Jump to content

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


Ser Drewy
 Share

Recommended Posts

2 hours 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. It really isn’t a top 10 reason why the show isn’t great.

I’m of the opinion that it’s just them trying to setup pharazon to become king and a path to Halbrand (Sauron or a Nazgûl intern) guiding him to the darkness and attack on the elves.  I’m assuming that things will go poorly in the Southlands with the queen, revolt, anti-elf sentiment will be part of it.  
 

Can’t we all agree the orc scenes so far are just a cheap commentary on the state of conservative politics (Adar=Boris Johnson, warg=Liz truss, or Trump/Desantis in the US) and Morgul blade represents COVID? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Admittedly, I'm not watching this show very closely, so I may very well have missed the hints. 

But why do people think that Halbrand is Sauron? I pegged him as a beefcake sidekick for Galadriel, who since he's not in the books, will probably die in some way that teaches her a lesson about men/mortality/blah blah.

Edited by Cas Stark
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

Admittedly, I'm not watching this show very closely, so I may very well have missed the hints. 

But why do people think that Halbrand is Sauron? I pegged him as a beefcake sidekick for Galadriel, who since he's not in the books, will probably die in some way that teaches her a lesson about men/mortality/blah blah.

1. some rumours that were swirling around before the show aired

2. his interest in smithing

3. His whole speech about how to manipulate oeople in episode 4

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

1. some rumours that were swirling around before the show aired

2. his interest in smithing

3. His whole speech about how to manipulate oeople in episode 4

Thanks.  That seems unlikely to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours 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. It really isn’t a top 10 reason why the show isn’t great.

I'm rereading LotR at the moment and there is an aside in Bree where the Breelanders are very concerned about the flood of refugees coming up the Greenway from the south and settling in their area and wanting to get rid of them, and some of them get annoyed in turn and say they'll settle where there's room.

Immigration and refugees have been a flashpoint for a long, long time and it's something Tolkien brings up in his works several times (such as also the Edain and Easterlings entering Beleriand and the elves treating them with varying degrees of respect, or Gondor's imperial strength and how it integrated its conquered peoples).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, DMC said:

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.

Maybe this is now a case of you doing the projecting? For a scene you think is so trivial you've spent an inordinate amount of time defending it.

Even if you were to concede that scene was silly, it doesn't turn you into a republican, you know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pretty good episode. As in episode 2, the dwarves are the highlight, as is the friendship between Durin and Elrond. Numenor is more hit and miss. And although I have nothing against a more action driven, arrogant Galadriel, in this episode it was getting to be a little much, and just makes her seem dumb. "How did you know I would come to see the king??" Could it be because you told the Numenor queen that you were going to try to see the king before you got arrested?

The southlands are also still pretty tedious, with no interesting protagonists to get invested in, but Adar seems like a cool and different villain, and I like what they've done with the orcs a lot.

The show's biggest flaw for me at this point is the pacing. Each episode but the second has felt way too long; this one was 70 minutes and would have been better at 55. Many scenes are quality at their core, but they go on and on long after they've made their point. Also, less slo-mo, please. I think the flight through the forest could have been a very cool action scene if it were at regular speed.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

Here is the thing though: Feanor is not Sauron.

Thanks, I'd thought they were the same character. Silly me. 

12 hours ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

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.

Because he died. The language makes it clear that Galadriel would do whatever it took to thwart him, and there isn't much room for interpretation that she's cool down and move on in a few years:

she burned with desire to follow Fëanor with her anger to whatever lands he might come, and to thwart him in all ways that she could.

We are discussing whether it is in character for Galadriel to have a burning desire to chase an enemy through various lands and use all her abilities to thwart him. The answer is a clear yes if you can read the English language and believe the sentences above are from Unfinished Tales (they are). 

