The Rings of Power ( Amazon ) (2 Viewers)

inca911

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Interesting so far, and a long time coming! I view this as a Tolkien-esque story, and am hopeful they do the source material justice. Some nits to pick (full disclosure, I first read the Silmarillion when I was about 10 and read the full 3 volume History of Middle Earth waiting in anticipation), but I’m certainly ready to see where they choose to take us. Tolkien changed his mind many times in his writings (e.g., hundreds of Balrogs referenced in the Fall of Gondolin vs. just a handful in his final letters and legendarium). I’m viewing this series through the perspective of an unpublished draft. It doesn’t change the original, just a New Testament version that doesn’t have to match the Old). Interested to hear others thoughts as it unfolds! Using Galadriel as a main character is very wise, as was mentioning Feanor but not focusing on him (so far). Fingers crossed, so who’s with me?
 

Marius L

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Will definitely be watching it! Admittedly I'm not the biggest lotr nerd but I did enjoy reading the 3 books as well as the hobbit which was honestly my favourite of the books for some reason. I tried reading the silmarillion when I was like 15, but I never finished it. I like to think it was because my English at the time was not good enough. Anyways, look forward to watching the series!
 

allforcharity

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I watched the first two episodes, definitely like what I've seen so far. Most reviewers are saying this should be watched on a big screen, and they're right. I'm glad my 135" does the job well.

Best CGI shot so far is the depiction of the Two Trees of Valinor, Telperion and Laurelin. Second best CGI shot is the sinking of Beleriand during the War of Wrath and bodies of elves everywhere underwater in a cataclysmic red haze.

Weirdest costume choice: human hunters wearing gigantic moose antlers on their backs for no apparent reason other than fashion.

Where are the Asians? Maybe they'll show up as Sindar elves? (I won't hold my breath.)
 

LeLe

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Being a LOTR Fan, I watched the first 2 epoisdes and they’re good :love:

NGL, I was initially worried about the show as they paid a Huge sum for the filming copyright and such
 

allforcharity

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I also love what they did with Galadriel. She's a total badass.

Apparently in the (revised?) legendarium, Galadriel is supposed to be the second most powerful Noldor in prowess, mind, and spirit after Feanor. I'm glad they depict her as such. Only after many more centuries of grief and world-weariness does she become the counselor and guide we see as portrayed in the LOTR.
 

detroitdad

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I'm interested in watching it, I'll wait for a few more episodes to get released first
 

BNM

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Enter the contrarian and Tolkien pursuit:

For science, I watched the first episode and part of the second last night.

As a stand-alone fantasy story it would be visually appealing with predictable martial arts-es que fight clips, and an amazing amount of dialogue. I can’t believe how much dialogue there is. In a way, it’s refreshing that they are spending so much time talking through things as opposed to doing the typical, rapid-fire action pace that seems to be the only style they use for movies anymore.

As a depiction of the Silmarillion (and maybe Lost Tales, etc.) though, it’s a travesty. Fine to take some license and fill in with things that aren’t said, but completely changing the story is terrible and a total pander to commerce. The reforging of the Galadriel character has zero basis in the books or Tolkien’s history - not sure what books some of you have read. Looks like they will gloss over her role in the kin-slaying, which meant she was in exile in middle earth and could not return to Valinor, as opposed to a King (Elu Thingol?) granting her permission to go as a way of getting rid of her. Also, loved how she just jumps off a ship and starts swimming back. LOL

Verdict: Predictably bad.

If you want a laugh, the Critical Drinker pretty well summed it up (
) and I see he’s done other videos since then which I presume are also take-aparts.

I had similar issues with the free-lancing that Jackson did with characters and story for LOTR, which was as much about his limits as a director as it was what he thought was cool. I still own those movies, though, because they are largely faithful to the story.
 

inca911

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As a depiction of the Silmarillion (and maybe Lost Tales, etc.) though, it’s a travesty. Fine to take some license….
“License” is the key. Rings of Power only has rights to Fellowship, Two Towers, Return of the King, their appendices, and Hobbit. They have zero rights to material from Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, History of Middle-earth, etc. Expecting to see the Silmarillion simply isn’t going to happen. Armed with this new knowledge of their limitations, perhaps a reset of expectations may be in order to sit back and try to enjoy what they *are* able to share.
 
