Rings of Power 2

Real talk, it’s 3/5 or 4/5. The first episode was 3/5, but the second got better.

It won’t create a dynasty, though. It’s not itself enough.

The big criticism of Rings of Power that’s reasonable is the way it ignores the lore. I’m not talking about Tom Bombadil being cut from the movies. I’m talking about whole chunks of backstory excised, ignored, or butchered. The writers or producers, perhaps someone else, clearly stomped over a script and ordered the people writing it to hit certain beats. But those beats were hit with no attention to the underlying bones of Middle Earth, its melody. Jeff Bezos is Morgoth.

RoP isn’t Tolkien. It’s good generic fantasy. It’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. It’s fine, and given how little is out there in the fantasy space, honestly it’s pretty good. We should be happy Galadriel isn’t in a battle bikini.

In the first bit of the first ep, Galadriel heads up to the frozen north. She wants to pursue Sauron, her team doesn’t, and eventually, they mutiny and turn back. This moment can be looked upon in two lights.

1) This is a generic movie with no connection to Tolkien’s lore. As such, the meaning of that scene is to show Galadriel’s relentlessness via comparison. It builds the character of Galadriel.

2) This is a garbage Tolkien movie that just dumped on history. Galadriel already took her company across the Grinding Ice. She chased her enemies across the frozen north already, and brought most of her elves through. Why then did her platoon refuse now? Why is this different? No explanation is given because the writer’s don’t care about Tolkien’s backstory.

The writers or the producers who demanded a specific story care so little about Tolkien’s backstory, they don’t understand that people could. When someone complains about the loss of the lore, the dev team doesn’t understand that lore is something people can care about.

There’s a romance between an elf and a human in Harad.

1) It’s forbidden love. Get that romance angle going.

2) Tolkien states that romances between humans and elves don’t work.

This is a bit more plausible from a narrative standpoint, as the elf/haradim romance could exist and just tank. They might go down in flames. She or he dies. That would actually help the forbidden love angle too.

Galadriel and her team sail to Valinor. It’s said they were the first ones offered such a privilege.

1) idk. Why is she swimming?

2) Um, no? Any of the elves could? A whole bunch of them did after the defeat of Morgoth.

2a) Also, Arda is, like, right over there. It’s not displaced from Middle Earth yet. It’s a long sail. It’s a one way trip, but it’s a very doable one. That’s why there’s a city in Linden.

2b) Are we skipping the whole fall of Numenor bit? Before the end, Valinor was just some distance west.

2c) Are we doing the founding of Numenor? Is the dude on the ship Elros Tar-Minyatur?

Anyway, luls, no one cared.

The thing here is that there’s nothing beyond shallow entertainment. The show has no depth, and without depth, it won’t last. There’s nothing in it worth exploring, because the entire history and backstory is cludge, slapped together with wishful thinking and special effects when the action requires it. It doesn’t have depth, because the people who made it didn’t care. The dev team didn’t care at all. They were hitting demographic checkboxes, unwilling to explore anything with care. It’s high budget and low effort.

I guess that’s the big problem. Tolkien’s world was a high-effort making. He put work in, and it showed. This wasn’t. No one involved in the making cared. That’s why nerds like me get so frustrated. What I wanted was something made by people who cared about the world not just the casting. And it isn’t there.

It really isn’t that bad. It’s Valerian. Valerian was fine.

Valerian didn’t spawn any sequels.

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