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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power


Ser Drewy
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Well, I watched that trailer that I guess has already been scrubbed, and I didn't see anything that changes my feeling this is probably going to be a poor, dumb adaptation and like so many Amazon shows, you will wonder, exactly what did they spend the millions on.

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

Not sure what you mean here.

A lot of people - including myself - have been criticising this series for various credible problems, such as the timeline compression, eliminating the epic spans of time that are a key part of Tolkien's work and the inherent silliness of "Meteor Man" as a concept (there are other, possibly equally silly concepts in Tolkien, but at least they come from Tolkien). I think there's also been a reasonable, "well, let's actually watch the thing before getting hysterical about it," attitude from many.

A lot of other people online - not on this forum - have been hysterically frothing and screaming about the show, in many cases being fine with sweeping changes to the source material in other adaptations but losing their shit the second a black person shows up on screen. Calling out those people as racist where that is a clear part of their agenda is fully justified.

There are hardcore defenders of the show like the One Ring team - a stance as bizarre to take at this juncture as the hysterical critics - who have taken advantage of this to call all critics of the footage so far racist, which is both a lie and intellectually cowardly. There is plenty of silly or poor stuff in the material released so far (like the unconvincing CGI and #meteorman) which has nothing to do with casting. I don't think anyone has done that in this or any preceding thread here on the matter.

I agree with this completely.

My point in the previous was that disco-dancing orcs are regarded as silly and no one will claim they are anything but that. Hell, you can say "Peter Jackson skipped Tom Bombadil" or "WTF are Elves doing in Helm's Deep" or any of the other objections people had about Peter Jackson's LotR trilogy and not face any backlash. On the other side, so many people who criticised Rings of Power have been labeled as racists and whatnot (some rightly so but definitely not all) that now you can't even say, for example, that it makes no sense to have Hobbits in this story without being lumped in together with those racists and "racists". If show runners had solid answers to valid objections raised they'd come out with those and this way of "defending" the show wouldn't be needed.

I don't have a habit of commenting on stuff I haven't seen but with every new sneak peek we've been given so far I've wanted to see Rings of Power less and less. It's likely I'll skip it and get to it only if and when I hear from multiple reliable sources (basically, people whose taste and judgement I trust) then I'll take a look.

 

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So I actually managed to find a version not yet taken down and it is really hilarious how hard they are teasing the whole Meteor Man = Sauron thing. What is the point of having a mystery if there is nobody who is actually suprised? This does nothing unless you get enjoyment out of clueless idiots marching to their own slaughter and I do not think this what the writers intend.

And if it is red herring, then it is equally insulting.

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11 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

So I actually managed to find a version not yet taken down and it is really hilarious how hard they are teasing the whole Meteor Man = Sauron thing. What is the point of having a mystery if there is nobody who is actually suprised? This does nothing unless you get enjoyment out of clueless idiots marching to their own slaughter and I do not think this what the writers intend.

And if it is red herring, then it is equally insulting.

Dunno…. Ask the authors of WoT on Prime how their “Who is the Dragon Reborn?” schtick went for them.

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13 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

So I actually managed to find a version not yet taken down and it is really hilarious how hard they are teasing the whole Meteor Man = Sauron thing. What is the point of having a mystery if there is nobody who is actually suprised? This does nothing unless you get enjoyment out of clueless idiots marching to their own slaughter and I do not think this what the writers intend.

And if it is red herring, then it is equally insulting.

The two most likely answers are it's either Sauron or Gandalf. And both of them are awful and just feel disrespectful to the characters.

Sauron hanging around lil' proto-hobbits as he recovers from memory loss is just... wrong. (Also IIRC he hasn't heard of halflings until Gollum reveals Bilbo's got the Ring?) Gandalf, if it is him, just feels so demeaning to have Mithrandir crash into the planet like E.T and then run around being all forgetful. We don't need Gandalf to like hobbits because he had some hobbity friends in the Second Age who may end up being killed. Which they'd likely use to spurn him into being the prime anti-Sauron player I guess? I hope not. 

It could be neither, but then who the heck is it? I can't think of any other character where the reveal won't be underwhelming because the idea is goofy and their role regarding the hobbits utterly minimal. A blue wizard? Earendil? Glorfindel? The Witch-King's uncle?

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21 hours ago, Ran said:

The TORN people are weird. Weren't they super against the show to begin with? I recall they were reporting all sorts of negative stuff early on, and IIRC were rooting for Bryan Cogman to take over from the showrunners. Then this pivot. Did someone push out the guys who were running it, or did they simply see which way the winds blew and changed tack?

Maybe they got some of that sweet Amazon money?