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Raven888

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If you want a laugh, the Critical Drinker pretty well summed it up

That guy's whole schtick is just hating things that are popular, no matter how nitpicky he has to get. I got tired of him after seeing just two of his videos.

On the topic at hand, though, I admittedly have not seen the new LotR series.
 
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BNM

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That guy's whole schtick is just hating things that are popular, no matter how nitpicky he has to get. I got tired of him after seeing just two of his videos.

On the topic at hand, though, I admittedly have not seen the new LotR series.
That’s not entirely true (see Top Gun: Maverick, The Northman, etc.), but his deconstructions are mostly spot on and pretty funny. And, there are a lot of bad movies out there so the well is never dry!
 
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BNM

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“License” is the key. Rings of Power only has rights to Fellowship, Two Towers, Return of the King, their appendices, and Hobbit. They have zero rights to material from Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, History of Middle-earth, etc. Expecting to see the Silmarillion simply isn’t going to happen. Armed with this new knowledge of their limitations, perhaps a reset of expectations may be in order to sit back and try to enjoy what they *are* able to share.
WTF?! I didn’t know that and I don’t know weather to LOL or be dumbfounded by this. How do you expect to make a series about the 2nd age without the primary source materials about that time? And, equally importantly, why would you try?

I guess they weren’t/arent even trying to be remotely faithful to the story. Total fabricated money grab attempt on the back of the name and association. They should have just gone the whole way and used the “travel back in time with an alternate reality” trope.
 

NotDunric

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I read the Silmarillion last year for the first time after many years of meaning to do so 'some day' in anticipation of the show, and picked up Unfinished Tales earlier this year (which I've barely cracked open, admittedly, but have flipped through and read a couple bits).

I really fucking loved these two episodes.

The show is gorgeous. I'm loving the dwarves a ton so far. The 'bail from Valinor and swim' bit with Galadriel was a little forced to eventually get her to meet up with the Numenoreans, but overall I'm a-okay with what they're doing with her character (though I'd have liked if Celeborn was also included somehow; maybe he'll show up later). The harfoots make me super happy and were a lot of fun, and the mystery of 'the stranger' has me curious. Some of the obvious answers to who the character is seem unsatisfying (shouldn't be Sauron, for example, as he should already be in the world; shouldn't be Gandalf or any other wizard as they don't canonically come until well into the Third age, and arrive by ship in the Havens according to the appendices), so I'm hoping to be surprised by something interesting there. Given the necessary compression of the timeline/need to have some familiar Middle-earth tropes for the casual side of the audience, I could still definitely see it being a wizard regardless.

I'd have loved to have seen a bit more time spent in prologue talking about the First Age events than we got, but given the rights already discussed above I'm glad we got what we did. I was surprised to get the conversation about Faenor between Elrond and Celebrimbor in the second episode for sure; I honestly didn't expect to hear his name mentioned at all.

As for changes, adaptations to different mediums are always going to contain liberties and alterations and why that's considered such an affront has always been beyond my understanding. Calling it "a travesty" makes my eyes do goddamn cartwheels they roll so hard. It's juvenile gatekeeping bullshit. Enjoy the show for what it is, read the books and enjoy them too. Why does it have to be some kind of battleground? Fuck. It's exhausting seeing people waste so much time being so goddamn negative.

How do you expect to make a series about the 2nd age without the primary source materials about that time?
Beyond the Akallabeth there's basically nothing in the Silmarillion about the Second Age. One chapter that covers thousands of years. I feel like that's the point? Major beats are covered in the Appendices for them to road map, within which they can then tell their own story in the details with a minimal amount of aforementioned alterations.

I can't wait for the rest.

Also: the soundtrack is fucking great, and if you're a vinyl fan/collector, Mondo has the 2x LP offering up for pre-order here:
https://mondoshop.com/products/the-...-of-power-season-one-original-soundtrack-2xlp
 

BNM

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As for changes, adaptations to different mediums are always going to contain liberties and alterations and why that's considered such an affront has always been beyond my understanding. Calling it "a travesty" makes my eyes do goddamn cartwheels they roll so hard. It's juvenile gatekeeping bullshit. Enjoy the show for what it is, read the books and enjoy them too. Why does it have to be some kind of battleground? Fuck. It's exhausting seeing people waste so much time being so goddamn negative.


