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Rings of Power: Three Threads for the Elven Lords (book spoilers)


Werthead
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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

A substantial number of people seem to irrationally think that Neil Gaiman is responsible for The Rings of Power, which he is handling with good grace.

 

This was hilarious.

On Annatar: can someone explain to me why Meteor Man cannot become Annatar? Being Meteor Man is an obvious way for Sauron to misdirect and claim to be an emissary of the Valar. Is it in the books? No. Is it stupid? Yes. But the flat claim above that Sauron being Meteor Man would mean he can't be Annatar (whether named as such or not) is unsupported.

About the rights: it's hardly as simple as saying "pick another time period". Nothing in the Appendix is fleshed out enough for to make a show without substantial additions. And the initial rise of Sauron is a natural enough time period for any studio to want to explore. 

If the Tolkien estate wanted to bar all adaptation of the Second Age, they had that option. But they chose to allow this half-assed adaptation proceed instead, and I'm struggling to understand the logic of it. Those rights won't be valuable again for at least a decade. However much Amazon fucks RoP up, a "true" retelling of the same period is not going to get funded anytime soon.

I have no problems dissing Amazon and Bezos, but unless someone knows something that changes my mind, I feel the greater disservice to the story was done by the Tolkien Estate. 

8 hours ago, Ran said:

@fionwe1987

Maybe. I think that the Men of Númenor were generally stronger than Elves, but not quite so resilient and so on. Galadriel can remain exceptional among Elven women, a match for Elven men, and still not be quite up there with the vital strength of the Eru-blessed Númenoreans. At least at the apex of Numenor

 

What's the source on that? It's been half a decade since I was immersed in Tolkien lore, and I don't remember this being specified.

 

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45 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

What's the source on that? It's been half a decade since I was immersed in Tolkien lore, and I don't remember this being specified.

 

No source, just speculative view on the idea that if in the First Age Men were about equal with Elves in strength, then in the Second Age the Númenoreans gifted with the vitality of Eru's blessing should be physically stronger than most Elves.

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7 minutes ago, Arakasi said:

The princes of the Noldor were a definite step up above average your average elf or man.

Yes, but Númenoreans were significantly above your average Man, too. I don't know, she could vie with the athletes, doesn't mean the athletes were vastly more capable than others, they just enjoyed athleticism more.

In any case, she stronk, without question!

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

No source, just speculative view on the idea that if in the First Age Men were about equal with Elves in strength, then in the Second Age the Númenoreans gifted with the vitality of Eru's blessing should be physically stronger than most Elves.

Eru blessed them with longer life. I have seen no case to be made that they also got strength. The descendents of Elros had actual Elf blood in them, so they definitely had a step above the "common" Numenoreans in height, strength and longevity, but I wouldn't think that places them above an Elf accounted uncommonly physically gifted, and referred to as one of the two "greatest of the Eldar of Valinor". 

The author is explicit that the only thing that separated Galadriel from Feanor was her greater wisdom. Feanor held his own against 5 balrogs for a long time, one of whom was Gothmog. I can't think of a single one of the Edain who come close to matching that. 

Even if you think Galadriel isn't as powerful, she's at the very least in this class of physical and "magical" prowess. I don't think it is supportable that any Numenorean compares. 

 

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13 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

Eru blessed them with longer life.

Not just longer life. They became taller, more resilient, immune to common illnesses, etc. until they began to lose the favor of Eru. It seems to me that taller Men says also stronger Men.

I don't think Galadriel is supposed to be the second strongest of all types elves or  whatever. She was stronger than other Elven women, yes. She was as strong as Noldo men, yes. But I still think the Númenoreans were likely stronger in that they were stronger than the Men of the First Age.

 

13 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

can't think of a single one of the Edain who come close to matching that. 

Quote

Last of all Hurin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed; and it is sung that the axe smoked in the black blood of the troll-guard of Gothmog until it withered, and each time that he slew Hurin cried: 'Aure entuluva! Day shall come again!' Seventy times he uttered that cry

Speaking of Hurin and the House of Hador, in my opinion, but Numenoreans were probably nearer in strength to the Hadoreans than elves were. Hador and Turin were able to carry weight of the Dragon-helm of Dor Lomin when even Fingon couldn't.

Edited by Ran
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25 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

Eru blessed them with longer life. I have seen no case to be made that they also got strength. The descendents of Elros had actual Elf blood in them, so they definitely had a step above the "common" Numenoreans in height, strength and longevity, but I wouldn't think that places them above an Elf accounted uncommonly physically gifted, and referred to as one of the two "greatest of the Eldar of Valinor". 

