicole Kidman as Mrs Coulter, Daniel Craig as Asriel and Dakota Blue-Richards as the titular protagonist Lyra, despite it being otherwise dreadful overall in practically every other respect except for visual effects). Things I liked: 1. The intro I loved the insertion of Book of Dust material at the beginning - before the opening credits - with baby Lyra handed over by a desperate Lord Asriel to the Master of Jordan College. I think this backstory is a really nice touch, for fleshing out (and rounding out) the complicated, prideful and sometimes mercurial/conflicted anti-hero Asriel and his relationship with his daughter. It shows us a more sensitive and paternal side to his nature. 2. The sets, costumes, CGI (mostly, apart from a few small red herrings), I thought Lyra's Oxford looked, felt and sounded great - both familiar yet alien, as it should be, with neo-Gothic spires seamlessly admixed with the sight of zeppelin airships and art deco interiors, the sound of anbaric (as opposed to our real world electric) vehicles/instruments, the distinctive costume styles (ranging from the 1930s-esque glamour of Mrs Coulter and Indiana Jones-like explorer kit of Lord Asriel complete with snow-goggles, to the clerical garb of the Magisterium hierarchy - which is like a sinister cross between a priest's vestments and a businessman's suit (with the collar being the only real 'clergyman' giveaway), excellent for the all-powerful church officials who in this world are the government) and finally the rustic, 'hand-me-down' clothing of the Gyptians). I thought the interior shots of the Magisterium's British HQ were phenomenal - really imposing and creepy, with awe-inspiring auditorium space, exuding power and propagandist influence. The CGI was largely very good - although there were a few glaring exceptions that sort of took me out of my investment in the realism of the world-building. The initial shots of Oxford during the Great Flood looked a bit too 'computerised' for my liking, as did one shot of an airship. The Daemons, however, were vastly improved on the 2007 film - and appeared very naturalistic to me. I too noticed their absence from many scenes but such economy I think was necessary to avoid cluttering the screen, even if it is a little internally inconsistent - and especially glaring in the scene with Lyra and her mother Mrs Coulter in the zeppelin, where they appeared to be the only people with daemons! 3. Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter A revelation. I thought she embodied the poise, elegance, classiness and beauty of this character splendidly - with the ominous flickers of malice behind her impeccably dressed and kindly demeanour, especially in the eyes, intonation of her voice, mannerisms and the way she walked (well, strutting really - as if she owned the place!). I really liked Nicole Kidman's Coulter in the film (the only real bright spot of the entire thing) but I appreciated Wilson's fresh take on the role, which was noticeably less-Stepford-wife-ish than Kidman's and really had me convinced that we had here not just a fashion-conscious, Hollywood-style screen goddess but in addition to that a female scholar/scientist and formidable idealogue/propagandist (for the Magisterium) like Leni Riefenstahl as well. I thought this was note-perfect casting. A brilliant villainess. Things I was less keen on: 1. The Gyptians The only design that felt 'off' to me in this otherwise rich attention to detail and aesthetic was that of the Gyptian culture. I'm not convinced by the decision to depict them more along the lines of Irish Travellers with lower-class English accents than the more stereotypical Romani look as in the film. I preferred the latter, as I think it hits home better the differentiated customs and identity of the Gyptians. I also didn't feel very connected to the Gyptian characters - like Ma Costa, who is a brilliant character in the books but I found her portrayal in this episode by Anne Marie-Duff quite lacklustre and unconvincing. The scene where the Gyptian boy is stolen by the Gobblers was also not very impactful for me, or particularly intimidating (and child-snatching should 100% be, like, one of the creepiest and most frightening things imaginable). 2. The structure While it largely followed the book (outside the opening prologue from La Belle Sauvage and a few other deviations), something about the transition between different scenes felt slightly disjointed and uneven to me. If I were not so conversant with the source material, I think I would have found the structure and flow of the narrative confusing - like a series of fast-changing vignettes - and having spoken with folks who haven't read the book, this is the feedback I got. 3. The dialogue - hit and miss While many lines were excellent, there were some really bad, clunky ones as well. Lord Asriel's statement to Billy from the airship - "everyone's special" and (in my opinion) the worst line in the entire episode - the exposition-heavy "the gobblers are REAL!" from James Cosmo's Farder Coram, which are both cases in point of lines that didn't land with me. Things I'm undecided on at present but will judge once I've seen more of the series: 1. The casting of Lyra Daphne Keene was fantastic in Logan and so I was expecting her portrayal of Lyra to be an absolute shoe-in for me - but I'm not sure if I like it. I think the problem may be less to do with Keene's acting ability (which is not in doubt) and more with the way the showrunner has directed her to act, which doesn't evoke Lyra to me as strongly as Blue-Richards did in 2007. Lyra in the books is a precociously shrewd, adventurous fibber of a girl, whereas Keene's Lyra is more.....I don't know....just not quite like that, I guess? I'll see how her characterisation develops. 2. The casting of Asriel McAvoy, while I bristled at the earlier suggestion that he looked like an "undernourished Glaswegian" (awotch! I'm Scottish! Talk about an ethnic slur!), I'm not entirely persuaded by his portrayal. McAvoy is a versatile and dependably great actor who has a real presence in front of the camera - but the characterisation, again, as with Lyra feels slightly underwhelming to me and a bit forced in places, as for instance when he delivered his oration to the scholars about the discovery of Dust and parallels worlds (a bit too stagey/Thespian/exaggerated?). So, that's my take... Overall, I enjoyed the episode and am looking forward to the second one - just maybe a bit less enthusiastically than the general tenor of this thread would suggest others are, I guess.
  7. Krishtotter

