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TV The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power | ST | Pre-release discussion, trailers, etc

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power | ST | It doesn't matter, we are all going to die anyway

 
My quick thought as I fall asleep: That was another great episode but the final sequence/scene was very cheesy.
 
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I wonder why they didn't have Adar say "Mordor" instead of putting it on the screen. Oh, well, it was awesome overall.

Just two quick doubts I was wondering if anyone has a good explanation for.

When exactly did the queen go blind? She seemed to be seeing just fine when she told the soldiers to go inside the house that was falling apart. Was she going only by sound back then?

Why did Durin change his mind so quickly about disobeying his father and digging for mithril? I didn't get why seeing the stone restore the leaf have such a big impact on him. Didn't we sort of know that was somewhat what it was supposed to do in the first place?
 
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I didn’t see no wings on ol’ fire face

Jackson diehards in shambles
 
the whole "Elves all gonna die" storyline is kinda dumb, for me. Stakes so high there's zero stakes, because we know it won't ever happen that way. Even without Lord of the Rings, it's implausible that all Elven characters will die. There needed to be something more plausible and tangible behind this, I think. I love younger Durin and Dissa, but I can't buy into this storyline all that much, which is a shame; young Elrond is also great and I love the design of Khazad-dum in all its glory. The Elrond/Durin friendship will make a big event later in the series really special, so even if I'm not a fan of the mithril origin and dying Elves stuff, I do think it'll be worthwhile in the longrun because of this friendship. While I'm not a fan of the invented mithril lore and false stakes, I do like how it forces the tensions between father and son to the fore.

The visuals for the newly charred Southlands are pretty stunning too. The Queen having been blinded is an interesting development, maybe. Galadriel and Theo also wasn't a combination I saw coming, but I enjoyed it. The Theo/Bronwyn/Arondir arc has been better than I thought it would be at the outset. Nice to see them reunited.

Celeborn being 'lost' is a definite red herring, again, and a risky one; I bet they've angered some nerds with that, but they kept it ambiguous for him to reappear in the story.

The orc designs continue to be great, too.

It mostly didn't feel like a penultimate epjsode. The pace of the while season has been odd. I don't mind it being slow, but a big climactic game changer three quarters of the way through the season leaves little room to pivot on from that. Choosing Isildur for a fake out death is also kinda odd; unless they were trying to evoke Brego and Aragorn. Also wondering if the Numenorean camp is eventually Minas Ithil. Elendil suddenly hating Galadriel felt a bit forced, but grief does that, I guess. Plus, I assume they also want to try and complicate Elendil a bit, given it's his eventual fate to return to Middle Earth.

I really like Miriel preparing to commit to Middle Earth to fight evil. Important point going forwards. Pelargir being name dropped is also interesting. Galadriel also trying to get Halbrand back to Elven healers seems kinda silly given geography... Lindon is super, duper far away and he's galloping around with quite the nasty wound. That being said, the show is already laying the ground for the Last Alliance, which is promising. I've seen enough threads dangled across these episodes to feel hopeful that they've got a good plan for later seasons.

I still think the Stranger is an Istari. The crazies pursuing him who think he's Sauron are wrong, I think. Or at least I want them to be wrong, if they assume they're following Sauron.

The Balrog tease is fascinating... if early? How soon are our characters going to confront it?

I enjoyed it again, overall. Curious as to what's in store for the finale. This didn't feel very penultimate.
 
𝓣𝓱𝓮 𝓢𝓸𝓾𝓽𝓱𝓵𝓪𝓷𝓭𝓼

𝕸𝕺𝕽𝕯𝕺𝕽
 
Sorry for being so late adding my thoughts, folks. Unfortunately real life has been interfering hard over the last few weeks, so I've only just now been able to catch up on episodes six and seven.

Episode Six

Absolutely magnificent. This was everything I could have wanted out of a LotR TV series. Absolutely incredible production values, special effects, stunts, everything.

