That is the problem with him in RoP. His character relies solely on his name from the texts. He does not stand on his own. He might find his purpoose now or when he is 70 year old. There is no urgency for him to do so in story. He wants to go to the West - West of Numenor, Valinor? It is good of him for himself and others for him to want to go there at all - or is it bad? We do not know and we do not even get a hint. He abandons the idea the moment he can go East - oh, so his goal was just to go anywhere - and neither seams important to anything. And he does not really suffer from his purposelessness. He is not yet in any existential pain about it. It is like watching you neigbour across the street bringing his trash out. Some purpose there, but neither urgent nor imporant. And as such not very engaging.I'm rooting for him to find his purpose, which we know from the story Tolkien wrote will manifest in his rescue of a fruit from Nimloth and then in setting up Gondor and whatever role he plays in the Last Alliance. How he gets from where he is now to there is an open question - but one I'm sure will be told in this show.
That is the problem with him in RoP. His character relies solely on his name from the texts. He does not stand on his own
Well in Isildur's case, his story is there because of the story Tolkien wrote. It's a bit like saying that Aragorn's character in the PJ films relies solely on his name from the texts. I don't see anything wrong with anticipating Isildur's trajectory (or Galadriel's, or Elrond's etc). It is something we are invited to do.
But I do agree that the character and his/her story should be able to stand on its own two feet. I don't have an issue with Isildur's story so far on that account:
Without reference to what we know about Isildur later: Isildur is a young Numenorean of good family who is clearly having trouble finding his place, possibly because he has dreams of doing something 'worthy of Numenor' and nothing he has so far tried has succeeded in this. He keeps hearing a voice calling his name when he is at sea - is that the voice of Numenor itself? He has talked big about joining his brother out west where The Faithful have their enclave (I got NO sense that west meant Valinor) and he feels deeply but perhaps hopelessly about The Faithful cause because he takes the first opportunity presented to join the mission on Middle Earth (led by an Elf). As he tells Galadriel on the boat, he had to get away from the place because he can see where Numenor is heading and it looks hopeless to him. His 'purposlesness' does have consequences - he has dragged his friends into trouble and got them kicked off the Sea Guard, and the death of Ontamo will also weigh heavily once he finds out about it. He envies his friends who know what they want out of life. He has a heroic streak - we see this in his actions rescuing Kemen and also in the battle. I think the scene on the boat does show his pain, and also the grief for the loss of his mother, which also lies heavily on Elendil. They are both trying to work through their grief and that is a part of their story as the show is telling it.
Based on what we've seen so far one could see Isildur as a whiny privileged immature kid (as his friends do at one point), or as a product of a society which has not had to contend with war for centuries (exemplifying social and political issues in Numenor).
If I knew nothing about Tolkien, I'd anticipate that Isildur was not dead by the end of S1 even though he is presumed dead. We know in general about stories that characters do not get set up in the way Isildur is set up to be killed off early , and without seeing a body. So his 'presumed dead' serves to drive Elendil's story further by doubling both his grief and his resolve to remain 'faithful'.
Aragorn is interesting from the moment we meet him in the movies. We not even know his name - Aragorn - untill much later (this happens in the book too). There is both almost instant urgency and importance to him.Well in Isildur's case, his story is there because of the story Tolkien wrote. It's a bit like saying that Aragorn's character in the PJ films relies solely on his name from the texts. I don't see anything wrong with anticipating Isildur's trajectory (or Galadriel's, or Elrond's etc). It is something we are invited to do.
Exactly, even if he dies - good riddance...a whiny privileged immature kid