The Rings Of Power has wrapped up its first season. All I can say is: . . Shame on all those who participated in this travesty.
I have never seen a major work of literature so badly altered, abused or handled in such a disrespectful manner as The Rings Of Power. Tolkien’s masterpiece barely makes it through the wreckage.
This show was worth my time. I came in with low expectations, and was for a while charmed by the show. But quickly, the flaws in the story and its characters began to show. This show, of Mithril is not well-crafted.
In a future piece I will attempt to put together all the problems with the entire first season. But for now let’s just look at the terrible Season 1 finale. Nearly every thing that could have gone wrong happened. Even my worst fears about the show’s quality were not realized.
On Strangers & Red Herrings
The Stranger is seen wandering through a forest when someone starts him. He drops his apple. The Stranger chases the mysterious person until he discovers it is Nori. It’s and notNori. He mistakenly thought he was Nori, but in just two seconds, the mysterious person transforms into Nori’s head witch. It makes us wonder why he did not realize it was her until then. It’s okay!
The other witches come to him and tell him that he is. . . Sauron! Although this might fool some viewers it is very obvious that this is a ruse to trick viewers into believing that the question has been answered (in just five minutes no less!) So that viewers don’t pay too close attention to the left hand.
They promise to take him east towards Rhun, where the veil that is clouding his thoughts can easily be lifted and he can regain his powers. Side-note: It appears that The Stranger will be accompanied by Nori to Rhun in Season 2. This is great news, if they haven’t ruined Season 1! The Stranger is excited and starts to do his strange wind power until the witches stop and tie him up. But then they hear something, and decide to shape-shift instead. . . reasons).
The Harfoots arrive and discover that only two witches are present. They distract them, and then release the bound Stranger. But it’s the head witch! The witch, who is so powerful that she could not disguise herself to the Harfoots, was actually the head witch! The Stranger arrives and starts a brawl. The head witch sets everything ablaze and the Stranger thinks that he is bad. However, Nori gives him a cheery pep talk before handing him the staff.
We knew he needed something that could control his powers. The staff appears to be that thing. He’s standing straight and clear and has put out all the flames. Gandalf immediately stole a line and told him to the witches, “From shadow you came, and from shadow you will return!”
They yell, “Wait! You’re not Sauron!” “You’re…”
He says “I’m good!” and makes me question everything I know about Hollywood professional writing. Then he banishes them to the shadow with butterfly magic.
Sauron is not the answer. Sauron could also be anyone else. ?
The Left Hand Of Darkness
While a magician might distract you with his righthand so you don’t see what he’s doing using his left, the creators The Rings Of Power have proven less gifted at magic. Everyone saw the Mordor twist just a few seconds away, and everyone who paid attention knew that Halbrand would be Sauron. There are no surprises.
Galadriel and Halbrand were able to teleport from Mordor into Eregion, despite Halbrand’s wound, which requires “Elvish healing.” It must have taken them a lot of riding to reach this point in six days. A person who is seriously injured can ride at a gallop for days, or even weeks without any complications.
They arrive in Eregion, where Celebrimbor and Elrond are discussing their plans for the future after the dwarves refuse them mithril. Galadriel and Halbrand arrive at the exact same moment as Gil-Galad, which is a very convenient time. This show does not rely on coincidences or contrivances.
Gil-Galad informs them that they are running out of time, and he is ordering the abandonment of Eregion. Everyone must immediately go to Lindon so they can all leave Middle-earth, and return to Valinor. Celebrimbor and Elrond argue for more time, and Gil-Galad reluctantly grants them it. It’s still funny to me that Gil-Galad sent Galadriel off at the start of the season and declared it a time of peace. But, just a few episodes later, they find out that the entire elvish population is doomed.
Halbrand was taken to receive “Elvish healing”, which Arondir claimed the elves do not actually possess. He is then miraculously much better. He immediately heads to Celebrimbor’s workshop, and sounds excited to discover that the elf he is talking to is the great Celebrimbor. Celebrimbor asks him about the mithril, and when he tells him that they don’t have enough, Celebrimbor suggests making an alloy (hence, the episode’s name, “Alloyed”. This is what a master elf smith would not think of, of course.
Celebrimbor: “Thanks for your intriguing suggestion”, Halbrand responds, “Call it gift!”
This line is, for anyone who has any knowledge about the actualstory of The Rings of Power, a dead giveaway. The Lord of Gifts is Sauron’s name, and he tries to seduce the elves with his promises when he visits the elves as Annatar. Gil-Galad, Elrond and Galadriel aren’t fooled, but Celebrimbor–weakened by his ambition–is, and takes Annatar into his confidence in Eregion.
