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Everything posted by fionwe1987

  1. I'm shocked, shocked!!! RoP should be at the top of that list. So far on top that it hovers right over the list and disappears into the ether...
  2. I'd say those supposedly "larger than life" aspects of Galadriel and Gandalf make perfect sense if you acknowledge their immortality and give it serious thought, as Tolkien did. They've seen more and done more, and it actually doesn't make sense to ignore that and have them have the same kinds of character crises regular human characters do. While immortality isn't (at least so far) real, it is a major animating idea for a lot of human endeavor. Taking it seriously is good characterization.
  3. I'm sorry, but this is utter rubbish. There are multiple elves you would call dark in the First Age. Plenty are various shades of grey, and others who are plain good. While some of them are pretty simply drawn characters, none of them are as utterly boring as the Elves of RoP. Elrond only becomes interesting when he's talking about the impact of being half elven to dwarves. Galadriel's best moments are when you can ignore that she's a 5000 year old elf. The show understands very little about Elves, and gives very little serious consideration to their immortality and what it means. Let alone a first age sensibility, there's almost no sensibility to the Elves of RoP. They're that bland. Yes. She's kinda incredulous, because Frodo freely offering her the Ring only ups the temptation. Now she wouldn't even have to take it by force, it just drops in her lap! So convenient. So easy. So tempting. Whatever Frodo's thought behind this offer (and it is a considered offer, the text implies, not some spontaneous desire to be free of it), the Ring itself was almost certainly doing it's utmost to tempt Galadriel, because she would quite simply be a far more suitable holder of its power. And so Galadriel laughs at this last and unexpected hardship. A chance to get the Ring as "fairly" as can be imagined, and still, she must say no. Hmm, I dunno about that. I think that "rationality" is the corrupting power of the Ring, if not literally, at least thematically. The instinct to use Power to do Good can be hacked and corrupted to serve an end that is very far from Good. That is, in fact, Sauron's great failing, after all. And that's Galadriel's test, that the way to her heart (and Gandalf's) for the Ring is by playing on their need to help and preserve. That is how they'd begin, too, before inevitably turning evil. To Tolkien, the causes and good desires are meaningless if it results in you having dominion of the kind the Ring provides. It steals will, imposes "order", controls. Whatever good cause you begin with, if that's what you need to do to get your way, you're evil.
  4. I don't think he'd fit in that list. He's very old, very wise, but I never got the impression he was particularly "mighty", as elves go. Even Elrond is doubtful for me, in that list. I haven't read all of HoME, so Tolkien may have answered this in detail. Oh, and I guess there's Bombadil, though I don't think Tolkien thought of him as someone having designs and plans, so what he'd use the Ring for is open to question, but he may well have been able to use it to his will.
  5. There's a big difference between the temptation of the Ring and the temptation of Sauron. In the Third Age, Galadriel was one of maybe 4 people in Middle Earth (aside from Gandalf, Saruman and maybe Elrond, and maybe Glorfindel)who could wrest control of the One Ring from Sauron. That is, the Ring wouldn't just nominally serve her while trying to reunite with it's Master. Instead, had Galadriel taken the Ring, she would have been able to bend it to her purpose completely. It still contains Sauron's power and his corruption, so it would tempt her and darken her, but not to be Sauron's mind controlled slave. She would be a different kind of evil, but she'd be her own thing, not beholden to whatever was left of Sauron once she wrested the Ring's Power to her purposes. That is a great temptation to Galadriel, because she does want some part of what Sauron wants: the freedom to rule her own realm and order it based on her designs and preferences. But unlike Sauron, she has limits to what she will accept to gain that power. I think it's entirely alright for Sauron the dude to leave her totally cold, while the thought of taking away his Power and using it for her own designs would be sorely tempting.
  6. I don't think it's the actor choice that's a mistake, if that was their goal. The main issue is that for Sauron to seduce the viewer, he must have a believable and consistent set of motivations. And we ended the season unsure if the was actually repentant or just a master schemer, with evidence for both, and no conclusive answer. So how is anyone to be seduced?