Yes, the show has changed the target from Feanor to Sauron. Yes, where Feanor dies soon after Galadriel forms such a desire, Sauron, in the show, has millennia more of "life" to feed her burning desire. These are changes to the plot, but not changes to her character

12 hours ago, Veltigar said:

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.

It was the largest crowd ever, and despite all the immigrants claiming otherwise, more people have never stood together in a fictional market in a fictional island in a fictional world, ever. 

9 hours ago, mormont said:

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

About Sauron? Yes. About a lot of tactical decisions, no. And I'm saying male characters in similar situations are shown making sane tactical choices, usually. 

9 hours ago, mormont said:

Begging the question there.

Right? There is more than enough support in text for a single-minded, angry and brash Galadriel. 

I'd say there is less for a stupid Galadriel, but I'm beginning to think that's because if she was all she is in the books, she'd be a classic Mary Sue. 

Edited by fionwe1987
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

But why do people think that Halbrand is Sauron? I pegged him as a beefcake sidekick for Galadriel

I still call him Sawyer.  But it's hard to miss the signs.  Definitely at least a red herring.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

Right? There is more than enough support in text for a single-minded, angry and brash Galadriel. 

I'd say there is less for a stupid Galadriel, but I'm beginning to think that's because if she was all she is in the books, she'd be a classic Mary Sue. 

You make a good case and I can live with her single-minded obsession with Sauron. As well as a deep-seated anger fueling that fixation (not that she has to be angry at everyone, at all times though). Galadriel being stupid and simple, however, is where I draw the line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the Elvish immigration front, here's an extended piece I've written on the subject:

**

As per my Episode 4 review of The Rings of Power, I noted that the Men of Númenor objecting to Elves on a “they’ll steal our jobs!” basis feels a tad weird. Of all the things these people have to throw at their pointy-eared brethren, the show settles upon that? It is not merely profoundly petty, considering the wider cosmic themes of Death and Mortality at work in the source material, but also carries with it a whiff of on-the-nose contemporary commentary. Recall that the real reason Tolkien’s Númenorens fall out with the Elves is over envy at immortality. Jobs never come into it.

Now, for me, this is not a deal-breaker. Pharazôn – who both dampens down the crowd and harnesses it for public relations purposes – is posing as a Man of the People. The guy is weighed down with Guild badges like Leonid Brezhnev with self-awarded medals, and is interested primarily in maintaining excellent political relationships with the people of the island. Given his populist political tendencies, the addition of certain sinister overtones is not completely outlandish. It’s not exactly Tolkien, but I’m prepared to live with it.

However, certain other commentators are not prepared to live with it, asserting that this is the show imposing modern politics on Tolkien. Now, such people do have a case. Immersion matters in art – if it is broken, that is the fault of the creator. However, this might also be a Mountebank and the Farmer situation from Aesop’s Fables, whereby the audience incorrectly thinks the real thing is a fake. Or as TV Tropes calls it, Reality is Unrealistic.

You see, tempting though it is to imagine that pre-moderns had other concerns, to think “they’re stealing our jobs!” is purely modern politics is to ignore history. Indeed, stirring up the rabble over “immigrants stealing jobs” is a time-honoured tradition. In 1517, the so-called Evil May Day resulted in anti-foreigner riots in London.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_May_Day

The phenomenon even shows up in English Elizabethan Drama, with Sir Thomas More (the play of 1591-1593, not the person) explicitly featuring it – the scene where More tries to reason with the crowd is now often thought to be the work of William Shakespeare himself. In an uglier variant, Robert Wilson’s xenophobic Pedlar’s Prophecy (1595) actively runs with the notion that Migrants are the Problem. So such rhetoric is not simply the domain of twentieth and twenty-first century societies, nor even democratic ones. This stuff is as old as it is ugly.

But putting it in Tolkien is still a bit weird, right? I mean, Tolkien deals with myth, not in economics or politics. Well, in that case I would suggest the show is guilty of trying to ground Tolkien’s worldbuilding in reality.

