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Lord of the Rings TV series

Totenkindly

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I am totally fine with the increased diversity. I would have preferred for the writers to just create mostly new characters in the universe and tell their stories. There was so much to expand. Instead they did this......
I would have been really happy with that. To be honest, I find Arondir one of the more intriguing characters and a few of the other new ones. Even the Harfoots are okay, if they square up one of the major inconsistencies (they claim to be communal but ditch people when they migrate, it's just odd), and if they hadn't dragged it into this stupid Stranger bit where the show is alluding it to be a major established character. (Whether or not it is, it's distracting from a more original plotline.)

I wish they weren't muddying it down with trying to rewrite/retcon established characters and places and events. Something new, just set in the world appropriately, would have been more interesting. And we all see now how it is threatening to derail the show because Tolkien's world was very laid out.
 

highlander

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I would have been really happy with that. To be honest, I find Arondir one of the more intriguing characters and a few of the other new ones. Even the Harfoots are okay, if they square up one of the major inconsistencies (they claim to be communal but ditch people when they migrate, it's just odd), and if they hadn't dragged it into this stupid Stranger bit where the show is alluding it to be a major established character. (Whether or not it is, it's distracting from a more original plotline.)

I wish they weren't muddying it down with trying to rewrite/retcon established characters and places and events. Something new, just set in the world appropriately, would have been more interesting. And we all see now how it is threatening to derail the show because Tolkien's world was very laid out.
I'm really curious as to who this stranger from the sky is and the three ominous priestesses. :D It adds a great deal of interest for me personally. I'm imagining it has something to do with wizards but don't know.
 

Totenkindly

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I'm really curious as to who this stranger from the sky is and the three ominous priestesses. :D It adds a great deal of interest for me personally. I'm imagining it has something to do with wizards but don't know.
I think the pacing has killed my interest in general. I watch a lot of decent TV shows, and at this point the show didn't give me a lot of reason to care who this guy is or honestly much about the subplots. We have 7 hours of show, and basically know almost nothing about this character and/or very little of his current arc.

It's a minor mystery, at least. The trio seems evil to me. Not clear whether they want to kill The Stranger or serve/assist him. He does have the same issue where his hand turned black when he used magic against the twisted wolves, like theirs do when they snuffed out the torch. So obviously they are related in some way. If things go predictably, he's probably someone with a dark past who decides after his memory wipe to turn good due to his interactions with the Harfoots and so the priestesses and he will be at odds with each other.
 

highlander

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I think the pacing has killed my interest in general. I watch a lot of decent TV shows, and at this point the show didn't give me a lot of reason to care who this guy is or honestly much about the subplots. We have 7 hours of show, and basically know almost nothing about this character and/or very little of his current arc.

It's a minor mystery, at least. The trio seems evil to me. Not clear whether they want to kill The Stranger or serve/assist him. He does have the same issue where his hand turned black when he used magic against the twisted wolves, like theirs do when they snuffed out the torch. So obviously they are related in some way. If things go predictably, he's probably someone with a dark past who decides after his memory wipe to turn good due to his interactions with the Harfoots and so the priestesses and he will be at odds with each other.
It is fascinating how different our opinions are. I love the show. You have many critiques but none of them detract from the fact that I really like it.
 

Totenkindly

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It is fascinating how different our opinions are. I love the show. You have many critiques but none of them detract from the fact that I really like it.
People are free to like whatever they want. I'm more talking about the technical aspects of the show -- so we are focused on different things. It's just here, for me, I have trouble liking it because of these issues.

But I really like some stuff that I can acknowledge isn't very good, for my own part.
 

Vendrah

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People are free to like whatever they want. I'm more talking about the technical aspects of the show -- so we are focused on different things. It's just here, for me, I have trouble liking it because of these issues.

But I really like some stuff that I can acknowledge isn't very good, for my own part.
Can you message or PM or @ me when this season is over? I want to watch it all at once rather than episode than episode, I am not truly looking too much foward anymore. My opinion have not changed much, I've watched episode 4 or 5 as the last one, it got a little bit more actionable and a faster pace.

My opinions are much more similar to yours rather than @highlander. I haven't read the books, but I know the resumes of Tolkien and it gets me tremendously lost because I am not fully aware of what matches Tolkien or not, yet I am somewhat aware and a lot of things feel weird. But my main comparison - and for a lot of people - are the movies, like or not. I think the show is ok, but it is not nearly as good as the movies were, it disappoints my expectations. For me the movies were like "Wooowwwww, amazing! Feels great" while this show is "ok, decent" but it disappoints me because I was expecting something that were more on the "wow!" level.
 

