Amazon series:reactions and thoughts (Spoiler alert!)

Ilana Mushin

Active Member
Not all. There are non-book-readers who are clearly put off by the "Karen&Mary Sue" Galadriel and do finds the overall story boring - which is the most common accusation I do hear. My husband - who is not a Tolkien fan and has not read the books - fell asleep during the 3rd episode. And that seems to occur quite often - at least it gets reported often.
Not according to my friends and family who are not big Tolkien readers (some are GoT fans too) - they are really enjoying the slow build and world building. Lots of recent streaming shows (especially multi season ones) take at least half a season to get going. Often the second season is really where the story starts (when viewers are familiar with the characters and the locations etc). I do think that a lot of the push back is from people for whom this isn’t ’head canon’. People who don’t like fantasy or epic storytelling aren’t going to like the show no matter what (my mother and sister would be in that camp).
 

Ilana Mushin

Active Member
Not all. There are non-book-readers who are clearly put off by the "Karen&Mary Sue" Galadriel and do finds the overall story boring - which is the most common accusation I do hear. My husband - who is not a Tolkien fan and has not read the books - fell asleep during the 3rd episode. And that seems to occur quite often - at least it gets reported often.
Don’t get me wrong though - I’m not telling anyone how to appreciate (or not) this show. The different receptions to me are interesting.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Not according to my friends and family who are not big Tolkien readers (some are GoT fans too) - they are really enjoying the slow build and world building. Lots of recent streaming shows (especially multi season ones) take at least half a season to get going. Often the second season is really where the story starts (when viewers are familiar with the characters and the locations etc). I do think that a lot of the push back is from people for whom this isn’t ’head canon’. People who don’t like fantasy or epic storytelling aren’t going to like the show no matter what (my mother and sister would be in that camp).
I do not think many Tolkien readers have much of a "head canon" about the 2nd age really - a broad framework about what had happened - but only few have thought it through and have a real imagination of it.
 
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Rob Harding

Well-Known Member
Not all. There are non-book-readers who are clearly put off by the "Karen&Mary Sue" Galadriel and do finds the overall story boring - which is the most common accusation I do hear. My husband - who is not a Tolkien fan and has not read the books - fell asleep during the 3rd episode. And that seems to occur quite often - at least it gets reported often.
My wife didn't make it past episode one. This is why I specified 'fans'. Our spouses clearly aren't fans. But I find a lot of people watching this show who are enjoying it but who also read the books, are finding more places to pick holes. Which is natural but I don't think it's as much a criticism of the show as it is of expectation. Which is absolutely fine. Not everything is for everyone. I tried to watch the Artemis Fowl movie as I loved the books as a kid but they are such a huge departure that I know I won't enjoy them. However, I reckon young kids (the target audience) probably will. And I'm okay with that. Just means I don't get an Artemis Fowl movie. But again, those are things I enjoyed when I was a preteen not a man in his mid-thirties. So I'm happy to let go not liking that thing. Not every piece of art is for everyone.

Galadriel certainly isn't a Mary Sue. A Mary Sue is a stand-in character who is super capable and can do no wrong. You yourself have already plainly stated that she isn't flawless. I personally think this is a huge asset. She is preoccupied with her mission and has spent centuries battling the enemy and isn't yet ready to let go of that tunnel-vision which blinds her somewhat or at least minimises, the issues of others' lives in some aspects. So she certainly isn't a Mary Sue. She is a very competent combatant and survivalist but it'd frankly be off if a general of the Elves wasn't.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Galadriel certainly isn't a Mary Sue. A Mary Sue is a stand-in character who is super capable and can do no wrong. You yourself have already plainly stated that she isn't flawless. I personally think this is a huge asset. She is preoccupied with her mission and has spent centuries battling the enemy and isn't yet ready to let go of that tunnel-vision which blinds her somewhat or at least minimises, the issues of others' lives in some aspects. So she certainly isn't a Mary Sue. She is a very competent combatant and survivalist but it'd frankly be off if a general of the Elves wasn't.
I have just citied an now kind of famous critique point that is not mine own here - I am myself too unfamiliar with the "Karen" concept -


The issue is, she is too perfect in some areas - making all others seem far weeker than they should be expected to be - while also extremely bad in some others - like e.g. social interactions (which leads to people a facture of her age (e.g. Elendil) to treat her on sceen like a little capricious child) - which makes her doubly unrelatable to the audience as both of the extremes are not understandable in an (even young) adult being.
 
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Rob Harding

Well-Known Member
Oh, I'm not saying there is criticism out there. Amazon had to take down the reviews section to stop it getting review bombed before the show had been watched.