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4 hours ago, Ser Drewy said:

A blue wizard? Earendil? Glorfindel? The Witch-King's uncle?

It being Earendil is actually a pretty cool idea.  But yeah, probably too underwhelming/not well-known for Amazon.

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18 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

So I actually managed to find a version not yet taken down and it is really hilarious how hard they are teasing the whole Meteor Man = Sauron thing. What is the point of having a mystery if there is nobody who is actually suprised? This does nothing unless you get enjoyment out of clueless idiots marching to their own slaughter and I do not think this what the writers intend.

I’m guessing it’s a non-canonical shortcut, with Sauron appearing as an unknown savior from the sky get in the good graces of the kingdoms elves/dwarves/men, letting them bin a bunch of history and explanation.

And yeah, I am assuming they will treat what everyone knew as a twist at the end of season one when he looks over the top of his sunglasses and says “You know me as Man-From-The-Meteor-With-Neat-Jewelry-Ideas. But please, call me…Sauron”- cue ominous music drop.

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2 hours ago, Ser Drewy said:
Quote

For fans worried about conflicting canon, McKay and Payne point to one of Tolkien's published letters, where he wrote about wanting "other minds and hands" to create art in his legendarium. "We feel like we're taking up the gauntlet that he himself put down," Payne adds. "He gave us what we like to say are the stars in the sky that we have to connect and draw the constellation in."

Blergh. The same old bs. I would respect these fanfic writers (a bit) more if they actually were honest.

Other thoughts: The armor does not look convincing, the decision to make Tar-Miriel a warrior queen is boringly predictable, and really (the future) Ar-Pharazon should be the military general and not the scheming vizier.

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2 hours ago, Ser Drewy said:

Is it just me or does the armor look a bit like the Rohirrim armour from the LOTR movies?

I can't put my finger on it but something is just off in these images, like for instance the young Isildur picture. It looks like cosplay. 

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Longer trailer

- I cannot see how  the Two Trees are really relevant for the show

- The focus on the Hobbits Harfoots is annoying as ever

- Galadriel's and Elrond's is trite. The standard fantasy clichee of an ancient evil returning, but few people believing it. And of course the female character is the one who is right here.

- I have no idea when the boat scene with Galadriel is supposed to take place

- Moria looks good

- Is it just me or does it seems like Durin is holding a piece of Mithril at 2:01? I sincerly hope that they do not bring in Durin's Bane and compress the timeline further

- The eye imagery with Meteor man is either the most obvious forshadowing or the most insulting red herring

- No Celebrimbor is unsuprising but still disappointing.  I fully expect the first season to be just filler.

Edited by ASOIAFrelatedusername
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Númenor looks cool, the Romano-Grecian look is fitting, love the colorfulness we see here. Even a look at an attempt at creating an Adûnaic script, with a distinctly Greek influence to it. 

I don't fully get Tar-Míriel or the prominence given to Pharazôn, he seems so central and in command even though Míriel is ruling. And why is she ruling? Fine, she's described as queen regent in the image notes, so has her father Tar-Palantir stepped aside as a way of compressing and simplying things? Still doesn't explain why Pharazôn is put in such a central place, especially in that photo where he's seated.

I have a feeling we're not going to see the karma of a capain of the Guild of Venturers, which is a shame. 

And again Payne and McKay use that out-of-context quote from Tolkien. "Absurd" is what he writes right after!

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16 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

Well, Amazon certainly has spared no expense for the aesthetics. Unfortunately, I am highly skeptical about the story.

It certainly shows the budget onscreen, which is impressive for a tv show. I will say that I got a much more 'Hobbit' vibe than a LOTR vibe. There are a handful of shots that actually feel like they are on location, but so much is just greenscreen CGI backdrops, where it all feels so claustrophobically contained, I find it hard to feel excited. Obviously not a problem limited to this show, its a plague affecting all big blockbuster products.

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That was a better trailer than the last few, mainly because they hugely de-emphasised Meteor Man in favour of much more LotR-esque material.

Interesting that Howard Shore reuses his Rivendell theme (if only in part). I wonder if they had to get special permission to do that, it's part of their package deal with New Line/WB or he just put it in there anyway. The song also sounds decent.

Morfydd Clark does seem to be the MVP here. Standing in Cate Blanchett's shoes is a formidable task and in the (admittedly very brief) shots here she seems to be up to the challenge. The slight Welsh lilt in her lines doesn't line up with Blanchett's vocal performance, but it does feel very appropriate for Tolkien.

Not entirely sold on Young Ned Stark as Young Elrond yet but we'll see how that goes.

If that's Rivendell near the start, it looks very much like the Jackson movies' location, but the actual buildings seem in a more embryonic state. I wonder if Rivendell already exists when the show starts?