I will say, I'm a big fan on how they've positioned Adar as "Orc Mk 1". They were hinting at that with the orcs all calling him Father, but I think it's a really interesting insight on how the orcs developed as a race. He adds a sense of history, legacy and nobility that the orcs haven't really had up until now, and even Tolkien himself struggled with how to make the orcs work within his story. Making them the children of elves ruined beyond recognition, and who violently take land because they want a home hidden from the sun, really works for me: it makes their motivation understandable, while still keeping them evil. Probably for me, the best bit of inventing the showrunners have done.

Episode Seven

Bit more mixed on this one, if only because of some of the story choices:

- Going back to the elves/Mithril storyline: it's still goofy. Based on the teasers from the next episode, I really hope this ends up being a lie of Annatar.

It's a shame, because the actual dwarf stuff was great. Durin vs Durin was some heavy duty drama, and Peter Mullan is just absolutely killing it as an old, broken dwarf king.

- The Isildur fakeout is also needless. We know he's not dead. The one thing even casual fans know about Isildur is that he cuts the ring from the hand of Sauron. If they wanted to go this route, choosing a character and actually killing them might have been better than fake killing the one character we know they can't.

- Celeborn dead or MIA... Hmmm...

I will say I'm not opposed to the idea. It has to be said that Celeborn is probably the most underwritten character in the books, and anything that adds a bit of drama to his character is ok with me. I'm also open to the idea that he'll return next season and then accompany Galadriel around Middle Earth as per the lore, but still... It's a risky move from the writers.

- The Stranger is still a Blue Wizard. I am absolutely certain of that.

Halbrand is not Sauron, and anyone who says he is doesn't know what they're talking about.

- Mordor in the show is perfect. Much more in line with how I imagined it, compared to the blandly lit quarry park it appeared as in RotK. This looks like a country that has been properly ruined.

So yeah: an absolutely perfect episode, followed up by a pretty good one. I'm intrigued to see where they go with the finale: I felt like Episode 7 was already wrapping things up with Numenor sailing home and the Southlanders moving to Pelagir. But I suppose we've not had the big Sauron reveal yet, and Celebrimbor still needs to show off his mad science experiment.
 
I think this development is there to give Elendil something to chew on, rather than to fool the viewer - otherwise his arc is Unproblematic Nice Guy.

Now, with Isildur presumably remaining in Middle Earth for the time being, Elendil's experiencing a loss of faith that puts him at odds with his own name and his Queen.
 
I think if they wanted to go down the route of Isildur being left behind in Mordor, they could have at least shown him walking about by himself, trying to find the rest of the group.

As it is, while I get the drama with Elendil, it just seems forced overall: we know Isildur isn't dead, so this should have been played as dramatic irony instead.

I still think the dialogue is the single most underrated aspect of the show. We had some more beautiful lines over the last couple of episodes, and some absolutely banging back and forths.
 
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It always seemed kind of flimsy to me that "Dude has a trinket on him, so everyone pushes and/or immediately accepts him as a king knowing zero about him", but I guess he's king of the Southlands now.
 
Four minutes into episode 8:
well shit

Edit: oh okay nevermind

Edit edit:
well fuck
 
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so I've been jazzed about the series and have been giving it the benefit of the doubt against the diehards looking to hate it from the beginning, and I've loved it so far until.. now. 😅

The Sauron switcheroo irritates me for reasons I can't quite pinpoint.. maybe it feels like too much of a departure from what I expected Annatar to be, (he seemed to just pop in, make one suggestion, and then drop the word "gift" almost more as an easter egg), although if we're expecting everything to be time compressed in this series I guess it isn't technically too wrong..?