I tend not to put any stock on youtube reviewers these days since the algorithms and people's general habits promote review bombing and hate over nuance. So forgive me for not watching it otherwise Youtube will think what I want is people's personal reviews full of 'why xxx is xxx'. And I'm actively trying to avoid all reviews and thoughtpieces on the show as I just want to sit back and enjoy.

I don't mind a little on here though ;-p

(additionally, Karen and Mary Sue are very different. I can certainly see her as being entitled and assuming she should be addressed only by senior figures - indicative of a 'Karen'. That is understandable. And yes, not a lovely character trait. But an understandable and interesting one. I don't need her to be flawless just engaging. And I personally find her to be. I'm sure others don't).
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Oh, I'm not saying there is criticism out there. Amazon had to take down the reviews section to stop it getting review bombed before the show had been watched.

I tend not to put any stock on youtube reviewers these days since the algorithms and people's general habits promote review bombing and hate over nuance. So forgive me for not watching it otherwise Youtube will think what I want is people's personal reviews full of 'why xxx is xxx'. And I'm actively trying to avoid all reviews and thoughtpieces on the show as I just want to sit back and enjoy.

I don't mind a little on here though ;-p
The issue is the person who started the "Karen/Mary Sue" Galadriel criticism is the film critic Grace Randolph who is herself left-leaning and explicitly does not like Tolkien's writings for their traditionalist views. She cannot be accused of review bombing.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Karen is weird.Mary sue is obviusly wrong, but Karen? I can see people understanding Galadriels behavious as socially unapt and even antisocial... though i doubt that is what the authors intended, i still conceive it as bad writing and narrative going wrong, i feel they want to show us how cool and great Galadriel is but when watching her it feels like " no actually totally not!". But i might be wrong, anyway that is how i conceive it.

Another problem to me was how the orcs managed to dig through Mordor right under the Elves watchful eyes... they are not even hidden far in the underdeeps but in tunnels on the other side ofvthe forest , it didn't make these elves look very intelligent. There are many such small things where in my opinion strings of the story just don't fit together.
 

Rob Harding

Well-Known Member
The issue is the person who started the "Karen/Mary Sue" Galadriel criticism is the film critic Grace Randolph who is herself left-leaning and explicitly does not like Tolkien's writings for their traditionalist views. She cannot be accused of review bombing.
Well then I'd probably agree with much of it. Regardless, I don't really want to be echo-chambered with reviews.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Another problem to me was how the orcs managed to dig through Mordor right under the Elves watchful eyes... they are not even hidden far in the underdeeps but in tunnels on the other side ofvthe forest , it didn't make these elves look very intelligent. There are many such small things where in my opinion strings of the story just don't fit together.
Yes, and how did the orcs capture the other elves who were on their way out as a whole unit?

Well then I'd probably agree with much of it. Regardless, I don't really want to be echo-chambered with reviews.
O.k.
As you do not want to click on summary video above I will give you the relevant citiation
just to show how the show's Galadriel is being preceived by some (influencial) non-book fans - (as you do claim most of the critique of the show is due to the concerned viewers being book-fans):

"Randolph states, “As for characters that I didn’t like. Well, there’s only one character actually and that’s — while during the movies I was like no question I would be an elf. Team Elf. Here, the Elves are super boring. Like wow. So boring.”
She continued, “I think that the lack of action is one of the things that hurts the Elves because the Elves would thrive during the action sequences in the movies. They were like, ‘Oh look at that sweet Elf action.'”
Randolph then turned her attention to Morfydd Clark and Galadriel saying, “Morfydd Clark was so happy to get the big role of Galadriel. In fact she said she fainted when she found out. So I feel bad that I have to report that she’s the worst casting choice of the show and drags the entire thing down.”
“She makes Galadriel both an Elven Mary Sue and an Elven Karen who would like to speak to the manager. I can’t believe it! I can’t believe she’s both of those horrible things!
”"


And this is not to "echo-chamber" you in any way - just to explain the expression that I've used above and that is now a commonly understood term in the series' discussion.

Some speculation:

I think Miriel and Elendil do know each other well as fellow-conspirators and the whole conversation about his name was for show - as "walls have ears". "Elendil" is an elvish name but so is "Miriel" - so it was a moot point to discuss.
I think Anarion went off to join the Faithful and Isildur wants to do the same, while Elendil pretends to have abandoned the "ways of the West-coast" but in reality is an undercover agent of the Faithful at sea - which he keeps even from his children.
 
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Rob Harding

Well-Known Member
Really appreciate you sharing so I didn't have to click. Big thanks!

Turns out, I fundamentally disagree with all that criticism. Especially conflating Morfydd's acting with story and script choices.
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
Really appreciate you sharing so I didn't have to click. Big thanks!

