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Rings of Power ( No Book Spoilers) - Will I ever care about the Harfoots?


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6 hours ago, Zorral said:

“The Eye” opens with Galadriel’s eye opening to fire, ash, smoke and destruction. the volcano reflected in it.  In the middle we learn Queen Míriel’s lost her sight.  We conclude (nearly) with Disa and Durin essentially losing their moral sight as they claim the mithril for themselves, as well as Khazad-dûm, after Dwarf King Durin III disinherits Durin IV for disobeying him about the mithril, and locking Elrond out of the dwarf kingdom. The Balrog’s eyes are open to the dwarves, elves and mithril too. But the very end is Adar, seeing through the toxic smoke, to Orodum, claiming the burnt out, destroyed Southlands for himself and the orcs, renaming it, “Mordor.”

I have no idea why the episode is called The Eye. Power to you that you can scrape some connections between the title and a few scenes. When the episode is called THE Eye, I would have thought it was in reference to something important or powerful, like the Eye of Sauron. Or maybe it refers to the eye of a storm? The storm hit, now they're in the eye, but the winds will soon return :dunno: Or maybe the eye of wisdom, as you point out there are characters who show wisdom, while others do not. But I'm not sure Tolkien ever used that metaphor.

7 hours ago, Zorral said:

Two characters who are believed dead, Celeborn and Isildur, we know from LotR are not dead.  Their fates in the series won’t be revealed probably for some years?

Surely not. If they compressed a timeline that should have been a couple of millenia into just a few months or years, they're not going to have these characters out of the story for years. And we know where Isildur is, so I doubt he will lose much screen time.

7 hours ago, Zorral said:

We have learned of the terrible things that occur at end the Second Age of Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings via tales, song, poetry, memories and legendarium.  We never learned of any of it through the memories and accounts of those who were there and who participated in them. 

Ahem, you said memories twice in direct contradiction. Also, since it's fine to mention the previous adaptations, we did get a glimpse in Jackson's LOTR. I don't recall if Elrond says anything about it in the book; I think he does mention a few things.

7 hours ago, Zorral said:

It is important for the story and arcs Rings of Power are showing and telling us, that we be reminded that what we recall from a telescoped view, is now given to us in landscape – and it  often differs in significant ways, while providing compelling stories and characters that we can’t have known from our previous understanding, which enclosed within the halo of heroic history, shows us the events and characters without the nimbus of memory’s glory, including their own moral doubts, inter and intra rivalries, dislike and conflicts. As we know, even well documented, well researched history, leaves out a great deal, often revealed long after the canon histories are written.

Yeah, this is not canon in any shape or form. If Tolkien had decided and had the time to write a detailed narrative of these events, it would likely be different. Again, I point to the compressed timeline. So what RoP gives us is someone else's imagination, influenced by a studio's money and power, not unlike how we tend to imagine history unfolded.

7 hours ago, Zorral said:

It seems from the slagging outcry of many, just as with the more recently unearthed stories and events of, say, slavery, Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era, many do not wish the tarnish be brought into the poetry and histories, as well as glow on those halos and nimbi. This disinclination applies at least equally to the language in which ROP is told on screen presently. Though it mirrors that of the language employed by Tolkien in LotR, it is shouted out as ‘bad writing’.  One can’t help but speculate these have either never read LotR, or merely are determined to destroy the progress of RoP for reasons hidden deep within their own hearts.  Others though, probably really don’t like this progenitor of heroic fantasy and its legacies, honestly cannot related to its virtues, which dislike on its own, is perfectly legitimate.

While the writers have attempted to mirror Tolkien's writing, it hasn't been that successful. Characters often speak in a wise-sounding way, but what they say is nonsensical in the context of the scene. Scenes aren't always weaved as gracefully or poetically as to "mirror" Tolkien. 

I wished for this show to succeed, but what we got so far has been fan fiction of mediocre levels.

 

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2 hours ago, Spockydog said:

So I'm pretty sure Meteor Man is Sauron.

This is based on:

1. He first appeared, streaking across the sky, shortly after young Theo activated Sauron's hilt thingy.

2. The fire in his crater was cool to the touch - a nod to Galadriel's comment twenty minutes earlier about flames not giving off any warmth in the presence of Big Evil.