The author is explicit that the only thing that separated Galadriel from Feanor was her greater wisdom. Feanor held his own against 5 balrogs for a long time, one of whom was Gothmog. I can't think of a single one of the Edain who come close to matching that. 

Even if you think Galadriel isn't as powerful, she's at the very least in this class of physical and "magical" prowess. I don't think it is supportable that any Numenorean compares. 

 

 

23 minutes ago, Ran said:

Not just longer life. They became taller, more resilient, immune to common illnesses, etc. until they began to lose the favor of Eru. It seems to me that taller Men says also stronger Men.

 

I don't think Galadriel is supposed to be the second strongest of all types elves or  whatever. She was stronger than other Elven women, yes. She was as strong as Noldo men, yes. But at

Having just re-read The Silmarillion I agree with Ran about the Men of Numenor. Tolkien seems to use the word "mighty" to likely denote both skill at arms and physical prowess. But I think the Noldor are probably the mightiest by Tolkien's vague standards on average.

Again, I'm ok with Galadriel's acrobatics in this show. After all, I'm not going to expect a modern fantasy show to have its magically infused characters fight song duels. 

Edited by Corvinus85
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3 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

On Annatar: can someone explain to me why Meteor Man cannot become Annatar? Being Meteor Man is an obvious way for Sauron to misdirect and claim to be an emissary of the Valar. Is it in the books? No. Is it stupid? Yes. But the flat claim above that Sauron being Meteor Man would mean he can't be Annatar (whether named as such or not) is unsupported.

He cannot become Annatar and stay Meteor Man. How they appear is fundamentally different. Annatar is person of majesty, wisdom and knowledge. Meteor Man is a dirty amnesiac who lets himself get dragged arround by some Hobbits.  If MM is indeed Sauron, then to become Annatar, he would effectively have to disregard everything about his previous persona making that whole thing pointless

3 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

About the rights: it's hardly as simple as saying "pick another time period". Nothing in the Appendix is fleshed out enough for to make a show without substantial additions. And the initial rise of Sauron is a natural enough time period for any studio to want to explore. 

It is not about additions it's about how these additions work with the source material. Take the prologue of the show and the absence of the Oath, the Rebellion, Galadriel's role and the Helcaraxe. What we got was so reduced and altered that it actively harmed the character of Galadriel and it was reduced and altered (presumably) because they could not use stuff from the Silmarillion et al.

In a show about the Kin-strife or the Fall of Arnor, they would still need to invent stuff, but they would have greater freedom in what they invented because they would not run afoul of rights issues. Granted the original content would probably still suck. but at least it would not outright contradict Tolkien's writings.

Also they should have just adapted Lord of the Rings.

3 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

 

If the Tolkien estate wanted to bar all adaptation of the Second Age, they had that option. But they chose to allow this half-assed adaptation proceed instead, and I'm struggling to understand the logic of it. Those rights won't be valuable again for at least a decade. However much Amazon fucks RoP up, a "true" retelling of the same period is not going to get funded anytime soon.

It is unclear how much creative control the Estate can even exercise over this project. I do not believe that it was clear at the time the rights were sold what Amazon was planning to do with it and multiple ideas were pitched to Amazon, hence the initial report about a Young Aragorn series.

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15 hours ago, Veltigar said:

That reading of the scene kind of baffles me to be honest, although I'm willing to entertain it as plausible. However, I think the case for the reading you put forward is lowered by other signs (the eye symbolism and especially the dead fireflies) that point to him being evil.

In other words, in isolation I could see your reading (although I agree with @polishgenius that it seems poorly put together if that was the intent) but I'm seeing a chain of evidence that points to evil doing in my book.

So, tbh, I was watching on my phone so missed the eye-symbolism.  The fireflies dying could be an ominous sign, but don't fireflies die anyway after a while?

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11 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

Nothing in the Appendix is fleshed out enough for to make a show without substantial additions. And the initial rise of Sauron is a natural enough time period for any studio to want to explore. 

There were plenty of parts, periods, places, only mentioned in the Appendices, or at least who aren't more fleshed out in other writings. They picked specifically the most important parts of Second Age, which are way more detailed in other works, and they're basically going to make a lot of things occur specifically NOT like in the books, because they don't have the rights? How stupid can you be?

Well, of course, it looks like a sizable part of the Tolkien Estate has also been utterly stupid, or rather greedy braindead.