  7. I haven't seen the videos, so I'm just responding to your response. Decent chance we don't actually disagree. I'd disagree with that. Depends on what you're an icon of, I'd think. Gandalf is an iconic side character because he was written as such, but he'd work just as well as a main character. There are plenty of iconic lead characters. Confident, competent characters going about doing their thing make for great narration and, if you create them with sufficient depth, they absolutely can hold the narrative. I can't imagine doing anything but devouring a story Tolkien wrote which was through Gandalf's perspective. In fact, he did, in Unfinished Tales, where he has Gandalf narrate how he ended up setting things in motion to destroy Smaug. Here's an excerpt: If there were 400,000 more words in this vein, I sure would continue reading and I'm sure a highly successful TV show could be made out of it. Gandalf has undeniable star power. He's a mover. He has actual power, and a mind fascinated with using it just right. Tolkien gave him a distinct voice and immense charisma. I do agree his fighting the Balrog wasn't character growth. It was change, but it's not like he learned an important moral lesson from his "death". He was simply allowed access to more of his powers and all of his memories. But Gandalf doesn't need change to work as a lead. Not all leads need constant growth of great magnitude. That's so untrue. It may be true of the Disney garbage we usually get these days, but it's not an issue at all with Tolkien's world. He has left you all the tools to make a committed moral examination of the actions that occured during the forging of the ring. If you actually care to, in a serious fashion, dig into that, Galadriel is an obvious main character. She is, in Tolkien's own words, the prime mover, at this stage, of the resistance against Sauron. She isn't all wise, but she's much more powerful and active during the Second Age. The Galadriel we see in LotR is much more passive in her resistance to Sauron than during his first rise, when she's building alliances with Dwarves, Nandorian elves, and so on. There's no way that wouldn't make a compelling show. It would have been an incredible counterpoint to HotD, where a civil war is being fought because a woman was named heir, whereas here you have someone who always wanted to rule, does rule, and literally no one in her world thinks her gender is particularly worthy of comment.
  8. I think the writers of the show made the mistake of thinking that since there were plenty of Elves doing pretty shitty things in the Silmarillion, it makes sense to show them as superpowered but more or less Human like in behavior and appearance, and not engage at all with their immortality. Which is exactly how Marvel handles its immortal characters also, so its not hard to see why Amazon chose to follow.
  9. I'd actually watch this alternate reality show with some interest. Clearly, the Valar's plans for sending emissaries with reduced powers and memory didn't go well. How much worse could it have gotten? That'd be an interesting take.
  10. Its telling that you need to invent examples of cheesiness to make your point. You don't sound sorry, you sound smug. If this is what you intended to convey, I have to ask why. How is this in any way responsive to my saying this was a shit adaptation? This is a lot of words to say "only Halbrand made sense by episode 8", which no one disagrees with, because we were all already arguing about how stupid that is before episode 8 aired. You're saying "ooh look, they did commit to their stupid idea"? Are you being a book purist here? If so, let me help you. You may perhaps begin to understand why a 2 minute lesson on metallurgy doesn't quite compute as "seduction" to anyone. Yes, Annatar seduced Celebrimbor in the books. It didn't happen over a day.
  11. Inevitably, when adapted like this. In an adaptation that tried to pay attention to the themes that interest him? The cheesiness would have been way less. For instance, it is absolutely incredible that we see not a single elf object, on any grounds whatever, to this plan with the Rings. Even Gil Galad just wants more time. It's an utterly rubbish interpretation of the tale, and that makes all the false portentousness cheesy, because none of it is remotely thematically consistent, or earned.
  12. All fair points, but the casual viewers are also unlikely to be retained if they're given nothing that gets them truly invested. From my circle of friends, that seems to be the case. None of them have read the books, and they watched the show, shrugged, and moved on. Two years from now, I'd be shocked if more than 30-40% will continue to remain dedicated viewers, and that's a fairly generous number. And if a rewatch will make the show suck, that also means few people rewatching episodes, which also isn't so great for Amazon. I think the core issue is "casual viewer" has been sanded down and algorithmically defined as uninterested. Which results in shows that do not do much to hold viewer interest, making them forgettable. This show just isn't going to be part of the cultural conversation, much. And that's fine, but given what cachet LotR and Tolkien have, that's a huge waste. And I really don't see this driving many people to read the books, either. They truly could swap out the names, and have a derivative, dumb fantasy show that looks pretty. I might even enjoy that show.
