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


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25 minutes ago, DMC said:

Hitler 2330 is gonna knock your socks off.

Hitler rides a mastodon! Flanked by Lawrence Fox on a saber tooth!  Hannibal for the  Proud Boy-Os! 

(When we can bring back the megafauna from their dna, we can do Hitler a whole lot easier.)

Edited by Zorral
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39 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

1. Regarding the Atrocities under the Khmer Rouge, Chomsky and Herman were arguing that the death toll had been exaggerated and that some of the numbers used to arrive at the "2 million" number were actually attributable to the U.S. bombing campaign, which Chomsky also says are inflated. Arguing that the death toll is closer to a few hundred thousand than a few million doesn't even come close to making him "an apologist" for Pol Pot.

Chomsky wrote books and articles praising the Khmer Rouge and initially saying that any deaths in the country were the standard to be expected in any revolution. Then as first-hand reports of the atrocities emerged from refugees fleeing the country, he basically called them liars or deluded. Then he pedantically started fiddling around with the figures. It took him a full generation to admit that Pol Pot might have been a bit of a wrong 'un. Not only was Chomsky an apologist for Pol Pot, it's something he remains very well known for to this day.

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2. Regarding deaths under the Vietnamese communist party, Between their war of independence against the French and their war with the Americans, there were somewhere between 3.5-4.5 million dead Vietnamese and a comparable number of refugees. After effects linger to this day from chemical weapons. Laos is the most heavily bombed country in history and still incur dead/wounded to this day due to unexploded cluster bombs. Why did the bomb Laos? Who the hell knows. I'm not trying to absolve the Vietnamese; Civil wars are ugly and bloody and scores get settled one way or another. But let's put things into perspective.  

This is classic whataboutism. The French and American interventions in Vietnam were unjustified and killed a whole lot of people for no apparent reason (Ho Chi Minh spent a lot of time in the States and wanted American recognition of his popular struggle and was baffled not to get it). However, that also does not excuse deaths under the regime itself directed against its own people, for which they got an automatic pass.

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4. Regarding the bombing of the pharmaceutical plant in Khartum, He wasn't the only one:

Chomsky's response to Human rights watch. Note the date. You think HRM was concerned about accuracy or just not rocking the boat regarding the Americans?

 

Your own quote shows that the claim was not taken really seriously by anyone. And maybe Chomsky should have checked that HRW supported his claim before making it, and if they did not, either don't make the claim or find another way of backing up the claim.

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5. War crimes trials for dropping the bombs? Good idea. The bombings were likely unnecessary. Do the people responsible for the bombings of Hamburg and Dresden too while you're at it. 

You can kill 150,000 people - most of them civilians - in a nuclear strike. Or you can kill and lose maybe 1 million people - the majority of them civilians - in a land invasion of the Japanese home islands. Choose which you'd like to do.

It is entirely possible the second attack on Nagasaki was not necessary and a different way of making the point would have been equally effective (detonating the second bomb in Tokyo Harbour, or on top of Mount Fuji, with vastly less casualties), but that's a different argument.

And yes, the firebombings of Hamburg and Dresdent were such a stain on British and American honour that even Churchill, usually the first to cheer the mass slaughter of "the bad guys," had to admit it was a gross mistake.

But that's not really the issue. You can make the argument in favour of putting British and American and Israeli war leaders on trial if you also agree to put Palestinian terrorists who have directly targeted civilians, Chinese leaders behind repression in Tibet and of the Uyghurs, and Pol Pot on trial. And for some reason Chomsky has been soft to nonexistent on the latter, and full-throttled in support for the former.

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1 hour ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

This:

Is a textbook example of this:

1. Regarding the Atrocities under the Khmer Rouge, Chomsky and Herman were arguing that the death toll had been exaggerated and that some of the numbers used to arrive at the "2 million" number were actually attributable to the U.S. bombing campaign, which Chomsky also says are inflated. Arguing that the death toll is closer to a few hundred thousand than a few million doesn't even come close to making him "an apologist" for Pol Pot.

2. Regarding deaths under the Vietnamese communist party, Between their war of independence against the French and their war with the Americans, there were somewhere between 3.5-4.5 million dead Vietnamese and a comparable number of refugees. After effects linger to this day from chemical weapons. Laos is the most heavily bombed country in history and still incur dead/wounded to this day due to unexploded cluster bombs. Why did the bomb Laos? Who the hell knows. I'm not trying to absolve the Vietnamese; Civil wars are ugly and bloody and scores get settled one way or another. But let's put things into perspective.  