    The Witcher on Netflix 2: Man of steel and silver

    Terribly off-topic, but I couldn't rest after it was raised On the trailer, there are elements I really liked (the very clear attempt at a unique aesthetic that would make people think immediately, "that's the Witcher show") and others that left me unsure, as for instance some of the dialogue seeming a little meh. Perhaps its just how lines were spliced out of context for the trailer, though. Overall, I'm looking forward to the show (the action scenes look well-executed, in particular) but have some concerns about the dialogue based upon the short snippets in the trailer. I also like that they are adhering more to the books by giving Yennefer and Ciri's arcs equal attention, as opposed to absolutely everything being about monster-hunting Geralt (as in the games). Amusing that this would have tacked some people off.
  8. Krishtotter

    The Witcher on Netflix 2: Man of steel and silver

    Well - to get into the 'nerd' debate - the 'lord' of the Rings is technically whomever wields it as 'ring-lord'. But the 'Ring' is the ultimate 'master', in the end, even if Sauron had been defeated militarily but the Ring had persisted. While I would actually say that Sauron is the ultimate “Lord of the Rings”, he is not necessarily the only one the title references and there is a sort of double entendre with the Ruling Ring itself being the ultimate 'master'. Rather, the point of the name is that each and every character is sorely tempted to make themselves “Lord”. Tolkien writes in Letter #246: As his son, Christopher Tolkien, explained in a 1992 interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkmNHP58OhU&t=891s So the 'Lord' of the Ring/Rings is a person - just not necessarily always Sauron, although he is referred to in this way in the text. In the The Council of Elrond, Glorfindel states: "[E]ven if we could [hide the Ring], soon or late the Lord of the Rings would learn of its hiding place and would bend all his power towards it." See: Fellowship of the Ring, Many Meetings: ‘Hurray!’ cried Pippin, springing up. ‘Here is our noble cousin! Make way for Frodo, Lord of the Ring!’ ‘Hush!’ said Gandalf from the shadows at the back of the porch. ‘Evil things do not come into this valley; but all the same we should not name them. The Lord of the Ring is not Frodo, but the master of the Dark Tower of Mordor, whose power is again stretching out over the world. We are sitting in a fortress. Outside it is getting dark.’ But your equally right that Sauron's 'power' is in the One Ring... So swings in round-a-bouts really.
  9. Krishtotter

