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[Spoilers] Rings of Power: Adar, can you hear me?


Ser Drewy
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19 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

Hardly. Gondolin is mentioned in LotR. All Elrond has to do is say this was his grand-uncle who betrayed his grandparents, and we're set. This isn't particularly complex. 

Gondolin is mentioned, yes, but not in the Jackson movies. It is unlikely that they are going to throw yet another place name at casual viewers who have no connection to the place. Elrond just giving this shortened explanation would basically make him Maeglin-in-name-only.

Also considering that there was the rumour about him being Galadriel's brother and that Elrond is not involved in the Southlands plot and might never be, Maeglin is unlikely. Add to that that Elrond is too young to remember Maeglin, so the reveal would be less emotionally impactful than if it is someone Galadriel knew personally. He probaby got the burn scars from the battle in the prologue.

Whatever it is though, I am sure that it is going to suck.

Edited by ASOIAFrelatedusername
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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

The immigration plot is utter nonsense. How stupid can those people be, really, to assume that immortal dudes with serious fertility issues would ever want to (1) travel to their small island kingdom at the end of the world, and (2) actually bother to do manual labor there? After all, the only Elves who regularly visited Númenor in its non-colonial era (and they never colonized anything in the show, apparently) were from Tol Eressea. And they sure as hell had better things to do to settle on Starfish Island...

I think there's been a misunderstanding here. I need to watch those scenes again. But it seemed to me that that Pharazon and others were concerned about Elves coming to Numenor to lord over them and tell them what to do. At some point he drops the old name of his ancestors, the Edain. So maybe there is this unwarranted fear that because the Edain houses were vassals to the Noldor houses, that maybe somehow going back to those days is now a possibility because of one Elf showing up. If the writing had been better and more complex, they could have portrayed this as a cause of the short memories of Men, because the Edain didn't have it bad under the Noldor, unless you count the fact that they were on Morgoth's shit list because of it.

Edited by Corvinus85
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My initial thought about Adar being a known Elf from The Silmarillion is that maybe he's Eöl who was executed by being thrown from a mountain. Maybe he didn't die and Orcs found him. Eöl was the one to make swords from a dark meteorite metal and he had a dark armor. And he hated the Noldor from the start.

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1 minute ago, Corvinus85 said:

I think there's been a misunderstanding here. I need to watch those scenes again. But it seemed to me that that Pharazon and others were concerned about Elves coming to Numenor to lord over them and tell what to do. At some point he drops the old name of his ancestors, the Edain. So maybe there is this unwarranted fear that because the Edain houses were vassals to the Noldor houses, that maybe somehow going back to those days is now a possibility because of one Elf showing up. If the writing had been better and more complex, they could have portrayed this as a cause for the short memories of Men, because the Edain didn't have it bad under the Noldor, unless you count the fact that they were on Morgoth's shit list because of it.

Pharazôn doesn't have that issue at all - he just kind of comes across as a populist crowd pleaser there, capering to and fueling general Númenórean exceptionalism. It's the guild guy before him who complains about the queen listening to an Elf leading to Elves coming to Númenor and replacing them as a workforce.

Which is just blatant nonsense even in that setting - although they sure as hell do everything in their power to throw dirt at the Elves in the setting, making them stupid warmongers who can't keep their emotions in check (Galadriel), colonial overlords (the garrison in 'the Southlands'), or outright would-be Dark Lords (Adar, assuming he isn't Sauron in disguise). Don't like this whole approach at all.

The Edain got Númenor as a gift from the Valar, and their first king was the Half-Elf Elros. They never had much issues with the Elves as such, but more with the Valar and that they felt they, too, deserved Elven immortality and were denied this by the Valar. As relations with the Valar declined, so, too, did the relations with the Elves from Tol Eressea. With Middle-earth they remained reasonably good until things got really bad on Númenor. After all, until Pharazôn captured him, Sauron remained the enemy of both the Númenóreans and the Elves of Middle-earth.

Since apparently the Elves of Middle-earth had no contact with Númenor since, well, forever, at best one can assume that the issues the Númenóreans can have with the Elves are with the Elves from Tol Eressea or Valinor.

The colonialists in that setting are the Númenóreans - why they decided to not portray them as British Empire-like power is really beyond me.

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42 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

No, because the calls it out, when she's being unlikable and dense. 

Maybe... Not? You seem to have had your expectations disappointed to the extent that the good aspects/scenes don't land. That's not true for a lot of people, so we're able to see that while it is far from faithful, it is at least reasonably interesting, and getting more so. 

The negatives still exist for me, but I'm not longer certain they cannot be recovered from. The plot certainly hasn't mined as deeply for stupid like WoT did, for instance. 

It isn't about it being 'faithful' I just don't think the show is very good.  The casting is meh, writing is mediocre to bad, plot(s) are poorly executed, the CGI is mostly great, everything else including the costumes is pedestrian.  Of course I hoped it would be fantastic, but I expected it would be much closer to Wheel of Time than the Peter Jackson movies, even though of course they mirror the look.  It's too bad and must be some kind of comment on our time that the most expensive TV show in history does not approach 'great'.  I'm sure many, many people will enjoy it because it's fantasy/Tolkien, just as many people continued to try so hard to love GOT long after it was a good show because they were wedded to the books or the early good years.  I don't begrudge those who love it, but myself, I see it as pretty blah and unexciting.

