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


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I'll probably wait a few seasons before I start this but I have a question as someone who only read the hobbit and saw the movies. As I remember from reading wikipedia Gandolf is a god like being in human form. So it occurs to me he was alive in some form during the events of this show. Do we know what he was up to?

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11 minutes ago, RumHam said:

Do we know what he was up to?

There's strong indications a mystery character who literally landed from a meteor in the pilot is actually Gandalf, but we don't know that yet.  Devotees, and frankly myself, are/will be pissed off about that because Gandalf was explicitly not sent to middle-earth until the third age, and this show deals with the second age - thousands of years before he should show up and during the events summarized in Jackson's LOTR prologue.

ETA:  If you're asking what Gandalf was up to "in the books" during this time period, he was a Maia, basically an angel, hanging out in Valinor, which is not quite heaven but basically is for the elves not on middle-earth as well as all the other angels.

Edited by DMC
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4 hours ago, Maltaran said:

As far as I recall the only real time we see Elven magic in the Silmarillion is Finrod’s duel with Sauron. All the other magic is the work of Ainur and Maiar, such as Melian’s wards around Doriath

Well Elven artifacts like the Silmarils, the Ellasar, the Palantir definitely count as magic. As is Luthien singing Morgoth to sleep, though she's definitely drawing on some mom-derived powers there. But Songs of Power are something Elves do use. It just isn't very typical magic. 

14 minutes ago, RumHam said:

I'll probably wait a few seasons before I start this but I have a question as someone who only read the hobbit and saw the movies. As I remember from reading wikipedia Gandolf is a god like being in human form. So it occurs to me he was alive in some form during the events of this show. Do we know what he was up to?

He was giving promptings of wisdom and dreams of hope to some folks. 

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12 hours ago, Werthead said:

The Southlands "lake" is of the Sea of Nurnen in Mordor.

Eregion looks to be in the right place by my reckoning.

Rhovanion (Wilderland) is huge and much larger than I think people realise. It includes all of Mirkwood, the Iron Hills, Dale and Esgaroth, extends north to Gundabad and the Grey Mountains, includes the entire width of the Misty Mountains (Rivendell sits on the edge of Rhovanion) and extends south to the edge of Lorien. The border then shifts to the Great River as far south at least as Nen Hithoel and the Emyn Muil, if not the northern border of Mordor itself, and runs east at least as far as the Sea of Rhun.

Okay, Rhovanion is bigger than just Mirkwood, fine. In the series, it keeps going till the Southlands... not really a problem. What is strange is that the Southlands extend a lot more to the east of Mordor, between Khand and Rhun, with mountains appearing and disappearing in different versions. 

They dumbed down the maps quite a bit in the series! Ost-in-Edhil is marked as Eregion. They could have just named it as the capital city of the region, instead of calling it by the name of the region. They wanted to make it really clear, here are the elven smiths, here are the dwarfs. 

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22 hours ago, Heartofice said:

My point was that they should be the same yardstick to compare. They are both 'just tv shows'.. Isis was alluding to the idea that we should all lower our expectations because RoP is 'just a tv show' but I think we are long past the time where that is the case. The line between movie and tv show is very thin, almost non existent

I said it was a TV show because you referred to one of the performances as 'ok for a TV actor' or whatever. So my point was if he was just a TV actor then that should be ok, since it is just a TV show.

When we talked about acting performances and you couldn't accept any comparison between the Jackson films and ROP, I think you said we just could NOT compare them, ultimately. But now, you say that we should expect the same from ROP as we would from a film (?because money).

It does feels as if you are moving the goal posts all the time. The show can never succeed in your eyes, it can't do anything right because you keep comparing it to something else which you like better and then you go into subjective personal complaints, saying someone looks like a hairdresser from Essex. 

So in summary this is coming across as:

  • you are going to insult the appearance of the actors in the show
  • you don't like the show
  • you're not going to like the show, no matter what it does/doesn't do, as there will be something another show/film has done better

I have finally reached my limit of patience this week with:

  • right-wing trolls masquerading as Tolkien fans
  • book purist gatekeepers who are offended if anyone likes the show in a less intellectual way to them since this 'makes Tolkien so pedestrian'
  • and finally whatever brand of hate you are peddling here in this thread.
Edited by Isis
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1 minute ago, Isis said:

I said it was a TV because you referred to one of the performances as 'ok for a TV actor' or whatever. Somy point was if he was just a TV actor then that should be ok, since it is justa  TV show.