    House of the Dragon Series Order Announced

    I was sorry to hear the Long Night show had been cancelled, mainly in light of the time and effort that obviously must have gone into the production of its pilot, but I must admit the House of the Dragon looks a good deal better. It had been my suspicion that the Jane Goldman series was doomed (much like Old Valyria) the minute the first reports surfaced that a Targaryen, Dance of Dragons show was about to be greenlit. I would be happy with either the Conquest or the Targaryen civil war.
  10. Krishtotter

    LOTR prequel TV series 2.0

    These are very unlikely to be anything other than mockup, audition 'placeholder' names. At the same time as the Lotronprime auditions were being held about 5 months ago, the WoT auditions were ongoing and Amazon used 'fake' or corrupted names for the characters: https://www.wotseries.com/2019/10/19/audition-tape-gives-glimpse-into-changes-to-wheel-of-time/?fbclid=IwAR2WxzjnXKa2P82_xx1LkfknAfPK9uAD9k4_xXRkzJqwMVjFTD_k28VPyXs This just seems to be standard Amazon policy for the auditions in all their shows. Here, incidentally, is a surviving example online (Amazon has since eliminated all the rest) of a failed 'Eldien' (one of the five names - Tyra, Beldor, Eldien, Aric & Oren) audition/self-tape filmed around five months ago: The mockup audition scripts for the others (which are now gone from the internet, as of two days ago) are still available online at this website - excepting 'Oren' for whom we know nothing apart from the fact that Mawle (aka Uncle Benjen) is playing him: https://redanianintelligence.com/2019/10/20/four-audition-tapes-for-amazons-lord-of-the-rings-revealed-markella-kavenagh-likely-to-play-an-elf/ For what it's worth, my own 'theory' (based off of details in these scripts, which might be total fluff but could have some relation to the real scripts that aren't publicly available) is that Beldor is Elrond, Eldien is Galadriel, Tyra is Celebrían - although for 'Aric' and 'Oren' I have no idea. Beldor, Eldien & Tyra are 'Elves' (we can deduce this much from the scripts): Eldien is old enough, seemingly, to have fought in the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age, whereas Beldor was apparently alive at the time but for some reason (perhaps too young/an Elf-child?) did not fight in it (even though he 'watched' Eldien fight) and Eldien implies that he is a much younger Elf than her, for whom 'evil' is just pictures in glass adorning windows (i.e. murals of the great events of the First Age, now almost legendary, as opposed to the reality that she fought against and witnessed first hand) which is why Beldor takes the peace for granted, whereas Eldien cannot rest & still feels marred by her experiences and the loss of her family/friends. Eldien is also a mother. Tyra, on the other hand, is a very young Elf - she seems naive and not very mature, which indicates that she might be under the Elven age of puberty (50 years old) or at the least the age of full maturity (100 years). In one of the two excerpted scenes involving her, Tyra and her friend have strayed away from their home and got lost in a place with snow, berries and cliffs, where they find a man who has been severely wounded (by 'bears' in the script, which I take to be audition-code for 'Orcs'). Tyra is tender-hearted and wants to take the man back to their Elvish kingdom to be healed, whereas her friend Hennah says that they can't because he is a "human" and would be a burden. Hennah warns that anything "bad that happens as a result of [taking him back home] will be our fault", which Tyra dismisses as 'superstition' but then ominously says, "He is important. Somehow, I just know it." Some have suggested that this might be Annatar in one of his disguises to fool the naive young Elf-maid into letting him into the fortress kingdom of the Noldor (Ost-in-edhil literally means "fortress of the Elves") after he has been refused entry to Lindon by Gil-galad. At least, that's what I think might be going on - if the script is not entirely fake. Aric - who is the most mysterious character and may be a new creation - is a guy with questionable morals trying to save his neck and on the run (for some reason) from the "farlanders" (Númenóreans). He is evidently intended to come across as some kind of human/Man, although clearly not of Númenor.
  11. Krishtotter