3. That funky elvish-looking trio who torched the Harfoot camp are searching for him, presumably to aid and assist. And these guys are clearly evil, right? Because if Meteor Man has been sent to Middle Earth to battle evil, it doesn't make sense that these weirdos would be hunting him.

 

No way Sauron heals a tree grove to keep a bunch of Hobbits from dying of starvation. And I highly doubt that Sauron ever had such powers of life. The 3 Magi either have no clue what they're going after, they just know it's important, or out to asses and stop a potential threat if they are followers of Sauron.

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2 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

No way Sauron heals a tree grove to keep a bunch of Hobbits from dying of starvation. And I highly doubt that Sauron ever had such powers of life. The 3 Magi either have no clue what they're going after, they just know it's important, or out to asses and stop a potential threat if they are followers of Sauron.

If we assume that The Stranger is a wizard (but we do not know this for sure) then we have seen a Maiar put forth powers of healing - so there is no reason to think that the other Maia (Sauron, Balrogs, other Istari etc) couldn't do that if they wanted to.

The Mystics are hunting for the one who fell from the sky - they were looking for where the meteor had fallen. They absolutely DO know what/who they are looking for (it is us who are unclear on that). But they also had the image of the same constellation that The Stranger was seeking.  Waldreg also said that the falling star was Sauron's sign. I'm going with it is unclear at this time what their intent is: either to find Sauron and support his work, or to find an Istari and become some sort of weird coven with them. 

Personally, I loved the fan theory that the Mystics were also the three wolves (that were fought off by The Stranger) in shapeshifting form.

I have only watched episode seven once so far and I need to rewatch while less tired to be able to summarise my thoughts on it.

In other news I saw yesterday that someone (in the UK) has started a petition to 'remake ROP' - they actually seem to think this is a possible thing, which could happen. :blink:

@Zorral what do you think of the Fiona Apple version of Where the Shadows Lie? For some reason I was expecting something different/more from it and so it felt a bit underwhelming to me. I think it will probably grow on me though. 

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1 hour ago, Isis said:

In other news I saw yesterday that someone (in the UK) has started a petition to 'remake ROP' - they actually seem to think this is a possible thing, which could happen. :blink:

I mean it could happen. Who knows, the folks that started this petition might be able to crowdfund the necessary $1 billion or so! :lol:

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4 hours ago, mormont said:

I mean it could happen. Who knows, the folks that started this petition might be able to crowdfund the necessary $1 billion or so! :lol:

I only skim read, but I feel as if they were coming from an "Amazon is a bottomless pit of cash, so obviously they can afford to spend the same amount or more again, to entirely remake a show to please some people" angle. 

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5 hours ago, Isis said:

If we assume that The Stranger is a wizard (but we do not know this for sure) then we have seen a Maiar put forth powers of healing - so there is no reason to think that the other Maia (Sauron, Balrogs, other Istari etc) couldn't do that if they wanted to

I disagree with this. The Maiar are not all equal. As each Maia belonged to one of the Valar, their powers were similar to the Valar they served. And in the case of the evil most of the Maiar, like Sauron, I just don't think they even understand certain powers due to how corrupted they are. The illusions that Sauron could cast to deceive people could only go so far.

5 hours ago, Isis said:

The Mystics are hunting for the one who fell from the sky - they were looking for where the meteor had fallen. They absolutely DO know what/who they are looking for (it is us who are unclear on that). But they also had the image of the same constellation that The Stranger was seeking.  Waldreg also said that the falling star was Sauron's sign. I'm going with it is unclear at this time what their intent is: either to find Sauron and support his work, or to find an Istari and become some sort of weird coven with them. 

Personally, I loved the fan theory that the Mystics were also the three wolves (that were fought off by The Stranger) in shapeshifting form.

What I meant to say is that the Mystics may not know exactly who they're hunting and their is to discover. Or they do know if the Stranger = Istar, and Sauron sent them to deal with him.

