The Rings of Power Post-watch Discussion (Spoilers)

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Post by halfwise Tue Sep 13, 2022 6:57 pm

Well, most people will disagree with you about Gollum. I thought it was one of the strongest points of the PJ adaptation.

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Post by Forest Shepherd Tue Sep 13, 2022 7:08 pm

It's certainly a part of the story that Jackson latched on to and had a lot of interest in.
But I do not like how the drama of Gollum's redemption arc in the movie depends upon fabricated story beats: Sam mistrusting Gollum, the near-capture in Osgiliath and Gollum's reaction to Sam's speech, the betrayal at the pool, Lembas-gate on the stairs, and Frodo allowing himself to be led into Shelob's lair.
These beats feel like screenwriting tricks, not well-written adaptation of the same ideas in the book.


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Post by Forest Shepherd Tue Sep 13, 2022 7:12 pm

Wait, wait, wait, what does this have to do with RoP?

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Post by halfwise Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:08 pm

RoP has become a boring topic, since there's nothing redeeming except the visuals.

I agree many of the gollum story beats were poor, (though the pool scene was close to the book and well done I thought), but the character of Gollum came through well, and the split personality scene and self discussion of orcs over his reflection was done well. Given all the modifications to the character of Aragorn, Frodo and Denethor, Gollum came through well.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:32 pm

{{ I'm not a fan of the pool scene, in fact I redid the order of it try to make it less childish and simplicstic in my edit, but the whole idea of a good Smeagol and bad Gollum, and that good Smeagol would talk away the bad part is stupid, the implication in the film is if Faramir hadnt turned up Smeagol had all but cured himself, and all it took was someone to be nice to him for a coupe of days.

In fact in general in PJ's its very hard to find a character who IS like the books save in very broad strokes. Of the fellowship Boromir is probably only one really close and thats probably only as he dies early on and they dont get time ot screw him over- even so his tale includes such awful clunkiness as Gandalfs eyewiggling- itll be him! wanring outside Moria to Frodo, or Galadriels hamfisted "One by one they will betray you, it has aready started, he will try to take the Ring, you know who I mean"- really, for fucks ake PJ want a sledghehammer to hit that harder with, make it more obvious to the audience?. Gandalf is ok but they took the crabbit edge out of him which I dont like at all, book Gandalf is way more grumpy, way more prone to snapping in impatience or anger- which is why I prefer Horderns Gandalf or even Bakshi's, least hes grumpy. Frodo- well has less in common with book Frodo than has in common with him, Sam isnt even his servant any more but his friend he goes drinking with, ruining the basis for their development, Merry nd Pippin are vagabond chancers who steal crops out of fields. Aragorn is reluctant, Legolas is a anime action figure, Gimli reduced to very poor comic relief with the bar set at its lowest for humour.

When you get all the main characters so abysmally wrong its hardly any wonder secondary characters like Saruman, Denethor, Faramir and the like are also mere shadows of their former book selves, dumbed down, simplififed, turned into simple carictures of good and bad.}}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Sep 14, 2022 11:56 am


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Post by halfwise Thu Sep 15, 2022 8:36 pm

Have to admit there were so many other f'ed up things to blather about it didn't even register that Galadriel was running around stag with Celborn nowhere to be seen.

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/tell-where-celeborn-much-desire-161352391.html


Last edited by halfwise on Fri Sep 16, 2022 1:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Forest Shepherd Fri Sep 16, 2022 6:39 am

Well or her daughter, for that matter. You know, Elrond's future wife.

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Post by Forest Shepherd Fri Sep 16, 2022 6:45 am

I just finished episode 4.

'Twas ghastly, but not so irredeemably horrible that I don't care to continue.
Let me be very clear: I hate it, but I still want to see where it's going, at least some of the plots. If the midgets and the proto-Mordor cast were cut out I would hate it a little bit less.

This episode in particular had several eye-rollingly poor plot choices, especially in the proto-Mordor and the Numenor plot lines. More like Mor-durr and Numenope am I right? lol
They were so blatantly done only to advance the plot, despite their flimsiness, that the overall quality of the writing can be laughingly besmirched as "C-grade".

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Post by halfwise Fri Sep 16, 2022 1:51 pm

I sort of enjoyed this review, though it didn't get into the real problem with RoP: the writing sucks on a fundamental level.

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/rings-power-caught-between-real-111527418.html

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Post by Forest Shepherd Fri Sep 16, 2022 7:12 pm

It sure does.

They've given Tolkien's dream of the consuming wave to Miriel as well as a palantir in her possession, for anyone who looks in it.

I want to do a crabbit review of episode 4, just of the bad writing high-points. But then I haven't done episode 2 and 3 yet either. It's all so tiresome.

