Amazon series:reactions and thoughts (Spoiler alert!)

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I enjoy the show. I think it looks great. I want to see what’s going to happen. The casting is really good and I like most of the actors (some more than others, for sure). I’m surprised at how interesting I find some storylines, and I’m amazed at what they’ve come up with considering they’ve just got the appendices (plus some stuff they’ve apparently managed to get access to). I have two issues.
My first issue is the uneven quality. Given the callbacks to the Jackson films, the flirting with various Tolkien quotes from letters and whatnot, how can a name like Elanor Kellamark (Markella reversed) Brandyfoot be allowed to slip through? Did the team get ridiculously drunk at some point? Also, the lack of people is slightly annoying. In Númenor, we need more extras to believe it’s an empire of any significance, and it’s weird how Celebrimbor seems to be totally alone (isn’t a Lord supposed to have servants and assistants? Where are the other smiths?) I hope there will be less of this.
The second issue is the script, which is fine in many ways but it’s too effective! Every scene has a clear goal and people always seem to want something specific that’s made very clear. It’s like opera, not like life. I’d like more irrelevant interaction, filling the story with everyday random occurrences and dialogue not going along the lines of the main story. Sometimes an actor can lift his or her lines and give them that extra quality (I think of Robert Aramayo and Owain Arthur mostly but I also like Morfydd Clark and Lloyd Owen). But overall, the storylines feel pretty much like a straight railroad. As it is, I find I “know” who Sauron is, and I am not expecting a lot of surprises. But I’m not sure why surprises would be the reason to watch this show…
In the end, so far the show hasn’t reached the level of the (in my opinion) best parts of Jackson’s films, but I haven’t been upset yet the way I sometimes was by Jackson. I want more though.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Every scene has a clear goal and people always seem to want something specific that’s made very clear. It’s like opera, not like life. I’d like more irrelevant interaction, filling the story with everyday random occurrences and dialogue not going along the lines of the main story. Sometimes an actor can lift his or her lines and give them that extra quality (I think of Robert Aramayo and Owain Arthur mostly but I also like Morfydd Clark and Lloyd Owen). But overall, the storylines feel pretty much like a straight railroad. As it is, I find I “know” who Sauron is, and I am not expecting a lot of surprises. But I’m not sure why surprises would be the reason to watch this show…
In the end, so far the show hasn’t reached the level of the (in my opinion) best parts of Jackson’s films, but I haven’t been upset yet the way I sometimes was by Jackson. I want more though.
That seems strange. Plenty of people consider bit chunks of the story to be random and better to been cut out altogether and complain of too many strands which - with each only hinted at - are seen as being confusing. While I - having read the book - could imagine a (or several various) back story(-ies) to everything shown and see where it potentially could leave to if explored further - plenty of "normies" do not. Having even more "random stuff" added it would only muddle the waters farther imho - letting some of them completely lost what the story is about?
 
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Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
What I’m trying to say is that the characters in a scene almost always have one clear motive and that’s what they’re seen driving at. There’s less of nuance, less of the extra behaviour that makes up life. Sure, this makes the story easier to follow perhaps but also less interesting. And I think things move a little bit too fast.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
What I’m trying to say is that the characters in a scene almost always have one clear motive and that’s what they’re seen driving at. There’s less of nuance, less of the extra behaviour that makes up life. Sure, this makes the story easier to follow perhaps but also less interesting. And I think things move a little bit too fast.
Really? Most people I hear are like: "we are halway in and nothing has happend yet?"And that the viewers do not care yet for any of the characters?

Which makes it easier to watch for me, as I do not really care yet, watching them being killed off makes it far less emotionally straining.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
It will be two years until we'll see season 2, won't it? So... if the end of the season won't already pay off we'll already have forgotten season 1 and any expectations.

I'm not sure of Galadriel is a main empath... it is said "she looked upon the Dwarves as " with the eye of a commander,.."
"she proudly refused forgiveness", she was "the most valiant" , but most interesting: "she had no peace within. For in that testing time amid the strife of the Noldor she was drawn this way and that. She was proud, strong, and self-willed, as were all the descend- ants of Finwe save Finarfin; and like her brother Finrod, of all her kin the nearest to her heart, she had dreams of far lands and dominions that might be her own to order as she would with- out tutelage. Yet deeper still there dwelt in her the noble and generous spirit (ore) of the Vanyar, and a reverence for the Valar that she could not forget. From her earliest years she had a marvellous gift of insight into the minds of others, but judged them with mercy and understanding, and she withheld her good will from none save only Feanor. In him she perceived a dark- ness that she hated and feared, though she did not perceive that the shadow of the same evil had fallen upon the minds of all the Noldor, and upon her own."

Even her treatment of Frodo in lotr to me came about somewhat sinister and even manipulative...
Yet, she still turns the corner.

