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[Spoilers]Rings of Power 3: Tolkien’s actual writing… who needs that?


Ser Scot A Ellison
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8 minutes ago, Le Cygne said:

In the books (and I think the movie, too), she laughs when Frodo offers her the ring, and seems to be trying to show him it would be wrong for her, or anyone, to take the ring.

I don't quite recall the scene in the books, but in the film she definitely isn't laughing and clearly seems tempted - hence "I passed the test.  I will diminish, and go into the west, and remain Galadriel."

 

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Yeah, I am doing a re-read and re-watch at the same time (read a bit, watch a bit as I go), so I just saw that.

I actually meant the part after she gets gleam in her eyes (the equivalent of the laugh in the books), where she's like, lemme show Frodo what a mistake that would be, then launches into it.

The wise ones all know the thing is trying to draw them in, so they already decided that to the best of their ability, they are going to resist it. Gandalf doesn't even want to touch it. They've thought about it.

That was my point.

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1 hour ago, Le Cygne said:

I don't think she was quickly tempted by the ring in LOTR.

In the books (and I think she's trying to show this in the movie, too), she laughs when Frodo offers her the ring, and seems to be trying to show him it would be wrong for her, or anyone, to take the ring:

Personally I would not say that Galadriel is laughing at the very idea that the Ring would tempt her. And I think Frodo knows already it would be wrong for anyone to try to use it.

I think that she is laughing because, while she had long thought that events would conspire to tempt her by bringing the ring within her grasp, she had not foreseen that last refinement - that Frodo would offer it to her freely. While at the same time she sees the fairness of his doing so, given she had herself earlier "tested Frodo's heart" as I think she puts it.

But I do agree with @fionwe1987 that the test she faces is not so much to resist the corrupting power of the ring, in the way that various other characters need to. As with Gandalf, hers is a more rational test. She knows that she could master the Ring and then use it to save Lorien, which otherwise, as she explains to Frodo, is doomed, whatever the result of the War of the Ring.

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On 10/27/2022 at 11:45 AM, Cas Stark said:

Sauron as Walter White seems like a mistep.  This is fantasy.  A  level of realism is great, like GOT, but its still in the realm of mythic/magical and should seem more ethereal than real life for the viewer.  Sauron is evil and gets his kicks out of creating and turning individuals to evil, he is the prototype of the EVIL SUPER VILLAIN.  He is not Tony Soprano or Walter White whose lives and trajectories and even sometimes their 'evil' actions are more relatable.  Sauron could be given more dimensions and fleshing out, but this seems like a fundamental misunderstanding of the story.

This is a good point. Sauron is not that kind of a character at all. After spending a whole season on a pointless plot that they tossed aside in the last 15 minutes, they at least could have been clear about his precious feelings.

One of the writers of the second and last episodes is a former Breaking Bad writer, and they tend to insert that in other shows where it doesn't belong (one made Anne With An E, a sweet coming of age story, super dark for some reason).

The scene with Sadoc dying, just wanting to sit there, was like Mike dying. Like, Sadoc is not Mike. The other harfoots didn't even comfort him. It was such a mess, it just seemed obviously inserted for yet another homage to a better show/movie.

Edited by Le Cygne
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4 hours ago, Zorral said:

Yes!  I really liked the Húrin novelization -- it was so different from LotR; It was dark, o so dark, and even the heroes and warriors were also dark, including elves.  That was another reason RoP felt right to me -- it has this first age sensibility.

I'm sorry, but this is utter rubbish. There are multiple elves you would call dark in the First Age. Plenty are various shades of grey, and others who are plain good. While some of them are pretty simply drawn characters, none of them are as utterly boring as the Elves of RoP. Elrond only becomes interesting when he's talking about the impact of being half elven to dwarves. Galadriel's best moments are when you can ignore that she's a 5000 year old elf. The show understands very little about Elves, and gives very little serious consideration to their immortality and what it means. Let alone a first age sensibility, there's almost no sensibility to the Elves of RoP. They're that bland. 

2 hours ago, A wilding said:

I think that she is laughing because, while she had long thought that events would conspire to tempt her by bringing the ring within her grasp, she had not foreseen that last refinement - that Frodo would offer it to her freely. While at the same time she sees the fairness of his doing so, given she had herself earlier "tested Frodo's heart" as I think she puts it.