When we talked about acting performances and you couldn't accept any comparison between the Jackson films and ROP, I think you said we just could NOT compare them, ultimately. But now, you say that we should expect the same from ROP as we wold from a film (?because money).

It does feels as if you are moving the goal posts all the time. The show can never succeed in your eyes, it can't do anything right because you keep comparing it to something else which you like better and then you go into subjective personal complaints, saying someone looks like a hairdresser from Essex. 

So in summary this is coming across as:

  • you are going to insult the appearance of the actors in the show
  • you don't like the show
  • you're not going to like the show, no matter what it does/doesn't do, as there will be something another show/film has done better

I have finally reached my limit of patience this week with:

  • right-wing trolls masquerading as Tolkien fans
  • book purist gatekeepers who are offended if anyone likes the show in a less intellectual way to them since this 'makes Tolkien so pedestrian'
  • and finally whatever brand of hate you are peddling here in this thread.

I'm not quite sure why you want to defend the show so heavily. I haven't even criticised it that harshly. Overall I think it's an ok show, it's perfectly serviceable. My main point is that a LotR show which is the most expensive show ever made should be setting it's sights a lot higher than 'serviceable'. I'm not sure that is especially harsh critique.

Yes when we talk about acting performances in particular there does seem to be a bit of a step down in quality from what you would expect from the prestige shows, such as GoT and HotD.  "TV actor" is really a term I'm using to describe a type of acting style you would see on daytime terrestrial television. It's small, it's non remarkable,  there are thousands of actors able to perform that role. The guy who plays Elendil is very much a TV actor if you look at his CV.  Comparing him to someone like Paddy Considine on HotD is pretty apt as Paddy has been brilliant in a number of movies and is always notably good. That is the quality of actor I would expect in a show like this. Clark as Galadriel is a good choice, but she hasn't been given the tools to show off her quality ,because so much of the show, from the writing to the direction is so pedestrian and functional.

I'm really not moving the goalposts either. My point is entirely consistent. This show is FINE, if it was on the BBC with a budget 10x smaller I'd not even think about it, but this is the most expensive show of all time, taking on an IP that a lot of people love. It is also consciously trying to mimic a lot of what came before in the Jackson movies, so of course there will be comparisons.

This show should be better than it is. Fine is not really enough, and I'm happy to criticise it because of that.

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34 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

My main point is that a LotR show which is the most expensive show ever made should be setting it's sights a lot higher than 'serviceable'. I'm not sure that is especially harsh critique.

I think this is totally fair, but...

34 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

The guy who plays Elendil is very much a TV actor if you look at his CV.

I really don't like this, and not just about Elendil.  It's entirely close-minded.  Yes, the show cast almost entirely unknowns.  So what?  Many if not most of the GoT actors weren't THAT well-known at the time outside of Bean, obviously especially the kids.  (I actually was convinced to watch it and subsequently got into asoiaf because of Lena Headey, but that's neither here nor there.)  And indeed, many great films and TV shows MAKE stars, not hire them.  Not saying that'll necessarily be the case here, but your focus on the established credentials as the yardstick for the acting is silly.  Just judge the acting by the acting.

Edited by DMC
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I like the actor who plays Elendil (as well as the one who plays Isildur for that matter). And as I do acknowledge Paddy Considine is a very good actor, I sometimes feel like casting not widely known actors in a fantasy show is a plus, as you don't have to wonder why the face of your favourite elf constantly reminds you of the role said great actor played entirely elswhere.

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2 minutes ago, 3CityApache said:

as you don't have to wonder why the face of your favourite elf constantly reminds you of the role said great actor played entirely elswhere.

This is often the reason directors prefer casting relative unknowns, and always has been.  Well, other than the elf part.

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4 minutes ago, DMC said:

I really don't like this, and not just about Elendil.  It's entirely close-minded.  Yes, the show cast almost entirely unknowns.  So what?  Many if not most of the GoT actors weren't THAT well-known at the time outside of Bean, obviously especially the kids.  (I actually was convinced to watch it and subsequently got into asoiaf because of Lena Headey, but that's neither here nor there.)  And indeed, many great films and TV shows MAKE stars, not hire them.  Not saying that'll necessarily be the case here, but your focus on the established credentials as the yardstick for the acting is silly.  Just judge the acting by the acting.

Sure, I wouldn't normally mention it but I'm not a fan of his performance, i bring it up because he comes across as a TV actor, rather than a big screen actor and that is an issue for me. It might be explained by the fact that its exactly what he is. But the entire show is made like its created for the small screen, on a small budget, even thought it kind of isn't.

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3 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

i bring it up because he comes across as a TV actor, rather than a big screen actor and that is an issue for me.