But the biggie is the wizard. When Sauron's followers realized their mistake and called him an Istar, I was all "hell yeah" but then.. he started doing a bit of a Sir Ian impression and.. the "follow your nose line".. I mean fuck. They had a chance to introduce the blue wizards who were around in the Second Age, and have very little written about them so like, blank slate to write a new original character like they've been doing! But nope, they had to retcon the shit out of things and have it be Gandalf, who should have arrived a thousand years into the Third Age, all for... what, familiarity?

Boo.

I mean yeah, there's definitely a possibility that the accent and the one line were a fakeout and this is still a blue wizard after all, or they could do the thing where this is one wizard with one name who much later gets reincarnated in the Third Age as Gandalf, but... ugh.

Anyway.

This show is still extremely pretty, and Clark's performance as Galadriel is still awesome to watch. I'm still mostly very happy about it, I'm just kinda miffed that the ending didn't connect to the lore in a way I was hoping for.

Sorta like Xenoblade 3. 😅
 
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Finally caught up on the finale.

Many many thoughts:

- I feel almost vindicated with the wizard reveal. If they hadn't dropped the 'follow your nose ' line I'd say for definite he's a Blue Wizard. As it is, I think if he was Gandalf, they'd have named him as such by now. Instead, he's a wizard in the Second Age off to Rhun, which is where the Blue Wizards went.

- Halbrand as Sauron is... Interesting. He certainly tricked his way into Eregion by playing sick, and he did give Celebrimbor some advice, but still... It's not what I expected. In the lore I always assumed Sauron spent time among the elves, hoodwinking them and teaching them to make Rings, whereas this was much more of a flying visit.

The thing I'm more confused by is why, after unmasking him, Galadriel doubled down on the ring plan. She knew Halbrand was fucking around with Celebrimbor, so why not pop a pin in that particular plan. Or even just tell them that Halbrand is Sauron?

I've been ok with a lot of the mystery building on the series, but that just seems like needless plotting. It would have made more sense for Halbrand to help oversee the actual Rings being forged, then afterwards Galadriel finds out he's the Big S, and then they have a dilemma of whether to keep the Rings or not.

Overall, I did enjoy the series very much. Issues with plotting I hope can be fixed in the next seasons (especially as the rest of the story has more structure from Professor T) but the production values and music were off the chain, and I found the dialogue immensely enjoyable. If it's not as quotable as Deadwood, it's still got much more interesting dialogue than is there norm on TV.
 
Spoilering the whole thing because that's easier than spoilering multiple responses 😅
- I feel almost vindicated with the wizard reveal. If they hadn't dropped the 'follow your nose ' line I'd say for definite he's a Blue Wizard. As it is, I think if he was Gandalf, they'd have named him as such by now. Instead, he's a wizard in the Second Age off to Rhun, which is where the Blue Wizards went.
I was genuinely hoping for him to be a blue wizard, first because it fits in the lore's timeline and second because I figured it'd be cheap for him to just be a named character we already know, retconned into a different time. I'm hoping the nose line is just a wink to the audience and that you're right about him so far remaining unnamed and heading to Rhun. Hope remains for me.
- Halbrand as Sauron is... Interesting. He certainly tricked his way into Eregion by playing sick, and he did give Celebrimbor some advice, but still... It's not what I expected. In the lore I always assumed Sauron spent time among the elves, hoodwinking them and teaching them to make Rings, whereas this was much more of a flying visit.
Same here, though I got the impression there was several months of time passing, based on some of the dialogue. Of course, to elves that's still just a fleeting visit but still I think the show sorta rushed this through in the final episode.
The thing I'm more confused by is why, after unmasking him, Galadriel doubled down on the ring plan. She knew Halbrand was fucking around with Celebrimbor, so why not pop a pin in that particular plan. Or even just tell them that Halbrand is Sauron?
Her not wanting to tell them about H=S had to do with her worry that they'd blame her for bringing Sauron upon them, I'm pretty sure. That was something Halbrand said to her while he was in her mind, and I'm pretty sure it's a legitimate fear of hers after they basically cast her out once already. And as far as doubling down on the rings, she might have decided their power would now be necessary to face Sauron, hence her immediate panic and insistence.
 