You see, Tolkien likes having Guilds in his world. Aldarion’s Guild of Venturers might be the most famous one, closely followed by the Gwaith-i-Mirdain of Eregion. More obscure – but arguably more relevant
for the present discussion – is the Guild of Weaponsmiths in Númenor (Unfinished Tales, p.219.). And what Tolkien’s Guilds all have in common is that they are communities of like-minded individuals, devoted to preserving or expanding knowledge. Less charitably in the case of Aldarion, his Guild is just a club for rich boys who like to muck around with ships.

Tolkien the academic is interested in these institutions preserving and expanding knowledge. What he does not consider is the economic implications of the Guild system. Because in historical reality, the purpose of Guilds was to strictly regulate economic activity in a given location – the regulation in question being tantamount to a price-fixing Cartel. The Guilds kept their membership exclusive and their prices high, and jealously maintained their monopolistic privileges. Heaven help you if you wanted to work as a smith in a given city without Guild approval. That sort of economic competition could not be allowed.

(While the Guilds themselves are gone today, or at least have been de-fanged, their legacy still survives in various odd little legal quirks, like council by-laws).

So while Tolkien probably did not imagine the Gwaith-i-Mirdain turning up on some innocent Elf’s doorstep and demanding that they stop making jewellery for their neighbour “or else”, that is actually what the situation implies. In theory. Cue fanfiction about Celebrimbor running his Guild like a Mafia boss.

It is also what The Rings of Power itself runs with, at least in the case of Númenor. In Episode 3, we have Halbrand being told that he cannot work as a smith without Guild membership, and Eärien’s entry into the Builders’ Guild is seen as a big deal. Pharazôn’s collection of Guild badges testifies to his ability to curry favour with political interest groups, all of whom are interested in one thing – preserving their economic power.

Well and good. Now put yourself in the shoes of one of these Guildsmen. You have a comfortable, protected livelihood. Your customers pay premium rates for your products, but then you pay premium rates for everyone else’s products too. You have your well-established place in the economic hierarchy, and your Guild-Master is one of Chancellor Pharazôn’s drinking-buddies. Your son will follow in your footsteps, and you know that he too will enjoy a comfortable, protected livelihood.

Now suppose that you learn of a new arrival in town – an arrival who turns up with an Elf, no less. You hear this arrival has tried to steal someone else’s Guild-badge – a direct economic threat to everyone associated with Guilds. Why, who knows what mediocre work an unlicensed smith might turn out, quite apart from the likelihood that he will be undercutting Guild prices too – if he’s low-quality (of course he’s low-quality. He’s not Númenorean!), he’ll want to sell-off his stuff cheaper than the fixed price to ensure he gets customers. He must be stopped, clearly. And that Elf associated with him… why that makes it worse. Imagine if the Elves started filling the key crafting roles, or start infiltrating your Guild. No chance now of advancement – those bastards live forever!

So given the in-universe situation, the Guildsman’s Quendiphobic rhetoric actually makes self-interested sense, albeit he ought to be going after Halbrand more than Galadriel. Is the scene remotely based in Tolkien’s own work and thought-processes? No. But Tolkien was not interested in economics, and he gives zero thought to how his Númenorean Guild of Weaponsmiths would actually behave in practice. The show is actually making a stab at this, and in the process trying to inject allusions to Elven immortality being an issue for Númenoreans. Is the result a bit on the nose, given modern political debates? Yes, I think one can make that case – and the immersion argument is a fair one. But the show is not being stupid about this, given the worldbuilding details Tolkien left them to work with.

Alas, in this case I think The Rings of Power might have been too clever for its own good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Less charitably in the case of Aldarion, his Guild is just a club for rich boys who like to muck around with ships.