I can understand where they come from with their interpretation of Madriel...
Yet it is the execution which doesn't convince me. A lot of it seems to be inspired by the tempted (not tempest!) Galadriel in lotr in which scene her possible dark side appears briefly... yet without any "magic" now of a sudden! This Galadriel clearly has not learned much wisdom from Melian, and she obviously has not any insight in other peoples hearts too-little mercy and understanding. A commander she is, but a bad one, proud and valiant she is, no peace within for certain though self-willed i doubt due to her two suicide attempts, and instead of dreams of lands and dominion, order and tutelage all of her drive is revenge and anger. How she looks stupid climbing ice-mountains in the north while Orcs happily do underground work in the south and many other things i already mentioned. It adds up.Clumsy tempest dialogue and cringy horse-girl scenes too.
That is... pretty one-sided, and a huge let-down.
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure of Galadriel is a main empath..
I meant that it is her gift to be able feel and look into other minds, fears and emotions. The way she felt the darkness hidden in Feanor. Or recognises Sauron instantly as an impostor in the books. Or the doubts Frodo is in. Or the sincerity of Gimi.

As you yourself have citied:

"From her earliest years she had a marvellous gift of insight into the minds of others, but judged them with mercy and understanding, and she withheld her good will from none save only Feanor. In him she perceived a darkness that she hated and feared, though she did not perceive that the shadow of the same evil had fallen upon the minds of all the Noldor, and upon her own."

Not that she is not using her special powers for her own purposes.

She was not very self-aware in her youth (as it takes millenia for an elf to learn that in Tolkien imho) - but she always had that inborn ability to "feel the feelings of others".

This is her own signature trait in the books. And in the series she has not even an ounce of her very own special gift? How can she be assumed to the same person?

Of course there could be the possiblity of her having has "seen through" Halbrand and "playing dumb" just to fool him. But she was this way before she even met him - so this seem out of question.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
On this i agree. She can look into people, but used it for her own plans and advantage and to rule and manipulate.Not very nice, but far off the socially inapt Galadriel of Trop.

I also predict she has no forsight as that Halbrand guy is nobody to trust and will turn out badly.But she prefers to distrust people like Elendil or Miriel instead and to ignore Pharazon...
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I also predict she has no forsight as that Halbrand guy is nobody to trust and will turn out badly. But she prefers to distrust people like Elendil or Miriel instead and to ignore Pharazon...
Which would make her actually an "Anti-Galadriel" of sorts.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Could be seen that way... at last i'd find it alienating, not very clever if you like and respect your audience imho.
 

Octoburn

Active Member
I know it's a longshot, but it's something I've wondered for a few weeks now, and have not seen brought up yet.

Is it possible that Tirharad will eventually be the location of the Tower of Cirith Ungol? Seems to be fairly close to the location, if a bit further north from what I can gather, though it seems to be on a waterway, whereas the location has no water in the Third Age.

(And yes, I know Cirith Ungol is not built until after the Last Alliance, so it wouldn't even happen until the end of the series, it's just a theory I've had for a bit)
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
The entire geography in the show is pretty vague, even or maybe especially when they show snippets of the map... It looks like Tirharad is more south, about 100 miles from Cirith Ungol, then again the place with the old tree seems to be even further south, 200 miles in Nurn... not just a few days on foot.And when they zoomed the map supposing the location of Hordern it showed eastern Lithlad or northern Khand, about 600 miles away, not two or three days..
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Honestly, 'no one cares about the characters' and 'the characters need to be given scenes to breathe and just be' are the same complaint. Tolkien's stories tend to be plot driven rather than character driven, but you can still create character moments. I also agree with Haakon that everything is strongly telegraphed well in advance, and that is partly the result of scenes having clear plot goals. Scene economy is important when juggling 3 storylines in an episode (I know!), but...giving the characters everyday things to do while telling the story helps. This is less of an issue with the Harfoots, but is blatant in several of the elf scenes.

Celebrimbor and Elrond traveling to Khazad-dûm alone, without retinue, baggage, or horses was a strange choice. It made it seem like no one lives in this place, yes, but also like it might be a short 20 minute stroll from Celebrimbor's city to the gate. So to combine these thoughts - give them a packing scene! Give them something to do rather than standing around a room. And, if Celebrimbor and Elrond are just talking or cannot be given a mundane task, at least show background characters about their everyday business for world building purposes. I too want to meet the smiths of Eregion!
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
No one caring about the characters is not quite true, i wouldn't be annoyed about certain scenes if i would't care for Galadriel or would wish to care more for Theo.I would like to like them more and am unhappy they come about so unsympathetic and do not understand if the authors do that on purpose or if they simply do not see the characters coming about as so little likeable (problem i have with ST:discovery where the writers seem to think their characters are great while they are the opposite). Arondirs folks and Bronwyns folks or Adar i didn't care a lot for... which is also sad because if feel these should be people i should care for, the story just didn't give me the feeling i actually did.And half of them are dead now so they'll never get more time...

I DO care for the Harfoots ,thats why it did hurt seeing them being so harsh and brutal to one another, yet i am sure THIS was done on purpose ,because they are supposed to be a savage people and have to have their darker sides.I still liked to hate em for it, i think it worked for me,I am just unsure if this effect was intended...