  13. However clever the twist, it also twists Galadriel's character in absurd ways. It's not about her making mistakes, or being monomaniacal. Great characters have been written who make mistakes and are single-minded in purpose. The problem is, they made Galadriel be completely played. And then ended the season with her having learned nothing. And both these things completely change the character. These are not small tweaks to her, these just change all her actions in LotR, and not in a remotely good way. Sure, they may evolve the character over the seasons. But plot and character wise, that's only gonna work if you ignore a lot of season 1. Sauron is the great deceiver, not a clueless deceiver who happens to fall in with the wisest Elf, and then manages to trick her based on somehow knowing that the Elves wouldn't know who the last ruler of the Southlands was, even though he clearly knew they maintained a substantial presence there. Why didn't Arondir ask Halbrand who the fuck he was? That he remembers no king from the past century, do by what rights does he claim this place? None of it hangs together. It's a disjointed narrative that counts on you not remembering or thinking about events. Even if I knew nothing about the books, I'd have left the season dissatisfied with the terrible plot and characterization, and there's really no way to view the show to hide these issues. They're inherent to the shows logic, and since they didn't bother to adapt much from the books, this is entirely due to the show. In sum: the show sucks. Amazon doesn't know how to do fantasy,
  14. Don't because I'm not one. I'm fine with changes being made. I'm unhappy with the specific changes they made. I know this confuses your desire to lump all people who dislike the show into one group, but if you go back to my earlier posts before a single episode was aired, you'll see me being perfectly on board with the idea of changes. There's precious little "book" for anyone to be purist about here. No. Those scenes were written by the same writers who decided Sauron would be disguised as Halbrand. They didn't make the decision at the last minute and get locked in by scenes they had previously aired! But this was a wholly invented thing by the show. The descendents of Feanor are easily flattered morons, per the show. This is great because? That is not relevant here. What characters? We have ciphers here, not characters.
  15. Not only does she not tell Elrond, she makes a minor modification to Sauron's idea, and we are somehow to believe this is what keeps the Elves from total control at Sauron's hand. We're surely not going to see Annatar next season. It's an open question why the Elves would make any more rings, at all, though I think we're going to see yet another departure from the story and have Sauron make the Rings for the Dwarves and Men. The whole thing is shambolic, thoughtless, and utterly stupid.
  16. Wow. I'm now fully sold on this being a shit adaptation. A few stray thoughts as my mind reels from the absurdities of this episode: -Their attempts at unpeeling the powers of the Rings is just awful. To be expected given the mithril crap, but the rest of it this episode was bad even being prepared from the mithril reveal -The Thee were not the first Rings made. The Elves did a lot of experimental lesser Rings, and the Three were made in secret in the very end, and represented the height of Celebrimbor's craft. This isn't a throwaway detail, this is why Sauron isn't able to use the Three to take control of the Elves. It is why he attacks Erigion. It is also why the Elves use them, once he's temporary defeated. This episode just wrecked all that completely. Yes, Galadriel makes them make three, for reasons, but by no twist of the imagination can Sauron be said to be uninvolved in their making. - Galadriel has just been tricked by Sauron, who shows he knows of some of her most cherished memories. She wakes, almost stabs Elrond, but is swayed because "Elrond" recounts their first shared memory? Did no one thing about the absurdity of this? I know it's meant to be actual Elrond, but once agains, this is atrocious writing - So the Elves don't know the Southern kings line ended a thousand years ago? Arondir and his crew must have sent really unreadable messages back to Gil Galad then. -Also, really cheap shot to have Sauron not just tempt Galadriel, but tempt her with her own words from the movie. It completely reduces that scene and it's impact and is yet another undercut of Galadriel herself. In the world of this show, that moment isn't Galadriel finally giving up her own desire for power, but just her rejecting Sauron's power again, using his own words. Ugh. -I guess I'm greatful that when "Gandalf" says his thing about following your nose, we didn't see the word "Stranger" become "Gandalf". Small mercies are appreciated.