3. I'm going need to see some primary sources on the "Chinese communist party praise" and "Mao fanboy" stuff. 

4. Regarding the bombing of the pharmaceutical plant in Khartum, He wasn't the only one:

Chomsky's response to Human rights watch. Note the date. You think HRM was concerned about accuracy or just not rocking the boat regarding the Americans?

5. War crimes trials for dropping the bombs? Good idea. The bombings were likely unnecessary. Do the people responsible for the bombings of Hamburg and Dresden too while you're at it. 

 

Honestly, I couldn’t give two hoots about Hamburg, Dresden, Hiroshima or Nagasaki.  You sow the wind, and you reap the whirlwind.

Edited by SeanF
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21 hours ago, Rhom said:

But why overlay the two so frantically if unrelated? 

Rhom -- there's a connection, and I believe it reinforces your thoughts on being a warning; but, the red herring attempt was ridiculous, failing to paint the Meteor Man (MM) as a threat for any extended period of time. Moreover, there's too many indicators he's good (or will be revealed as such, in response to developing Harfoot interactions), indicated by his affinity for Nori and nature, and vice versa.

Returning to the juxtaposition of Largo's labor with the stick-drawn diagram, the scene informs me that the world experienced some sort of fracture, conveyed intelligibly via Largo's trauma; and unintelligibly via MM's verbal warning to Nori. Thus, his arrival is most likely intended to warn the population, then rehabilitate conditions (e.g., so far we've seen -- primarily -- fire failing to provide warmth as demontrated by the torches at Forodwaith, Nori's fall into the meteor's fire without injury, and the death of the fireflies; and -- secondarily -- nature succumbing to corruption as seen in the dead, falling leaf).

***

MM seems to represent something primordial and natural; spatial and chronological. I can't comment on him being Gandalf or any other existing character as I haven't read the books, but I suspect his interactions with Nori will reflect the interactions between Gandalf and Frodo, or Spock and Kirk -- deep, heartfelt emotion. I'm not invested in MM yet, but Nori has had the greatest impact on me thus far (in fact, all the Harfoots are perfectly characterized).

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14 hours ago, Ran said:

In The Silmarillion, Tolkien wrote this about Elves and Men in the First Age:

Now, two things are true in the Second Age: Many men are lesser than they once were, save in Númenor, where the vitality and longevity given to the Men of the West exceeded that of the First Age, while the oldest Elves born in or before the First Age have had their inner fire consume away more of the "stuff of Earth" that they are made of, making them increasingly more angelic and powerful and hard to destroy.

So I would say that it is in fact true that in the Second Age, someone like Galadriel is likely to be as strong or perhaps even stronger than most Men, but probably not as strong as a typical Númenórean man.

Galadriel is a different case from the typical elf, though. She was accounted as very strong and athletic even compared to the mightiest men of the Noldor when she was younger. Assuming she kept up her fitness routine, I'd expect her to exceed the strength of most Numenorean men easily. 

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Her mother-name was Nerwen (‘man-maiden’), and she grew to be tall beyond the measure even of the women of the Noldor; she was strong of body, mind, and will, a match for both the loremasters and the athletes of the Eldar in the days of their youth.

 

Edited by fionwe1987
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13 hours ago, IFR said:

...Magic clothes, I guess...

...Why, magic boots, of course!...

...magical protection...

IFR -- I'm having a lot of fun watching this series, and reading your observations. Most notably, your criticism of the mountain-climbing scene was very reasonable. Unfortunately, it does reduce its quality.

Of course, armored climbers with training and experience can climb short distances upward (albeit in a controlled environment, at a maximum height of 50 feet, moving along a safety-compliant speed-climbing wall, while indoors, bare-handed, wearing appropriate foot and harness gear, under good lighting, no inclement weather, and within ten miles of a warm and comfortable home you drove back and forth to, etc., etc., etc.).

But against a mountain that rivals K2, where a quarter of climbers have died during summit attempts, at altitudes higher than birds and clouds, leaping laterally without a single point of contact beyond an inch or so of knife blade, foot gear with half an inch or so of penetrating power (hope there's an unbroken wall of slick ice to facilitate!), covered hands with impeded tactile grip, sustained gusts of wind moving horizontally, chunks of falling ice unintentionally released by your leader (about a hundred meters above you) heading directly towards your unhelmeted head, loosely carrying gear, after walking halfway across the world, over the course of years, et al? Maybe not so reasonable; maybe not so believable -- worthy of criticism, hahahaha.

