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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power


JohnC
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13 minutes ago, kensei said:

Where is Sauron hiding!?

 

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Sauron is an angellic being that can disguise himself in any form he wishes including, canonically, a snake, a vampire bat, a wolf and a good looking dude. And oh, he can completely disrobe his physical form and just wander about angeling. And make illusions. And sing real good. 

 

His form does not fix until the end of the second age. Maybe he's like behind Galadriel the entire time trolling her.

 

 

So he

Spoiler

could have been that wolf like creature when those folk were eating the berries?

 

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11 minutes ago, kensei said:

Aaaaaaaaarrrrgh

 

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Gil Galad does not grant the right to go into Valinor. The Valar grant the right to go back. Any elf can just get on a ship and go. You could argue he controls the ships, but interfering with the will of the Valar is interfering with the will of Eru and therefore bad.

 

Galadriel specifically doesn't need his permission either. In some versions she still has a specific ban in place, in some versions she is just like, nah:

 

”Will you then pass over Sea?” [Celebrimbor said.]

“Nay,” [Galadriel] said. “Angrod is gone, and Aegnor is gone, and Felagund is no more. Of Finarfin’s children I am the last. But my heart is still proud. What wrong did the golden house of Finarfin do that I should ask the pardon of the Valar, or be content with an isle in the sea whose native land was Aman the Blessed? Here I am mightier.”‘

 

Gil Galad is High King of the Noldor but Galadriel is both older and related. And elves just wander off and set their own kingdoms up anyway. The relationship isn't right.

 

 

This annoyed me as well.

 

Spoiler

Gil-galad 'granting' returns to Valinor. It doesn't make any sense even if you ditch the lore - why would the land of the gods grant an elf the power to open the doors to their realm, and who can go back?

 

Also they completely overlook the that the elves granted the passage to Valinor are attended to by other elves who also would be going to Valinor, despite seemingly just being there to take people's clothes off.

 

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8 hours ago, g wings said:

 

 

8 hours ago, Chindie said:

Just watched the opening episodes.

 

Hmm.

 

So obviously it's got all the money in the world thrown at it and it looks incredible. This is feature film standard production. The VFX is excellent, the costuming and props are first rate, it's shot cinematically. There's some wonderful shots and moments I love -

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such as the Valinor return, it's just fantastic imagery.

 

The problem is... It's not very well written. The dialogue is aping Tolkein's style but it's not quite there, and when you aim for that style and miss, it comes off as corny, arch...  bad. It's then not helped because most of the cast is doing that portentous, knowing 'arc-ting' style that amplifies how rough the dialogue is. It comes to something that we're 2 for 2 in the term 'first light...!' being uttered in an episode, which is just ticking the fantasy boxes in the most hackneyed of ways.

 

Said dialogue is also not helped because there's a lot of lines being read with absolutely no weight behind them. The words are being said, but there's no feeling that those words have any meaning or conviction behind them. They're just lines too often.

 

There's other issues. The not-hobbits are terrible on multiple levels - the design is embarrassing (they have nature stuff in their hair? Feels simultaneously silly and token hand waving at 'indigenous cultures'), their plot is pointedly manufactured (by which I mean it's evidently there to just make it more 'LotR'-y and fill time), the 'Oirish' thing is horrendous... Just awful. Galadriel abandoning the ship to the West was an intensely stupid resolution to a corner the writing had put itself in. The establishing prologue is obscenely curtailed and it's evident that this is a story that needs set up to sell itself, but couldn't do it thanks to rights issues.

 

I dunno. It's not bad overall but there's plenty you could justifiably say is bad. 

 

Then chuck in the stuff that isn't particularly well aligned with the canon and it's... disappointing. Looks wonderful though and there's potential

 

You were never going to like this and you aren't going to change your mind.

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I’m enjoying the rants. I know next to nothing that wasn’t in the main books and even then it was a slog half remembered from 20 years ago.

 

It all feels a bit Fisher Price LOTR.

 

Spoiler

Kazad Dum makes me sad that we never got more Warcraft movies. Fake Ironforge looked very pretty.

 

Skyman is Gandalf yeah? Lore be damned. Some hand waving about this is why he has a particularly close relationship with Hobbits.

 

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10 minutes ago, El Spatula said:

 

 

You were never going to like this and you aren't going to change your mind.

 

I actually don't hate it, and I'll keep watching it. There's enough I like.

 

I'm not going to pretend it's not without problems though. And it would be better if it was a little less loose with the source.

 

But, if you set aside that it's not really Tolkein, just fan fic working off the broadest framework of the legendarium, then you only have to be concerned with some duff writing and divisive choices. But it's alright. It's fine. It's not as good as it could be, but it's not a car crash by any means.

