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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power


JohnC
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On 12/02/2022 at 09:40, The Disco said:

It won't really matter to 95% of the viewers though as they won't have read any of the books.  Also, I imagine 99% of the viewers won't have ready any of the Silmarillion, so I guess it would matter even less.  All that will matter is if the story they present is comprehensible and engadging, and follows some of the main beats of the Silmarillion.

 

To back up my point a little, I started to read The Silmarillion about ten yearas ago after falling in love with the LOTR films (hadn't then, and still haven't now, read any of the books apart from The Hobbit), but gave up a few chapters in after slogging though about six papragraphs that were just a wall of names and how the were related to each other...  I re-read it about four times to take some of it in, before giving up and putting the book down.

 

I'll be honest: I regularly just skips bits of Tolkien where they sing a wee song or start rattling off names. Also if your name starts Fin I probably can't tell you apart.

 

The Simarillion particularly, you have to just feel the broad strokes and the incredibly levels of stupidity of characters Tolkien keep telling you are wider and better than any that still walk the Earth.

 

 

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That felt very much like a trailer Amazon really didn't want to do, but felt they kind of needed to show something off. 

 

I dunno, I'm on a huge downer with all these big-budget shows. In theory, they're the stuff that I should lap up, but I don't get anything from it at all. 

 

Essentially, I suspect I prefer my fantasy in a book really.

 

 

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49 minutes ago, spork said:

At least it looks a million times better than Wheel Of Time.

 

That certainly looks the case...although it kind of looks just like Jackson's movies, which I guess is probably the point. I like the movies, and think he did as good a job as anyone could have done, but I dunno. I'm a jaded, bitter old fart who would like something a little different considering it's a far, far earlier period of Middle Earth's life.

 

But hey, I'm still waiting for the second part of Ralph Bakshi's Lord of the Rings adaptation so what do I know.

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Christ, the racism and misogyni is strong on Youtube in relation to this show. I remember being on messageboards in the years when LoTR came out and sure, there were some so called "purists" hemming and hawing every time the dared to stray from the text but now it's reached crazy heights. People are flipping their wigs at characters that dare to be anything other than snow-white or whenever women do anything else than stand around being ethereal.

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12 hours ago, spork said:

At least it looks a million times better than Wheel Of Time.

 

This. I was worried when I saw those press photos that looked like Cosplay (they looked too clean, like they were take by a wedding photographer) but that short video there gives me more hope it's going to look more cinematic.

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39 minutes ago, Mr.Crowley said:

Christ, the racism and misogyni is strong on Youtube in relation to this show. I remember being on messageboards in the years when LoTR came out and sure, there were some so called "purists" hemming and hawing every time the dared to stray from the text but now it's reached crazy heights. People are flipping their wigs at characters that dare to be anything other than snow-white or whenever women do anything else than stand around being ethereal.

 

So there aren't that many women in Tolkien, because they are very much boys stories. Where women do come into the story, they do not stand around. Luthien, most ethereal of all maidens, has a very significant part in her story and without her actions, Beren is stuffed on multiple occasions. Unfortunately they are mostly in the first First Age.

 

What they do not tend to do is be involved in battles and command armies though there are a few cases where women have led their people through danger etc. This fits with its status as being a sort of alternative set of legends and written smack bang in the middle of the 20th Century by quite a conservative Catholic. You can fiddle with it, but you have to be upfront it's not really Tolkien. And people want to stress how Tolkien they are, because it's loved and people are protective and there are a lot of nerds into it.

 

So Galadriel in full armour commanding armies is a bit worrying in terms of them knowing what they are at.

 

You could make this point around race, given it was also desired to be lost tales of prehistoric England, but I think race is much more incidental to the story particularly as it's typically just ignored as a thing in the story 

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5 hours ago, Chindie said:

I'm really not sure about that trailer. There's something off about it that I can't quite put my finger on.

