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


Ser Drewy
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1 hour ago, DMC said:

It really doesn't.  There's nothing that precludes her from concurrently searching out Sauron and also establishing Lothlorien as a realm over thousands - or even just one thousand - years.  The notion is absurd.

Okay, I'm confused, I didn't know you were arguing about the foundation of Lothlorien. 

Ah well, now that I know that, I will reiterate my point. It is pointless to debate this, as the show does not provide a definitive answer about her founding her own realm.

That being said, when you look at what the show implies (so basically the subtext), it seems pretty clear that the weight of evidence is more supportive of @ASOIAFrelatedusername's position that Showdriel has most likely been singlehandedly focused on catching Sauron and that to the exclusion of anything else.

I myself see three main arguments to support this:

1. The dialogue and scenes cited by @ASOIAFrelatedusername earlier
2. The fact that no one identifies her as the ruler of Lothlorien in the series or that there has been 0 mention of the place so far
3. The fact that the character as depicted in the show seems to be woefully lacking in any of the skills needed for something as complex as founding a realm

I'm not sure what arguments you have to counter this, apart from the fact that a 1.000 years is a long time and the fact that she did so in the book (both of which aren't very strong, since they are perfectly happy to ignore the books and the people in this universe seem to be such idiots that it doesn't take a big leap of faith to assume that they are all suffering from Parkinson's law on steroids), but if there are any other's I'd love to read them.

If you do not have any counterarguments to support your position, does that then mean that the question is settled? Obviously no. As long as subtext isn't made into text they can do whatever they want. Given the level of intelligence displayed by the narrative so far I wouldn't be surprised by for example a surprise-third-season-reveal of a hidden Lothlorien to which Galadriel can escape to after a setback.

I do however think it is quite reasonable to state that - given what we have seen so far - the probability is higher that the showrunners decided to omit Galadriel founding Lothlorien (perhaps to have it in there as a future plot point if they did so consciously, but just as likely the writing for the character is just so poor they forgot) and had her search for Sauron the entire time because they thought the idea of a 1.000 year quest was quite badass and grand.

 

Edited by Veltigar
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24 minutes ago, Isis said:

Some people just really, really wanted for Galadriel to be as close to PJ's third age version as possible, and rather than accept that Tolkien wrote many different versions (of her past actions/motivations, and her character) insist that their take on the varied source material proves they are correct instead of allowing that the variation means we are even LESS certain of what she actually was like. The uncertainty means that as a character she is more maleable than most. So there's not that much room for gotcha moments here.

I do not. It is just that Show-Galadriel fits no version of Tolkien's Galadriel as she would have been in the 2nd Age, where we actually do have some info about her activities, none of which involve going hunting for Sauron for centuries.

And it is not like Show-Galadriel is interesting or well-written enough to compensate

24 minutes ago, fionwe1987 said:

Millennia long desires to thwart someone who harmed her kin aren't outside Tolkien's conception of Galadriel. Feanor dies early, so we don't get to see this explored in the books,

Here is the thing though: Feanor is not Sauron. And her desire to thwart Feanor was NOT millenia long. A desire to thwart Morgoth and/or Sauron does not translate to her actions in the show.

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14 minutes ago, DMC said:

Right, of course.  I was just trying to demonstrate how ridiculous it was to say the lower class was being unrealistically "stupid" concerning their "they took er jerbs" sentiment when in actuality that makes perfect sense for any such society that is demonstrably isolationist and clearly singling out elves as the cultural "other."

I don’t really have a problem with them feeling that way, it’s more that I don’t see what it had to do with anything plot wise. Other than to make the decision to join the elves seem more noble maybe? It just seemed really out of place. But then if your series doesn’t have a story, I guess everything might seem that way.

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6 hours ago, DMC said:

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.

Having no issue with that. I just feel it is a concept that shouldn't have been used here with the Elves. Rather, perhaps, with low-life, shortlived Middle-earth men, multiplying like vermin, taking the jobs of decent Númenórean folks.

I mean, the way to present Númenor at that time would be as deeply elitist and racist people, determined to keep their long-lived bloodlines pure and the cultural heremony and superiority of the Men of the West unchanged. Tolkien actually established a kind of racial hierarchy there, expressed both by the long life and the cultural accomplishment of the Númenóreans.