    LOTR prequel TV series 2.0

    Indeed, and we have some hints from Tolkien that they did oversee a worldwide slave trade, i.e. Tal-Elmar in HoME: We also learn in the Akallabeth that the Númenóreans "hunted" the other Men of Middle-earth - Mel Gibson Apocalypto-style - and shipped them back to Armenelos for use as human sacrifices in the Temple of Sauron, as well as in regional temples i.e. Also, it tells us that “there was little wind, but they had many oars and many strong slaves to row beneath the lash” when the fleets of the Númenóreans went to war against the Valar. As I noted earlier on, there was an audition scenario leaked on reddit, involving red-headed Irish actors told to act like "furious Celts" with very thick accents while defending women and children from "basket-ball player-sized" folk - which, I think, may be hinting at a colonial situation like the above.
  12. Krishtotter

    LOTR prequel TV series 2.0

    Another BGT casting call by video..... She's a bit cookie (to say the least) but actually pretty explanatory as to what Amazon are looking for, much more specific than previous ones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGnL_HtBsWo We have the same details about very short and very tall folks, weathered, earthy looks and character faces. There were some questions over just what the casting calls meant by "Eurasian" looks. The video above clarifies with a list of countries: "Southeast Asia - Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Mongolian, Nepalese & Maori looks". She says, moreover, if "you are really short and little" as well as being 'Eurasian', then that would be good (????). This immediately makes me think of the inland sea of Rhûn (Easterlings, Wainriders, Balchoth) and maybe a sub-plot involving Sauron in the East before he relocates to Mordor, or Khamul the Easterling who becomes one of the Nine Ring-wraiths or even the Blue Wizards. There was also that Reddit leak a few weeks ago involving Irish actors in an audition, who were encouraged to act like "furious Celts" (really play up and emphasise their Irish accents) in a scenario whereby they had to pretend to be protecting women and children. This video asks for Irish with red hair and freckles to "get in there quick". She adopts a phoney Irish accent and keeps it up for a while (so I guess the leak was true). But she actually asks for both "short" and "tall" red-heads ("all ages, shapes and sizes"). Also white hair is really emphasised and the request for ethereal, androgynous people - with David Bowie used as an example. Again, Latinos/Hispanic looks are really sought after - she says "lovely olive skin, mountain people, dark hair, dark eyebrows" and the countries listed as examples are: Argentinian, Mexican, Spanish, Guatemalan. This one - I'm not sure but the new guy Maxim Baldry (even though he's of part Russian/Polish extraction) has that kind of very tanned, olive-looking skin so maybe his particular role has something to do with this side of things?
  13. Krishtotter

    LOTR prequel TV series 2.0

    "Collider" announced in an exclusive that 23 year-old British actor Maxim Baldry “has landed a significant role” in the upcoming Amazon LotR TV series. Baldry is best known so far for his role in the 2019 BBC/HBO joint production series Years and Years, in which he played an asylum seeker. Prior to this, he played Caesarion - son of Cleopatra and Mark Antony - in HBO's Rome as a child:
  14. Krishtotter

    LOTR prequel TV series 2.0

    I wish you the very best of luck!
  15. Krishtotter

    LOTR prequel TV series 2.0

    Your right, it could easily be Dwarves (longbeards with ginger hair) fighting Orcs. Although, if they follow the Jacksonverse - the trilogy and Hobbit Dwarves generally have a Scottish brogue, rather than Irish (although I think two of the Hobbit Dwarves spoke with Irish accents, if I recall, and one or two had English accents). Khazad-dum will play an important role in this series - it has an uncommonly close alliance with the nearby Noldor Elves of Eregion at this time in the legendarium. A number of key plot points from the appendices and Unfinished Tales they will need to tick off - the friendship between Celebrimbor and Narvi, their construction of the Doors of Durin together, the seven dwarf-kings receiving their rings of power from Sauron, hosts from Moria fighting alongside the Elves in the Eriador War and the Doors of Moria being shut to keep Sauron's forces out - involve the Dwarves. So I would expect to see them featured prominently.
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