Turns out, I fundamentally disagree with all that criticism. Especially conflating Morfydd's acting with story and script choices.

That also the question - as Haerangil stated - that might be the script and direction which make the character appear so very much unbalanced - not necessary the actress herself.
 

Rob Harding

Well-Known Member
That also the question - as Haerangil stated - that might be the script and direction which make the character appear so very much unbalanced - not necessary the actress herself.
I mean, I personally like the direction of the character, but the specific points she raised seemed far more to do with story direction than the way the actor portrayed them.
 

kanji_d

Active Member
I think Miriel and Elendil do know each other well as fellow-conspirator and the whole conversation about his name was for show - as "walls have ears". "Elendil" is an elvish name but so is "Miriel" - so it was a moot point to discuss.
I think Anarion went off to join the Faithful and Isildur wants to do the same, while Elendil pretends to have abandoned the "ways of the West-coast" but in reality is an undercover agent of the Faithful at sea - which he keeps even from his children.
I think those are good guesses, but I expect the name Míriel is actually not a big indicator. I expect they would have drawn attention to its origin in the conversation with Elendil in Episode 3. I don't think most casual fans of the show will be as interested in the linguistic origins of the names of Númenorean royalty and how that changed, so I expect they just chose a name to use for her and are going to stick with it. But I would be happy to be proven wrong there.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
They can't use the names Zimraphel or Nimruzir...
I also hope the Faithful storyline will pay off and play out in some good way.So far i think it had potential.

Anyone curious on Halbrand being a smith? Or the way he talked about his father or ancestor ...? I thought, well this could be the future King of the dead but also... Would Sauron refer to Morgoth as his father maybe? In some way?
Anyway Halbrand does not profess to be A Maia or an emissary of the west, nobody thinks he is a wizard so how would the Mirdain or Celebrimbor accept him?
Everybody thinks the Stranger is a Wizard, but he's far to incompetent with fire and everything else..
And Arondir already thinks Adar is Sauron !
That at last is much fun! I am looking forward for e04!
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
Anyone curious on Halbrand being a smith? Or the way he talked about his father or ancestor ...? I thought, well this could be the future King of the dead but also... Would Sauron refer to Morgoth as his father maybe? In some way?
In a way. But still it is the fact that he had this much money with him, and that he was at sea in in area where humans had nothing to search for. If he is not Sauron, then they will have plenty of issues to explain away. It was highly visible that he intendend to be held captive, otherwise he would not have been this obvious about stealing the badge and then go around throwing it in the air - he was clearly baiting here.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Yeah well... such inconsistencies sadly do not seem to bother them much so, i am afraid that all our clever guessings might eventually lead nowhere because they weren't even false
Clues.

Anyway, as the show develops of course i am asking myself how I would try to tell that story...
And in some points they and i even come to similar conclusions, such as putting up a phantom menace, a false shadow who is about to rise and against whom elves and Numenoreans will have to ally themselves... that must be Adar!

On the other hand there is a history for the Oathbreakers, they have to become Saurons servants first, they'll need a king who will then turn his sides but in the end break his oath... i see that with the Southlands-folk.

I still do not know how i would introduce Annatar... there has to be a crisis in which he will turn up and will pose as a Wizard, an Istar plus he must be accepted at last by celebrimbor, even if other elves mistrust him, he also must make friendship with some dwarves and with men... so he can later distribute his rings. How would i do that story?
 
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kanji_d

Active Member
I don't think Annatar will be in this, actually - at least not by that name (obviously Celebrimbor will still be guided into making the Rings) - since most people who know the Silmarillion are aware of the name and I think it'll be too much of a reveal. I am coming around to the idea of that being the Stranger or Adar, though.
 

Octoburn

Active Member
I don't think Annatar will be in this, actually - at least not by that name (obviously Celebrimbor will still be guided into making the Rings) - since most people who know the Silmarillion are aware of the name and I think it'll be too much of a reveal. I am coming around to the idea of that being the Stranger or Adar, though.
I thought the Stranger may be Sauron before, but doesn't LotR say that Sauron was basically totally unaware of Hobbits until hearing of them from Gollum?
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Yeah, but 1st the show is very free with its interpretations and 2nd these in theory are no Hobbits but only Hobbit-forefathers. I hope they do not put the later Hobbits migration to the shire into this show and mesh up the cpmplete timeline and history of 4000 years!

However, Sauron not knowing the Hobbits or the Shire wouldn't in theory rule out that 3000 years ago he had once met similar beings, maybe he wouldn't even make the connection... Gollum looks very different from a Harfoot and i am not sure what is Saurons way to view beings at all... he seems like a technocrat who makes little differences and cares not much about individuals.
 
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