Amazon series:reactions and thoughts (Spoiler alert!)

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Now that the first two episodes are out we do need a threat like this don't we? I guess we can rename it if you come up with a better description...

I added spoiler alert for those who have not yet seen ep 1 and 2, just to be safe.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
What can i say now that i have seen ep 1 and 2?

Well... i am sort of divided. All in all i have to say, as a sceptic, i was mostly positively surprised, but yet there are things i found weird or disliked too.

So far now my biggest concerns are not elven hair length, dwarf women or ethnicity of single characters...it also gladly isn't dialogue.. mostly at last.

I really hope they have not written Celeborn, Celebrimbor and Narvi out of the story...
But what i disliked mostly was Hairfoots keepimg fireflies captive as living lanterns and the raft- scenes, which i found really dreadful. On the other hand, no,pun intended, the story had some interesting elements too...
 

kanji_d

Active Member
I just sat down to watch the first couple episodes, and I kept notes throughout. Here are my thoughts, adaptation opinions, and predictions.

Episode 1

General thoughts

About three quarters of the way through E1 I decided that I don't think this show really counts as an adaptation of Tolkien's stories. I will be treating it, just when judging it generally, as a new story using some of Tolkien's characters, settings, and events. That being said, I do have opinions on its use of the source material, and will be sharing opinions on that below.

Notes, thoughts, and random musings

You will have to put up with my random musings forever. They are a natural part of my experiencing anything. Some are more important, some less.

The opening sequence was very counter to my imagination. There was still light after the Trees were gone. Also, the trees burned up sort of, instead of having the light suched out of them. The ships going to Middle-Earth intrigued me, but it's a one-off so I'm fine with it. The battle scene was also very cool.
Galadriel's whole arc rests on Finrod having died in pursuit of Sauron. This isn't wrong, per se, but it leaves out the very important circumstances of that death!
I very much liked the shot of Sauron during the opening.
Their torches gave off no warmth but still light?
Everyone should know what Sauron is; at least Galadriel will know he is a Maia. There seems to be a lot resting on the mystery of not just who, but what he is.
The captions had them speaking in Quenya. They would have used conversational Sindarin.
I like the Harfoot characters but I don't really like how they've treated them as a whole, since for all intents and purposes they're proto-Hobbits - I wouldn't be surprised if they chose Harfoots because it sounds the most like Hobbit, unlike Stoor or Fallohide.
Elrond was forbidden from an all Elf-Lord council. He is the son of Eärendil. It doesn't get much more lordly than that, unless they're discriminating against him because he's Half-Elven, which it doesn't seem.
Celeborn - where is he? [See predictions]
Elanor Brandyfoot is a name that should not exist yet. Elanor is a flower from Lórien, and to our knowledge Sam was the first to name his kid that. Brandy came from Brandywine.
Of all people, Elrond should be sympathetic to Galadriel. He's very somber, it's kind of a thing with him. He seems far too chipper here.
I honestly don't mind Arondir and Bronwyn's romance, which I expect to be controversial. The story of Mithrellas and Imrazôr indicates to me that Elf-Man romances are more common than just the three mentioned in the Silmarillion and LOTR.
Regarding that, Arondir's captain does say it has only happened twice before, and both times ended in death. I assume he is referring to Beren and Lúthien and Tuor and Idril. Technically they all did die at the end. But Tuor and Idril did not die in the fall of Gondolin, and Beren in fact got resurrected.
Arondir comments that he has not seen alfirin for a long time. The plant may not be native to Harad but it's common elsewhere - it's mentioned in Legolas's song of Lebennin and is also called simbelmynë - which we all know.

The name Hordern reminded me of Michael Hordern, who played Gandalf in the BBC Radio LOTR series.
Ents! There was a shot of Ents and I liked it.
I like the Harad story.
My other biggest qualm with this episode - their treatment of Valinor. The king has to give people the ability to return? And then there's a big choir and light when you get there? Where the heck are they getting this information? That seems totally wrong - and it's important too! This was the weirdest adaptation choice I think they made.

Adaptation opinions

I mentioned Valinor, but I feel they're kind of just taking names and concepts from the Silmarillion and putting them in without much concern for how they actually work. I first noticed this at the title sequence, but it carries generally.
On the characters: I actually really like this Galadriel. I think some people will think of her only through the sedentary Lady of Lórien, but I don't mind her as a warrior. But she's also looked down on a lot. Gil-galad and Elrond are both younger than she is, and both kind of lord over her. Gil-galad is the king, yes, but Elrond? Speaking of Gil-galad - I've always seen him as more like Finrod, though we don't know much about him. Here he seems rather too old and wisened. He did live through the Wars of the Jewels (depending which version you believe...) but aside from the "really wants peace to happen" side of him, I don't see much else I recognize.