I still think you're being unnecessarily snobby.  And frankly, acting isn't exactly the hardest thing in the world.  Is there really much difference between a "TV actor" and a "big screen actor" other than the medium they're acting in?  The primary threshold for acting is being attractive.  After that I'd say the distribution is some are just looks, most are competent, and very few are great.  And this show obviously wasn't gonna get any of the latter.

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10 hours ago, RumHam said:

I'll probably wait a few seasons before I start this but I have a question as someone who only read the hobbit and saw the movies. As I remember from reading wikipedia Gandolf is a god like being in human form. So it occurs to me he was alive in some form during the events of this show. Do we know what he was up to?

We don't, but I'm sure that between them Embracer and Amazon will find a way of telling us via a 10-hour prequel series: Initiating an Istari: The Early Years of Gandalf.

21 minutes ago, DMC said:

I still think you're being unnecessarily snobby.  And frankly, acting isn't exactly the hardest thing in the world.  Is there really much difference between a "TV actor" and a "big screen actor" other than the medium they're acting in?  The primary threshold for acting is being attractive.  After that I'd say the distribution is some are just looks, most are competent, and very few are great.  And this show obviously wasn't gonna get any of the latter.

There isn't much difference. Karl Urban was a jobbing TV actor on Xena and Hercules before he played Eomer, and he wasn't necessarily fantastic in the role from an acting standpoint (although he certainly had impressive charisma), but leveraged that to have a very impressive career since then. Some of the actors in the LotR trilogy were crap, to be honest (Marton Csokas and his Curious Diction as Celeborn immediately comes to mind).

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28 minutes ago, DMC said:

I still think you're being unnecessarily snobby.  And frankly, acting isn't exactly the hardest thing in the world.  Is there really much difference between a "TV actor" and a "big screen actor" other than the medium they're acting in?  The primary threshold for acting is being attractive.  After that I'd say the distribution is some are just looks, most are competent, and very few are great.  And this show obviously wasn't gonna get any of the latter.

Ok, maybe the term seems a bit mean, but it's describing a real thing. As you say, there are a lot of very competent actors out there doing jobs, and they get stuck doing minor TV roles for most of their career because that is their level. The numbers of truly great actors is very small and I think you tend to notice them pretty quickly as they stand out.

I always think back to watching the SyFy Children of Dune which was the first time I ever saw James McAvoy in anything. He stood out, like head and shoulders above everyone else. I think he's a good actor who commands the screen every time he's there, and up against some deeply mediocre acting talent in Dune it was really noticeable that he was a lot better than everyone else. Plus the production values on that show were also not good, so maybe it is possible to separate out good acting from everything around it.

I'm not sure why you think that Rings of Power couldn't get great actors? Its the most expensive tv show ever made, what is stopping it going out and getting the best. Why has it given a role to someone like Lenny Henry, who as competent as he is, is really just a comedian from the 80's who's biggest job has been adverts for a low budget hotel company. That is a curious choice. 

Edited by Heartofice
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25 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I'm not sure why you think that Rings of Power couldn't get great actors? Its the most expensive tv show ever made, what is stopping it going out and getting the best.

The only TV show I can think of that ever got more than one or two truly great actors - or at least truly great established actors - is Westworld.  And that's almost certainly because who was behind that show.  The only tempting thing behind this show was Bezos' money, and that's not going to get such a commitment from any established great actors.  Most great actors are not gonna commit to a show that could go on for years when they don't even know how the pilot is gonna turn out.  Which is the actual distinction between TV and single/feature film actors.  And that's totally fine.

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44 minutes ago, DMC said:

The only TV show I can think of that ever got more than one or two truly great actors - or at least truly great established actors - is Westworld.  

Off the top of my head House of Cards headlined with Kevin Spacey, Broadwalk Empire: Steve Buschemi, True Detective:  Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, Colin Farrel and Mahershal Ali, Fargo had Ewan McGregor and Billybob Thornton, Peaky Blinders has Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, Brian cox is in Succession.

I'm not even saying RoP needs established actors, it doesn't. But I'm confused by your statement that it couldn't have gotten any, when it is incredibly common for hollywood actors to appear in big budget tv shows, even for multiple seasons. If the long commitment time was an issue they could have picked a role that would have an obvious end point. I don't see that as a real factor.

And just to reiterate, it doesn't need established world famous actors. I'm just saying there is a difference between very good high quality actors and the vast majority of competent jobbing actors who take up most roles and never really get established. If you watch Jared Harris or David Thewlis on pretty much anything (like Sandman or Expanse) you know immediately that they are brilliant , Carrie Coon or Emma Thompson will be incredible in anything.