Their feelings towards the Elves should be envy because of their immortality, not because they might steal their jobs.

6 hours ago, DMC said:

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.

Well, while that's not exactly the best plot in the world ... Sauron is the devil 2.0. Who can resist the devil if he is promising to give you the one thing you desire most? I mean, if I were Pharazôn and felt old age approaching and I did not believe in paradise after death ... why not use the time I've left to try to wrest immortality from the gods? I'll die anyway.

And, one imagines, we actually will get exactly that plot eventually in the show, too. After all, Pharazôn will usurp the throne, he will drag Sauron's lousy ass to Númenor, and he will become his little plaything. Unless they completely change the story.

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4 minutes ago, DaveSumm said:

I don’t really have a problem with them feeling that way, it’s more that I don’t see what it had to do with anything plot wise. Other than to make the decision to join the elves seem more noble maybe? It just seemed really out of place. But then if your series doesn’t have a story, I guess everything might seem that way.

An additional problem with that scene imo was that it made the show look rather fake. They made such a big deal out of it and then the camera panned out and the crowd was rather tiny. It was definitely not the biggest problem with that scene, but given the huge expenditure on this project, it would have been nice to see like a crowd more reminiscent of one of those old Bible epics from the 1950s.

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6 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Some of Galadriel's cousins were not particularly noted for diplomatic skills, and her singlemindness is basically Feanorian at this point. Show-Galadriel is easier to think of as a gender-flipped Celegorm, with a superiority complex towards Men a mile wide.

I'd rather imagine her as the character she is supposed to be.

Now, back in Valinor or, perhaps, even during her early time in Beleriand you could imagine her as such a character. But not really at that time. She is thousands of years old, has experience with lots and lots of important people. But even in her youth she would likely not really assume that the real person in charge is the deposed king and not, you know, the regent ruling in his stead. Nor would some Aragorn-lookalike have to teach her patience and restraint and subtlety. That's just awful.

6 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Numenor has contact with Middle-earth (why else would having a navy be a thing? It also looks like there's a fair amount of trade going on). It just doesn't have relations with Elves or a formal political Empire (albeit they do look down on the "low men", so there's interactions going on there).

They've just foisted Numenorean Imperialism onto the Elves at the moment.

I was under the impression that they just have a navy because they like sailing. I imagined they also include the pre-Aldarion isolationist angle there. No indication that there any non-Númenórean men on the island, no indication folks in Middle-earth know about or have relations with Númenor, etc.

As said above, the job-stealing angle would have worked much better with 'lesser men' than the Elves. After all, the Númenóreans basically want to be Elves. That's their problem. Not xenophobia or racism directed at them.

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28 minutes ago, Veltigar said:

That being said, when you look at what the show implies (so basically the subtext), it seems pretty clear that the weight of evidence is more supportive of @ASOIAFrelatedusername's position that Showdriel has most likely been singlehandedly focused on catching Sauron and that to the exclusion of anything else.

:rolleyes:.  I can't help but suspect your "objective" choosing of sides here has a lot to do with me making fun of Tom Cruise go "swoosh."  My point was there's no reason to suspect Galadriel has solely been on a revenge quest for Sauron since her brother's disappearance at the end of the First Age.  And, consequently, she had plenty of time to do *tons* of other things.  Just because we haven't seen them doesn't mean that makes it so.

But if you want evidence, again, I refer you to the pilot before she jumped off the ship and thought she could swim back from Valinor.  She's "head of the northern armies," whatever that means.  But its mandate clearly isn't solely searching for Sauron - otherwise her subordinates wouldn't remind her that it isn't.  Then she meets with Elrond first and then Gil-galad, both of which (again) do not give her as much reverence as they should, but still plainly respect her station. 

Indeed, Gil-galad clearly wants to get rid of her because she's such a nuisance.  If she was just on a quest for thousands of years, why would either of them care at all?  Why would, presumably, Gil-galad maintain her as a commander?  And again, why would Miriel and most of the Numenorean nobility grant her such respect?  Why would Elendil show her their super-secret documents?  So, yeah, that's my evidence.  Which is readily apparent to any objective viewer.