As to the wolves theory, if that were the case, that means the Mystics caught up with the Hobbits a long time ago, and after that attack, what they just sat back and observed? If that's the case the lead Mystic wouldn't have had to make all that show at the tree to figure out in which direction the Stranger went. I think the wolves were just what they seemed, part of the fauna of evil creatures that the Harfoots have to watch out for, and that scene was meant to show the "combat" powers of the Stranger.

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6 hours ago, Isis said:

If we assume that The Stranger is a wizard (but we do not know this for sure) then we have seen a Maiar put forth powers of healing - so there is no reason to think that the other Maia (Sauron, Balrogs, other Istari etc) couldn't do that if they wanted to.

Not really, no. Even the Valar themselves were not all-powerful and each had a natural propensity to certain strengths/duties. The same would typically apply to Maiar as they tended to associate with an individual Vala (though some did develop associations with several Valar).

I cannot see servants of Morgoth being able to do what The Stranger did. I expect only one associated with Yavanna or Vana would have the ability.

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12 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

Power to you

:bowdown:  :cheers:

 

12 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

 mirror Tolkien's writing, it hasn't been that successful

Have you read a lot of Tolkien aloud, either to yourself or listened to others reading aloud?  There isn't much difference if any, when one does.  However, on first readings, since there hadn't been anything like this, particularly if young, that imitative mode of epic address and speech was enormously impressive and evocative.  Fantasy fans the world over were doing that 'speech' not only at cons and so on, but often in mundane life!

12 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

memories twice in direct contradiction

Not contradiction.  The poems written in memory were by those not there; the memories passed down in folk legend into those who speak of them in the Third Age were not there either. At least I don't think Elrond or Galadriel wrote any of the poems.  At the end of the Third Age the men who write the poems and pass down memories weren't there either.  Even most of the elves and dwarves who may have been there are no longer around either.

It's the same sort of contrast between the poetry written about WWI by the poets like Sassoon who were in the trenches and the endless BBC scripted dramas about WWI

12 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

I highly doubt that Sauron ever had such powers of life.

Indeed; the power of Sauron is to suck life from everything and turn it dark.

 

10 hours ago, Isis said:

They absolutely DO know what/who they are looking for (it is us who are unclear on that).

Yes! This is one of the many elements that allow for this viewer at least, to feel a close resemblence - memory of what it was like reading the LotR the first 20 + times!  I don't know, I want to know, and have the confidence in the material as already presented, that I will know down the line, and there will be great satisfaction.

10 hours ago, Isis said:

the Fiona Apple version of Where the Shadows Lie?

I have to think about it -- which means to listen again -- and I hardly had time to watch and think about the episode once so far!

10 hours ago, Isis said:

petition to 'remake ROP'

Gods in all the hells, anything made by fans would be SO VERY BAD there would be howls to bring back amazon.   Sort of like the leavers for the forbidden B-word these days.  :rofl:

ROP is its own thing, which is the best thing about it!

 

 

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Considering the very many new versions of so-called canonic icons of generic literature these days, and the by-now-inescapable fury, outrage and slagging for all of them, whether sequels, prequels, universe adjacent, etc. -- it's difficult not to think of the Arthurian tales and characters made in medieval times.  Those tales and cycles and romances never included the figures that are associated with Arthur and his Britain.  There are versions that don't even have Merlin.