Totenkindly

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Can you message or PM or @ me when this season is over? I want to watch it all at once rather than episode than episode, I am not truly looking too much foward anymore. My opinion have not changed much, I've watched episode 4 or 5 as the last one, it got a little bit more actionable and a faster pace.
I think the finale is on Friday? So yes, as of Friday you can just watch it all at once.

The pace has definitely picked up a bit, at least, for most of the plotlines -- and a few plotlines have converged.
My opinions are much more similar to yours rather than @highlander. I haven't read the books, but I know the resumes of Tolkien and it gets me tremendously lost because I am not fully aware of what matches Tolkien or not, yet I am somewhat aware and a lot of things feel weird. But my main comparison - and for a lot of people - are the movies, like or not. I think the show is ok, but it is not nearly as good as the movies were, it disappoints my expectations. For me the movies were like "Wooowwwww, amazing! Feels great" while this show is "ok, decent" but it disappoints me because I was expecting something that were more on the "wow!" level.
Yeah, I was kind of expecting more too with (1) all the people who could have contributed to this intelligently and really wanted to, and (2) the huge budget/resources available to the show. I'm just kind of surprised in the direction it was taken.
 

The Cat

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I think the finale is on Friday? So yes, as of Friday you can just watch it all at once.

The pace has definitely picked up a bit, at least, for most of the plotlines -- and a few plotlines have converged.

Yeah, I was kind of expecting more too with (1) all the people who could have contributed to this intelligently and really wanted to, and (2) the huge budget/resources available to the show. I'm just kind of surprised in the direction it was taken.
Too many Rings.
 

Totenkindly

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Warning-- apparently Sauron is revealed / alluded to in the finale today.

My newsfeed is inundated with articles as of 6am and I have to avoid social media now.

Probably will have to watch over lunch just to avoid having it spoiled. The internet sucks.
 

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Warning-- apparently Sauron is revealed / alluded to in the finale today.

My newsfeed is inundated with articles as of 6am and I have to avoid social media now.

Probably will have to watch over lunch just to avoid having it spoiled. The internet sucks.
And everyone hates the episode, too, even he fanboys who defended it previously.
 

Totenkindly

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LOL! ^^

Well, okay, I watched the first half and was going to say I thought it was actually okay .. SO far. I still have half to go, so...? But in all fairness.

Here are some assorted thoughts so far:

Gil-Galad is a douchebag on this show. I mean, seriously. In Tolkien's works I don't think we get much of him at all -- he seems distant, but definitely a warrior king and hero of old. (Maybe haughty? But you'd think he'd be forceful and strong and battle capable.) This guy on the show looks too old, he's too pudgy, he's too whiny, he's too close-minded. There is literally nothing heroic about him. He's just opinionated and weak / ineffectual. And in every situation, he seems to have made the WRONG decision. He's not even wise.

I don't like the Celebrimbor casting either. These all seem like old weak white elves. I'm not sure how these guys walked into an audition and the casting director was immediately like, "OMG -- there is our Celebrimbor!" I don't get it.

[I will compare to Lee Pace in Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy. He was really really well-cast. He actually seemed like an arrogant, beautiful, forceful, elf king and a capable warrior even before he fought anyone.]

If this had been done by MTV (instead of Amazon), Elrond and Galadriel would have been like, "Hell yeah" when they meet up and started making out in a steamy elf romance, while Galadriel frets over how hot Halbrand is in his grungy human way, and which guy should she pick in the end? Choices, choices... The clean-shaven educated noble elf diplomat, or the sweaty unshaven human guy she fights evil with? To MTV, that would be the focus. (And then, just when she thinks she has discovered her heart, her missing presumed-dead HUSBAND will show up!)

DId we really just watch 5-10 minutes of people discussing which sculptor is going to carve the dying king in stone and who can make him look the best? Screw Numenor too, and screw the writing. I'm still a little confused, though. Is Erien supposed to be the feminization of the younger of Elendil's sons? (Anarion, vs An-Erien?) Was he mentioned as a separate character yet? Sorry, the dialogue eludes me sometimes in this crazy show.

I burst out laughing looking at the blue, white, and red gems just sitting there free on the box top, like he bought a three-pack at the local craft shop. Obviously they are the stones for the Elf Rings. They also look like D&D dice. And they're not really colored right, or at least I thought the blue would be more like the color of sky, not royal blue. Like, they look really cheap, honestly.

And now, to the thing everyone is likely talking about (SAURON SAURON SAURON):




Anyway, I'm happy with the first half hour compared to the earlier episodes, aside from the occasional stupid thing that makes me chuckle out loud. We'll see how the last 30 minutes goes.
 