On the story

Outside of the adaptation, I think this show does a pretty good job at storytelling. I don't think they'll worry too much about staying in the canon of the Silmarillion or even the appendices, but with regards to LOTR canon, I think they'll stay within their bounds.

Predictions after Episode 1

Galadriel and Celeborn will romance throughout one season. Not this one.
The Harfoots will reach the Shire by the end of the show.
There will be no Annatar. The name is a giveaway.
The Rings will finish their forging by the end of this season and (if what I've heard about their treatment of Númenor is correct) Tar-Palantír will die. S2 will cover the leadup to the War of the Elves and Sauron and the early kingship of Ar-Pharazôn. Then, broadly, S3 will be the War, S4 the Fall of Númenor, and S5 the War of the Last Alliance.


Episode 2

General thoughts

I liked most of this episode, though it seemed to drag at points.

Notes, thoughts, and random musings

I really loved the title sequence.
One of the Harfoots mentioned "the next three seasons" and I thought that was funny.
I didn't like Bronwyn calling an earthquake a ground-shake.
Eregion looked really nice - so did all the landscapes.
Celebrimbor and Elrond had no escort to Khazad-dûm.
Elrond calls Khazad-dûm Elmendéa. This sounds nice but does not seem to be supported - the Elvish names given are, according to Tolkien Gateway, Casarrondo (Q) and Hadhodrond (S).
Khazad-dûm seems to be too close inside the mountains, but is very pretty.
I was worried, with the horns on the plinths, that Sigin-tarâg would be a drinking contest. I am glad it was not. We do not need a scene from the films all over again.
The worm was weird and I didn't understand its significance except as a plot device and action piece.
Halbrand felt like it was a name that came from elsewhere.
The dwarf bits were cool.
I noticed that the incumbent king of Khazad-dûm was listed in the notes on Prime as Dúrin III. This should not be the case, as Dúrin IV should be a resurrection of Dúrin III, and that would be disproven pretty easily if they were alive at the same time.

Adaptation opinions

I didn't have a lot to say here, but I noticed it the title sequence it said "Based on The Lord of the Rings and Appendices", implying there was no license or input from the Silmarillion. I am not sure.

Predictions after Episode 2

The Stranger is a Maia but not Sauron. I suspect Olórin, Aiwendil, or some unnamed servant of Varda. He speaks the words Mana Úrë. I wonder if this is an attempt at Manwë, Aulë, or Ulmo. I cannot be sure.
I still think Annatar will not be named, but I do think Sauron will still influence Celebrimbor's forging process.
There will be a point at which Narvi makes the doors.
Some Haradrim will still become servants of Sauron.
We will see Númenor next episode.


And that's all from me! I will probably do this again next week for Episode 3.
 

Ilana Mushin

Active Member
What can i say now that i have seen ep 1 and 2?

Well... i am sort of divided. All in all i have to say, as a sceptic, i was mostly positively surprised, but yet there are things i found weird or disliked too.

So far now my biggest concerns are not elven hair length, dwarf women or ethnicity of single characters...it also gladly isn't dialogue.. mostly at last.

I really hope they have not written Celeborn, Celebrimbor and Narvi out of the story...
But what i disliked mostly was Hairfoots keepimg fireflies captive as living lanterns and the raft- scenes, which i found really dreadful. On the other hand, no,pun intended, the story had some interesting elements too...
The dialogue is very uneven. I think the non-prologue exposition was clumsy and did not pay enough respect to what characters know already (Gil-Galad asking Elrond if he had heard of the works of Lord Celebrimbor tops my list - as if Elrond who is a friend of Durin had never been to Eregion). I liked the Harfoots much more than I thought I would though. I hope the dialogue improves. I think the performances are mostly good - so far.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Galadriel's whole arc rests on Finrod having died in pursuit of Sauron. This isn't wrong, per se, but it leaves out the very important circumstances of that death!
This is funny, as Finrod makes no attempts to confront Sauron even when Tol-Sirion is taken, and moves against him only after and because Beren calls in a favour.