ETA..one example of nitpicking stupid plotting.  When Theo goes out, risking his life to find food, um, really? a small wheel barrow full?  That wouldn't feed the people in the fort for a single meal.  Why not, if you are going to do that....put them in a cart.  Or, um, do something else that is less stupid than risking your life for a tiny amount of food that will make no difference.  

Edited by Cas Stark
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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

The immigration plot is utter nonsense. How stupid can those people be, really, to assume that immortal dudes with serious fertility issues would ever want to (1) travel to their small island kingdom at the end of the world, and (2) actually bother to do manual labor there? After all, the only Elves who regularly visited Númenor in its non-colonial era (and they never colonized anything in the show, apparently) were from Tol Eressea. And they sure as hell had better things to do to settle on Starfish Island...

Making people freak out about immigration is almost laughably easy in the real world, so it should be even easier in a society like Numenor. Playing on people's base fears.

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Also, is this Númenor a monarchy or a democracy? 'The'people' kind of deposing Tar-Palantir and installing his daughter as regent kind of undermines the whole, you know, monarchy thing. Would have been infinitely better to, you know, portray this as a struggle between various factions in the nobility and, especially, the various branches of the House of Elros. And I'm sure some humble chancellor (so far there is no indication he is actually Miriel's first cousin) would go by the royal name of Pharazôn.

In real life, monarchies were (well, still are) a polite fiction. If the monarch goes too far, the nobility or even the people step in and there's a massive rebellion. You can see that from the Barons' Rebellion against King John to the King of France getting his head cut off.

1 hour ago, slant said:

It was jarringly American for Adar to use miles as a unit of measuring distance, they could have gone with leagues. 

They use miles in the Jackson films and in the book as well.

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2 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Making people freak out about immigration is almost laughably easy in the real world, so it should be even easier in a society like Numenor. Playing on people's base fears.

 

 Anyone believing immortal elves will come to Numenor to take away the jobs from the working class is nonsensical and embarassingly lazy on the part of the show's writers.

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51 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Making people freak out about immigration is almost laughably easy in the real world, so it should be even easier in a society like Numenor. Playing on people's base fears.

Yeah, but there there is at least some kind of realistic aspect to it in the sense that immigration is a thing ... which it isn't on isolationist Númenor which apparently hadn't had any contact with Middle-earth for thousands of years at that point.

For fear of immigration you need the people to understand that concept and develop a fear of foreigners and the like - that's something the Númenóreans shouldn't have. Even less such a fear directed at the Elves who they might, perhaps, view as people trying to rule them and supplant their kings rather than steal their jobs.

51 minutes ago, Werthead said:

In real life, monarchies were (well, still are) a polite fiction. If the monarch goes too far, the nobility or even the people step in and there's a massive rebellion. You can see that from the Barons' Rebellion against King John to the King of France getting his head cut off.

True enough, but as your own medieval example shows the barons rebelled against King John, not the people. Númenórean kingship also includes a religious/spiritual part which makes the figure of the king pretty sacrosanct - he is the only priest of the people, being the guy leading the ceremonies atop Meneltarma.

They deliberately downplayed and changed the setting there to be, well, less elitist and modernistic, also with Elendil not being one of the most powerful and highest born noblemen in the kingdom.

Let's play the Nazgûl game:

Who do you have as candidates so far? I'd say that the boy 'Theo' is a good candidate - he might even be the Witch-king -, also both Elendil's daughter and Pharazôn's son, Isildur's three buddies, evil guy from the Southlands village.

That's it so far ... although could add some Hobbits to the fray, although I don't have a candidate there so far. If Star Guy actually were Sauron then, of course, a really nasty twist could turn our Hobbit heroine into Sauron's first and foremost disciple. That would be a rather unexpected turn of events.

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1 hour ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

This is probably another thing that would infuriate Tolkien fans, but if anyone is Sauron in disguise, wouldn’t Celebrimbror be a good candidate? There’s been something off about him since day one.

Celebrimbor is a grandson of Feanor, of course he’s going to be a bit odd

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12 hours ago, Heartofice said:

I’m working under the assumption that she will become a more likeable person as the show goes on and she learns from her mistakes. I’m not saying that makes any sense for her character , but it’s how these things are done in lazy writing land.

I can never tell if it’s a conscious choice to make characters like this irritating and unlikable or that was an unintended consequence of the writing.

It may all be an Ahsoka strategy. Or not. 

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10 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

 Anyone believing immortal elves will come to Numenor to take away the jobs from the working class is nonsensical and embarassingly lazy on the part of the show's writers.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

For fear of immigration you need the people to understand that concept and develop a fear of foreigners and the like - that's something the Númenóreans shouldn't have. Even less such a fear directed at the Elves who they might, perhaps, view as people trying to rule them and supplant their kings rather than steal their jobs.