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I get why people who love the source material have issues, I have those same issues with other franchises but as someone who just really enjoys a good fantasy world, I'm well into this.

 

It looks and sounds amazing and the 2nd episode really opened things up more after a very Elf centric first episode. Having too much elf speech can be a little too much.

 

Other than that, I'm well happy. I wish Wheel of Time would have drawn me in like this did.

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2 hours ago, Stigweard said:

I get why people who love the source material have issues, I have those same issues with other franchises but as someone who just really enjoys a good fantasy world, I'm well into this

 

For balance, I love the source material and don't have issues. I love the show so far. Anyone wanted a straight up retelling the Silmarillion were setting themselves up for disappointmentment. A direct retelling if the book would be boring as hell. The story needs to be adapted for the medium and the audience, which in this case is not Tolkien nerds.

 

My biggest issue is there's no Games Workshop wargame tie in, but 3d printing and fan lists will have that covered.

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Maybe I watched the episodes when I was too tired at the end of the work week last night, but I couldn’t really get into it. Galadriel makes all these massive decisions but I’m not sure I an feel what makes her tick, since we never really get to know her and her brother while he was in the war, what was driving him and how that passed onto her and all of that was covered in one minute montage. The mysteries are ok, but as a non book reader, I feel I know how it’s going to go overall., Lott was never about surprise twists. Elrond with the dwarves is probably my favourite part.

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Add me to the list of good but not great. Will certainly be eagerly watching the rest. It is more spectacle than anything, but there's HotD for that itch. I'm glad they are very different shows.

 

Listening to the soundtrack it seems like they should have got Bear McCreary to also do the theme, he's done an amazing job.

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This has been fine so far. Obviously it looks amazing, and it's clearly setting things up but it hasn't done anything particularly exciting yet. I'm a huge Tolkien fan, and I read the Silmarillion at least once every couple of years, but I'm not particularly precious about them changing things as long as it ends up suiting the story they are trying to tell.

 

That said, I am incredibly disappointed at one change they have made. Galadriel's brother, Finrod, who we seeing dying in the first episode, overwhelmed by soldiers in a doomed battle does not die like that in the books. In the books, he dies like this:

 

Quote

Sauron imprisoned them and one by one they were killed by werewolves until only Beren and Felagund were left, but none of the companions betrayed them. When the werewolf came to kill Beren, Felagund put forth all his power and burst his bonds. He wrestled with the werewolf, and slew it with his hands and teeth. Yet he himself was mortally wounded, and he died in the dark, in Tol-in-Gaurhoth, whose great tower he himself had built. Thus King Finrod Felagund, the fairest and most beloved of the house of Finwë, redeemed his oath.

 

 

As far as I'm concerned, with the amount of money they had to spend on this show, the fact that they show him die, but deny the world the spectacle of an Elf vs Werewolf cage match is a complete and utter fucking disgrace.

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53 minutes ago, The Grand Pursuivant said:

 

 

That said, I am incredibly disappointed at one change they have made. Galadriel's brother, Finrod, who we seeing dying in the first episode, overwhelmed by soldiers in a doomed battle does not die like that in the books. In the books, he dies like this:

 

 

I'm not sure that is how he is suggested to die in the show though. He is seen in the battle being overwhelmed but then after that it goes into a little spiel about Sauron and how Finrod went to find Sauron but Sauron found him first etc.. and marked his skin. So from my reading of it he didn't die in the battle that you are talking about (although it's all a bit ambiguos as Galdriel does carry a helmet to the mound). To me the scene with her by her dead brothers side is after he has tried to find Sauron after that battle, which means his death could be the same as in the book (which obviously doesn't detract from the fact that it would have been amazing to see it.) 

 

I've just rewatched it and it's all a bit ambiguous as I say, but I just get the impression that he didn't die in that battle.

 

I was a resonably big Tolkein fan as a kid, having read The Hobbit and LOTR, then the Silmarillion, until I finally had to concede that I wasn't that into it having forced myself thought the Books of Lost tales and at least part of the lays of beleriand. Although when I was GM we did always have to play MERP (Middle Earth Role-playing) as opposed to AD&D.

 

Anyway it's been about 30 years since I read anything outside of the Hobbit and the LOTR so I really can't remember anything about the 1st or 2nd age as laid out by Tolkein, so in that sense I don't really care too much what the TV show does with regards to being totally in sync with the books, as long as it tells a great story.

