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


Werthead
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7 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

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? 

There is still the problem that he looks decidedly mannish.

7 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

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

You get my point then? My point is that MM cannot be the Tolkien's Annatar unless everything about MM is disregarded

7 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

You sound very Saruman like, here. Kudos. 

Thank you. My point is that Sauron would not debase himelf in such a way unless it was an important part of his scheme (and even then it is questionable). Hobbits just are not valuable enough for Sauron to put on this act. Saruman and Sauron are somewhat similar in that.

And if Sauron really lost his memory, then the show made the villain a laughingstock. How very Marvel.

7 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

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

Pointless narratively speaking. The thing is that the entire Hobbit plot is already pretty much pointless as it cannot contribute to the narrative (well it should not). The only thing it could contribute would be some character building for Sauron-as-MM, but if Sauron ditches the MM persona completely then the whole thing becomes even more pointless. Now neither story or characters were impacted.

7 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

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

Maybe? I mean there was nothing stopping them from replacing the bullying scene with Galadriel talking about how she wants to get out of Valinor and rule her own realm in Middle-earth. That would have been better for what we got. Alternatively just do not make Galadriel the pov.

7 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

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.

Probably, but I do not see why I should follow Hollywood movie producer logic. That logic got us the Hobbit movies. Screw that logic, as a consumer I can be as entitled as I want in this case. And it is not like I demand a super-tall Elendil.

7 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

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.

Yes. I said that the original content would probably still suck. At least we generally know what the Hobbits were doing at this time

7 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

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.

I mean the time difference between the show an the Jackson movies is about the same as the one between Jackson and the Rankin/Bass Return of the King.

7 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

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. 

The Estate has been greedy, yes, but you cannot honestly blame them for the situation. Amazon walked right into this and then still chose to make a show based only on the appendices.

3 hours ago, slant said:

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. 

https://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Sauron

Just try to mash to entire 2nd Age section violently together and you got the show.

 

Onto watching the show:

Arondir:
 

Spoiler

- Wow this Adar figure is really supposed to be important, huh? I really hope they justify the orcs devotion

- Making the only black elf do slave labour is certainly ... something

- How the hell did all the other elves get captured?

- I hope all that digging the orcs let their slaves do has a purpose. At the moment it is just a hole in the ground. And it is not even that deep of a hole and it is right under the sky

- "How the shield themselves from sunlight". He says walking under a roof that lets plenty of sunlight through. And next we see an orc perfectly fine in sunlight

- Well goodbye character whose name we do not even know and who maybe had two lines. You shall be missed.

- And the orcs just let Arondir walk out of the pit. Just make a run for it you fucking moron. Commander elf should be able to to follow you while the orcs gets stunned by the sunlight. No that actually makes sense with how the situation has been established, my mistake

- So orcs are just vampires.

- That warg looks awful

- Did Arondir really just kill an orc with a dry twig?

- Guess senior elf is also dead now. What a twist

- So after all this we finally get to catch a glimpse at the titular character.

Numenor:

Spoiler

- Oh for fucks sake Elendil, why not answer their questions and show a bit more hospitality. It would not hurt you. At least give Galadriel some spare clothes to wear.

- The Numenorean harbour certainly looks impressive

- It is really sad that all of Numenor's development is skipped that much.

- "You do not want to be lost here without an escort" says Elendil casually strolling through the streets

- And Halbrand looks at a forge with a mild smirk. Yeah he is Sauron

- Let's ignore for a moment that the island is big and that the capital was landlocked, why is the palace shaped like Minas Tirith? Rhetorical question, I know

- Elendil has zero discretion, though to be fair, he did not know that Galadriel is incapable of not antagonizing people.

- Numenorean incompetence continues as the guards do not notice the obvious sword exchange. Where did Halbrand keep it hidden anyway. That thing is long

- Who the fuck is that woman whispering to Isildur?

