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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power


JohnC
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I have also come to the unfortunate conclusion that this was 'mid'.

 

I'll echo the Star Wars comparison, it's basically that kind of hack writer template to a prequel - plots that are entirely "just so" stories to link names and things we recognise: "here's how Han got his blaster, here's how he met Lando and here's how he learned to do that trick with the Falcon". It's plot writing entirely in service of pandering to nostalgia, rather than actually building a good story on its own merits, as if we didn't have enough examples of that already.

 

The whole mythril in the rings plot is like 40% of the season and seems to only exist to tease the Balrog and a few familiar names and locations, for instance, and it's pretty poorly written and established for anything beyond that. The fading of the elves barely gets a mention before they find mythril and then afterwards they're talking about it as if they've got days to live if they're not across the ocean while there's a whole bustling elven city out the window. Galadriel goes from doing everything to hunt down Sauron to not caring about all the orcs that have taken over the Southlands to spend days turning up in the forge for some leaden on-the-nose exposition. Surely the writers knew where this was going? Surely they could have made it fit together a bit more elegantly? 

 

Gotta hit those beats, gotta do the things that get people going "I know what this is, I clapped when I saw it", and get headlines on content aggregators called things like Nerdfeed going "OMG you won't believe whose teased in Episode 6!" over intelligent writing and consistent characterisation.

 

There's great performances throughout, it looks and sounds stunning, but it kind of can't escape being a cynical 'brand extension', unfortunately.

 

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An interesting thing about The Lord of The Rings itself is that Tolkien was basically a fanfic writer for all the great sagas. The novels are steeped in a great nostalgia for some kind of lost or forgotten European continental history.

 

An adaptation that has a good stab at the big events set before the War of the Ring is of course going to be filled with "references" to things we know about, simply because that's exactly what it's doing. It's literally telling the story of how those things came about. It obviously has to hit all those beats because that's the exact story it's telling.

 

It's not doing "member this" lazy pandering when those elements are an intrinsic part of the events and worldbuilding.

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16 minutes ago, Benny said:

An adaptation that has a good stab at the big events set before the War of the Ring is of course going to be filled with "references" to things we know about, simply because that's exactly what it's doing. It's literally telling the story of how those things came about. It obviously has to hit all those beats because that's the exact story it's telling.

 

I disagree with this - I don't care about how those things came about - I want a good story in its own right. If there are certain things that are precursors to the movies etc then great, but that isn't the purpose of it.

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52 minutes ago, scottcr said:


It took you a decade to even accept the PJ films? Why do you even bother with this?

 

I disliked the change in Aragon's character - I came to the book late, so I found having a character that's not a reluctant hero refreshing and there was a bunch of others stuff I didn't like. And genuinely - as anticlimactic as it would any film, I always found the scouring of the shire an important sequence. They won, but it didn't stop bad things from happening.

 

However I came to appreciate the need to adapt across different mediums, and the fact that you need to consider it a different thing. I thought I'd loosened up.

 

Turns out, I have not loosened up.

However I think part of the brilliance of early seasons of Game of Thrones is the characters are all recognisable. They adapt, some things I think better and some I think worse, but the core of the characters are all there. Later seasons they stop doing that - look what they did to my poor boy Doran Martell - and the show immediately suffers.

 

I know the characters here are very lightly sketched in the books but it just feels really far off, particularly the elves. They don't feel right. Elrond, maybe.

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19 minutes ago, Benny said:

An interesting thing about The Lord of The Rings itself is that Tolkien was basically a fanfic writer for all the great sagas. The novels are steeped in a great nostalgia for some kind of lost or forgotten European continental history.

 

An adaptation that has a good stab at the big events set before the War of the Ring is of course going to be filled with "references" to things we know about, simply because that's exactly what it's doing. It's literally telling the story of how those things came about. It obviously has to hit all those beats because that's the exact story it's telling.

 

It's not doing "member this" lazy pandering when those elements are an intrinsic part of the events and worldbuilding.

 

There's lots of linkages but like

 

Spoiler

Gandalf was not in the Second Age. But it's Lord of the Rings, gotta have Gandalf. Oh he loves Hobbits! Gotta have a link! Let's reuse some dialogue, people will eat that up.

 

What if, right, Galadriel was responsible for bringing Sauron back! Genius. Let's reuse some dialogue again! Everyone loves that bit where she gets all scary!

 

It's Star Wars, Anakin made C3PO level stuff. Dire.

 

I think they passed up potentially interesting stuff

 

Spoiler

Celebrimbor was the one tempted and the one snared. How, when the other elves weren't?

 

Plus Sauron had to put himself and his very essence into the One Ring to empower it. By extension Celebrimbor and is smiths would have had to do that for the three elven rings.

 

I think there was stuff to mine there, ultimately contrast how Sauron manipulates the elven kingdom and Numenor. Could have been interesting and still plenty of scope to fit the action and things you want in. 

 

But Gandalf, member? Member Gandalf?

 

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Spoiler

It's not a cheap reference when the character is used in nearly every episode of the entire show and is literally part of the script and series narrative. Whether he was in the "Second Age" or not in the source material is irrelevant - they've used a character to actually tell a story with. It's really weird to take that as being another "memberberries" thing when there are much better examples.

 

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39 minutes ago, choddo said:

 

I disagree with this - I don't care about how those things came about - I want a good story in its own right. If there are certain things that are precursors to the movies etc then great, but that isn't the purpose of it.