26 minutes ago, DaveSumm said:

I don’t really have a problem with them feeling that way, it’s more that I don’t see what it had to do with anything plot wise. Other than to make the decision to join the elves seem more noble maybe? It just seemed really out of place.

I think it was mostly to give Ar-Pharazon a scene in the episode and start showing him as master of the rabble.  But yeah it was mostly a throwaway scene, which is exactly why I didn't get all the derision it elicited.

25 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Their feelings towards the Elves should be envy because of their immortality, not because they might steal their jobs.

I dunno, people can have such resentment and envy at the same time.  Indeed, anti-immigration sentiment is usually imbued with both fear of taking one's livelihood and fear "they" will takeover.  That's literally how such fears are mongered.

25 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And, one imagines, we actually will get exactly that plot eventually in the show, too.

I hope so!  Again, I was just trying to demonstrate that people are stupid, and it's not stupid to depict people being really stupid.

Edited by DMC
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8 minutes ago, DMC said:

I dunno, people can have such resentment and envy at the same time.  Indeed, anti-immigration sentiment is usually imbued with both fear of taking one's livelihood and fear "they" will takeover.  That's literally how such fears are mongered.

Again, I understand that this narrative can be used in many context ... I just feel it shouldn't have been used there since the Númenóreans are less likely to have such feelings.

And I feel this kind of thing fits into the general 'the Elves suck' narrative the show kind of seems to be pulling - after all, we get impatient/stupid Elves who need to get schooled by random mortals, colonial overlord Elves, outright evil would-be Dark Lord Elves - who hint that things are not like the average Elf is told, hinting at more hidden Elfish evilness.

The only 'evil' Elf in that show should be Celebrimbor - and he should be mistaken and misguided, not an actual villain.

8 minutes ago, DMC said:

I hope so!  Again, I was just trying to demonstrate that people are stupid, and it's not stupid to depict people being really stupid.

I mean, honestly, this is like Eisenhower fearing that Churchill is going to rebuild the British Empire in the 1950s. It is not going to happen.

Or, better still, the men from Jane Austen novels who constantly hang out in the East Indies whilst there is no ball in the English countryside or at Bath ... fearing that the folks from the East Indies are going to take over the British Empire. You don't have that kind of fear when you are actually ruling the world.

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1 hour ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

That spy report was burried in a liberary in the elf-friendly part of Numenor and it looked pretty ancient.

When Galadriel and Elendil visit a "House of Lore" in episode 3, at ca. 34 minutes, they show the mark of Sauron to a Lore-master who gives then what looks like a pretty ancient report of a spy.

Yes, which shows that while Numenor was more involved in world affairs, they've become more isolationist, which is completely opposite from Tolkien's writings.

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It would have been much, much more believable, considering that elves are immortal and gave Numenor it's start so fear and envy would not be unnatural.... if the issue with the elves wasn't presented as 'the immortal, magical beings will take my job at the bake shop' but more along the lines of that the elves will take over, take our freedoms, change our way of life.  Not elves will take my working class job, that is stupid and there is no way around it.

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19 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I mean, honestly, this is like Eisenhower fearing that Churchill is going to rebuild the British Empire in the 1950s. It is not going to happen.

Or, better still, the men from Jane Austen novels who constantly hang out in the East Indies whilst there is no ball in the English countryside or at Bath ... fearing that the folks from the East Indies are going to take over the British Empire. You don't have that kind of fear when you are actually ruling the world.

....Wow, you just took two directly contradictory examples and neither one supports your point.  Anti-immigrant sentiment is omnipresent in history and it doesn't matter at all if your country/state/whatever is "actually ruling the world."

19 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And I feel this kind of thing fits into the general 'the Elves suck' narrative the show kind of seems to be pulling

If you're saying the overall depiction of resentment towards the elves is underdeveloped or even vapid, I'm not gonna argue.  However, I just see no reason to single out that particular scene.  The objection to them presenting the "they took er jerbs" aspect of it seems strikingly ignorant - because that's always a part of it.

Edited by DMC
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2 minutes ago, DMC said:

....Wow, you just took two directly contradictory examples and neither one supports your point.  Anti-immigrant sentiment is omnipresent in history and it doesn't matter at all if your country/state/whatever is "actually ruling the world."