Just a brief thought, any show worth its salt, wishing to stand on its own two feet, would ABSOLUTELY revise how the Palantiri are used. It's a goddamn magic ball. Just look into it. This whole curling of one's fingers above it as Saruman does in Jackson has overshadowed the absolutely simplicity of the object, as well as all the times in Jackson that characters used a palantir without Saruman-tickling it.

In RoP, it's become a question of placing one's hand on it, at which point the orb begins to crack and splinter and shatters into a vision for the one who has touched it. The orb is again intact when the vision ends.

Even mentioning "palantir" begins to send me into a spiral of annoyance.
Why are the palantir described as being partially lost already? The Numenorean survivors bring all seven to Middle-earth. They are not some of them lost at this point in history.
Why does Miriel wish to use this famous elven gift when she has such an unfriendly view towards elves? Why does she even have a palantir? Surely Elendil and his house were in possession of all seven.
Why is the palantir showing a vision of Numenor's downfall in such an incomplete manner? The city looks exactly as it does now. No temple to Morgoth, no foul reek covering the city, no captives from Middle-earth brought in chains to be sacrificed (Does this happen in the lore? Idk sounds familiar): just a pristine vision of it as it is today.
It's all so damned awkward to give Miriel, who is the ruler of Numenor in this show, prescience concerning what happens to Numenor.
And yeah, I get it. Ar-Pharazon will snatch power after she leaves the island with Galadriel (gay), and he and not-Sauron will become corrupt and doom Numenor. That doesn't make it better!

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Post by Forest Shepherd Fri Sep 16, 2022 11:02 pm

Huh, the line, known to you all by now I presume, "I have a tempest in me!" from our beloved Galadriel ( Wink ) is basically mimicking Cate Blanchett's character in the second Elizabeth movie. Ironic.


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Post by halfwise Sat Sep 17, 2022 5:19 pm

The only dialogue I liked in Episode 4 was from this Amal or Aral or whatever the hell character Joseph Malwe is playing (don't even have his name right). He didn't say much, but if this continues I'd suspect they hired a separate writer for him.

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Post by Forest Shepherd Sat Sep 17, 2022 9:55 pm

Adar, as in "father", apparently.

It's hilarious that the first elf we see who actually looks like an elf is the villain of the first season.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sat Sep 17, 2022 11:26 pm

{{ I really had to push myself to watch ep 4, I wish I hadn't really.  Mad

Its becoming increasingly impossible to review this as any sort of Tolkien thing, as any mention of stuff actually from Tolkien is almost immediately butchered. For example we all know how the 7 palantir got saved from Numenor and taken to Middle earth, and sure enough here we have a palantir, but now its in possession of Miriel and its supposedly the last one and the rest are already lost. What? Why? It even contradicts Pjs version which at least has 2 of them in it.
And its like this every time, we meet Durin, as in King Durin and get a conversation between him and Durin jnr that alludes to the reincarnation belief but the fact there's two of them standing there at the same time having the conversation completely breaks the lore.

Galadriel remains unlikeable and can of course do anything, in this episode that includes scaling the largest tower in Numenor in a dress, and somehow rallying Numenor to go fight for her without really having to do anything at all. And all without ever changing  her pointy angry face expression. Amazing.

The people of Numenor continue to disappoint, they are sheep, at episodes start they are being easily rallied into a bizarre anti elf fervour with the worst insult chant every - “elf-lover” I wasn't sure if it was an insult or a request.
And then at episodes end when Miriel does a complete 360 out of nowhere and opts to support Galadriel and take a fleet to ME to defend the Southlands everyone is volunteering to go!

Do the people hate the elves so much the sight of one has them talking about elves coming and taking their jobs? (yeah thats really in there, Orange Man Bad!) or love them so much they will volunteer to go join them in a war two minutes later?
And how does Galadriel have the authority for any of this? Is she just going to rock up to Gil-Galad and announce she has raised an army of Numenoreans and she's just popped by to grab the elf army to go fight in the south?
And have Numneor never been to ME or set up colonies and ports there already? If not where the hell have they been sailing too, what are all the ships for? Sailing round and round Numenor? Oh my head hurts! And another thing, the story timelines seem out of synch- on the Elrond/dwarves tower building one the tower is half built, which must have taken a bit of time, but on the southlands plot it seems like only a week at most since they arrived as they all talk as if newly there, so howlong is it?  Banghead  Banghead

Meanwhile not Sauron Halabathingy is saying Sauron stuff about how to manipulate people and for some reason, despite being in jail for assault appears free as a bird at the end without explanation. Does anyone care on the writing team about anything?

There's some nonsense with Isildur getting kicked out the navy and taking his two mates down with him, and some teen romance rubbish between Isildurs made up sister and Ar-Pharazons made up son, whose dodgy and probably a future Nazgul. And theres Ar-Pharazon, who gets some terrible dialogue but I quite like the actors performance, he has command of a scene, even flimsily written ones.