Boo! Hiss! Calumny! The Venturers explored the changed landscape of Middle-earth and created the most accurate charts and maps that then existed, and established diplomatic and trade contacts that would prove pivotal! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

Because he died. The language makes it clear that Galadriel would do whatever it took to thwart him, and there isn't much room for interpretation that she's cool down and move on in a few years:

We do not know that, because, as you said, Feaor died and Galadriel spends the rest of the 1st Age doing nothing of significance. She does not go after the sons of Feanor (righfully it would be so incredibly dumb she would not to be her show version to consider it) or Morgoth.

It is like promising to work out more and then when you find that the gym has closed down first you just drop the whole and spend the rest of the year on your couch watching Netflix

Granted Galadriel did perceive in the early 2nd Age that Sauron had not been vanquished, but she did not go a vengeance driven hunt for him, she build alliances.

5 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

Yes, the show has changed the target from Feanor to Sauron. Yes, where Feanor dies soon after Galadriel forms such a desire, Sauron, in the show, has millennia more of "life" to feed her burning desire. These are changes to the plot, but not changes to her character

They are changes to the character. Actions inform characters. Tolkien's Galadriel never went on a thousand year single minded all-consuming vengeance quest where she lost her ability to speak with people without insulting them. You trying to say that she might have gone, is questionable and ignores the actual reality.

1 hour ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Alas, in this case I think The Rings of Power might have been too clever for its own good.

I think in this case it's you assuming that the writers are more clever than they are in order to prop up the show. If they actually were clever, they would made the conflict about the issues of death and immortality. Instead they went with immediately recognizable racism. These are the guys who could not come up with a way of retelling the 2nd Age without the insane time compression. Those are the guys who named Pharazôn's son "Kemen" and have Miriel formally using her Quenya instead of her Adunaic name when they are living in a quendiphobic society. These are the guys who can't even explain buoyancy.

And even assuming the went through all that interlectual effort, they still went to all that effort NOT to use the themes Tolkien provided. It is like leaving immaculately styled pile of shit on someone's lawn.

 

Edited by ASOIAFrelatedusername
Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, ASOIAFrelatedusername said:

I think in this case it's you assuming that the writers are more clever than they are in order to prop up the show. If they actually were clever, they would made the conflict about the issues of death and immortality. Instead they went with immediately recognizable racism. These are the guys who could not come up with a way of retelling the 2nd Age without the insane time compression. Those are the guys who named Pharazôn's son "Kemen" and have Miriel formally using her Quenya instead of her Adunaic name when they are living in a quendiphobic society. These are the guys who can't even explain buoyancy.

And even assuming the went through all that interlectual effort, they still went to all that effort NOT to use the themes Tolkien provided. It is like leaving immaculately styled pile of shit on someone's lawn.

Except that they have brought up death and mortality. The differing cultural views of the passage of time has been discussed multiple times so far in the series. This particular scene was about establishing the character of Show-Pharazon, together with fleshing out the role of the Guilds in Numenoren society. These are the interest groups that will propel Pharazon to the throne later. 

Time-compression makes perfect sense in the context. It means you actually give your mortal characters arcs.

Not sure what you have against Kemen. Calling her Miriel keeps things simple. The buoyancy thing is supposed to be poetic. Do you really want a lecture on the weight of the water displaced?

Thus far the series has a very sound grasp of Tolkien's themes - far better than Jackson. Time and change, evil as corruption, Providence, Imperialism, and so on. Properly secretive Dwarves and Orcs that can actually fight. The show's weakness is plotting and dialogue, not theme.

We're dealing with a show sufficiently clever that it uses a nineteenth century painting of Empress Zenobia as the basis for Miriel's costume design... the joke being that Zenobia was ousted by a bloke called Aurelian (Latin for the Golden). There are references to Tolkien's Atlantis dream. The show is drenched in easter-eggs and cleverness. It just needs work on the plot, to make it less forced.      

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, DMC said:

: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." 