Everyone should know what Sauron is; at least Galadriel will know he is a Maia. There seems to be a lot resting on the mystery of not just who, but what he is.
Exactly, what use it is to try to go against him alone for Galadriel - like none?

Also I found her 2nd-in-command to be strangely fast to assume Sauron to been mortal and long dead. This would not be the 1st thing an elf would assume about a strong enemy - imho.

Elrond was forbidden from an all Elf-Lord council. He is the son of Eärendil. It doesn't get much more lordly than that, unless they're discriminating against him because he's Half-Elven, which it doesn't seem.
Yeah, I have found Galadriel's remark on him breathing like an orc = not breathing as lighty as a "pure-bood elf" would - bordering on racism.

Celeborn - where is he?
I think her 2nd-in-command is him. The way he looks at her at certain points. And he is dark-haired - (which he should not, but as Elrond in blond in RoP, then somebody else among Arwen's near ancestry must be dark-haired.) I think he will be send back Glorfindel style in some future season. And Celebrian's hair will be dark.


Regarding that, Arondir's captain does say it has only happened twice before, and both times ended in death. I assume he is referring to Beren and Lúthien and Tuor and Idril. Technically they all did die at the end. But Tuor and Idril did not die in the fall of Gondolin, and Beren in fact got resurrected.
I thing Arondir had some human ancestors and as such know exactly how such romances tend to end fom his own family history - as he is the only dark-skinned elf there, he seems to heave inherited this trait from some humans way back - an ancestry that none of his companions seems to share.

And Idril must have died - she is either in Mandos or has followed Tuor beyond - because it is reported that Glorfindel has no [living] kin in Valinor and a such he is send back to Middle-Earth to serve the remnants of Turgon's (whom Glorfindel is described as being kin of) family there. If Glorfindel is kin to Turgon, then Idril being alive in Valinor would a neerer kin to Glorfindel than her grandson Elrond in Middle-Earth. Conclusion - Idril has not reached Valinor alive - or at the very least she has not stayed alive there - as such she was not there when Glorfindel was reembodied.
 
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kanji_d

Active Member
I think her 2nd-in-command is him. The way he looks at her at certain points. And he is dark-haired - (which he should not, but as Elrond in blond in RoP, then somebody else among Arwen's near ancestry must be dark-haired.) I think he will be send back Glorfindel style in some future season. And Celebrian's hair will be dark.
Her second in command is named Thondor in the notes, though I don't think that came up in dialogue.
 

kanji_d

Active Member
And Idril must have died - she is either in Mandos or has followed Tuor beyond - because it is reported thet Glorfindel has no [living] kin in Valinor and a such he is send back to Middle-Earth to serve the remnants of Turgon's (whom Glorfindel is described as being kin of) family there. If Glorfindel is kin to Turgon, then Idril being alive in Valinor would a neerer kin to Glorfindel than her grandson Elrond in Middle-Earth. Conclusion - Idril has not reached Valinor alive - or at the very least she has not stayed alive there - as such she was not there when Glorfindel was reembodied.
Yes, Idril eventually died, but their whole story kinda leads up to the adulthood of Eärendil, after which they fade out of the narrative. The story didn't "end in death" per se.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Her second in command is named Thondor in the notes, though I don't think that came up in dialogue.
They seem to make Celeborn a mistery by design - as such I do not rule it out yet - they still could use aternative names in the notes.

Thondor like in Sindarin for "Root/Base-Guy"?
Like in a "root/base of a family tree"?
 
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Ilana Mushin

Active Member
I don’t think we’ve heard the last of the backstories yet so there may be more that comes out about Finrod and his death later (As I expect the parentage of Elrond will be discussed at some point, as well as the choice he and his brother made). I wonder if they will be working the Ring of Barahir into the story somehow. I think overall they are doing a good job of being consistent enough with the First Age without drawing explicitly on the Silmarillion stories. I reckon Celeborn will come in in a later season so not worried. I can see that the makers of this series are seriously sticking with Tolkien themes and tropes but not trying to write this as a sequel to the Silmarillion.
 

kanji_d

Active Member
I don’t think we’ve heard the last of the backstories yet so there may be more that comes out about Finrod and his death later (As I expect the parentage of Elrond will be discussed at some point, as well as the choice he and his brother made). I wonder if they will be working the Ring of Barahir into the story somehow. I think overall they are doing a good job of being consistent enough with the First Age without drawing explicitly on the Silmarillion stories. I reckon Celeborn will come in in a later season so not worried. I can see that the makers of this series are seriously sticking with Tolkien themes and tropes but not trying to write this as a sequel to the Silmarillion.
Agreed! I think generally the show has stuck well to the theme and tone of Tolkien's work.