The bit with the guy hanging off the snowy mountain looks completely wrong, like there's no physics being applied. Looks weightless. Possibly magic, don't know the source material or characters!

 

Trailer looks mostly promising. 

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3 hours ago, PeteJ said:

The bit with the guy hanging off the snowy mountain looks completely wrong, like there's no physics being applied. Looks weightless. Possibly magic, don't know the source material or characters!

 

Trailer looks mostly promising. 

 

That's Galadriel, a she-elf :)

 

It's not a CGI thing. It feels wrong. Things like Galadriel in armour, going on an adventure, it's just wrong, that isn't that character.

 

There's something oddly specific about Tolkein's world, bizarrely whilst its basically the origin story of all modern fantasy they have their own tone and particular type of style. I don't think Tolkein would have had guys walking the plains with big antlers on their back for instance. That just feels very... fantasy try hard? And the whole trailer has that generic fantasy thing, too much CGI, a weird fake glow on everything... The last 2 there also hurt the Hobbit trilogy a lot and this doesn't have the luxury of a decades old beloved story to fall back on 

 

That's not to say that just because Tolkein wouldn't do it it's wrong to do as part of an adaptation. Tolkein wouldn't have had anyone more than pasty white being a good guy or have 90% of the handful of female characters he fleshed out at all so anything of note. But you can change those things and maintain the feel of it. For all of the problems with the character of Tauriel in the Hobbit movies, a female fighting elf isn't one of them. On that level the character works and despite being an invented character, fits the world and tone.

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10 hours ago, Chindie said:

I'm really not sure about that trailer. There's something off about it that I can't quite put my finger on.

 

Despite all the money, it' s a bit televisual looking. There's not a Jackson-level talent involved visually.

 

I know the Hobbit films are shite but Peter Jackson has a cinematic eye - you can't see a frame from those films that doesn't look a million dollars.

 

All the money in the world can't do that.

 

Edit: Actually I'm kinda wondering if all the money only serves to highlight the lack of a Jackson-level talent.

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58 minutes ago, Chindie said:

 

have 90% of the handful of female characters he fleshed out at all so anything of note. But you can change those things and maintain the feel of it

 

 

Again - I don't think this fair to Tolkien. He didn't flesh out many female characters - they are very male stories, but those he did were pretty significant.

 

Melian - guarded Doriath with her power and is a significant source of wisdom like telling Thingol "You've ruined us you fuckwit" when he came up with his clever Simaril challenge to Beren.

 

Luthien - basically as important on the quest to get the Simaril as Beren. Rescues him once, puts Morgoth asleep.

 

Galadriel - several variations but wasn't involved in the kin slaying, came to Middle Earth to establish a kingdom. Too proud to come back because she - rightly - pointed out she was being punished for something she didn't do. Rules kingdoms, held a ring of power, was tested by being offered the one and passed.

 

Haleth - human, defended her people until Elves arrived then marched them through giant spider territory rather than serve other people.

 

Morween - so terrified the her enemies they left her alone even after they won. Huron - "She was not conquered"

 

Idril - one of only three elves to marry a man, had various visions and ensured a path was opened out of Gondolin after her father had them shut and led people out.

 

Eoywn - shield maiden, kills the witch king.

 

There's a few others not as fleshed out and a few queens mentioned in passing. But I think a lot of this is because Arwen doesn't get much to do in LoTR. Though even her choice requires some agency. But in general where there are female characters they generally don't fit courtly stereotypes and may be considered powerful in their own right 

 

What they are not, in general, is ass kicking generals that are commanding armies. Given the context of it being a fake mythology or prehistory, that makes total sense. And it still very much has a feel that's hard to replicate, because all those characters have full family histories fleshed out and probably a name chosen for its unique meaning and fitting into a wider plot wrote and rewrote over 50 years.

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14 hours ago, Chindie said:

I'm really not sure about that trailer. There's something off about it that I can't quite put my finger on.

 

It's a trailer aimed at getting people who won't watch it regardless interested.