Elrond is back with Durin getting to the bottom of his mithril secret, and theres some actually half decent scenes between the two ignoring all knowledge of Tolkien that is. Disa however is quite annoying, her Scottish accent is a bit of a mess and worse it continues the PJ trend of giving them Scottish accents not being enough, they have to add bits of Scottish culture to it too, in this case Disa and her 'wains', a Scottish term for children. I find it insults Tolkien's own creation, his dwarves don't need to borrow language and culture from Scotland and have it imposed upon them, they have their own culture already in the books and a good writer would be looking to bring it out, not just slap a pre-existing one on top.

And then, lo and behold from the heavens something almost from the lore- ok its just dialogue and its Elrond telling of Earendil, something they can actually get reasonably right as its a tale told in the LotR's in brief that they have rights too.

And then the heavens are denied again and were back with nonsense like Numenor preparing to go to ME and take on Sauron in the Southlands.

Oh and south lands girl, bland elf and blander boy with spooky sword hilt are in this too, but its so painfully dull, woodenly acted, and inconsistent (orcs cant pursue them beyond eves of forest as the sun is out, last week a bunch of orc archers shot the elves escaping whilst clearly standing out in the open, like I say no one involved in this cares so as a viewer nor do I) its barely worth remembering what happens. Needless to say elf does some trailer bait stunts whilst pursued by orcs, his would be love interest turns up without explanation of how she knew where they were, and bloke orcs call father is an elf who wants all the men to agree to his rule over the lands or else. Who is he? No idea, dont really care. Mouth of Sauron eventually maybe? And apparently not all the south men have turned from Morgoth and Sauron. Oh and elf is from Beleriand, both of them evil and hero elf.

The sets, cgi Numenor and stuff continue to be the best thing in this. Ill leave it to Forest to give a better breakdown of what passes for the actual story as I cant even be assed to properly recap it, its too painful, bad enough watching it once.

Oh and odd choice to show the destruction of Numenor in the palantir, given its presumably quite a long time away before that happens its odd to give away the money-shot, and we see it twice in this one ep, if they keep showing it in this fashion it will be rather anti-climatic when Numneor finally does go down it'll be like watching a repeat- also no Temple, White Tree still there- as you'd expect by now, butchered lore.  Extremely Crabbit }}

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Post by halfwise Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:26 am

I'm still waiting for one scene that lines up with something Tolkien actually wrote.  :drum:

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Sep 18, 2022 7:06 am

{{ A correction to the above, apparently would be Sauron is freed from jail at the end for helping Ar-Pharazon by telling him Galadriel is going to the tower to see the old king, so Miriel can be there waiting for her- only as Galadriel is thrown in jail for demanding to go see the old King I didnt think anyone needed a hint as to where she was going, as its fucking obvious where she wants to go she has already told them!!!! Banghead Hence my missing that line, I had assumed a tiny modicum of intelligence on the part of the characters, an obvious mistake with this show Mad The writing in this is just awful. Mad }}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Sep 18, 2022 8:18 pm


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Post by Forest Shepherd Mon Sep 19, 2022 6:47 am

Am I mistaken, or does Denethor not possess a Palantir in the Jackson movie?

That still makes two Palantiri in the movie, of course, including Sauron's implied possession of at least one.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Sep 19, 2022 6:58 am

{{ The film doesnt state openly, but the implication is the stone Aragorn looks into in Minas Tirirth is the stone from Orthanc, as its wrapped in the same cloth it was in Edoras not the books Minas Tirirth stone which is absent from the films, despite them retaining Denethors dialogue, "Did you think the eyes of the White Tower were blind." However in Aragorns palantir vision he sees a shot zooming in on an armed Sauron and he is holding another palantir in his hand- so in PJs there are at least 2 still active (should be 3 but Mad )}}

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Post by Forest Shepherd Mon Sep 19, 2022 7:35 am

OH right, yeah, Sauron is shown in that Extended Edition scene with Aragorn.

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Post by Forest Shepherd Mon Sep 19, 2022 8:39 am

Now where were we... Oh yes! Episode 2: Adrift.

This one is directed by Bayona. I don't know if they all are, I haven't been paying attention.

But we get an opening title sequence of bits of sand forming shapes on a black surface.

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(Apologies for the poor quality of these and any other screenshots I upload. My connection is, and always has been since i first had internet back in 2005 or so, rather poor. I can stream in HD, at times, but this is unreliable to the extreme.)