- "The Faithful believe that when the pedals of the White Tree fall, it is no idle thing, but the very tears of the Valar themselves" Well if I needed confirmation that the royalty of Numenor has Elven blood, here it is.

- I thought Miriel was supposed to be one of the Faithful?

- "The sea is always right" I want to vommit

- Is Miriel seriously ordering Elendil to kill Galadriel

- You know you could have shown how Galadriel escapes, it could have been exciting.

- Am I allowed to say the c-word? Because I really want to call Galadriel the c-word right now

- And we do not get to see how Galadriel and Elendil get out of the city. Lovely

- Halbrand is a blacksmith. More evidence of him being Sauron

- Does Halbrand really think stealing a guild crest will help him? For a moment here I thought he was the reasonable one. And now he gets involved in a brawl. By all accounts he should be tossed in prison or back into the sea.

- And yet another unnecessary change with Tar-Palantir's overthrow.

- Oh for fucks sake. The map and note thing is just unbelievably dumb

- You know if it their character were not called Elendil and Isildur I would actually welcome the family dynamics at play here

- Why is Galadriel allowed in the dungeons.

- Well that puts a damper on the whole Halbrand = Sauron thing. I honestly cannot decide which is dumber, Halbrand being Sauron or him being discount Aragorn. EDIT: Allthough Sauron would unite the Southlands eventually and a great number of Men.

- "THE elf has arrived". Please do not let it be a shitty prophecy

Thank God for the Harfoots

Spoiler

- the whole chant is very much on the nose, but since it appears that it is supposed to teach children a lesson, I will allow it.

- How genuine nice pleasant interaction between characters, I want to weep. Even Nori's hobbit has actually sensible objections

- I do not even mind the light comedy and Lenny Henry's acting is great

- And now comes Nori's we-can't-always-stick-to-our-ways speech. It's incredibly trite.

Well this whole episode was dumb as heck. Seriously. From vampire orcs  who do not properly guard their captives to Elendil who lost his nobility, backstory and brain. Seriously why did you think marching the controversial prisoner through the city and into the throne room was a good idea? Add to that the reveal of what Sauron's sigil means

Galadriel is unpleasant as ever, incapable of spending even three days in one place where she is not fighting orcs or Sauron. Miriel was not much better. They will probably get along well.

Halbrand is not much better. Sure he does not antagonize people for no reason, but he still gets into pointless fights. If it had been established that he was suicidal that would have been fine, but as it stands it's just dumbassery. The episode also provides hints that he might be Sauron, but then wants to turn him into discount Aragorn. Blergh

The Harfoots are the only good part in this mess.

 

 

Edited by ASOIAFrelatedusername
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2 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:
Spoiler

Well that puts a damper on the whole Halbrand = Sauron thing. I honestly cannot decide which is dumber, Halbrand being Sauron or him being discount Aragorn. EDIT: Allthough Sauron would unite the Southlands eventually and a great number of Men.

1 hour ago, farerb said:

Emmy Magazine confirmed that Halbrand is Galadriel's love interest.

:lmao: so what’s he going to be then? 
 

Spoiler

I kinda want to vote Sauron because it would be such a slap in the face for Galadriel to get laid by the very evil she’s been hunting for decades. Though you know, maybe she thinks she can change him. 
and anyway, what’s stupider from a lore perspective? That she has a rando human love interest or that Sauron is her love interest? 

Oh boy :lol:  I do have a bit of fomo after all. 

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That was ping ponging all over the place. Some great moments and some very odd moments. As I feared, the timeline contraction is making the whole Numenor thing very confused, so they're hostile to the elves but they do not have any adequate reasoning for it (because that reasoning only emerged in the centuries between the two halves of the story they've smershed into one). The depiction of Numenor was mostly excellent, although they seem to have a low opinion of the intelligence of the audience by making Romenna and Armenelos the same city (unless the idea is that the two cities have merged into one massive conurbation and the Queen's Palace has been moved down to the waterfront for some reason).