The Númenóreans should be pretty secure in their roles as masters of the (human) world at that time. They should be cocky, self-absorbed, and not afraid of anything, especially not fantasy immigration. Even more so, since they just toppled their Elf-loving king for some reason.

At least that's how I'd like it to be ;-).

Also, I really loathe the depiction of 'the people' as morons who first fall for some weirdo xenophobe's silly reasoning and then later to Pharazôn's somewhat different speech. If you want to give 'the people' agency and agenda then really build them up as real characters with real problems.

2 minutes ago, DMC said:

If you're saying the overall depiction of resentment towards the elves is underdeveloped or even vapid, I'm not gonna argue.  However, I just see no reason to single out that particular scene.  The objection to them presenting the "they took er jerbs" aspect of it seems strikingly ignorant - because that's always a part of it.

I saw it as part of a pattern.

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6 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

The Númenóreans should be pretty secure in their roles as masters of the (human) world at that time. They should be cocky, self-absorbed, and not afraid of anything, especially not fantasy immigration. Even more so, since they just toppled their Elf-loving king for some reason.

At least that's how I'd like it to be ;-).

Fair enough.  This seems to be more of an idyllic perspective of the Numenoreans, whereas I have no problem depicting them as your average man - who has always expressed such bigotry even, and indeed especially, if their society is on top of the world with no actual reason to have such fears.

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5 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

I know they don't take the wheel barrow with them.  My point was that risking your life for enough food to feed a small dinner party when there is an entire fort full of people....is silly.  The show is silly.  True, I had forgotten that all the animals were killed, which makes their plan even more dumb.  So they knew at the outset that even if they found any food, they could only bring back what they could carry.  His mother was right....hunting for rabbits was a better idea.

I'm now confused as to what the complaint is, then, or why you use it as an example of bad writing. Is it that you believe the writers in some way endorse the hare-brained plan of these teenage boys as being genuinely a real solution and well thought through? Or is it that the writers have in some way blundered by showing a couple of teenage boys who think that their dumb plan is actually a good idea?

4 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

I don't particularly have issues with her character. But a male with that character will also typically be in a plot where he is right.

Galadriel is in a plot where we know she is right.

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'd rather imagine her as the character she is supposed to be.

Begging the question there.

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1 hour ago, Heartofice said:

Can’t we all agree that the immigrants thing was just a lazy attempt to overlay current politics onto a fantasy story to make the writers feel like they are fighting ‘the man’, and move on.

No, we can't, at all.  Because it's only a certain type of person that gets pissed off about this -- and it's hilarious.

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“The Rings of Power” Is True to Tolkien’s Mythmaking Spirit
The Amazon prequel to “The Lord of the Rings” keeps to the author’s romantic ideas about history.

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/on-television/the-rings-of-power-is-true-to-tolkiens-mythmaking-spirit

Quote

.... In this age of intellectual property über alles, it was perhaps inevitable that Amazon and HBO would end up on a collision course. It’s a bit unfortunate; both shows suffer by comparison. “House of the Dragon” makes “The Rings of Power” seem sexless and low on jokes, whereas the latter makes the former’s landscapes and battle scenes look cheap beside its wild mountain ranges and glorious ocean scenes. Both shows have also suffered the predictable slings and arrows from the sorts of fans, or quasi-fans, who think that only white actors ought to be cast in such stories. Medieval-style fantasy fiction always runs the risk of redoubling the racisms of the genre’s past; many of the conventions of the knights-’n’-ladies genre are the stuff of fanciful nineteenth-century visions of a Europe before the age of heavy industry and mass migration. The Black actors Steve Toussaint, who plays Corlys Velaryon on “House of the Dragon,” and Ismael Cruz Córdova, who plays Arondir on “The Rings of Power,” have spoken of being deluged with racist hate mail. They are among the most magnetic members of their ensemble casts, and the dull uniformity of the racist response exemplifies the manner in which prejudice occludes good taste. ....

 

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5 minutes ago, Zorral said:

“The Rings of Power” Is True to Tolkien’s Mythmaking Spirit
The Amazon prequel to “The Lord of the Rings” keeps to the author’s romantic ideas about history.

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/on-television/the-rings-of-power-is-true-to-tolkiens-mythmaking-spirit

 

Read that article 3 times and it never explains it’s headline at all. Click bait bollocks.

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