I'm just kind of curious about the logistics of using the new rings to fix their initial problem. If mithril fanciness can cure the trees' troubles, and now that power is being passed on through rings, do they just like... go pray at the trees to make them better? Shoot out a beam like a Schwartz Ring?
 
Without going into spoilers i'll give my opinion.

The show is good, but it is not 1 billion dollars good.

The visual are really well done but certain choices were weird, the elves have these stupid haircuts and these were definitely the worst wargs. The story for me at time lacked direction, some story points were plopped in for the audience to deal with while they could have just set those points up in the beginning. I think there were very few characters who actually had an arc, which was very disappointing.

Either way, I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. 7.8/10
 
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Given the show is out in it's entirety now, I'm happy to forgo spoiler tags in this thread for as long as discussion lasts:

I was genuinely hoping for him to be a blue wizard, first because it fits in the lore's timeline and second because I figured it'd be cheap for him to just be a named character we already know, retconned into a different time. I'm hoping the nose line is just a wink to the audience and that you're right about him so far remaining unnamed and heading to Rhun. Hope remains for me.

I think if the Stranger was heading off to Eregion or somewhere West, then yeah, to me that's obviously Gandalf.

The fact they name-dropped Rhun, which as far as I remember, is solely where the Blue Wizards went, means they're still trying to be a bit coy about it. Maybe they've not decided for sure yet. But Gandalf would be the stupid decision: we already know he can't die because he's in the third age.

If nothing else, going with the blue wizards gives them leeway to write whatever the heck they want.

Same here, though I got the impression there was several months of time passing, based on some of the dialogue. Of course, to elves that's still just a fleeting visit but still I think the show sorta rushed this through in the final episode.

I will say that as much as I love the dialogue, production values and characterization, the pacing was all sorts of wonky.

Now that we can look back on the series in full, we've got multiple episodes building up to an orc attack on a Southland village, but the actual Rings themselves are kept until the final episode and then rushed through.

That whole Mithril plot needed another rewrite, and if they wanted Halbrand to be involved with the Rings, they should have got him to Eregion earlier. Perhaps, when Galadriel sails to the Southlands, Halbrand refuses to go with her (as per his original characterisation) but promises to go to Gil-Galad on her behalf instead and warn the elves.

Cue him going to Eregion instead, getting close to Celebrimbor, and not telling anyone anything about the Southlands/Mordor.

Galadriel comes back, oh look who's been helping Celebrimbor with his crazy idea, Galadriel gets suspicious, etc.

Her not wanting to tell them about H=S had to do with her worry that they'd blame her for bringing Sauron upon them, I'm pretty sure. That was something Halbrand said to her while he was in her mind, and I'm pretty sure it's a legitimate fear of hers after they basically cast her out once already. And as far as doubling down on the rings, she might have decided their power would now be necessary to face Sauron, hence her immediate panic and insistence.
I think for me, the issue is (as per above) the pacing: if this was something we saw there characters working on for multiple episodes, then their reluctance to throw away their hard work becomes more understandable, even if they know it's a risk.

As it is, it feels like Celebrimbor has a random idea, Halbrand helps him along with it, then five minutes later gets revealed as Sauron, and no one seems to mind that much.
 
The Three Rings thing, there's a key canonical detail the show has stuck to: the Three were made after Sauron had left Eregion, using Sauron's knowledge, but without his actual presence, and so Sauron didn't have complete power over them the way he did over the others. Despite the other fairly significant changes the show has made, this key detail has actually remained correct. The Rings are also meant to preserve, heal and inspire, and they've stuck to that via the dying tree thing.

That being said, in universe, Sauron did spend centuries in Eregion helping the Elves craft the Rings, and the Three, the greatest of the Rings after the secret One, were made last. Them being made first is interesting, but Sauron's relatively minimal involvement is close to how things needed to be in terms of their creation.

