Amazon series:reactions and thoughts (Spoiler alert!)

Ilana Mushin

Active Member
The writing is my main negative of the show so far - it is uneven. I think they have made a deliberate choice to write stylised dialogue with lots of similiies - just as Tolkien did. Some are more successful than others. They are using (repurposing) a lot of phrases that Tolkien used. PJ did the same thing in the movies. I have a similar critique of the writing in those movies
 

Ilana Mushin

Active Member
They do but those seem random disconnected pieces which actually seem to disrupt the story more that carrying it.
That’s why I think it worth waiting to see if and how these come together. I think they are being cautious about not introducing too much at once
 

Icon5235

New Member
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))
I actually had a very different reaction to this plot point then most people that I've seen talk about it.
I didn't really take it as Gil Galad is able to decide who gets to return and who does not, I took it more along the lines of a release from service.
That they were still very much bound by their commitments to the King and the defense of the realm, and that he was releasing them from his service that they may return to Valinor.

That was my take during my first watch through.
I feel as though in this context it's treated as a given that any elf would want to return to Valinor, and that good old Gilly was intentionally not leaving Galadriel an option to do anything else.

Overall I've really enjoyed the show. I am attempting, to varying degrees of success, to not have any expectations of what story "should" be told, but to take what's given and appreciate it for what it is.
That helps me sooth the violent seizing that ensues over lore points and clunky dialogue.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
The show Corey talks about simply doesn't seem to be the same show i am watching. He describes things, background ,thoughts, choices why they change things from the book, how things connect... very eloquent and thoughtful, but the way they SHOULD or COULD be done, not the way they actually DO it, not the way things ACTUALLY are executed. That is an idealized take.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Addendum:

I somehow forgot to mention my favorite part of this show from the first two episodes (after the scenery).

The children. They show children in all of the cultures. And not in a they are just there in the background kind of way, but really drawing attention to their presence and celebrating them. We begin with elf children of course, running and playing (and sinking swan boats and fighting...). And we have the blackberry gathering expedition with the Harfoot kids to introduce Nori. Durin's kids in the giant heads drew a laugh from the audience I watched with, and that was an endearing way to show their home. Though a bit confusing when they were similarly off screen in Episode 4. Theo is of course a central part of the Southlands storyline...but not much joy there. And the queen-holds-the-babies scene in Númenor.

The reason I came back to make this post, though, was because when the ent comforted the enting during the meteor scene, I gasped out loud. ENTING!!!! It is very exciting to be in a part of the story before the entwives are lost.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Not yet, though the orcs do call Adar , well, Adar. So they have a quasi-religious, quasi-family relationship with him. I don't imagine these orcs grow in pods....
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I am still marveling at Galadriel literally jumping out the boat and expecting to what - SWIM back to Middle Earth? My jaw literally dropped at the stupidity of it.
Yes, of course that was foolish. If she were going to refuse the passage west, why not refuse getting on the boat in the first place? I recognize that it was a plot device to get her to Númenor and introduce Halbrand. But I think this is the moviemaking rule of having any crucial decision revealed to the audience at the last possible moment, while the consequences of the choice are actually playing out for the viewer. They wanted the audience to see the voyage west, and to see Galadriel's refusal, and they wanted these things to visually be happening at the same time.

So they tossed her off a boat and had her attempt to swim back to Middle-earth.

It's rare that you have to make the decision to kill someone who has been infected by a zombie while they are still fine and have no ill effects showing. Generally, they are moments from turning, and still the person hesistates to act. It ramps up the tension of the decision dramatically. Someone who shoots someone who is infected but not showing symptoms in cold blood is generally being portrayed as someone so hardened by their experiences that they've lost their humanity. So that too is a story.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
It was bad writing. There was no way she could have reached the coast, she would have drowned like Amroth, they had her basically commit suicide and made her look borderline.Just like there is no way why a raft with refugees from Nurn should be off the coast of Lindon 2000 miles away. Nonsensical plot. Like too often with this show.They expect their viewers either to not care or to not notice.Anyway i feel treated as if i was stupid by such narration.
 

Ennikan

Member
The show Corey talks about simply doesn't seem to be the same show i am watching. He describes things, background ,thoughts, choices why they change things from the book, how things connect... very eloquent and thoughtful, but the way they SHOULD or COULD be done, not the way they actually DO it, not the way things ACTUALLY are executed. That is an idealized take.
This goes to my point of being compromised by accepting their invite and hanging out with them. Now they have a relationship, and it would be very difficult for him to openly criticize them. I think he is taking the road he feels most comfortable with at this point.
 