  17. That clip is a good summation of all that is wrong with this show. Ugh.
  18. For the Elves, the passage of time in Middle Earth has become unbearable, especially after the Sun first rose and heralded the dominion of men. Especially for the Elves who were born in Valinor, where we are to understand that time and change were much slowed, Middle Earth with it's quickly changing seasons and change was wearying. They could have all just sought passage to Aman, but many wanted to stay, just without feeling the effects of time. That desire is what let Sauron get to them. Nope, even the Three, while not tainted by Sauron's evil, were still beholden to Sauron's power. The Elves couldn't, in the end, hold back time on their own. Doing it required handing over unfathomable power to Sauron, who was perverting the powers granted to the Ainu to gain dominance. I don't think there's anything in LotR that suggests the Three weren't viewed as folly and utterly not worth the moral cost. They were used for what good they could do till Sauron was permanently ended. But I don't think any of the wielders of the Three, Gandalf included, felt anything beyond bittersweetness at the thought of the Elven Rings.
  19. A lot of it is the repercussions of Rahvin Compelling Morgase. Its a pretty good exploration of consequences from "magical" actions, actually. Rahvin took a hammer to some foundational power structures in Andor. Morgase started out weak, and over time stabilized her position, in part by rewarding her closest supporters with favors and increased power. Rahvin flipped that, which is why Elayne didn't have the assumption of support from the same base of power her mom had. That's why it became a formal War of Succession.
  20. Agreed, re. the ruthlessness of the politics in WoT. I think it's just that given the PoVs we get, the brutality of the politics is always at a bit of a remove, except when we're in Elaida's head, or Graendal's. And those scenes generally do work better, and would make for very good TV, in the hands of a competent writing team.
  21. That doesn't sound right. By the end of book six we've progressed to Cairheinin nobles killing their rivals, and working with the Aes Sedai allied to Elaida to take over once Rand is kidnapped. You can debate the quality of the plotting compared to GoT, maybe, but not which came first. No I don't think that's the case, it's more that the main players of the Game in WoT don't just have plot armor, but have unique magical gifts that let them undercut the typical political playbooks of their opponents. Imagine GoT if Bran could already use his powers, Arya was already a trained assassin, and so on. It just changed the dynamic. WoT had some politicking between people playing at the same level, and that always came across better than the Game of Houses stuff, because the nobility is a laughable joke to the main characters, and so their very real attempts at power grabbing don't read as existential, like they do in GoT, because when you can just burn your opponent to a crisp and not even breathe harder from the effort, it's hard to make the stakes feel real. Jordan somehow compounded this with Elayne by having her get a sign that she'd live through anything and deliver her babies. --- As for adopting WoT, I disagree that the books are somehow inherently hard to adapt. As is, without changes? No. But the core story is plenty adaptable for live action. The problem with the Judkins adaptation is that not only does it not stick to the books, it doesn't make internal sense either. It failed to find it's own voice, and didn't imitate the voice of the books enough. I'd have been much more on board with a more ballsy departure from the source text, that still kept some core characters and themes while pruning a lot else. Call it a different turning of the Wheel. But then make sure your story is internally consistent.
  22. I'm no fan of either show, at the moment, and I don't trust the writers room at WoT much, anymore, but I do agree that with a bigger budget and less Covid-fuckery, WoT would be a better show than what RoP has ended up being.
  23. Honestly, from the start, they should have said "a direct adaptation of WoT isn't going to work in this medium right now, with its limits, so we're going to show you another turning of the Wheel. They had an in-universe reason to do whatever the fuck they wanted. They could have had a female Dragon Reborn with saidar being the Power that was tainted, if they wanted. They went on to produce something that fits neither bucket.
  24. I believe its that Tolkien said Glorfindel was like a proto-Istar, in that he was sent back with a specific goal by the Valar, but he didn't have the memory loss and curtailed powers, nor did he age.
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