Yeah, but in the 2nd age Valinor is still reachable and the world in no round yet. This is the time when Glorfindel returns.
This is true, though I'm not totally sure that's how their Valinor works. And wasn't Glorfindel specifically sent back by the Valar? Not saying they wouldn't do the same for Celeborn, just pointing out it was a special case. Anyway, like Ilana says, I think they'll bring him in later. I'm mostly surprised he wasn't already around, but it does help with Galadriel's solo arc.
 

Ilana Mushin

Active Member
The other question - if Arondir is Silvan how comes he is under Gil-Galad?
They aren’t trying to be literal to the Silmarillion. Gil-Galad as High King is being treated as King of all the elves. They haven’t distinguished between Noldor, Sindar, Silvan, Avari etc so this simplifies things.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
And wasn't Glorfindel specifically sent back by the Valar?
Yeah - but he does not do much - he has no explicit mission. And there is the explanation that he has no living kin in Valinor - as such he is allowed to retun.

Not saying they wouldn't do the same for Celeborn, just pointing out it was a special case. Anyway, like Ilana says, I think they'll bring him in later
[Glorfindel has an old tradition of being left out in movies and replaced by other more prominent figures - I think they would like to continue this tradition.]
Or leave him out altogether. If - as some "normie"-viewers have interpreted - Elrond is implied to be gay - then Arwen will be an adopted child.
Then both Celeborn and Celebrian will be obsolete.
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
They aren’t trying to be literal to the Silmarillion. Gil-Galad as High King is being treated as King of all the elves. They haven’t distinguished between Noldor, Sindar, Silvan, Avari etc so this simplifies things.
Then what about Oropher and Thranduil?
 

Ilana Mushin

Active Member
FWIW these are my likes and dislikes so far:

Likes:
Harfoots (surprisingly) - especially Nori.
Galadriel’s intensity
Elrond (everything really so far)
Celebrimbor (again, surprisingly). He’s a lovely guy who is going to be led astray by his desire to create wonderful art.
The locations
The metaphors used by the different races to show their different viewpoints (Harfoots all about feet and Dwarves all about stone)

Dislikes:
Some of the exposition dialogue which sounded forced
The ticket to Valinor (but am prepared for this to be explained at some point and at least it gives a reason for Galadriel to have had a ‘ban’ on her going back (not by the Valar in this show but by the High King))

Don’t know
Not enough of the story to judge I reckon (See Valinor ticket comment above)
We need time for the characters to develop.

I’ve watched the show twice now and enjoyed it better the second time when I could focus on some of the details - and notice more connections to Tolkien’s work
 

Octoburn

Active Member
I gotta say, I really enjoyed it.

I was a bit disappointed with some small things.
  • The overall generalization of some of the first age events. The deaths of the Trees and Finrod being the most egregious, though I can see that they might not have been allowed to show some of those details, as well as those details aren't overly important to the story being told. So overall, I can bear the fact that we actually got some of the scenes we did, even without full context.
  • I wasn't overly fond of the fact that Gil-Galad could determine whether Galadriel could go West or not.
  • Honestly that's about my only real gripes.
A few things I love:
  • Galadriel
  • Elrond
  • The Durin/Elrond chemistry was great. The whole progress of that story in episode 2 was great, actually.
  • Nori! I get real Merry/Pippin vibes from her, and I find the actress to be fantastic. Probably my favorite character so far.
  • The "star-crossed" romance of Bronwyn/Arondir is actually interesting, I was skeptical if it would seem forced
I'm looking forward to some of the reveals to come (some probably many seasons from now, unfortunately):
  • Who is the Stranger? A Wizard? Sauron? His arrival as the "gate" to/from Valinor was opened seems to imply being sent by the Valar, but it's too early for the Wizards we know.
  • Who is Halbrand? From the initial information, I had vibes that either he was going to end up being Sauron, or a Numenorian refugee of some sort. The second is no longer an option, IMO. Could he be someone important from the Southlands? Or is he Sauron?
  • What's going to happen with Theo? I'm leaning towards a Ringwraith or Mouth of Sauron eventually. Something will happen to his mother due to the Arondir relationship, and that will turn him to the Shadow.
  • What's in the box?
 
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