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[SPOILERS] Rings of Power: "I am Sauron" "I'm Sauron" "I'm Sauron!"


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1 hour ago, SeanF said:

In my head canon, Annatar should be like Alec Guinness playing Mephistopheles.

I was thinking you would want someone like Tudors era Johnathan Rhys Meyers, someone whose charm jumps off the screen but who also brings a dark energy. You would need someone who is charismatic enough that the audience can see why and how so many fall under his spell. 

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59 minutes ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Would have been interesting twist had amnesia Gandalf gone off with the witches and became Sauron (forging the rings), while actual Sauron pretended to be Istari, was named Gandalf/Mithrandir, and played at being good to get back into Valinor.

Would explain his ruthless willingness to throw Bilbo into danger.

I'd actually watch this alternate reality show with some interest. Clearly, the Valar's plans for sending emissaries with reduced powers and memory didn't go well. How much worse could it have gotten? That'd be an interesting take. 

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47 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

I was thinking you would want someone like Tudors era Johnathan Rhys Meyers, someone whose charm jumps off the screen but who also brings a dark energy. You would need someone who is charismatic enough that the audience can see why and how so many fall under his spell. 

Or even cast Joseph Mawle as Annatar/Sauron since he looked more convincing as someone who would eventually be a Dark Lord.

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2 hours ago, Isis said:

Yes. They've not answered WHY he would be on a raft there at all. Was he trying to get to Numenor? Was he following an elven ship heading to Valinor? None of this has been made clear yet.

And I would call that bad writing. Especially since through the three witches we see that Sauron could have fled to Rhun where he had support after Adar did whatever he did.

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13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

- Galadriel actually realizing the Aragorn-lookalike is Sauron and then not telling anyone is utter horseshit, too. It made so little sense that I originally thought the awakened Galadriel wasn't Galadriel at all but Sauron who had stolen her identity.

I honestly believed that, too. She was acting weirdly around Celebrimbor and Elrond.

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This is why it's a poorly written show.  Because, much like later stage GOT, if you spend 30 seconds thinking about what is happening, it makes no sense.  

Some of the things they have done I can see how they would sound good in the story meetings...hey, let's make Sauron like an anti-hero, hey, let's make Galadriel more complex  dumb at the beginning [where basically everything that happens subsequent to the forging of the rings she knows was Sauron's idea will be her fault].  Neat.  

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1 hour ago, Cas Stark said:

I was thinking you would want someone like Tudors era Johnathan Rhys Meyers, someone whose charm jumps off the screen but who also brings a dark energy. You would need someone who is charismatic enough that the audience can see why and how so many fall under his spell. 

I always liked Stephen King’s expression “dark hilarity”, for Randall Flagg, although Flagg is too frightening to be Sauron, at this point in the story.

What I loved about Guinness was that he played perfectly the role of tempter.  Celebrimbor and Ar Pharazon (like Faustus) had already set out on the path to hell, and Sauron nudged and guided them along the way.

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4 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

Its telling that you need to invent examples of cheesiness to make your point. 

 

 

I don't have my Tolkien books with me. But here are just a few samples I found on the internet. I know we're all fantasy fans here, and so have an innately higher tolerance for cheese than the general population, but..."

"I am Aragorn son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar the Elfstone, Dunadan. The heir of Isildur Elendil's son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Broken and is forged again! Will you aid me, or thwart me? Choose swiftly!”

"Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo! Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow! Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!"

"Whoa! Whoa! steady there! Now, my little fellows, where be you a-going to, puffing like a bellows? What’s the matter here then? Do you know who I am? I’m Tom Bombadil. Tell me what’s your trouble! Tom’s in a hurry now. Don’t you crush my lilies!"

Tolkien on love: "And Éowyn looked at Faramir long and steadily; and Faramir said: 'Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart, Éowyn! But I do not offer you my pity. For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you. Once I pitied your sorrow. But now, were you sorrowless, without fear or any lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still I would love you. Éowyn, do you not love me?'  Then the heart of Éowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her."

Look, I know Tom Bombadil is low-hanging fruit. But Bombadillo aside, Tolkien's dialogue is in general written in a very formal, ornate style, accompanied by many songs and poems. It's often beautiful. It often works. It's in conversation with medieval epics. Many have imitated it and nearly all have failed. But by the sensibilities of his age and ours, yeah, I'd argue there's a hell of a lot of cheese in his works. This is one of the reasons many people I know have been unable to get into Tolkien, even though I constantly proselytize him. But maybe we just won't convince each other here. I just think that if you love Tolkien and can't stand any cheesiness in visual adaptations of him, you're bound to have a bad time.

Okay, cheesiness debate aside. Let's get back to Halbrand.

I really like the actor: I think he's worked well as a swashbuckling reluctant hero, as a trickster, and in that scene with Galadriel, as a dark lord. I also think it's to the show's credit that they aren't just presenting Sauron as pure evil. There is of course still ambiguity about whether or not Sauron really just wanted to heal middle earth, and that makes things more interesting. As I said in the last post, my only real problem is the pacing: his seduction of Celebrimbor just went way too fast. An extra episode with him and Galadriel in Eregion would have helped out here.

(Then again, in comparison to House of the Dragon, even the pacing in this last episode felt leisurely).

I also have a lot of trouble seeing how it doesn't make sense for him to be Sauron. Ever since he violently flipped out on some Numenorians in one of the early episodes, it has seemed very likely he's more than human. So much of his dialogue with Galadriel has had subtext about him embracing darkness (including her encouraging him to!). And then there were the Adar scenes in episode six, his obsession with forges, not to mention "King of the Southlands..." aka Mordor. This is a twist that's going to stand up very well to repeat viewings. And while it didn't take me by surprise, it did many of my friends, especially those who haven't read any Tolkien. So I give credit to the writers for this.