 

Which finally gets me to my feelings on the first episode which is it looked amazing, but I wasn't convinced by it. The dialogue was wanting in places and it seemed like the story was on fast foward at points and then slowed to a crawl at others. Still I think there is plenty to build on and I'm hoping this is more of a set up episode just so they can get to the main plot. The other issue is that I found Elrond really creepy around Galadriel (almost like Grima charater, but I think that was due to the fact that I was trying to place who he reminded me of and having realisd who it was I was probably imaging him as the Green Goblin!)

 

Also the moving across the map felt ripped straight out of Game of Thrones.

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The series not being able to show things that are explicitly from the Silmarillion in detail is probably to blame for the ambiguity around Finrod's death. The prologue has a few of those moments, hinting at things without explicitly showing them - the destruction of the 2 trees for instance, we get told Morgoth destroys them, and we get the symbolic ominous shadow rising above them and then the trees fade and die. But we don't get the precise details of their demise, Ungoliant and so on. Similarly for the result of the destruction of Morgoth - there's a hint for those that know that basically a whole massive chunk of the world was sunk into the sea as a result of the war against the great evil, but it's not mentioned at all - we just see the aftermath of a battle below water.

 

It seems they knew they needed to nod at things they can't explicitly show and had to be very careful walking the line between infringing stuff they had no rights to and showing things just enough to get the point across.

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3 hours ago, pledge said:

 

 

Listening to the soundtrack it seems like they should have got Bear McCreary to also do the theme, he's done an amazing job.

really? See i'm the other way around. The score is undoubdtedly good but It's videogame good. it is nowhere near the amazingness of Jacksons LotR movies. We've had 2 hours of constant score playing in those episodes but nothing memorable. it's just general orchestra noise. compare it all to Rivendell, Concerning Hobbits, The Bridge Of Khazad-dum etc etc the Movie scores are leagues better. I can see they want to do their own thing, but something a little more similar or at least memorable would have been nice. Even the intro by Howard Shore himself is a bit meh and "toned down"

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I thought them not showing Galadriel’s brother’s death was a case of them parking that for a flashback later in the series, most likely for a character episode delving into her obsession with Sauron. 
 

I quite enjoyed this after really not expecting to - agreed that the dialogue is not great but it managed good world building from the off, which is really what Lord of the Ring is all about. I’ll keep watching, which is a surprise to me. 
 

One thing I particularly liked was the general character design of Durin’s wife, and the Dwarves in general - felt like they very quickly fleshed them out into a distinctive culture beyond the ‘angry short beardy guys in armour who like to mine’ trope that we’re all familiar with.

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1 hour ago, Nicky said:

really? See i'm the other way around. The score is undoubdtedly good but It's videogame good. it is nowhere near the amazingness of Jacksons LotR movies. We've had 2 hours of constant score playing in those episodes but nothing memorable. it's just general orchestra noise. compare it all to Rivendell, Concerning Hobbits, The Bridge Of Khazad-dum etc etc the Movie scores are leagues better. I can see they want to do their own thing, but something a little more similar or at least memorable would have been nice. Even the intro by Howard Shore himself is a bit meh and "toned down"

I was purely comparing their contribution to this,  not their previous work. The one minute theme seems a very lacklustre effort compared to the rest, so more a comment that they should just have had him get the 'prestige' piece too.  I like videogame music though, so what do I know 😏

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5 hours ago, Chindie said:

 

It seems they knew they needed to nod at things they can't explicitly show and had to be very careful walking the line between infringing stuff they had no rights to and showing things just enough to get the point across.


Yes I think this has a lot to do with it. It’s interesting at some point in the credits it says based on Lord of the Rings and Appendices.

 

Considering how much this is costing to make do we know what are the issues that stopped them just getting the rights to the Silmarillion etc?

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5 minutes ago, metallicfrodo said:


Yes I think this has a lot to do with it. It’s interesting at some point in the credits it says based on Lord of the Rings and Appendices.

 

Considering how much this is costing to make what are the issues that just stopped them getting the rights to the Silmarillion etc?

 

I believe the Tolkein Estate has historically been very hard to deal with. Tolkein himself sold some rights not long before he died, which lead to the adaptations we know now, but I understand that those are very limited in what they cover and they permit. The Estate had gone out of its way to avoid anymore adaptations until they allowed Amazon to pick up these rights - and it seems they only allowed that because these rights cover so little. Even then I believe it took one of Tolkein's (great?) grandchildren to sell the estate on it  They've never allowed the sale of the Silmarillion rights or splitting out the stories of the Silmarillion as a result of this dislike of the work being adapted.

 

Which is a shame because there's a lot of great stories in there, of all sorts. Actually doing the Morgoth saga could support an MCU style franchise.

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