This is the first episode in which we see this opening sequence, but I'm on episode 4 actually so I've seen it several times. And I must say, it has grown on me.
However, the mood it sets is too light for the subject material: lacking the weight that is required. The main refrain sounds like the cue for a happy scene in a family drama. Jackson's opening titles had an uncertain, eerie mood to them thanks to the ring theme played on strings. A sense of things unknown. This RoP gives the impression of some amount of peaceful wonder.

Anyway, the opening sequence seems to be alluding to the Music of the Ainur from the Silmarillion. The golden sand and pebbles shift as though magnetically-driven: forming various shapes. I recognized the two trees, but the rest went over my head. The best part of the opening is a moment when the golden sand is invaded by a snake of black sand accompanied by a darker theme of drum and trumpet.
If this is meant to remind us of the Music, it should be noted that no discordance is introduced along with this dark theme. And actually, the use of a male choir singing in the style of the Khazad-dum score from LotR makes it sound like the black snake is dwarven in nature.


The episode proper. Galadriel is floating in the ocean, watching the stars overhead. I wonder if she can tell which way is up now? lol
Or perhaps she is orienting herself before starting out swimming, which she does after a few moments.

And then we cut back to the other cliff-hanger of last episode: the Nori-midget at the edge of the meteorite impact.
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The fat Sam-midget catches up to her and starts crying about how Nori shouldn't be here, accidentally pushing her down into the crater, of course. The flames are not hot, Nori says.
I really don't understand this show's obsession with flames that are burning but not putting off heat. If the show is consistent, then the crater must be the site of great evil. Some might say that to have a flaming meteor that crashes into the ground and sets the impact area alight with flame that isn't hot the touch is a really dumb idea.
And they would be right.
Behold! Flames that burn but do not burn at the same time! (Or simply do not burn living creatures or their clothes, but that do burn wood?)
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Still, the scenes not all bad. When Nori turns around to look at Poppy-midget (the pause screen on Amazon tells me that this is Not-Sam's name), Meteor Man grabs hold of Nori and she gives an unintentionally hilarious reaction.
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Meteor Man wakes up enough to yell into Nori-midget's face for a while as objects around him float into the air, and all the flames of the impact crater are drawn into his eye. Then he blacks out again, the flames relight, and the objects fall back to the ground.
I don't know what this is meant to represent, except for some kind of innate power over fire and gravity. Ooh it's Gandalf! You might be tempted to say, if you were a dull sort of person. But since when does Gandalf's magical fire not burn flesh? There are a good many wargs and goblins who can attest to his flames burning a great deal.

And the defiance of gravity? This is a tired trope in movies and shows these days, meant as an easy shorthand for psychic power. I am not impressed with this episode thus far.

Cut to the chief-midget patrolling the midget-camp with, I think, his wife and Nori-midget's step-mom(?) in tow. The "star-fall" is a bad omen, they all agree.

Noone else is awake after the meteor passed over, and there's a short comedy scene where Nori and Poppy steal supplies from the background as the chief stalks around suspiciously.

The two little midgets get Meteor Man into a little cart and pull him closer to their camp. They make a tent for him out of sticks and a blanket.

Poppy and Nori have a not-very-interesting conversation on the way there and at the location. Poppy wants nothing to do with the Meteor Man, while Nori thinks fate has brought them together and they must help him. This talk of fate reminds me of Galadriel's same thoughts later in... this episode I believe?
Clearly there's a common theme here of the importance of chance encounters.

And with that, I shall have to cut short the review for the night. I am falling asleep as I type, so that I shake back to consciousness with a line ready to type that I had thought up while half-awake. None of these have made any sense, naturally, so let us end it there for now.

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Post by halfwise Mon Sep 19, 2022 2:12 pm

I'm impressed you take the time to do screen shots. I'm mainly watching the episodes slack-jawed with horrified astonishment like a Gomer; don't have the wherewithall to document any of this mess.

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Post by Forest Shepherd Mon Sep 19, 2022 4:34 pm

Well I find that a screenshot is invaluable in reviewing a work done in a visual format. I only wish I had a way to put in short clips with sound.

One quick thought about the conversation between Nori and Poppy: They each reach a point of frustration in the back and forth when they yell out a response, first Poppy and then Nori. This response cuts short the tiresome back and forth and gives them some breathing room in which to make their point. It is a familiar tactic in drama but didn't work very well in my opinion. Nori's was better, as she is the better actress, but overall it reminded me of lesser shows.

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"The earth was rushing past like a river or a sea below him. Trees and water, and green grass, hurried away beneath. A great roar of wild animals rose as they rushed over the Zoological Gardens, mixed with a chattering of monkeys and a screaming of birds; but it died away in a moment behind them. And now there was nothing but the roofs of houses, sweeping along like a great torrent of stones and rocks. Chimney-pots fell, and tiles flew from the roofs..."
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Post by halfwise Mon Sep 19, 2022 6:08 pm

There's lesser shows? (leaving aside production values)

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