Seeing Celebrimbor hanging around at the same time as Isildur is never going to be not extremely weird. It's like someone really liking Jesus and Napoleon as characters so just "compresses the timeframe" so they can hang out together and pretending the intervening 1800 years of history just never happened.

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The standard fantasy clichee of an ancient evil returning, but few people believing it. And of course the female character is the one who is right here.

 

That's from the source material (which they can't use, apparently). In Unfinished Tales Galadriel feels that Annatar is sketchy as fuck and is creeped out by Celebrimbor, but nobody else seems duly concerned until things start blowing up. "Evil returns and nobody buys it" is also very much a key story point in the OG trilogy. We also have various people getting worried about Morgoth in Aman but the Valar are too chill about it until things go south.

It's a cliche, sure, but Tolkien made it a cliche. You can't go back and start doing anything with Tolkien without invoking the cliches (Jackson notes it was a constant battle writing the LotR scripts because they wanted to avoid cliche, but couldn't because Tolkien originated a lot of that stuff, and they had to fight hard to stay on target and play it straight, obviously failing with Faramir and Denethor).

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"Absurd" is what he writes right after!

 

Yup, because he considered it impractical, in a self-deprecating way. It was still an idea he had proposed and, to a lesser extent, executed when he worked with Donald Swann on music for Middle-earth and Pauline Baynes on artwork (even his son on the maps). He even told a woman who wrote to him demanding a Lord of the Rings 2 to "write it herself" and he'd happily look at it (though of course with the tone of fully expecting it to be shit). I think it's clear he never really would have tolerated anyone else working in Middle-earth in fiction whilst he was alive, but he was happy for anyone else to have a go in other mediums where he had no skill, with either his approval or at least a metric fuckton of cash being given to him.

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It certainly shows the budget onscreen, which is impressive for a tv show. I will say that I got a much more 'Hobbit' vibe than a LOTR vibe. There are a handful of shots that actually feel like they are on location, but so much is just greenscreen CGI backdrops, where it all feels so claustrophobically contained, I find it hard to feel excited. Obviously not a problem limited to this show, its a plague affecting all big blockbuster products.

I've always pondered how many people saw LotR being a massive success with its use of actual outdoor locations and its use of physical miniatures and thought, "Let's do that!" and then just greenscreened everything in a studio with CGI. And then wondered why people thought it looked shit (even LotR suffers from that, with the increasing amount of CGI in the second and third films being less and less popular). This isn't hard.

Even The Hobbit did that. Particularly baffling was when Weta told Jackson they couldn't use miniatures in 48fps because it made them look super-fake and it also threw off the perspective tricks from the first trilogy, so instead of abandoning the shitty 48fps idea (you can't even see the films now in 48fps in any venue) he just said, "Okay, we'll CGI everything," with predictably awful results (including Ian McKellan crying at being on a greenscreen stage by himself with nobody else to act off). Also, nobody seemed to twig that shooting at 48fps means literally doubling their CGI budget and timelines (you need twice as many CGI shots for the same sequence) until quite late in the day, when it feels that should have been instantly self-evident. That's why so many CGI shots in the Hobbit look crappier than the ten-years-older CGI shots in LotR.

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36 minutes ago, Werthead said:

That's from the source material (which they can't use, apparently). In Unfinished Tales Galadriel feels that Annatar is sketchy as fuck and is creeped out by Celebrimbor, but nobody else seems duly concerned until things start blowing up. "Evil returns and nobody buys it" is also very much a key story point in the OG trilogy. We also have various people getting worried about Morgoth in Aman but the Valar are too chill about it until things go south.

Notice the distinct lack of Annatar in trailer and apparently in season 1 alltogether. If it were specifically about Annatar, then I would not complain, but as it stands it is likely about filler-villain "Adar". The whole context is different.

By OG trilogy, I pressume you mean the movies, right? In the books it is only really the Hobbits who are ignorant about Evil and the wider. What suprises everyone is the reemergence of the Ring and Saruman's betrayal, not Sauron's return.

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t's a cliche, sure, but Tolkien made it a cliche. You can't go back and start doing anything with Tolkien without invoking the cliches (Jackson notes it was a constant battle writing the LotR scripts because they wanted to avoid cliche, but couldn't because Tolkien originated a lot of that stuff, and they had to fight hard to stay on target and play it straight, obviously failing with Faramir and Denethor).

Yes, yes you can. In this case because the source material does not necessitate a villain leading an army of bad guys in search of a powerful artifact (Adar's plot according to the leaks, which they are likely talking about).

I honestly feel that the majority of clichees do not really originate from Tolkien himself, but from a surface reading of his work.

Edited by ASOIAFrelatedusername
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