Yet, all of them were popular enough that they survived into our 'modern' age.  We have loads of fiction forms telling some aspect of Arthur, on the page, on screen.  Some will be both on the page and the screen as with the upcoming adaptation of Cornwell's Warlord series.

~~~~~~~~

Just got to watch the AfterShow.  Each segment of the interview with the composer has gotten me respecting and admiring what he's done.  What a job -- and I know a LOT of composers, including many who do film and television, who have had serious challenges in doing their work, i.e. nothing can be rote.  As with ROP, nothing can be rote.

 

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@Isis  This morning I replayed several times "Where the Shadows Lie", Fiona Apple, Bear McCready and -- JRR Tolkien, you betcha.

This meant Partner heard it and was appalled, declaring it the worst drek.  However, I disagree with Partner -- the temerity of moi to disagree with this Professional!!!!! ha!.  Except for one thing.  She does something off-putting with 'shadows' in her singing. If one didn't know the word, one wouldn't even know what it was.  I don't get this.  I think it does well for ROP.  Also her delivery reminds me a lot of the theme songs from the Daniel Craig Bonds.  :dunno:  To which Partner deeply disagreed: "Bond music was infinitely superior to this."  But then I reminded Partner, "You haven't even heard the theme songs as from Adele for these Bonds."

The orchestral bed for Where the Shadows Lie is much thicker than that of her "Container" intro-title sequence for The Affair, which hardly has any bed in fact, but one does think of her delivery in that too.

 

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The actor, who plays Halbrand in the Lord of the Rings show, talks about auditioning in secret, fleeing sea beasts with Galadriel … and what Tolkien would think about the racist backlash

This article contains spoilers for the penultimate episode of The Rings of Power

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2022/oct/12/lord-of-the-rings-the-rings-of-power-charlie-vickers-halbrand-they-scan-your-eyeballs-just-to-get-on-set

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.... While Galadriel and Elrond are familiar names, Halbrand is a new creation. Vickers did as much research as possible to shape him: “I read The Silmarillion a few times, Unfinished Tales, The History of Middle-earth series and then you have The Hobbit and the trilogy, of course … What I found really useful were Tolkien’s letters – there are hundreds of them and there’s so much of his opinion of his world in them. Because Halbrand is an original character, you have to live and breathe Tolkien to get it right.” ....

.... Now The Rings of Power is out, Vickers has been able to take stock of his new fame, which has been “pretty overwhelming” he admits. “There have been amazing positives and amazing negatives.” One negative was the vitriol of racists who “review-bombed” The Rings of Power to share their displeasure over the show’s casting, noticeably more diverse in both race and gender than Jackson’s films two decades ago.

‘JRR Tolkien created a world which, by definition, is multi-cultural’ 

In a rare example of proactive solidarity, the cast collectively issued a firm statement addressing the “threats, harassment and abuse” directed at actors including Sophia Nomvete, who pays the dwarven princess Disa, and Ismael Cruz Córdova, who plays the elf Arondir. “Our world has never been all white, fantasy has never been all white, Middle-earth is not all white,” the statement read. “Bipoc [Black, Indigenous and people of colour] belong in Middle-earth and they are here to stay.”

“We anticipated that this would happen, and as a cast, we had really long, important discussions about the best way to support people,” says Vickers. “The racism is incomprehensible. Chatting to cast members who have gone through it, the burden they have to carry, that really hit home for me. Whatever you believe about Tolkien’s beliefs around diversity, inclusivity and representation, you can’t deny people the ability to exist. That’s horrific.” ....

 

 

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More ROP actors on today's news sites:

Ismael Cruz Córdova Belongs in Middle-Earth

https://www.thecut.com/2022/10/ismael-cruz-cordova-rings-of-power-lotr-interview.html#_ga=2.260597197.134185749.1665594444-1708037392.1665594444

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Ismael Cruz Córdova will be the first to tell you that there’s nothing more Elvin than the magical realism that surrounds daily life in our homeland of Puerto Rico. It’s felt in the beauty of the archipelago, in the contradictions as the oldest colony of the world, in the pa’lante tenacity of our people.

It’s fitting, then, that the 35-year-old actor broke ground as the first person of color to play an elf in an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings universe. His turn as the Silvan elf Arondir in Amazon’s The Rings of Power, a prequel series that takes place in the Second Age of Middle-earth, set him up for the admiration of many fans who rarely seem themselves in high fantasy worlds — and of course, also opened the door for the inevitable racist backlash that comes with any effort to inject color into a lily-white world.