Rob Harding

Active Member
It was bad writing. There was no way she could have reached the coast, she would have drowned like Amroth, they had her basically commit suicide and made her look borderline.Just like there is no way why a raft with refugees from Nurn should be off the coast of Lindon 2000 miles away. Nonsensical plot. Like too often with this show.They expect their viewers either to not care or to not notice.Anyway i feel treated as if i was stupid by such narration.
It’s not bad writing. It’s a bad choice. Well, not even that. It’s desperate. Allowing your characters to make desperate choices isn’t bad writing. She was trying to conform but in the last, when confronted with the reality, realised it went against all she stood for. Yes it was poor decision but the only one she was left with: stay or go. Poor writing would've been to write something that served an easier to write storyline but didn’t serve the characters personal dynamic. This did. Good writing.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
It’s not bad writing. It’s a bad choice. Well, not even that. It’s desperate. Allowing your characters to make desperate choices isn’t bad writing. She was trying to conform but in the last, when confronted with the reality, realised it went against all she stood for. Yes it was poor decision but the only one she was left with: stay or go. Poor writing would've been to write something that served an easier to write storyline but didn’t serve the characters personal dynamic. This did. Good writing.

This proved she is suicidal - which means = not a good leader. And senseless - if she drowns she goes to Mandos anyway - which is Valinor still.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
This goes to my point of being compromised by accepting their invite and hanging out with them. Now they have a relationship, and it would be very difficult for him to openly criticize them. I think he is taking the road he feels most comfortable with at this point.
It's generally not his job to be a strong critic. He created that persona of the Tolkien professor and his entire business model.He does teach and read and explain and not slag off things, theres no revenue for that in his business. That is Nerdrotics job and the likes of him. Corey can never be fully neutral and i do not expect him to be.But lets not dig deeper into this...
 
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Ennikan

Member
It's generally not his job to be a strong critic. He created that persona of the Tolkien professor and his entire business model.He does teach and read and explain and not slag off things, theres no revenue for that in his business. That is Nerdrotics job and the likes of him. Corey can never be fully neutral and i do not expect him to be.But lets not dig deeper in this...
Sure, I get that - and don't get me wrong - I LOVE Corey! I know this whole thing has gotten nasty in many corners of the internet, let's not have it happen here, too.

All in all, I am just disappointed. Just thinking about what could have been.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Understandable, but i still am surprised how many people like the character of Galadriel and say the show has good storytelling and good writing and good dialogue. I honestly do not understand, but i am interested in their points.

For the rest we still can write our own version of the Second Age fanfic and its fine.
 

Makar

Member
Well, i have never said anything bad about Corey and i am not going to start now. Even if i do not agree with him, ESPESCIALLY when i do not agree with him (which happens now and then).
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Well, i have never said anything bad about Corey and i am not going to start now. Even if i do not agree with him, ESPESCIALLY when i do not agree with him (which happens now and then).
A wise approach in life, and much appreciated here on these boards. Vehement disagreement is welcome, but it is important that we be kind to one another.

I was originally really interested in Corey's take on this - and then he accepted the invites and spent time with the creators. I work in UX (user experience) and work with researchers every day. It is extremely difficult to remain objective on something when you become engaged with the creators/makers - especially when you find you personally like them.

It becomes impossible for him to really criticize (critique/review) this in a way that he might want to. I'm sure he doesn't feel that way, but that is simply how we are as humans. They've done nice things for him and he feels a sense of obligation (realized or not). Now I can only see his remarks as "a friend of the show." It was a savvy move on the part of the show runners, especially when they are waging war on the Tolkien fandom for daring to question anything at all about the show.
As far as I know, Corey Olsen never had the opportunity to meet Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, or Phillipa Boyens (someone please correct me if I am wrong about that). And so, yes, his "Riddles in the Dark" podcast was conducted completely separate from the creative team behind The Hobbit films. It certainly would be possible to contrast his take on the first Hobbit film to his take on the first season of Rings of Power. I did not listen to "Riddles in the Dark," but it is my understanding that their enthusiasm for the Jackson project waned over time (to put it lightly). They reached a point of...'We could do a better adaptation ourselves.'

I imagine he will eventually do the same with Rings of Power - point out choices where he would have done something differently, or how this detail they included in an early part could be used to build up to something awesome later, etc. Because most of the first season seems to be the groundwork of establishing the world/characters/dilemmas, I can understand taking a 'let's see how this plays out' approach to aspects of the adaptation he and Maggie Parke aren't thrilled about so far. If it pays off later, great. If not, then I would expect the disappointment to be voiced. Perhaps even in the form of 'we did it better in Silm Film' ;)

I agree that taking part in fandom is not an objective experience - it is by nature subjective. Everyone who is experiencing this show via watch parties, getting involved with the internet discussions, making memes, creatively engaging with the show by making costumes or writing fanfic (yes, that already exists)...is already part of a community experience, not a solo experience. There's a reason fans go to movie theaters on opening night for a show - the idea is to experience it with a room full of people who are also very excited for the movie, and you can laugh out loud or cry or gasp or have whatever reaction is evoked...alongside a bunch of other people having a similar response. [And, also, you avoid spoilers if you see it as soon as possible.] Enthusiasm is contagious, so surrounding yourself with people who are excited for something can help stoke your own excitement. And, of course, if it's terrible...you have fellow fans to share your disappointment with.