Beyond the Akallabeth there's basically nothing in the Silmarillion about the Second Age. One chapter that covers thousands of years. I feel like that's the point? Major beats are covered in the Appendices for them to road map, within which they can then tell their own story in the details with a minimal amount of aforementioned alterations.https://mondoshop.com/products/the-...-of-power-season-one-original-soundtrack-2xlp
Sorry you don’t like people to have opinions different than yours. Good luck with that.

Changing major story arcs, which this show does, inherently undercuts the legitimacy of story and the original work. And it’s totally unnecessary, especially given the format: a presumably multi-season, episodic epic. The stories and characters are awesome without the makeovers.

I don’t have my copy of the Silmarillion in hand, but as I recall it was a pretty hefty and clear history of Numenor and several other story arcs happening in middle earth with the characters at that time. Sure, fill in the gaps, but the alterations you mention aren’t minor and fundamentally change, alter and create characters and storylines.

I don’t like this type of art, you and many others do, so it’s good you are enjoying it. I don’t watch a ton of TV as it is, and don’t see myself prioritizing this once I’ve finished episode two.

Oh, and it’s 100% Gandalf. He wrote out the G rune in the meteor crater. ;)

Anyway, enough thread crapping - sorry @inca911!
 

Taghkanic

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It looks like Tolkien, the basic action is Tolkien-like… but I thought the dialogue was terrible. Hokey, stilted, ponderous.

Also, I feel like the directors/producers couldn’t decide who their audience would be. Adolescent girls? Nerdy older guys? Not a lot of overlap on that Venn diagram.

I’m not going to get into all the stuff that Tolkien geeks are up in arms about—there are already plenty of commentaries out there detailing what they got “wrong.”

Maybe it will improve.
 
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EmptyPocs

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BTW: there is nothing in any of these books that says Elves have pointed ears...
 

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EmptyPocs

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Highly recommended! (audio book by Martin Shaw)
IMO reading the Silmarillion was a bore (Edit: like reading the bible)
but after these the 2nd read I enjoyed.
 

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allforcharity

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This is not The Silmarillion and we should not expect it to be. They do not have the rights nor the time to do any meaningful rehash of that part of the history.

It's entertainment. Don't watch if you don't like it. It's not something to get worked up over.

I mean, I love Bond, but there have been some pretty cringe movies out there.
 

BukNaked36

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I enjoyed the first episodes. Beautiful looking and reasonably entertaining.

My only cringe was Galadriel jumping into the ocean with no way back??? Why not do something more reasonable like she sees another ship and swims to it.

I've been trying to just enjoy shows for what they are. Hopefully they can keep it reasonably on the rails.
 

Taghkanic

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This is not The Silmarillion and we should not expect it to be. They do not have the rights nor the time to do any meaningful rehash of that part of the history.

It's entertainment. Don't watch if you don't like it. It's not something to get worked up over.

I mean, I love Bond, but there have been some pretty cringe movies out there.

Yeah, it’s just TV… Except that it’s TV for which Amazon paid $250 million just for the rights, then spent another $750 million so far producing maybe 10 episodes.

Given the $1B investment plus the intense devotion of Tolkien readers and movie fans… It’s not that surprising or unreasonable that people expect a lot more than “it was watchable.”

If someone opened a casino based on some beloved classic Vegas venue from the 40s but used injection molded chips, metal folding chairs, and Walmart toppers on resin banquet tables for the poker room, we’d howl. RoP isn’t that bad but you get the idea.
 
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philhut

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I enjoyed the first episodes. Beautiful looking and reasonably entertaining.

My only cringe was Galadriel jumping into the ocean with no way back??? Why not do something more reasonable like she sees another ship and swims to it.

I've been trying to just enjoy shows for what they are. Hopefully they can keep it reasonably on the rails.
True, the show is fair. I have been trying to look past the woke and crazy swimming home scene also. I am somewhat confused in the beginning of the series elves apparently came on ships from the west to middle earth but on returning its almost as if they are going back to light filled oblivion.
 

Taghkanic

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The fear many of us have is that this series will be more in the spirit of the recent Hobbit movies, and less like Jackson’s main three Lord of the Rings.