Yes. She's kinda incredulous, because Frodo freely offering her the Ring only ups the temptation. Now she wouldn't even have to take it by force, it just drops in her lap! So convenient. So easy. So tempting. 

Whatever Frodo's thought behind this offer (and it is a considered offer, the text implies, not some spontaneous desire to be free of it), the Ring itself was almost certainly doing it's utmost to tempt Galadriel, because she would quite simply be a far more suitable holder of its power.

And so Galadriel laughs at this last and unexpected hardship. A chance to get the Ring as "fairly" as can be imagined, and still, she must say no. 

2 hours ago, A wilding said:

But I do agree with @fionwe1987 that the test she faces is not so much to resist the corrupting power of the ring, in the way that various other characters need to. As with Gandalf, hers is a more rational test. She knows that she could master the Ring and then use it to save Lorien, which otherwise, as she explains to Frodo, is doomed, whatever the result of the War of the Ring.

Hmm, I dunno about that. I think that "rationality" is the corrupting power of the Ring, if not literally, at least thematically. The instinct to use Power to do Good can be hacked and corrupted to serve an end that is very far from Good. That is, in fact, Sauron's great failing, after all. And that's Galadriel's test, that the way to her heart (and Gandalf's) for the Ring is by playing on their need to help and preserve. That is how they'd begin, too, before inevitably turning evil. To Tolkien, the causes and good desires are meaningless if it results in you having dominion of the kind the Ring provides. It steals will, imposes "order", controls. Whatever good cause you begin with, if that's what you need to do to get your way, you're evil.

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9 hours ago, Lady Anna said:

Thank you @Veltigar and @Le Cygne for your suggestions! I'm definitely leaning towards reading LOTR first now, and then The Silmarillion, because I've got an itch to rewatch the movies too. :D

This is a good choice. The Hobbit is a children's book so it is naturally very different to Tolkien's other work. You might well read it some time but I think it's a poor introduction to Tolkien because what you get in the Simlarillion etc. is something else entirely. Something outstanding, to be sure, but it is pretty grim.

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1 hour ago, fionwe1987 said:

Hmm, I dunno about that. I think that "rationality" is the corrupting power of the Ring, if not literally, at least thematically. The instinct to use Power to do Good can be hacked and corrupted to serve an end that is very far from Good. That is, in fact, Sauron's great failing, after all. And that's Galadriel's test, that the way to her heart (and Gandalf's) for the Ring is by playing on their need to help and preserve. That is how they'd begin, too, before inevitably turning evil. To Tolkien, the causes and good desires are meaningless if it results in you having dominion of the kind the Ring provides. It steals will, imposes "order", controls. Whatever good cause you begin with, if that's what you need to do to get your way, you're evil.

Yes, I agree with this. I was trying to make the point that she would genuinely be able to use the Ring, unlike, for example, Sam when he is tempted by it much later.

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15 hours ago, Le Cygne said:

This is a good point. Sauron is not that kind of a character at all. After spending a whole season on a pointless plot that they tossed aside in the last 15 minutes, they at least could have been clear about his precious feelings.

One of the writers of the second and last episodes is a former Breaking Bad writer, and they tend to insert that in other shows where it doesn't belong (one made Anne With An E, a sweet coming of age story, super dark for some reason).

The scene with Sadoc dying, just wanting to sit there, was like Mike dying. Like, Sadoc is not Mike. The other harfoots didn't even comfort him. It was such a mess, it just seemed obviously inserted for yet another homage to a better show/movie.

At this point in his life, I think Sauron is more like Nyarlathotep.  He finds humans and elves who are part-corrupted, and then proceeds to corrupt them further.

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16 hours ago, A wilding said:

Personally I would not say that Galadriel is laughing at the very idea that the Ring would tempt her. And I think Frodo knows already it would be wrong for anyone to try to use it.

I think that she is laughing because, while she had long thought that events would conspire to tempt her by bringing the ring within her grasp, she had not foreseen that last refinement - that Frodo would offer it to her freely. While at the same time she sees the fairness of his doing so, given she had herself earlier "tested Frodo's heart" as I think she puts it.