 

I really liked it, and I'm more excited than ever. I'm especially keen to see more of Numenor.

 

What's striking me about the online discourse - apart from the racism hidden behind 'BUt MeH LoRE!' - is it's easy to see who weren't around in 1999 when the message boards were filled with complaints about the deviations this young Jackson guy was taking with his interpretation. We all know how that turned out. But hey, it's the internet and a lot of people like to feel self righteous about something. 

 

With the 'meteor' and the meteor guy part of the trailer I'm wondering if that's supposed to be Melkor arriving on Arda for the first time. I can't remember how he's supposed to get there the first time. He was outside when it was first made and had already pissed off Eru by that point, so that could be the valar equivalent to sneaking in by the back door.

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2 minutes ago, Mikes said:

already pissed off Eru by that point

 

Just to add, every point of conflict in the Silmarilloin, The Hobbit, and the LotR can be traced back to this one point:

 

239612679_10157765255762047_535629290108

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16 hours ago, Chindie said:

 

That's Galadriel, a she-elf :)

 

It's not a CGI thing. It feels wrong. Things like Galadriel in armour, going on an adventure, it's just wrong, that isn't that character.

 

The Galadriel scene is clearly going to be part of her crossing the Helcaraxe. In which case, she was going on an adventure (to kill Morgoth) and she would have been pretty stupid not to bring her armour with her given that fact. It's the character before she went through the events that made her Galadriel, in which case, there's nothing we know about her other than she is gullible enough to fall for Feanor's bullshit before he betrays everybody.

 

There are a hundred thousand ways they could fuck this up, and they very likely will, but this is a strange thing to nitpick. They've actually got that part right.

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7 minutes ago, The Grand Pursuivant said:

 

The Galadriel scene is clearly going to be part of her crossing the Helcaraxe. In which case, she was going on an adventure (to kill Morgoth) and she would have been pretty stupid not to bring her armour with her given that fact. It's the character before she went through the events that made her Galadriel, in which case, there's nothing we know about her other than she is gullible enough to fall for Feanor's bullshit before he betrays everybody.

 

There are a hundred thousand ways they could fuck this up, and they very likely will, but this is a strange thing to nitpick. They've actually got that part right.

 

It's not the Helcaraxe, or if it is they have got it wrong. Galadriel's people cross the Helcaraxe in the First Age before the the creation of the Sun or Moon. It would be in eternal night. 

 

Vanity Fair's article says this is the Northern Wastes, and to my knowledge, which isn't perfect admittedly, Galadriel doesn't pursue Morgoth - she actually thinks trying to defeat him is beyond the abilities of anyone.

 

Galadriel just isn't a warrior. She's a ruler.

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1 hour ago, Chindie said:

 

It's not the Helcaraxe, or if it is they have got it wrong. Galadriel's people cross the Helcaraxe in the First Age before the the creation of the Sun or Moon. It would be in eternal night. 

 

Vanity Fair's article says this is the Northern Wastes, and to my knowledge, which isn't perfect admittedly, Galadriel doesn't pursue Morgoth - she actually thinks trying to defeat him is beyond the abilities of anyone.

 

Galadriel just isn't a warrior. She's a ruler.

 

If it's not the Helcaraxe then they have got it wrong. And I think you're right that she didn't think it was possible to defeat Morgoth, but they could come up with a bunch of valid reasons why she might end up in the Northern Wastes.

 

But it all depends what era of what age that scene is supposed to be from. And again, you say she's a ruler, but at the beginning of the second age she's just hanging around with Gil-Galad not doing much. She doesn't become the person she is in LotR until after the rings are made. Which I assume is the story we'll be seeing and I also assume that they have a plan for her evolution as a character in to what we know her as now.

 

I'm willing to give the show the benefit of the doubt until I watch it. My main concern with that trailer was how much dodgy looking CGI was in it. I can forgive that if they nail the spirit of the books though. Galadriel in armour scaling an icy cliff just isn't a red flag for me.

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