 

About Numenoreans, they were basically meant to be what Men were meant to be, had they not all fallen under Morgoth's power and worship early on. Basically, they're very close to Elves on all other points, except lifespan ang ageing, and their lifes aren't tied to Arda, so they don't resurrect and recreate their bodies, but they go outside of Arda to maybe be reborn somewhere else, meanwhile Elves are tied to Arda, can't escape, and are supposed to disappear when Arda is over - unless Eru remakes Arda entirely at the end.

Edited by Clueless Northman
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9 hours ago, Ran said:

Not just longer life. They became taller, more resilient, immune to common illnesses, etc. until they began to lose the favor of Eru. It seems to me that taller Men says also stronger Men.

I don't think Galadriel is supposed to be the second strongest of all types elves or  whatever. She was stronger than other Elven women, yes. She was as strong as Noldo men, yes. But I still think the Númenoreans were likely stronger in that they were stronger than the Men of the First Age.

 

Speaking of Hurin and the House of Hador, in my opinion, but Numenoreans were probably nearer in strength to the Hadoreans than elves were. Hador and Turin were able to carry weight of the Dragon-helm of Dor Lomin when even Fingon couldn't.

Hurin's feat is heroic, but it's no fighting five Balrogs. I'm just not able to find much support for the idea that any man matches the greatest of the Eldar when it comes to fears like this. I can't imagine Tolkien ever meant to imply that any of the Edain could fight Morgoth the way Fingolfin did, for instance.

And these are feats of endurance, speed, skill and strength, kind of exactly what we see Galadriel doing in the show. Maybe the House of Hador, and the Numenoreans, had as much strength, but it's hard to argue they'd match the speed, endurance and skill of the best of the elves. 

8 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

He cannot become Annatar and stay Meteor Man. How they appear is fundamentally different.

As a fan of the books, you are saying it is entirely outside the range of possibilities in this universe for someone who looks ragged, tired and generally less knowledgeable to transform into someone who looks vital and filled with light and possesses much greater knowledge and wisdom? 

You're arguing that this wouldn't just be making Annatar more proto-Istari as the author said he was? 

The parallel is clearly not in the books, but as an adaptation choice, it is hardly unrealistic for the world. Perhaps Meteor Man will die protecting the Harfoots from some evil and return as Meteor Man the White, sent back direct by the Valar to aid and give gifts to the children of Eru who remain on Middle Earth.

8 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

Annatar is person of majesty, wisdom and knowledge. Meteor Man is a dirty amnesiac who lets himself get dragged arround by some Hobbits. 

You sound very Saruman like, here. Kudos. 

8 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

If MM is indeed Sauron, then to become Annatar, he would effectively have to disregard everything about his previous persona making that whole thing pointless

Why? If the goal is misdirection, success at said misdirect would hardly be pointless. 

8 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

It is not about additions it's about how these additions work with the source material. Take the prologue of the show and the absence of the Oath, the Rebellion, Galadriel's role and the Helcaraxe. What we got was so reduced and altered that it actively harmed the character of Galadriel and it was reduced and altered (presumably) because they could not use stuff from the Silmarillion et al.

If the source material is barred from adaptation, there is no way for the additions to work with the source material. 

8 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

In a show about the Kin-strife or the Fall of Arnor,

Both are highly local conflicts, focussed almost entirely on men. Don't get me wrong, I certainly think if the dreaded "Tolkien Cinematic universe" materializes, we'll see these stories adapted. But as a tentpole show restart a franchise, at a cost of 250 million for the rights alone? Neither works.

8 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

they would still need to invent stuff, but they would have greater freedom in what they invented because they would not run afoul of rights issues. Granted the original content would probably still suck. but at least it would not outright contradict Tolkien's writings.

You really think this? Even if by some miracle they'd picked the Kinstrife, you'd suddenly have wizards, elves and hobbits popping up. And I'd honestly say all those make more sense around the events ROP focusses on than in a Gondorian civil war.

8 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

Also they should have just adapted Lord of the Rings.

Re-adapted? Thank you, no. This thread is bad enough with book purists. Can you imagine movie stans joining the party to diss the show? Also, I really don't think the movies are old enough that a re-adaptation makes sense. They still loom large enough in the cultural zeitgeist.

8 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

It is unclear how much creative control the Estate can even exercise over this project. I do not believe that it was clear at the time the rights were sold what Amazon was planning to do with it and multiple ideas were pitched to Amazon, hence the initial report about a Young Aragorn series.

But it was in the Estates control to seek such high rates for just the Appendices, and imagine that separate texts with overlapping content from the appendices would still command high prices soon enough for this decision to make sense.