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Totenkindly

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Second part of S1 finale:

Well, there's some dumb stuff here yet again -- typically the show has not really cared much about how things happen. For example, basics about forging:



Anyway, back to Sauron:


And THe Stranger:


Okay, scene with Galadriel and bad boy Halbrand... check. Next scene, Galadriel and Elrond. Check. Remember that love triangle I mentioned from the first half review? Bwa ha ha, yeah, this fits right into it. Oh Galadriel -- which one shall you let win your heart and go to Funky Town with???

I like Nori a lot. Again, I like the new characters and find them more interesting than the established ones. Nori, Disa, and Arondir all can get longer arcs next season.

The Numenor plotline can go die in a fire, though. It's all just been so dumb and irrelevant. Like, it's supposed to be tragic, but instead it's silly and boring. ALso, why is Miriel not using the blindfold in her quarters, but then apparently wants everyone to know she is blind when she's in public? Whatever.

Another thing I don't like about the show is the number of "heart-felt" lines that feel really generic, like you can read them on a gift-shop inspirational knickknack. The Stranger delivers one such passage to Nori, and there are others probably between Miriel and Elendil, and I don't even remember them 20 minutes later because they are just so generic and expected. Like, in the script, it probably just says, "Say something like Gandalf said to Frodo in TFotR about how we don't get to choose the times we are in, just how we bear up under them, blah blah blah" and they make it all up on the fly.

However -- despite the ongoing flaws, I feel like the finale at least delivered on some of the mysteries, showed some character change, and finally got some momentum. It's one of the better episodes of the season. Still, that might or might not be saying much. It is all still hacking the Tolkien continuity to pieces, so... Tolkien buffs, watch those hackles.

Erik Reid from Forbes is a lot harsher and detailed in his issues, but he's not wrong. (Any positivity I am feeling is coming from comparing the finale to what came before, plus an occasional moment that transcends the writing.) I think there is also a big question of, regardless of evaluating the show we got, what about the show we could have had?

 
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Totenkindly

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1665878195924.png
 

Totenkindly

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It's remarkable watching total strangers insulting each other on the Internet and calling each other names. I mean, I have my opinion too in terms of quality. If either HotD or RoP was picked for a Criterion release, for example, which would be more likely? (Hint: It's not the latter.)

But if you can enjoy RoP for what it is, which is basically a mainstream audience more into high-fantasy and looking for some degree of sentiment and feel good moments, then this show could be enjoyable and is what brings in money. It's big-hearted, despite all of its other flaws. And it's why streamers like Netflix exist, and also why CODA won Best Picture last year despite the far superior (from a writing, directing, and stylistic perspective) Sound of Metal from the prior year was overlooked -- even though, hey, which one of them got a Criterion release, and in 4K even?

[I compare them because they're topically about the same thing -- the experience of the deaf community and deafness' impact on their relationships and lives.]

I guess my evaluations also fall into rewatch value, and a lot of things with enduring quality can be rewatched. This and She-Hulk are not things I'd enjoy rewatching, overall. They might be okay for a simple once-through, if you can find value in that. But did anyone talk about WoT after it dropped and/or then after it finished its run? I haven't really seen anything.
 

Vendrah

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I finished it today.

My opinion has not changed at all. It seems they confirmed Season 2, I think that if they learn from their mistakes then season 2 could be the "wow!" I've wanted but I don't think that is much likely to happen. Even if I am not a Tolkien fan in terms that I don't like reading their books, I also do believe that they should had been faithful to Tolkien regardless: First, because Tolkien is known as a good writer regardless, second if they want to change the story so radically to give surprises then they should had done something entirely new. Anyway, most viewers would be surprised because they do not known the story from the books, not even the slightest. We would not have problems with the writing of the story if they were faithful to Tolkien because <it seems> he was a very good writer. The show had the means - and I mean special effects - to do something very special, I think that the largest flaw, at least for me, was the slow pace combined with the badly tuned/moded writing of the story. I have more observations with spoilers now:

(@Totenkindly and @highlander were summoned on the spoiler below!)

 

Totenkindly

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I finished it today.

My opinion has not changed at all. It seems they confirmed Season 2, I think that if they learn from their mistakes then season 2 could be the "wow!" I've wanted but I don't think that is much likely to happen. Even if I am not a Tolkien fan in terms that I don't like reading their books, I also do believe that they should had been faithful to Tolkien regardless: First, because Tolkien is known as a good writer regardless, second if they want to change the story so radically to give surprises then they should had done something entirely new. Anyway, most viewers would be surprised because they do not known the story from the books, not even the slightest. We would not have problems with the writing of the story if they were faithful to Tolkien because <it seems> he was a very good writer. The show had the means - and I mean special effects - to do something very special, I think that the largest flaw, at least for me, was the slow pace combined with the badly tuned/moded writing of the story. I have more observations with spoilers now:

I responded to your spoiler questions below in the Spoiler block.