Ha!!!  Thou doth protest too much.  So the dregs of an isolationist island society reverting to "they took er jerbs!" is stupid?  When that type of anti-immigration sentiment isn't only prevalent right now in the real world, but has been part and parcel of conflict during and before Tolkien's time and time immemorial?  And indeed is manifestly an aspect of human nature when it comes to cultural "others" and in-out groups.

More importantly, canonically, the Numenoreans are so incredibly stupid they come in all their splendor to get Sauron to submit as a prisoner, and within 75 years he has Ar-Pharazon and the vast majority of his people worshipping a death cult to, essentially, Satan, rife with human sacrifices AND THEN convinces them to somehow achieve immortality by sailing towards paradise and waging war with the gods/angels that inhabit the land.  Yeah, "they took er jerbs" sounds infinitely less stupid than that.

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11 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

ETA..one example of nitpicking stupid plotting.  When Theo goes out, risking his life to find food, um, really? a small wheel barrow full?  That wouldn't feed the people in the fort for a single meal.  Why not, if you are going to do that....put them in a cart.  Or, um, do something else that is less stupid than risking your life for a tiny amount of food that will make no difference.  

Theo and the other kid sneak out to go find food. They don't take the wheelbarrow with them: they don't have it when travelling to the village. And that makes sense, because sneaking out with a wheelbarrow would be tricky.

There's no sign that I recall of any carts or draft animals being in the fortress and if there were, the boys certainly couldn't sneak out with those.

All the animals in the village have been killed by the orcs so even if they could find a cart they'd have nothing to harness it to.

So they find a barrow in the village and use that to carry as much food as they can. They have no better options. This is poor planning, but they're teenage boys.

This is not stupid plotting. This is a viewer blaming the writers for something they didn't pay attention to.

Anyway, I wasn't expecting much from this series to be honest, and every episode does seem to have at least one scene that makes me roll my eyes (the slo-mo action scene this week, oh dear). And yet I find myself looking forward to watching it on a Friday, much more than I thought I would.

Loving Galadriel, I am here for a female lead that takes no shit, even when she maybe should. Again, a male lead with this character (headstrong, obsessed, but courageous) would be wildly popular.

Like Arondir too. Elrond is growing on me. I did enjoy his chat with Durin. 'You think you have a tricky relationship with your dad? Mine's literally a star!' Disa singing was amazing. The programme has some issues sometimes, but I'm in.

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Anyway, I didn't think episode 4 was particularly better than the previous episodes, although by the same token certainly not worse.  I have to say I'm not a huge fan of the orcs basically being vampires when it comes to their aversion to the sun - i.e. the Arondir/Theo escape scene.  I also couldn't help but wonder why Bronwyn was the only one who could get blue fabric for her dress among the refugees.  To finish up that storyline, Benjen Stark must be really sick of sitting in the makeup room for what must be hours considering the disproportionate lack of screentime.  Poor guy.  Would've liked to see more of "Adar" this ep considering the build-up.

I thought Galadriel's impetuousness was largely in-character.  I don't think she's acting immature, I think she's acting stubborn and frustrated.  And that's how I read her in all of Tolkien's books up to LOTR as well.  Halbrand..if he's not Sauron he must be pretty special.  However, I have no problem with him being released.  That was after Miriel and Galadriel have their discussion and clearly reach an understanding.  The latter securing his release is rather obviously assumed to the attentive viewer.

Finally, Elrond and the dwarves continue to steal the show.  Anyone complaining about Durin letting Elrond keep a piece of mithril as a token of friendship (and trust) - immediately after he made him swear an oath of secrecy - really isn't paying attention.  Definitely agree though that Celebrimbor remains criminally underused.

Edited by DMC
Lots of sloppiness/mistakes
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My thought is that Adar (for rights reasons) must remain an OC, but as with Forodwaith/Helcaraxe, they are giving us The Silmarillion without giving us The Silmarillion. So Adar can channel Maeglin and Maglor to keep the geeks happy.

I liked how the Miriel/Galadriel portrays the former's motivations in a sympathetic light - almost as though people can actually disagree about a conflict without being traitors, idiots, or insane (a la Jackson).

On the immigration thing - yes, it's a bit on the nose. On the other hand, that sort of scaremongering shows up in Elizabethan/Jacobean drama, so it's hardly new. And honestly, I thought it characterised show-Pharazon pretty well.

This episode gave another couple of major boosts to the Halbrand/Sauron theory. Suggesting that Galadriel play on fears, and manipulating Pharazon from prison? I don't think the real Sauron has appeared yet, but Halbrand is one hell of a red-herring.

So overall, it's not perfect, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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13 hours ago, DaveSumm said:

I wonder if this new guy who’s chasing the girl who’s the sister of that guy who’s dad was the guy who found Galadriel will get anywhere. Tune in next week to find out! Hopefully we’ll learn a little about what his sibling does for a living too.

It's a blatant Romeo/Juliet plotline, just involving the King's Men and the Faithful. Also might have the side-effect of protecting Elendil's family politically when Sauron turns up on the island and starts getting Pharazon to burn people.

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