To the naysayers, Cruz Córdova responds he belongs in Middle-earth — and after this season, he is not going anywhere. (If you need proof of the actor’s staying power in Hollywood just look at the list of his upcoming projects, which include Guillermo del Toro’s horror anthology Cabinet of Curiosities and the film Finestkind, in which he stars opposite Jenna Ortega and Ben Foster.)

“I love the role. I love what I represent,” Cruz Córdova says about Arondir from London, where he is working on an undisclosed project. “This discomfort means that there is a disruption and that there is a change. I’m not going to back down. I’m not going to leave this show. I’m not going to stop existing.”

Cruz Córdova says he has spent his entire life moving toward this role — from the moment he fell in love with Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Tolkien’s trilogy as a kid in rural Aguas Buenas. He clawed himself out of poverty to train as an actor, and has spent the last two decades honing in his craft. Playing Arondir has been earned. ....

Q: How did you prepare to enter the Lord of the Rings universe?

There’s so many skills involved to play this role. There’s an accent. English is also my second language and I don’t even have an American accent. To go from Spanish straight into an RP British accent — I had to prepare so much with our vocal coach, Leith McPherson. The vast majority of the stunts that are in the show, I perform myself. So I am learning all of those skills — martial arts, capoeira to bring little flavor and nod to our Latino and Afro Latino cultures as well. The wirework and all the choreo took months and months.

And there were the movement-training sessions, learning how to develop that Elvin walk, the Elvin movement, the Elvin stands, the Elvin posture. It was very important that we created a physical language that was different from the high elves because Arondir is kind of a lower-class elf, a foot soldier essentially.

Q: Did growing up in Aguas Buenas influence your portrayal?

Elves are beings that are very close to nature — they are informed by nature, are contemplative, and have a spiritual and energetic relationship to nature. I grew up in a very rural part of Aguas Buenas and the conditions that I lived in kind of felt like I was living maybe like 20, 30 years before my time. We didn’t have a lot of resources. Electricity would be cut off a lot. My family themselves were quite poor. I spent a lot of time looking in the clouds, being with animals, and walking like kilometers to go to school through hills. I developed a close understanding of nature and my place in it.

Our people are very proud and connected to our ancestral lands — both our Taíno ancestors and our ancestors that came from Western Africa as slaves that carried with them their spirituality. You think about jibaros, la gente del campo. All of that, to be honest, it’s all very Elvin. ....

 

 

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"Alloyed" was a good finale, a satisfying finale. 

We have a new dimension to the Elven – Númenórean wars of the Second Age: Adar, a villain protagonist in the middle, between Sauron and the Elves.  Adar, “Lord-Father”, has a twisted paternal sense of  care for the orcs, whom he played a significant part in their creation, forced to, perhaps, by Sauron, or forced to twist-torture them too much for his own tolerance. Adar thinks he killed Sauron it appears now, because of this.  Adar has destroyed the Southlands for humans to make a home for his orc progeny, outcast by all, where they can live without threat of the sun. This is quite a twist, and it's terrific, not only filled with interest, but also does make ROP its own ‘creation’ so to speak.

How the three elven rings are forged, with mithril and the gold and silver that come from Valinor were fine; Galadriel's Valinor dagger, which has been part of several pivotal scenes throughout the series, returns to find its own destiny. What a shop Celebrimbor has in Lindon! Those scenes, in their own way, rival in spectacle those of Khazad-dûm. Ya, we learn who is Sauron, though they did a stoopid fake out at the top, alas. Galadriel’s got a whole lot more to be guilty about – she brought Sauron to Linden, where he sussed out the why and how to make the rings in Celebrimbor’s workshop. 

Númenor’s king died, as blind Míriel returns with Elendil, where Pharazôn is waiting to make policy for a cold war by the Númenóreans on elves and their enviable 'immortality'.  Architect apprentice, Elendil's daughter, Isildur's sister, Eärien, saw something no doubt in the palantír – that was left hanging, as do many story/plot lines in Tolkiens LotR's trilogy, as he moves us from one arc of action to another set of characters in another location for long stretches.