And sure, we don't know why he was on the raft, and we don't know what his exact motivations were and whether he was genuinely attempting to reform or settle down for a nice Numenorian retirement. If in two seasons, none of this has been explained, then y'all can justly complain. As it is, we're clearly going to learn a lot more about Sauron in season 2, including his exact backstory with Adar. But right now it feels like complaining because we still don't know who killed Jon Arryn by the end of the Game of Thrones book or season 1.

Edited by Caligula_K3
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We've been comparing RoP and HotD so much that it's amusing that both shows in their respective episodes 8 featured an old, dying king confusing one woman with another and revealing an important secret. For HotD, you don't have to be a book reader to know where that leads, while for RoP it's less clear as it ended on a cliffhanger.

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5 minutes ago, Caligula_K3 said:

I don't have my Tolkien books with me. But here are just a few samples I found on the internet. I know we're all fantasy fans here, and so have an innately higher tolerance for cheese than the general population, but..."

"I am Aragorn son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar the Elfstone, Dunadan. The heir of Isildur Elendil's son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Broken and is forged again! Will you aid me, or thwart me? Choose swiftly!”

"Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo! Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow! Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!"

"Whoa! Whoa! steady there! Now, my little fellows, where be you a-going to, puffing like a bellows? What’s the matter here then? Do you know who I am? I’m Tom Bombadil. Tell me what’s your trouble! Tom’s in a hurry now. Don’t you crush my lilies!"

Tolkien on love: "And Éowyn looked at Faramir long and steadily; and Faramir said: 'Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart, Éowyn! But I do not offer you my pity. For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you. Once I pitied your sorrow. But now, were you sorrowless, without fear or any lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still I would love you. Éowyn, do you not love me?'  Then the heart of Éowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her."

Look, I know Tom Bombadil is low-hanging fruit. But Bombadillo aside, Tolkien's dialogue is in general written in a very formal, ornate style, accompanied by many songs and poems. It's often beautiful. It often works. It's in conversation with medieval epics. Many have imitated it and nearly all have failed. But by the sensibilities of his age and ours, yeah, I'd argue there's a hell of a lot of cheese in his works. This is one of the reasons many people I know have been unable to get into Tolkien, even though I constantly proselytize him. But maybe we just won't convince each other here. I just think that if you love Tolkien and can't stand any cheesiness in visual adaptations of him, you're bound to have a bad time.

Okay, cheesiness debate aside. Let's get back to Halbrand.

I really like the actor: I think he's worked well as a swashbuckling reluctant hero, as a trickster, and in that scene with Galadriel, as a dark lord. I also think it's to the show's credit that they aren't just presenting Sauron as pure evil: there is of course still ambiguity about whether or not Sauron really just wanted to heal middle earth. As I said in the last post, my only real problem is the pacing: his seduction of Celebrimbor just went way too fast. An extra episode with him and Galadriel in Eregion would have helped out here.

(Then again, in comparison to House of the Dragon, even the pacing in this last episode felt leisurely).

I also have a lot of trouble seeing how it doesn't make sense for him to be Sauron. Ever since he violently flipped out on some Numenorians in one of the early episodes, it has seemed very likely he's more than human. So much of his dialogue with Galadriel has had subtext about him embracing darkness (including her encouraging him to!). And then there were the Adar scenes in episode six, his obsession with forges, not to mention "King of the Southlands..." aka Mordor. This is a twist that's going to stand up very well to repeat viewings. And while it didn't take me by surprise, it did many of my friends, especially those who haven't read any Tolkien. So I give credit to the writers for this.

And sure, we don't know why he was on the raft, and we don't know what his exact motivations were and whether he was genuinely attempting to reform or settle down for a nice Numenorian retirement. If in two seasons, none of this has been explained, then y'all can justly complain. As it is, we're clearly going to learn a lot more about Sauron in season 2, including his exact backstory with Adar. But right now it feels like complaining because we still don't know who killed Jon Arryn by the end of the Game of Thrones book or season 1.

I agree with a lot of this. I also thought the actor gave a great performance, and sold what could have been a schlocky reveal under different circumstances.

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33 minutes ago, DMC said:

Yeah I know it's blasphemy to some, but I've always had a hard time re-reading LOTR because it's so cheesy.

I’ve not re-read in over 20 years, and always found the Two Towers Frodo scenes hard work. Tolkien shoukd have mixed the Frodo/Rohan stuff rather than confined from one book to the other.

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

Yeah I know it's blasphemy to some, but I've always had a hard time re-reading LOTR because it's so cheesy.

I'd disagree but, even so, this show is not LOTR. It is about the second age so I don't really understand the notion that RoP is somehow supposed to be cheesy.

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5 hours ago, fionwe1987 said:

You may perhaps begin to understand why a 2 minute lesson on metallurgy doesn't quite compute as "seduction" to anyone. Yes, Annatar seduced Celebrimbor in the books. It didn't happen over a day.

Not only did it not happen over a day, Sauron spent centuries with Celebrimbor. Off hand I can't remember if it was 300 years or 400 years but it certainly wasn't a 30 second flirt as in the RoP show.

Edited by Scott_N
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I’m guessing we’ll probably see multiple different Saurons next season. The main one we’re familiar with, but probably also other disguises. I’m curious if he’ll resume his role as King Halbrand of the Southlands and try to corrupt the Southlanders that way, rather than declaring himself as Lord Sauron. It would seem likely, since the writers have decided to have Galadriel keep his identity a secret.

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