The bigger issue is that this, and almost every other point of absurdity (e.g., trollgate, ocean swimming, and a half dozen examples of poor leadership, et al.) is associated with the star of the series. On the other hand, as you said, I can accept Galadriel's efforts are reasonable, if only through the power of magic.

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@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

 

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8 hours ago, Ran said:

Most of the listed people tell Frodo to carry on because they know that possessing the Ring for even a moment will cause them to be unwilling to give it up. So they can resist enough to know they want nothing to do with it, but if circumstances forced them to hold it... they'd never give it up.

Bilbo managing to possess it so long without being corrupted is extraordinary, and part of the reason he is honored by the Elves and permitted the grace of going to Valinor. Ditto Frodo and Sam. There's something about the hobbit spirit that makes them less likely to be corrupted, seemingly. The virtue of the rustics.

 

Sure, as I said, there are good in-story reasons for each example of someone refusing the Ring. That’s not the point. The point is the authorial choice to show this series of people with good reasons to decline it, actually declining it: vs not showing anyone but Boromir really giving in to it. 

I suppose Frodo also does in the end…

8 hours ago, Le Cygne said:

The books were filled with people who were or would have been tempted.

We’re told that, but we don’t see any of them being tempted. Showing one example of the rule and several exceptions to the rule tends to undermine the rule in the readers’ mind.

So I’m not mad that Faramir struggles in the film before doing the right thing. He doesn’t need to be a paragon to be hope for the future, any more than Aragorn or Eowyn do.. 

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6 hours ago, DMC said:

Things I never thought to put on my bucket list:  An argument about Chomsky's infamous denialism of the Khmer Rouge genocide in a thread about a show depicting Tolkien's Second Age.

Just wait until a winged balrog appears in the show, and then shit will get ugly

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33 minutes ago, mormont said:

We’re told that, but we don’t see any of them being tempted. Showing one example of the rule and several exceptions to the rule tends to undermine the rule in the readers’ mind.

 

This is one of those instances where the scene with Galadriel in the film is an improvement.  And pretty awesome.

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8 hours ago, TheReal_Rebel said:

Can you give me an example of what you mean by “fleshed out from what Tolkien wrote”?  Because as I see it, they are doing that.  They are limited by the fact of not being able to reference the Silmarillion or other Tolkien works.  Can you give me an example of another adapted series that did this well?

Well instead of having Galadriel running arround everywhere looking for Sauron, how about we place her in Eregion, where her faction clashes with Celebrimbor's over the Annatar issue? Flesh out the political and inter-personal drama there and add in the dwarves of Moria.

If they can not tell the story properly with the rights you have at your disposal, then they should have chosen another time period to adapt. I am not cutting them any slack with regards to that.

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33 minutes ago, mormont said:

Sure, as I said, there are good in-story reasons for each example of someone refusing the Ring. That’s not the point. The point is the authorial choice to show this series of people with good reasons to decline it, actually declining it: vs not showing anyone but Boromir really giving in to it. 

I suppose Frodo also does in the end…

We’re told that, but we don’t see any of them being tempted. Showing one example of the rule and several exceptions to the rule tends to undermine the rule in the readers’ mind.

So I’m not mad that Faramir struggles in the film before doing the right thing. He doesn’t need to be a paragon to be hope for the future, any more than Aragorn or Eowyn do.. 

The extended cut of TTT fleshes lut Faramir’s motivations, whereby its not wholly (possibly even not mostly) the ring that’s tempting him, its finally winning Denethor’s love by giving him the ring, which Boromir failed to do. The ring was likely playing on thst ambition. It also makes it more noble when he sacrifices that goal and lets Frodo go.

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19 minutes ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

Well instead of having Galadriel running arround everywhere looking for Sauron, how about we place her in Eregion, where her faction clashes with Celebrimbor's over the Annatar issue? Flesh out the political and inter-personal drama there and add in the dwarves of Moria.

It's entirely premature to think at least some aspect of this won't happen.  As @The Marquis de Leech mentioned, I think it works from a POV standpoint that Galadriel ends up in Numenor at the end of episode 2.  That doesn't preclude her from eventually coming back and doing exactly what you said.  Maybe not - even probably not - but your assumption that she definitely won't betrays your own bias.

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