Corey Olsen is good at generating enthusiasm for the things he is enthusiastic about. I have to imagine he is very genuinely enthusiastic himself about what he is seeing in this show, and thus happy to encourage others to share in that experience. One doesn't have to go along for the ride or share the enthusiasm to appreciate his analysis, though. I've heard him give two academic talks on the prosody of Eminem. To my knowledge, no one in the audience was particularly interested in or familiar with Eminem's music (I am not). But it was interesting to watch him break down what was happening, as he would look at any other poem. I've only listened to some of Other Minds and Hands and Rings and Realms - I have not kept up with everything he's doing recently. But I do think that, even if you are someone who disagrees with his enthusiasm for the show, the discussions he is having are thoughtful and interesting. Your mileage may vary.
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
A wise approach in life, and much appreciated here on these boards. Vehement disagreement is welcome, but it is important that we be kind to one another.



As far as I know, Corey Olsen never had the opportunity to meet Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, or Phillipa Boyens (someone please correct me if I am wrong about that). And so, yes, his "Riddles in the Dark" podcast was conducted completely separate from the creative team behind The Hobbit films. It certainly would be possible to contrast his take on the first Hobbit film to his take on the first season of Rings of Power. I did not listen to "Riddles in the Dark," but it is my understanding that their enthusiasm for the Jackson project waned over time (to put it lightly). They reached a point of...'We could do a better adaptation ourselves.'

I imagine he will eventually do the same with Rings of Power - point out choices where he would have done something differently, or how this detail they included in an early part could be used to build up to something awesome later, etc. Because most of the first season seems to be the groundwork of establishing the world/characters/dilemmas, I can understand taking a 'let's see how this plays out' approach to aspects of the adaptation he and Maggie Parke aren't thrilled about so far. If it pays off later, great. If not, then I would expect the disappointment to be voiced. Perhaps even in the form of 'we did it better in Silm Film' ;)

I agree that taking part in fandom is not an objective experience - it is by nature subjective. Everyone who is experiencing this show via watch parties, getting involved with the internet discussions, making memes, creatively engaging with the show by making costumes or writing fanfic (yes, that already exists)...is already part of a community experience, not a solo experience. There's a reason fans go to movie theaters on opening night for a show - the idea is to experience it with a room full of people who are also very excited for the movie, and you can laugh out loud or cry or gasp or have whatever reaction is evoked...alongside a bunch of other people having a similar response. [And, also, you avoid spoilers if you see it as soon as possible.] Enthusiasm is contagious, so surrounding yourself with people who are excited for something can help stoke your own excitement. And, of course, if it's terrible...you have fellow fans to share your disappointment with.

Corey Olsen is good at generating enthusiasm for the things he is enthusiastic about. I have to imagine he is very genuinely enthusiastic himself about what he is seeing in this show, and thus happy to encourage others to share in that experience. One doesn't have to go along for the ride or share the enthusiasm to appreciate his analysis, though. I've heard him give two academic talks on the prosody of Eminem. To my knowledge, no one in the audience was particularly interested in or familiar with Eminem's music (I am not). But it was interesting to watch him break down what was happening, as he would look at any other poem. I've only listened to some of Other Minds and Hands and Rings and Realms - I have not kept up with everything he's doing recently. But I do think that, even if you are someone who disagrees with his enthusiasm for the show, the discussions he is having are thoughtful and interesting. Your mileage may vary.
This is true. I see him lately tuning down his critique of people who strongly oppose the show - which makes some of his content about the show more widely appealing again.
Many people feel as if the deconstruction of what they love were done deliberately.
Galadriel was a widely beloved character. Many people feel almost as personely hurt by the series making her this unlikeable as someone seeing his mother publicly offended and humilated would - from what I have seen. As such they get angry and as the next they stop taking the authors of the show seriously. They stop considering them as friends, they start to suspect ill-will. Then they lose any enthusiasm for the show and start it watch it just to find fault in it. They inwardly disconnect the show from their head canon - but then it loses more that half of its appeal to them.
We saw similar when the childhood hero of many Luke Skywalker was decontructed.
This was a risky move. The pay off must be huge to turn that around. And not too far off in future, the patience of the viewers has its limitation. The show needs a wide audience - not one limited to persons who personaly like seeing popular figures "dethroned" only.

I still do wonder at the creative decision of making the main empath of Middle-Earth's socially and interpersonally blind. This makes it impossible to become what she was in the P.J. movies. Being an empath is inborn - one cannot really learn it. As such such a future development goal for her character is already abviously unreachable.
 
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