July 22, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power “The Great Wave”

Season One, Episode Four.

Wait, is this series just one big origin story for, oh everything?

I may not mind that, but I don’t know if I want that either.

If I am being honest, and I always strive to be in these write-ups, I haven’t the slightest idea where anyone would take a Lord of the Rings series that didn’t (or more accurately couldn’t) use either The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit.  I only know The Simarillion exists and that it’s more like the Bible in that its a series of stories and doesn’t really have a story-length narrative of any kind.  There’s a lot to mine from Tolkien’s work, I am sure, but I couldn’t say what that is.  Likewise, I am sure that the producers probably felt they had to include nods towards the works people do know thanks to Peter Jackson were necessary to keep people tuning into what I am sure is an incredibly expensive show.

So, to that end…yeah, the Dwarfs found Mithril.  Queen Regent Miriel has a Palantir.  And that’s not counting how the Southlands seems to be going through some changes in places that, on the map, could indicate why Mordor is just a big environmental superfund site later on.

But it’s also a series that remembers the past…sort of.  I mean, the whole thing opened with Sauron’s…Sauronness, and Galadriel is sure he’s going to cause more trouble, so naturally she mouths off to Miriel, demanding to see her father the king, and for that, they put her into a prison she escapes from rather easily later on.

Galadriel clearly has a long way to go before she learns how diplomacy works, but because the Tears of the Valar start falling, Miriel will help Galadriel anyway.  Because, you know, the past and all.  Credit also to a dream sequence fake out that did not end with a character shooting straight up in bed in fear because, really, that never actually happens.  It’s actually not possible to snap that awake if you were in a deep enough sleep to start dreaming.


By the by, some things never change as a guy with great hair talks down a crowd that was angry that Elves were gonna come to Numenor and take their jobs.  That latter part sounds like something I might have heard in one form or another in the past.

That said, how about Adar?  The head of the Orcs is…I dunno, handsome for an Orc.  Or ugly for an Orc.  Might depend on if we’re judging him by human or Orc standards.  But he’s clearly in charge, and he’ll even let Arondir go if he just tells the local humans to, you know accept Orcish rule in the Southlands.  Since he only really talks to Bronwyn, who still is clearly the only human in that region with access to a quality skin care regimen, I don’t know how that reaction will go down, but points to Theo for hiding from Orcs in a darkened village for as long as he did.  Then again, maybe he should learn some swordsmanship before he threatens Orcs with a magic blade that they recognize.  Plus, big shock the local dick is loyal to Sauron.

I know I may sound like I am bagging on this series, but it’s hard to get a good grasp on.  I do like the Dwarf stuff (Princess Disa is a hoot and Durin is a good friend and a good politician in his own way), and while the Harfoots sat this episode out, they do come across as more human than most.  The problem with any Tolkien adaptation is the stories are written mostly about larger than life archetypes in a sense, and it is hard to find a relatable personality in those sorts of characters without the right scripting and acting.  So far, while there is a lot I do like–say the friendship between Elrond and Durin for example–I don’t think these characters have been fleshed out as much as people yet.  That I would lay more at the feet of the story being told than anything.

It’s basically why I liked Game of Thrones as a story:  it used the sorts of stories and characters that were popular with Tolkien’s fantasy worldview and made them act like something resembling real people in an actual Medieval world.  Whether The Rings of Power can achieve that, I don’t know yet.