Galadriel’s questions finally surface at this point when Celebrimbor begins talking about forging “new power”. She is immediately suspicious when she discovers that Halbrand has given Celebrimbor some advice. I don’t know why she took so long. After running into him in middle of the ocean, she’s basically drag him along, kicking and screaming. Now is she suspicious of him?
She hires an elf clerk to search her records on the lineage of the Southlands kings. He says it will take him ages and he’ll have to go to the catacombs. But he returns quickly and she discovers the terrible truth: There is no king in the Southlands. She didn’t know this and spent ten minutes more at the Hall of Lore, Numenor.
She confronts Halbrand, and he quickly confesses. He was born before the break of the song. He has had many names. If the scene before this point was better, it might have been a decent scene. But it is all so contrived. All of the above relied on Galadriel’s stupidity or truly radical coincidence. They could have done this in a more convincing and surprising way, but they did it in a hurry and tore the source material apart.
Galadriel rejects Sauron’s offers to her to be her ruler (Sorry Kylo Ren!) He leaves Eregion. Galadriel instead of telling Celebrimbor and Elrond the truth, tells them to make three rings, for…uh…balance.
They create the rings in about fifteen minutes and then stare at them in awe.
These rings took 90 years to make. They don’t make the first rings, but they do make the rings of men and dwarves. Galadriel even states that they should be reserved for elves only. Sauron would have been present for the forging all rings of men or dwarves. He had a plan to get the elves involved in making those rings, so that he could control all of them and make the One Ring secretly. The elves discovered his deception but they made the One Ring before Sauron could control all the others.
None of this is possible! The basic elements of forging the actual Rings of Power are not even present. Halbrand/Sauron spends one day in Eregion before he leaves. This is in no way accurate to the source. While I can understand the need to adapt, this is not a change. This is a complete rewrite on a well-known story. To what end?
They need to get silver and gold from Valinor in order for them to make the rings. Though a lot of the elvish stuff found in Eregion is likely made of silver and gold from Valinor, they eventually use Galadriel’s dagger–even though it’s all she has left of her brother.
Halbrand, on the other hand, makes his way back to Mordor, where we see him walking over the mountains, and looking down at the volcano plain at Mount Doom. It doesn’t appear that we are getting into a relationship with Halbrand/Galadriel, sorry. This episode does not mention Celeborn.
The Second Thought: Let’s not Go to Numenor. It’s a Silly Place
The Numenorean ship that brought Elendil, Miriel, and one friend with Isildur home to this episode is given many great views. I’m still not sure where everything fits. Where are the horses? All the food and tents? How many people? It’s a small ship!
This plotline is very insignificant. Elendil and Miriel have a conversation on the boat. Elendil’s personality-deficient daughter hangs out with the dying king, who shows her the palantir before croaking. (Having just seen a much more dramatic scene, with a king die at House Of The Dragon this past Sunday), I couldn’t help but think of comparisons in my head.
When the king passes away, Ar-Pharazon’s face is a little more menacing. The bay is filled with black sails. Elendil and Miriel see them and know what has happened, but she doesn’t. What do you see?
That’s . . . It’s kind of it. It’s a little setup for Season 2.
Sara Zwangobani (Marigold Brandyfoot), Dylan Smith (Largo Brandyfoot), Beau Cassidy (Dilly), … [+]BEN ROTHSTEIN/PRIME VIDEO
The Harfoots finally say goodbye to Nori the Stranger. The Stranger is heading east, and Nori says it’s an adventure. He tells her that you need companions to do that. She agrees to go along with her father when he tells her. We are then subject to long, tedious, and saccharine farewells. Do you really need to say farewell to Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy?
Poppy is distraught that Nori is going. She asks Nori, “Why do all my loved ones have to go?” Nori replies that they wouldn’t be able to learn anything new if they didn’t. Poppy doesn’t have any relatives left in the caravan. She can pull her own cart (despite all the chanting), and they are best friends. Female Sam and female Frodo should go together!
Finally, Nori sets off with the Stranger. We have another couple of years to wait. . . Well, it’s not about anything Tolkien wrote. It’s comforting to remember that the Rings Of Power, and Mordor were created in a mere ten-day period. Condensing thousands upon thousands of years in a week and half is a great way to express epic fantasy.
This is quality writing, people.
The actual forging of the rings could have been a whole season. To Annatar/Halbrand’s deception. To the elves’ vanity. We could have waited until later to tell Numenor’s story. It is a story about the quest to cheat death and the pride that comes before the fall. There are many ways that this TV series could have taken Tolkien’s original work and made it a television series worthy of its source material. Ironically, Amazon’s Lord Of The Rings has also been stricken by pride.
They cut too much, when they had a great story to tell about Amazon’s purchase of hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s not too expensive to tell this story. Why not tell the same story? I don’t understand.
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