The episode definitely missed the lightness of the dwarves, and it also missed good pacing. The Harfoots are only in the back half of the episode, maybe they could have re-ordered things a bit. Also, the orcs being really vulnerable to the sun is interesting but unexplained. If they said these orcs had lived underground for generations and had only just re-emerged (and future generations like those on the Pelennor had gotten more acclimatised to the sun, even if they weren't keen on it), then fair enough, but again there's no exposition. They're just relying on that one line from FotR that normal orcs hate the sun and the Uruk-hai have been bred specifically to resist it, an idea we then don't see followed up on at all.

Anarion and Elros being mentioned, and Elros confirmed as Elrond's brother, were good reveals. I feared they would both be missing, although I wonder if Anarion is actually dead in this version of the story, since he does not seem to be around.

Meteor Man I think is probably a Blue Wizard now. I don't think he's Gandalf (if the hobbits had been with him for 10 minutes and sent him on his way whilst he was still confused, that would work, but not now) and it seems increasingly implausible he's a bad guy.

Is the thinking here that Halbrand might be a descendant of the Haladin, except here some of them remained in Middle-earth, in what became Mordor? Or is he a descendant of Ulfang?

Next week, Benjen Stark as the Evil Elf commander of the orc armies, which is an idea that could potentially be really interesting but probably won't be well-executed.

ETA: The warg was crap. I know CGI wolves are really hard and nobody liked the visual design of the hyena-wargs from The Two Towers, but at least in terms of CG execution they were decently done. This was poor and with 20 years of technology behind them, an obscene amount of money and two years of post-production, there is certainly no excuse for it.

Edited by Werthead
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5 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

https://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Sauron

Just try to mash to entire 2nd Age section violently together and you got the show.

I checked the wiki :) Still was not sure what point in the story Suron is, in the show. In any case, it is difficult to think meteor man is Annatar. 

 

3 hours ago, farerb said:

Emmy Magazine confirmed that Halbrand is Galadriel's love interest.

If true, "Bind yourself to mee!" sounds suuuper cornyy now. This is funnier than the romance between Anakin and Padme. 

Edited by slant
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34 minutes ago, RhaenysBee said:
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I kinda want to vote Sauron because it would be such a slap in the face for Galadriel to get laid by the very evil she’s been hunting for decades. Though you know, maybe she thinks she can change him. 
and anyway, what’s stupider from a lore perspective? That she has a rando human love interest or that Sauron is her love interest? 

Oh boy :lol:  I do have a bit of fomo after all. 

Let's make it a love triangle with Sexy Shelob

19 minutes ago, slant said:

I checked the wiki :) Still was not sure what point in the story Suron is, in the show. In any case, it is difficult to think meteor man is Annatar.

Well that is THE problem with the show, the timeline compression. All bets are off

Edited by ASOIAFrelatedusername
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Saw a fun idea on Reddit: Halbrand isn't Sauron or the Witch-King, he actually tries to stay true to his people and the Faithful but struggles and ends up becoming the King of the Dead buried under the mountain.

Also, a nod to Earendil in this episode.

Also having a bad feeling that following the star pattern leads the Harfoots far north and west and leads to them founding the Shire, way too early.

If they had the rights to the rest of the legendarium they could do the story in The Lost Road where it turns out that Isildur was deeply immersed in the cult of Sauron in Numenor and Elendil eventually convinced him to abandon it.

Edited by Werthead
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Oh, boy... It was awful. While I was giving the chance based on the first two episodes, this one - plainly awful. So many bad moments, so much cringe... 

I am sure, or almost convinced that The Stranger is 

Spoiler

Gandalf

and most likely, Halbrand is...

Spoiler

Sauron

 

Yeah, the visuals are brilliant. But again, we have these visuals for the sake of what? Telling us how much money they spent, or some notion of escapism. I am still to see some sort of subtext in the visual aspect of the series. If someone had gotten something, be kind, share. :D

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10 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

How did the two showrunners get the gig in the first place? Last time I checked, they didn't even have their own Wikipedia articles.