Halbrand as Sauron is closer to some of Tolkien's key ideas about Sauron in the Second Age than I'd initially thought, and largely I think it works the way it does because of extreme timeline compression. Sauron initially does genuinely repent of his service to Morgoth, and genuinely does want to heal Middle Earth: but the desire to heal gives way to his desire to dominate (the connection between the two, I think, lies in imposing order and structure on things). I'd argue that Sauron's sincere repentance has happened off screen, and that his pitch to Galadriel uses a grain of truth (his initial repentance) to try and manipulate her.

What happens next with Halbrand is interesting. I suspect Galadriel and Elrond tell Gil-Galad the truth, and that they warn Celebrimbor, but that Celebrimbor doesn't heed the warnings. The creation of the Three speaks to Celebrimbor's ambition to create things in Middle Earth that surpass all else: in season 2, that pride is what Sauron will appeal to, and I suspect he'll do so using the repentance story he tried to sell to Galadriel. This would be fairly but not strictly true to the books, where Celebrimbor is the only Elven ruler who ignores suspicions and warnings about Annatar by welcoming him to reside in Eregion and it will allow the remaining 17 Rings to be made in season 2.

There are other possibilities here; maybe Galadriel and Elrond don't reveal who Halbrand really is, but that would be a colossal and dumb mistake on their part (and difficult to believe two such characters would err that way). Secondly, and less likely, Charlie Vickers vanishes and Halbrand is recast as Annatar at some point. That's less likely now, because again, Celebrimbor would have to be dumb to trust a new mystery person who can craft magical rings. It might seem dumb for Celebrimbor to trust someone like Sauron who was once openly evil, but Celebrimbor's pride and desire to create more great works are his huge character flaw. Plus, like I said, Sauron can push the idea of seeking repentance - maybe the writers can connect that to Celebrimbor's family history; Celebrimbor, as Feanor's grandson, might want to repent for all the harm his family's Oath caused in Middle Earth. In that sense, Sauron's lie of repentance (repenting for damage caused by Morgoth) is another thing which makes Celebrimbor and Sauron seem like kindred spirits.
 
My favorite pet theory is that Adar is Maglor, maybe they will get some more rights and be able to rightly name him in the future.
 
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Only thing that's bugging me a bit...
and I really don't mean to gripe considering the bullshit flak the first season got, but the only thing that's bugging me here is how the trailer almost makes it look like he just sorta creates Barad-dur all at once with a big blast of magic?

Which might not be the case (could just be flashy trailer editing) but it reminds me of how the first season just sorta created all of Mordor and its trademark climate and everything in one quick event. Which was the only thing that bugged me about season 1. 😅
 
Oh wow, number one on trending apparently.

Anyways, haven't had a chance to properly check this out, but I'm pretty sure I noticed in the trailer that Meteor Man is out in the desert.

Blue Wizard confirmed.
 
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Only thing that's bugging me a bit...
and I really don't mean to gripe considering the bullshit flak the first season got, but the only thing that's bugging me here is how the trailer almost makes it look like he just sorta creates Barad-dur all at once with a big blast of magic?

Which might not be the case (could just be flashy trailer editing) but it reminds me of how the first season just sorta created all of Mordor and its trademark climate and everything in one quick event. Which was the only thing that bugged me about season 1. 😅
If I remember rightly, in the books

It's pretty strongly implied that Barad-Dur is a creation of magic, as even after the Siege of Barad-Dur the good guys are unable to destroy the foundations or completely dismantle it. Though again, I think the writers are playing a little loose with the continuity, as the Dark Tower was made with the power of the One, which hasn't been forged yet.

So yeah... bugs me a little, but I'm willing to overlook it if there's a good narrative hook there.

Hopefully the writers have learned their lessons from Season 1 and we don't get another Mithril subplot
 


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