 

I'm getting dangerously close to explaining here how stories work but... How those things came about and the events leading up to them literally is the story it's telling. Regardless of whether you think it's a good story or not, you're saying there that you want the story to be a different one to what it is. In other words a different show.

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31 minutes ago, ChewMagma said:

I really don't think that is Gandalf btw. Surely much more likely to be one of the blue wizards?


They might as well have done another Mordor reveal by showing text above his head transition from ‘The Stranger’ to ‘Gandalf’ when he said the “When in doubt always follow your Nose” line.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Benny said:
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It's not a cheap reference when the character is used in nearly every episode of the entire show and is literally part of the script and series narrative. Whether he was in the "Second Age" or not in the source material is irrelevant - they've used a character to actually tell a story with. It's really weird to take that as being another "memberberries" thing when there are much better examples.

 

 

Spoiler

He's just another mystery box for most of it, and in common with most of the show not much actually happens in his arc.

One of the articles suggested that the first season was like an 8 hour pilot. You really could get through everything that happened - he arrived, upset the hobbits status quo, baddies turn up and he decides he's against them and needs to go in a quest - in a pilot episode.

 

It doesn't need to Gandalf either, they could have done the same arc with some different character. If they do "You shall not pass!" in a later season, even tongue in cheek, I am gonna crack up.

 

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8 hours ago, ChewMagma said:

I really don't think that is Gandalf btw. Surely much more likely to be one of the blue wizards?

 

Specifically when he says he's going to a place that big G specifically says he did not go to. But that doesn't fit kensei's theory.

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8 hours ago, makkuwata said:


They might as well have done another Mordor reveal by showing text above his head transition from ‘The Stranger’ to ‘Gandalf’ when he said the “When in doubt always follow your Nose” line.

 

 

 

But, like, they didn't? Weird criticism.

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8 hours ago, makkuwata said:


They might as well have done another Mordor reveal by showing text above his head transition from ‘The Stranger’ to ‘Gandalf’ when he said the “When in doubt always follow your Nose” line.

 

 

 

That's misdirection.

 

Spoiler

1. Gandalf was not around in the Second Age.

2. The Blue Wizards were specifically sent to fight Sauron in the east which is where he is going.

3. This show thematically loves identity misdirection.

4. From the writers perspective, it makes much more sense to work with a character(s) who Tolkien wrote very little about - it is a blank canvas and the audience will be curious.

 

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Spoiler

I'm not at all certain it must be him either, I just think it's a good assumption:

 

The line is clearly meant to evoke what Gandalf says. However, if we assume he is someone else, and that he eventually met Gandalf and they became friends in the future, then it reads more like Gandalf later saying something his friend used to say once. Which also works, as we often borrow phrases we enjoy from our friends and family.

 

So it's a great way of getting people to think they know who it is while still leaving it open to the possibility that it isn't.

 

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From a storytelling perspective, I hope it isn't Gandalf, but mainly because I am not a fan of prequels. Outside of a couple of classic examples, they really struggle to tell compelling stories that are worth telling. "Wow this original character is in such jeopardy, how will they ever survive? I hope they don't die. Teehee. Tune in next week to find out."

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9 hours ago, Benny said:

 

I'm getting dangerously close to explaining here how stories work but... How those things came about and the events leading up to them literally is the story it's telling. Regardless of whether you think it's a good story or not, you're saying there that you want the story to be a different one to what it is. In other words a different show.


No I am saying I want a story that I care about within the context of this show. Partly because I already know where things end up in Fellowship so it would be like reading the last page first if that’s all it was about.

 

42 minutes ago, Benny said:
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I'm not at all certain it must be him either, I just think it's a good assumption:

 

The line is clearly meant to evoke what Gandalf says. However, if we assume he is someone else, and that he eventually met Gandalf and they became friends in the future, then it reads more like Gandalf later saying something his friend used to say once. Which also works, as we often borrow phrases we enjoy from our friends and family.

 

So it's a great way of getting people to think they know who it is while still leaving it open to the possibility that it isn't.

 


I would be MORE invested in his fate if I didn’t think it was him. Which I have since episode 2.

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34 minutes ago, ChewMagma said:

From a storytelling perspective, I hope it isn't Gandalf, but mainly because I am not a fan of prequels. Outside of a couple of classic examples, they really struggle to tell compelling stories that are worth telling. "Wow this original character is in such jeopardy, how will they ever survive? I hope they don't die. Teehee. Tune in next week to find out."


theres enough characters without plot armour - and we know a whole bunch of humans are going to end up as Nazgûl… I’d imagine it’ll be humans we grow quite attached to

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Did this end up being good, then? 

 

I've never read The Silmarillion (which is what it's based on, right?) so I don't care how accurate or not it is to the source material. Is it good in and of itself?

 

Sorry if people have already been discussing this question, but I don't want to go back over the thread in case of spoilers.

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14 minutes ago, dug said:

Did this end up being good, then? 

 

I've never read The Silmarillion (which is what it's based on, right?) so I don't care how accurate or not it is to the source material. Is it good in and of itself?

 

Sorry if people have already been discussing this question, but I don't want to go back over the thread in case of spoilers.

 

 

Give the first episode a watch - you'll know pretty quick if you'll enjoy it I think. It mostly begins as it means to go on.

 

I think it's a great series personally, even though I am familiar with the source material and know that it deviates greatly.

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1 minute ago, dug said:

I'll try the first episode, see how I feel about that. Thanks for the replies!

 

It's not really based on The Silmarillion though - they didn't have the rights to it. They did have some of the Appendices to LoTR and various other references though.

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