One big problem with the Hobbit series was their attempt to stretch a relatively short adventure into three long movies. Now with RoP, you have relatively brief and vague source material (covering thousands of years) being used to inform a projected five seasons, and condensed into a timeframe to avoid the problem of many the characters dying of old age long before the action gets resolved. So again, the producers, writers and directors face a lot of challenges to both stretch and condense Tolkien’s material.

But the bigger problem as I see it is audience: The LoTR films were made mainly for adult audiences, with just a few sops (mainly in early Hobbiton scenes) to young and adolescent viewers. They, like the books, were pretty thematically dark and literally violent. Kids would be genuinely scared at various points, and confused by the more adult political and existential themes. While thry included some broad humor aimed at all ages, they kept these to a relative minimum.

The Hobbit movies by contrast seemed to be aimed more at a Disney audience, with far more corny humor and simplistic themes meant ti be uplifting to young minds.

My feeling after seeing two episodes is that the show is torn between these two approaches, but has decided to aim far more at the young adult market.

Tolkien’s more complex themes of power and corruption seem to be in play, but grossly simplified into basic categories of good vs evil / ugly vs pretty / curious vs closedminded / far-seeing vs shortsighted. And especially with the dubious Harfoot subplot, there seems to be a major push to make this a show for youngsters, providing the types of generic feelgood life lessons I remember from afternoon network TV specials in the late 1970s and early 80s.

There is plenty of time for this to right itself and prove the doubters wrong, but the fears of Tolkien geeks seem to have been borne out in the first two episodes.
 
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Taghkanic

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P.S. I get pretty tired of so many TV shows, not just this one, having only one basic trick for creating dramatic tension… Namely, the one where characters argue about what should be done or not done, with one side predicting/seeing something awful coming, and the other denying that there is any problem.

This one has already set up this dynamic between multiple sets of characters. It’s tedious.
 
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inca911

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I am somewhat confused in the beginning of the series elves apparently came on ships from the west to middle earth but on returning its almost as if they are going back to light filled oblivion.
You have a keen viewing eye! Tolkien's world changes a few times throughout his stories. In the War of Wrath with Morgoth, a large chunk of the continent where that battle occurred (called Beleriand), has been submerged under the sea. You get a hint of this change in the brief image of sunken buildings and underwater bodies shown after the large battle scene. The producers appear to have accelerated and merged another world change into this first occurrence. In that subsequent change, the land in the West from whence those Elven ships sailed (i.e., Valinor) is made inaccessible. One can no longer can sail to and from the West, and need divine intervention to make the trip. Technically, this happens later in the storyline and I'm interested to see how they reconcile their choice to remove access to Valinor by sea a bit early. This could create some storyline problems associated with the real reason Valinor was protected, but I suspect it will be ignored.
 
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Yeah, it’s just TV… Except that it’s TV for which Amazon paid $250 million just for the rights, then spent another $750 million so far producing maybe 10 episodes.

Given the $1B investment plus the intense devotion of Tolkien readers and movie fans… It’s not that surprising or unreasonable that people expect a lot more than “it was watchable.”

If someone opened a casino based on some beloved classic Vegas venue from the 40s but used injection molded chips, metal folding chairs, and Walmart toppers on resin banquet tables for the poker room, we’d howl. RoP isn’t that bad but you get the idea.

Given how much they spent it now makes sense that Amazon, which owns IMDB, is removing the less than 6 star reviews on IMDB, so it doesn't get rated too low.
 

philhut

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Given how much they spent it now makes sense that Amazon, which owns IMDB, is removing the less than 6 star reviews on IMDB, so it doesn't get rated too low.
Bezos is likely a Tolkien fan. When your worth round a Trillion this could just be a pet project with commercial cost offset opportunity....other films were made just to see them and supported by big money producers....thinking John Lennon and The Life of Brian as one example.
 

BukNaked36

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The fear many of us have is that this series will be more in the spirit of the recent Hobbit movies, and less like Jackson’s main three Lord of the Rings.
This basically sums it up for me.

LotR movies were good. Hobbit movies were hard to watch.

So far the series has felt much more like LotR to me and I'm just hoping it stays that way.
 

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