But I do agree with @fionwe1987 that the test she faces is not so much to resist the corrupting power of the ring, in the way that various other characters need to. As with Gandalf, hers is a more rational test. She knows that she could master the Ring and then use it to save Lorien, which otherwise, as she explains to Frodo, is doomed, whatever the result of the War of the Ring.

That’s how I see it too.  She’s guarded herself against the temptation to seize the Ring by force, and now she doesn’t have to.

She’s like someone who’s just won €100 m in a lottery.  She can have it all.  Save Lorien, overthrow Sauron, restore the elves to a position of leadership, save herself from fading away!  That’s one hell of an offer that Frodo is making her.

Especially, when she has no foreknowledge that the Valar will reward her for rejecting the Ring.  They could after all, have still barred her return to Valinor, leaving her to dwindle and die on Middle Earth.

Edited by SeanF
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20 hours ago, DMC said:

I don't quite recall the scene in the books, but in the film she definitely isn't laughing and clearly seems tempted - hence "I passed the test.  I will diminish, and go into the west, and remain Galadriel."

 

I hate that scene for being so over the top.

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5 hours ago, SeanF said:

She’s guarded herself against the temptation to seize the Ring by force, and now she doesn’t have to.

She’s like someone who’s just won €100 m in a lottery.  She can have it all.  Save Lorien, overthrow Sauron, restore the elves to a position of leadership, save herself from fading away!  That’s one hell of an offer that Frodo is making her.

Yes to this.

She laughs twice in that scene, and after the second time she laughs, she says "I shall remain Galadriel."

It's like whistling when you go past a graveyard. It's a lovely revelation of who Galadriel is, that she laughs.

There are two similarly structured scenes in the text, where Frodo says you are wise and offers the ring to both Galadriel and Gandalf, and they both tell him why it would be wrong to give it to them.

And after she says this, Frodo still asks her questions about the ring, he doesn't fully understand it. He's looking to Gandalf and Galadriel for wisdom. They are showing him the nature of the ring.

Anyway this all makes me wish we'd seen a better depiction of Galadriel in the show.

Edited by Le Cygne
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14 minutes ago, Le Cygne said:

Yes to this.

She laughs twice in that scene, and after the second time she laughs, she says "I shall remain Galadriel."

It's like whistling when you go past a graveyard. It's a lovely revelation of who Galadriel is, that she laughs.

There are two similarly structured scenes in the text, where Frodo says you are wise and offers the ring to both Galadriel and Gandalf, and they both tell him why it would be wrong to give it to them.

And after she says this, Frodo still asks her questions about the ring, he doesn't fully understand it. He's looking to Gandalf and Galadriel for wisdom. They are showing him the nature of the ring.

Anyway this all makes me wish we'd seen a better depiction of Galadriel in the show.

In her shoes, I’d likely have taken the offer.

Tolkien said that in real life, the Ring would have been used.

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1 minute ago, SeanF said:

In her shoes, I’d likely have taken the offer.

Tolkien said that in real life, the Ring would have been used.

It shows just how special Galadriel and Gandalf are. They are larger than life, so to speak.

It's sad how the show utterly failed to grasp what it's like to be an elf among elves, and a wizard. It's a fantasy, and it's a story of good and evil. Without them, the story would have gone very differently.

Bringing Galadriel and Gandalf down to bumbling idiot status, and Sauron up to poor misunderstood guy status, as the show did, is a lot to overcome, but it's also not in keeping with the story.

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2 hours ago, SeanF said:

In her shoes, I’d likely have taken the offer.

Tolkien said that in real life, the Ring would have been used.

Utuk’ku in Tad Williams: Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn/The Last King of Osten Ard is an imaging of a character like Galadriel who had taken the Ring.

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24 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Utuk’ku in Tad Williams: Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn/The Last King of Osten Ard is an imaging of a character like Galadriel who had taken the Ring.

I think so is The Lady, in The Black Company series. 

In practice, I think most of us, facing certain defeat at the hands of Sauron, would weigh the certainty of defeat against the risk of moral corruption, and decide that the risk was worth it.

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