The whole cast doesn't need to be amazing either. Game of Thrones is a good example where maybe 50% of the cast were very limited, but there were also a number of brilliant actors in there keeping the standard up. If everyone in Game of Thrones was only as good as Kit Harrington then there would be a problem, but luckily there were Sean Bean, Charles Dance,Michelle Fairley, Peter Dinklage and others to push the quality up. You can tell the difference between their performances and others like Harrington or Turner very quickly. 

I haven't seen a single standout performance in RoP. Nothing has reached a high level, most of it is just adequate. Not sure why that causes so much disagreement.

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1 minute ago, Heartofice said:

Off the top of my head House of Cards headlined with Kevin Spacey, Broadwalk Empire: Steve Buschemi, True Detective:  Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, Colin Farrel and Mahershal Ali, Fargo had Ewan McGregor and Billybob Thornton, Peaky Blinders has Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, Brian cox is in Succession.

Read what I said.  1:  More than one or two actors.  2:  Committing for multiple years.  1 eliminates Boardwalk (and frankly I wouldn't qualify Buscemi as a great actor anyway) and Succession,  2 eliminates True Detective and Fargo as anthologies, then Peaky Blinders with Hardy and Murphy is..ok, it's got two Nolan guys too - and ones that probably would've rather been cast in Westworld.  House of Cards, actually I'll give you that one between Spacey and Robin Wright, who you didn't even mention.  But that's still only two.

8 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I'm not even saying RoP needs established actors, it doesn't. But I'm confused by your statement that it couldn't have gotten any, when it is incredibly common for hollywood actors to appear in big budget tv shows, even for multiple seasons. If the long commitment time was an issue they could have picked a role that would have an obvious end point. I don't see that as a real factor.

Because then they wouldn't have been taking one of the main roles.  And, again, the actors we're talking about - even myself with Westworld - are naturally established as great actors because they're older.  The main ROP cast is young - at least between Galadriel, Elrond, Isildur, Durin, Arondir, and Halbrand.  Maybe they could have gotten a more established guy to play Celebrimbor because they made him look old, ok.  But as Wert pointed out he was Martin in The Crown!

15 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

If everyone in Game of Thrones was only as good as Kit Harrington then there would be a problem, but luckily there were Sean Bean, Charles Dance,Michelle Fairley, Peter Dinklage and others to push the quality up. You can tell the difference between their performances and others like Harrington or Turner very quickly. 

We're really picking nits here.  Bean was an established star, aye, but plenty of these actors could be your Dance, Headey, Addy, Fairley, or Dinklage.

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Ok I think your picking nits now, you stated that RoP couldn’t get established actors to be in their show. Clearly not true, I gave you plenty of examples where it’s already happened and I could easily have reeled off a load more. 
 

Then I stated numerous times in that post to make it very clear that I don’t think you need established actors, so did you purposefully ignore that or just not read what I said again?

As for Game of Thrones, Sean Bean and Charles Dance are obviously better actors than Kit Harrington and Sophie Turner. They may not have been A List but they were recognised as very good and you’d know it within seconds of them being on screen. 
 

but as I said A LOT.. you don’t need established actors, just some very good ones. 

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16 hours ago, Maltaran said:

As far as I recall the only real time we see Elven magic in the Silmarillion is Finrod’s duel with Sauron. All the other magic is the work of Ainur and Maiar, such as Melian’s wards around Doriath

Well Elven artifacts like the Silmarils, the Ellasar, the Palantir definitely count as magic. As is Luthien singing Morgoth to sleep, though she's definitely drawing on some mom-derived powers there. But Songs of Power are something Elves do use. It just isn't very typical magic. 

12 hours ago, RumHam said:

I'll probably wait a few seasons before I start this but I have a question as someone who only read the hobbit and saw the movies. As I remember from reading wikipedia Gandolf is a god like being in human form. So it occurs to me he was alive in some form during the events of this show. Do we know what he was up to?

He was giving promptings of wisdom and dreams of hope to some folks. 

---

The issue with using "TV actor" as code for quality is that this assumes that you can only be stuck doing TV acting if you're bad at acting. The reality is, your connections and luck matter a hell of a lot more when it comes to getting sizeable movie roles and breaking out. For some folks with great acting talent, the break may never come, and they may remain TV actors, but have incredible acting chops nonetheless. 

And the reverse is definitely true. Movies are filled with actors who probably wouldn't make it on TV either, if acting skill were all they were being judged on.

Edited by fionwe1987
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