 
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Vendrah

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message above
 
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Totenkindly

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Well, as far as harfoots go:

...very little is known about the harfoots in Tolkien’s writing. The word “harfoot” translates to “one with hairy feet” and in the prologue to The Fellowship of the Ring titled “Concerning Hobbits,” Tolkien wrote that of the three races of hobbits, the harfoots were: “browner of skin, smaller, and shorter, and they were beardless and bootless; their hands and feet were neat and nimble; and they preferred highlands and hillsides.”

Contrary to The Rings of Power’s depiction of them as nomadic, Tolkien writes: “They were the most normal and representative variety of Hobbit, and far the most numerous. They were the most inclined to settle in one place, and longest preserved their ancestral habit of living in tunnels and holes.” Those tunneling harfoots eventually became the hobbits of the Shire, and so the difference between the two is mostly one of semantics—and a rather convenient loophole for Payne and McKay to be able to include the smallfolk in their world...

That's from an article in feb 2022....
 

Totenkindly

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...the dwarf line story of Elrond and Durin seemed to be useless for the whole plot except for the small Mithril stone. Elrond is another character that seems mischaracterized to me, he seemed to now like dwarfs out of nowhere in comparison to how he is on the two trilogy movies. Elrond also fighting to stay contrasts with him persuading his own daughter all the time on LOTR first trilogy to leave at all costs. These are things on which Elrond also seems to be quite misrepresented to me.

I felt like the Jackson films misrepresented Elrond (Hugo Weaving's version really annoyed me). Elrond always seemed more like a diplomat to me, and RoP at least returned him to a more suitable role. Weaving played him as more impulsive, more xenophobic, more angry, more aggressive.

But Elrond runs the last place of respite before entering the wild (Rivendell). He actually takes in all the dwarves and Bilbo in The Hobbit, and helps them interpret the map and finds the Moon runes; he's very scholarly. Both he and Galadriel are harboring two of the Three rings, to protect them, and to offer a defense against the ravages of time and of darkness in Middle Earth. they aren't really pushing a war, they are places of refuge and bastions again the dark.

Elrond is the Half-Elven; he and his brother Elros were both offered a choice of heritage by the gods, and Elros embraced men and mortality, while Elrond chose the elven people and immortality. But it is a unique perspective, he can see both and has connections to both -- kind of like a 9w1 approach to life. (Not sure of his type, but it seems indicative of that kind of experience.) He SHOULD have a more diplomatic, less warlike bent. His reaching out to the dwarves (yet another race) and seeing value in that seems to align with the character, and it was a window into how the dwarves used to have a thriving culture but then eventually they dug too far, and well... you know what happens then.

- What were other major and notable differences between original and this show?

Well, it is more like, what things actually are the same? Not much. They pull names and places and architecture and stuff just fine but completely either rework the characters, have very little plot that actually matches up detail wise with Tolkien's words except for maybe a three-paragraph summary, or screw up the timelines majorly. It is obviously not an attempt to even hew to what is in the appendices. I would never advise watching this as a window into Tolkien's writings; I think expensive fan fiction perfectly describes it, it's what someone would have written on the user group internet years back, making up stories using Tolkien ideas as the setting.

I mean, just look at mithral. It's just a rare metal valued by the dwarves because of its rarity but also because of its inherent metallic abilities. Suddenly in this show it is a mystical metal created by a Maiar and a Balrog (fallen Maiar) fighting over a Tree (I think?) and as such now it has mystical properties and can be used to prevent the elves from rotting away and having to flee middle earth. The dwarves won't help them get more of it due to whatever animosity, so they forge it into the Three Rings -- which in Tolkien's lore ARE related to preserving the elves against the ravages of time/mortality (enabling the prolonged existence of Rivendell and Lothlorien, until the One is destroyed, and then the Three fail, so the elves must go). In this case, they are making up reasons why the Three Rings can protect against mortality/time, but it's nothing Tolkien ever said.

Same thing with Mordor. Numenor seems to have been a spin on Atlantis in tolkien's mythology, but I am getting little of the grandeur from RoP Numenor, they all just seem like guys, mostly average, and when the island goes under the sea, I'll just be happy because that plotline will be over.
 
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