They have been working as script doctors and screenwriters for a long time. In fact, funnily enough, there is a review from a decade ago of a script that was unproduced that they wrote called Goliath, a sword and sandal biblical epic, where the reviewer comments that if you liked another unproduced script titled Galahad (an Arthurian medieval action epic) you'll like this one.

Who wrote Galahad? Ryan Condal. A very weird moment of kismet that these two screenwriters or groups of screenwriters ended up show running two of the biggest TV shows ever, two of the biggest epic fantasies ever, that literally the same time.

 In any case, McKay and Payne appear to be fairly well regarded as writers, and according to interviews they had by far the best pitch about the story to tell and how to tell it as far as Amazon and Jeff Bezos were concerned. It's a big gamble, way bigger than the gamble HBO took with two newbie show runners named Benioff and Weiss, and certainly way bigger than having Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal on HotD.

 

 

 

Edited by Ran
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This is such a dreadfully written show, its writing would be embarrassing for a filler show on a channel like CW, and for the most expensive show ever it's absolute travesty. My memories of the Silmarilion and the Second Era mentions in LOTR are so vague that I am not comparing it to the books at all and it's still an utter mess. Galadriel is one of the dumbest characters I've seen in a while, she behaves like a 16 year old at most. The dialogue is just mindbogglingly awful at times. Three episodes in a 8 episodes season and barely anything important has happened.

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6 minutes ago, Ran said:

 In any case, McKay and Payne appear to be fairly well regarded as writers, and according to interviews they had by far the best pitch about the story to tell and how to tell it as far as Amazon and Jeff Bezos were concerned. It's a big gamble, way bigger than the gamble HBO took with two newbie show runners named Benioff and Weiss, and certainly way bigger than having Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal on HotD.

With Weiss, yes, but Benioff brought him on board. But Benioff was a hot property in the late 2000s and very much in demand for his own work as a script-doctor and his scripts for The 25th HourTroy and even X-Men Origins: Wolverine (the original script, not the changed one he allegedly tried to have his name taken off). He didn't have direct showrunning experience but he was well-regarded as a scriptwriter.

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After watching the third episode... I am thinking Halbrand and Adar are both Anatar 

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Saw a fun idea on Reddit: Halbrand isn't Sauron or the Witch-King, he actually tries to stay true to his people and the Faithful but struggles and ends up becoming the King of the Dead buried under the mountain.

Also, a nod to Earendil in this episode.

Yeah both of these are really cool. 

There are bound to be a lot of links... looking out for those. 

Edited by slant
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21 minutes ago, Mithras said:

Still better than Hot D :D

House of the Dragon is having moments of almost equally weird dumbness - Daemon Leeroy Jenkinsing his way into a battle, but wins, and Rhaenyra, Heir to the Realm, vanishing for a day and a half and everybody being really chill with it - but I think it is benefiting from a focus that RoP lacks, and the moment-to-moment scripting is far superior, although to be fair GRRM's writing style is far easier to ape than Tolkien's.

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25 minutes ago, Werthead said:

He didn't have direct showrunning experience but he was well-regarded as a scriptwriter.

You are restating what I said, that they had no show running experience but that the relative difference in costs and importance of the IPs make McKay and Payne a much bigger gamble. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Ran said:

You are restating what I said, that they had no show running experience but that the relative difference in costs and importance of the IPs make McKay and Payne a much bigger gamble. 

I should have said far more regard as a scriptwriter. McKay and Payne were almost total unknowns you had to kind of dig deep to look into their stuff, Benioff was a known name in Hollywood at the time.

I remember on the board when Benioff's name was mentioned and everybody was like, "oh yeah, that guy, he's good," and McKay and Payne's names were mentioned and everyone was utterly nonplussed.

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