We learn conclusively the Big Stranger is A Good, not a Peril.  Of course the Weirdling trio were involved – a set of magi from Rhûn, i.e. the Eastlands, i.e. Persia. I have long felt these were a Tolkien take on the ancient world empires of Babylon, Assyria and particularly Persia and Phoenicia.  Partly this is because the name "Radagast" comes up in readings about Persian Empire. The Big Stranger realizes he is a wizard.  He must go off to learn/relearn who is and what he must do, in – Rhûn. Which partly makes sense because Babylon/Persia are the homelands of a class called Magi, who have all sorts of specialist knowledge upon which the King of Kings depends. Those from other lands come to study with the Persian Magi to learn everything from astronomy to medicine to prophecy. Rhûn is where those Perils of Weirdlings are from, who thought he was Sauron. Nevertheless, since the Weirdlings were that ignorant at reading signs and portents, surely there’s nothing for Big Stranger to learn about himself in  Rhûn?  Well, maybe how to read that tattered bit of star map our lamented, late Sadoc gifted him, in which he wraps the precious apple which Nori gifted him. A quite different gift of knowledge from that gifted by Sauron to Celebrimbor, hey?  But the most precious gift of all is Nori’s giving of herself as Big Stranger's companion, with her Harfoot sense to keep him straight, find them food and keep them hidden. Plus this provides the driver for the necessary Tolkien Journey There and Back Again. One does wish they had shortened Nori’s farewells several beats, as Big Stranger just hangs out on the overlooking hill under a tree, waiting, waiting, waiting for her so they can get on with his journey to the Big Apple of Knowledge. 

So much to look forward to, whenever the second season arrives.

 Deadline’s Inside The Ring Episode 8 | The Rings of Power | Prime Video
 

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On 10/9/2022 at 7:49 AM, Isis said:

In other news I saw yesterday that someone (in the UK) has started a petition to 'remake ROP' -

Fandom is...odd.

Anyway, I skipped last week's episode as I was working fairly non stop for the last week so I watched the last two episodes together. Some quick thoughts

1. I think some elements of the show work really well for me - Elrond, Durin. Nori/ the stranger - I quite like these relationships and I'm looking forward to next season

2. The wizard fight was...odd.

3. I like Halbrand as sauron, though the sequence of memories with galadriel could have been executed better, imo.

4. The show is a bit uneven, though it still has enough good in it that I'm looking forward to S2.

5. I'm less interested in Numenor than I was when it was first introduced.

6. The actor who plays elendil does a really decent job.

7. Even galadriel has grown on me a little - and I especially enjoyed her brief scenes with Theo in episode 7.  Episode 7 also had some really gorgeous shots.

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I was a bit underwhelmed by the finale, Sauron reveal was predictable and not what I was counting for (that he is someone completely new to us or someone we saw briefly and never suspected), I would also prefer if The Stranger happened to be some other wizard, not Gandalf (who they strongly hinted he actually is with his "follow your nose" remark). I also feel like Southlands plot with Arondir, Bronwyn and Theo was cut quite abruptly.

But generally I still like the show and I'm looking forward to season two.

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On 10/11/2022 at 5:07 PM, Zorral said:

@Isis  This morning I replayed several times "Where the Shadows Lie", Fiona Apple, Bear McCready and -- JRR Tolkien, you betcha.

This meant Partner heard it and was appalled, declaring it the worst drek.  However, I disagree with Partner -- the temerity of moi to disagree with this Professional!!!!! ha!.  Except for one thing.  She does something off-putting with 'shadows' in her singing. If one didn't know the word, one wouldn't even know what it was.  I don't get this.  I think it does well for ROP.  Also her delivery reminds me a lot of the theme songs from the Daniel Craig Bonds.  :dunno:  To which Partner deeply disagreed: "Bond music was infinitely superior to this."  But then I reminded Partner, "You haven't even heard the theme songs as from Adele for these Bonds."

The orchestral bed for Where the Shadows Lie is much thicker than that of her "Container" intro-title sequence for The Affair, which hardly has any bed in fact, but one does think of her delivery in that too.

 

I like the theme for The Affair. Now that I have heard it a few more times, I also 'enjoy' Where the Shadows Lie. In fact, it is quite a catchy arrangement because it pops into my head a lot.

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Halbrand conditioning his hair prior to entering Mordor was amusing, I respect it. A leader has to look after himself.

I did like the Sauron reveal though, even though I was less into the dream sequence with galadriel

Whilst the show was uneven, I'd say it's miles better than 95% of the Disney/ Marvel shows including the star wars ones ( except Andor, which I haven't seen yet)

Edited by Raja
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5 hours ago, 3CityApache said:

, not Gandalf

I think some of the execution when it came to his reveal wasn't the best, especially his line about following your nose etc. It was nice to finally hear him speak though.

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