Oh no, you revealed my dastardly plot. Indeed, as the Sauron to Tom Cruise's Morgoth I was send out to extinguish you and your evil anti-Top Gun opinions from this world :P Lord knows that people on the internet who disagree on one thing can never again have a civil disagreement on anything else anymore without said prior point of contention rearing its head :P

18 hours ago, DMC said:

  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.

Obviously, like I have repeated several times in my prior posts on the matter, you cannot have a definitive answer to this whole debate because it is not made explicit within the confines of this show. What I think you can do with the material that has been released so far is look at what the show has implied and then take a stance on probabilities. 

If we reduce it to a binary choice for simplicity, where Galadriel has either:

A. Pursued Sauron like a chump for a 1.000 years
B. Pursued Sauron like a chump and did a bunch of other significant stuff (e.g. like founding Lothlorien)

I feel the probabilities are more weighed towards option A at this moment, for the arguments I laid out in my previous posts (and admittedly, because I'm not feeling charitable towards the writers of this series, who have so far not really done anything to deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the assumption of intelligent writing).

You feel like the options are weighed towards Option B, which is totally fine. 

18 hours ago, DMC said:

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. 

The fact that we do not know what it means is already a pretty good indication that it isn't the greatest argument to built a case upon. I don't recall the exact dialogue here for the bolded, but it stands to reason that her activities are as Commander are tied up to mopping up any remnants of Morgoth's evil hosts, which naturally is the ideal position for someone with an obsession for Sauron and no clues about his whereabouts to be in.

Hunt some orcs, hunt some trolls, try to find clues for where Sauron is, who in her mind (and in the show's reality) is calling the shots behind the scenes, rinse and repeat for a thousand years.

18 hours ago, DMC said:

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?  

I thought this was obvious from the Southlands storyline. Right after the defeat of Morgoth, evil's ascent might have been stopped, but there were still many of his servants (including Sauron) at large. Over the next couple of centuries Galadriel and her ilk were sent out to mop up everything and restore the lands to safety.

They appeared to be very successful at this, suppressing the threat to such and extent that it seemed to have disappeared completely. Gil-Galad, his advisors and pretty much everyone except Galadriel saw this apparent success and grew tired of paying the price for their vigilance. They wanted to quit their (in their eyes) pointless search and move on to happier things.

Galadriel was a nuisance to them, precisely for her inability to let go. It also seems that her single-mindedness grew ever worse until its climax in the first episode, as evidenced by the fiasco we see happen there with her soldiers refusing to follow her (unless that happened to her regularly of course) because she was endangering them for what they saw as no reason. 

That is why she was seen as a nuisance by the Double G and he wanted to get rid of her.

18 hours ago, DMC said:

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?

You are asking a question here that I think is quite valid, but the show is not up to task of answering I fear. She's clearly of high lineage in the show and she seems physically more capable than regular elves when we examine the scene with the snow troll.

Perhaps that's enough to be a commander in the show-universe? The fact that she fails to display any relevant soft skill needed for a role of commander in our modern eyes in all the scenes of her we have seen so far is one of the clearest examples of how poorly written this show is in general.

Miriel and co grant her respect because she's high elven nobility. That is not that complicated. Elendil showing her their super-secret documents... Yeah, that doesn't make much sense, so it's poor writing.

Unless this is all a long ploy to explain later on why they were all so easily taken in by Sauron. They are going out of their way to establish the people of Numenor as idiots XD

14 hours ago, VigoTheCarpathian said:

Can’t we all agree the orc scenes so far are just a cheap commentary on the state of conservative politics (Adar=Boris Johnson, warg=Liz truss, or Trump/Desantis in the US) and Morgul blade represents COVID? 

Can't we all agree to steer clear of these cheap insults? Orcs/evil elves have feelings too you know. How would you like it if I were to call you a Boris Johnson :P

6 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

It was the largest crowd ever, and despite all the immigrants claiming otherwise, more people have never stood together in a fictional market in a fictional island in a fictional world, ever. 

 

 

:lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...