At 250 million dollars, you don't have to be a genius to see that the rise of Sauron is the most attractive part of the Appendix. If the estate had added an additional cost to also get the parts of the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales that are relevant, it's pretty clear Amazon would have paid for that. The fault, as far as I'm concerned, is with the Estate. They've been greedy and without much in the way of foresight. 

Edited by fionwe1987
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Ugh. I had to pause. Elendil is a lowly ship's captain unknown to the Queen Reagent?

I get that with the time contraction, they're going to have to make some changes to the Numenor story, but this feels weird. I see what they're going for, but I'm not sure it works for me, right now. 

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OK, so we got Sauron and we can put the theorizing about other characters to rest a bit. Anyone know where the Adar name comes from?

the Stranger is Gandalf with a 99% certainty and Halbrand is "dark" Aragorn? lol

There is plenty to frown upon about Numenor but there were things that I liked. Elendil was treated similar to Elrond, i.e. placed in a lower station than he should have been, but they gave him a daughter, too. For a moment I assumed they simply gender swapped Anarion, but it appears Anarion exists, just not in the picture yet. OK. And Tar-Palantir is alive but deposed? WTF I chuckled at them throwing Gondorian names around for Isildur's shipmates.

Elrond and the Dwarves were missed in this episode.

Of course, Galadriel realizing what Sauron's symbol meant was by far the dumbest moment, almost on par with the dagger from Rise of Skywalker.

Edited by Corvinus85
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Quote

what Sauron's symbol meant

It meant "I, wiliest and most powerful of Morgoth's lieutenant am dumber than the stupidest Harfoot and leave maps to my secret kingdom everywhere".

:bang:

Separately, I'm assuming the idea is the secret info was gathered during Eldarion's time and that's why it made it to Numenor?

Eta:

I'm revising my meteor man thoughts now. I now think he's one of the Blue Wizards, and I'm thinking he's going to be the successful Second Age versions that Tolkien envisioned later in life:

Quote

Their task was to circumvent Sauron: to bring help to the few tribes of Men that had rebelled from Melkor-worship, to stir up rebellion ... and after his first fall to search out his hiding (in which they failed) and to cause [?dissension and disarray] among the dark East ... They must have had very great influence on the history of the Second Age and Third Age in weakening and disarraying the forces of East ... who would both in the Second Age and Third Age otherwise have ... outnumbered the West.

—"Last Writings", The Peoples of Middle-earth

 

This would fit. I'm still desperately hoping it isn't Gandalf. So grasping at the next straw, here, probably, given the way this show is going. 

Edited by fionwe1987
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1 hour ago, Corvinus85 said:

There is plenty to frown upon about Numenor but there were things that I liked. Elendil was treated similar to Elrond, i.e. placed in a lower station than he should have been, but they gave him a daughter, too. For a moment I assumed they simply gender swapped Anarion, but it appears Anarion exists, just not in the picture yet. OK.

She's a builder. Makes some sense to give prominence to someone who, I suspect, will building Minas Tirith and Osgiliath a few seasons down. I'm ok with this. 

1 hour ago, Corvinus85 said:

And Tar-Palantir is alive but deposed? WTF

Yeah I'm not sure exactly what they were going for, there. But I guess the political situation isn't too different. You have Faithful-sympathizing King and Queen Reagent, and Ar-Pharzon wielding real power. I guess we will see some attempts at GoT like politicking in Numenor. Le sigh. 

1 hour ago, Corvinus85 said:

Elrond and the Dwarves were missed in this episode.

Well, they showed Elrond in a painting. But yes, the Dwarves were missed. 

1 hour ago, Corvinus85 said:

Of course, Galadriel realizing what Sauron's symbol meant was by far the dumbest moment, almost on par with the dagger from Rise of Skywalker.

When she mentioned the Black Speech, for one dreaded moment I thought the plans discussed Rings of Power. Thankfully, it was only the location to where Sauron has been rebuilding in secret. :lol:

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13 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

He cannot become Annatar and stay Meteor Man. How they appear is fundamentally different. Annatar is person of majesty, wisdom and knowledge. Meteor Man is a dirty amnesiac who lets himself get dragged arround by some Hobbits.  If MM is indeed Sauron, then to become Annatar, he would effectively have to disregard everything about his previous persona making that whole thing pointless

I am a little woozy on the timelines, and thought it couldn't be Annatar, before all that took place the last time the elves defeated Sauron?

In any case, yeah meteor man cannot be Annatar, because Annatar is a spy who comes in disguise, so very different from meteor man. 

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