What i did dislike about Elrond and Durin wasn't so much how different these dwarves are from my own interpretation but how sometimes i think Elrond is kind of fishy... he always talks about friendship and reconciliation, yet he sort of IS dishonest with his friend ,he DOES manipulate him and he DOES have a political agenda.He denies it, he does it in a very charming way, but he is not being honest.Both are kind of lying to each other... yet i think it somehow works, even if Elrond has this questionable understanding how to treat supposed friends and Durin is totally right in his scepticism... that part of the story actually IS interesting to me, though i still am unsure if on purpose or by chance because i do not always have the feeling the authors understand their own characters or rather the way they turn out on screen.

So i DO care for the characters and the story. That IS the reason why story inconsistencies and bad logic like those i mentioned drive me so mad!
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
No one caring about the characters is not quite true, i wouldn't be annoyed about certain scenes if i would't care for Galadriel
In ROP I do not. I would go not as far as some viewers who would like to see her killed off by Sauron - but still I would not really mind if it would actually happen in the series. She is competely indifferent for me. The only character that kind of interests me is Elendil and I can see my younger self in the pensive observant nature of his daughter - but we have seen too little of both for me to have bonded with any of them as yet.

Honestly, 'no one cares about the characters' and 'the characters need to be given scenes to breathe and just be' are the same complaint. Tolkien's stories tend to be plot driven rather than character driven, [...]
Still I do remember plenty of not plot relevant events in the Fellowship of the Rings book - e.g. the whole mushroom fields passage - which is left out in the movies for this very reason - but in the book it makes Shire and its different provinces and regional subcultures and Frodo's backstory of "returning" to Buckland more grounded.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I still pity that woman, i don't wish her anything bad, i am just thinking so often "noo! Why? You should have known this is a bad idea... gah!".
 
I respectfully disagree re Galadriel. Viewers need more patience & wait for her character arc to develop. She cannot begin her journey by being ultra-serene and über-calm, as in TA 3019. For me, that would be very boring.

tROP Galadriel & her portrayal by Morphydd Clark is spot on. I can't wait to watch her scenes, though I admit a few were shot imperfectly (more directorial issue than anything to do with the character or acting). My husband (who is not 'into' Tolkien & watching as a casual viewer) feels the same & likes the Galadriel portrayal very much.

Re. Rings & Realms - as of this writing, they have had a total of more than 132,000 views. Considering how long they are, the viewership speaks volumes of the time dedicated enthusiasts are willing to invest in Dr. Olsen's teaching. Every other analysis/opinion or review of the TV series pales in comparison to his.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I respectfully disagree re Galadriel. Viewers need more patience & wait for her character arc to develop. She cannot begin her journey by being ultra-serene and über-calm, as in TA 3019. For me, that would be very boring.
But where is her very special "marvellous gift of insight into the minds of others" that she reportedly had "from her earliest years"? She does not need to be calm, but does she need to be stupid? This is something that cannot be learned by experience and this is the very thing that makes Galadriel herself. She seems to be completely lacking any of it?

And she is the daughter of the King of all the Noldor in Valinor (even in the show she herself mentioned her father Finarfin), she for sure would be familiar with coutrly etiquette - calm and serene or not?
 
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Rob Harding

Active Member
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.
The whole show to this point has shown she is not in a position to lead. Not well. Not without baggage. That was literally our introduction to her. We aren't encouraged to see her as otherwise. The journey of her becoming a better leader and healing her wounds very much feels to be the arc of her character. It's totally inkeeping. It's not suicidal. That's a very loaded word. She isn't stupid. She's making poor choices but wise people can do that when desperate. And wisdom is not ingrained, it develops. She wasn't choosing death. Symbolically, she was choosing to not give up who she was. To let what she holds dearest, die. She was choosing to follow the things that truly motivate her. And the complexity of her, as with all good character dynamics, is that the thing which is her strength is also the thing that causes her greatest problems because the thing that is her strength is born of pain. Yes, she is correct, Sauron is rising. Only she truly sees it at this point because only she is obsessed enough. So she is right. But that obsession is what prevents her from, right now, being the person who can unite everyone. She is too single-minded. Numenor was a first step in loosing some of that blinkeredness. It's consistent. It's not random. It's just not the Galadriel we are used to as we are used to an older person who isn't in the midst of these trials. And you can enjoy that characterisation or not (I do, at the end of the day, it's all personal preference). But it's fairly consistent within its own narrative.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
The whole show to this point has shown she is not in a position to lead. Not well. Not without baggage. That was literally our introduction to her. We aren't encouraged to see her as otherwise. The journey of her becoming a better leader and healing her wounds very much feels to be the arc of her character. It's totally inkeeping. It's not suicidal. That's a very loaded word. She isn't stupid. She's making poor choices but wise people can do that when desperate. And wisdom is not ingrained, it develops. She wasn't choosing death. Symbolically, she was choosing to not give up who she was. To let what she holds dearest, die. She was choosing to follow the things that truly motivate her. And the complexity of her, as with all good character dynamics, is that the thing which is her strength is also the thing that causes her greatest problems because the thing that is her strength is born of pain. Yes, she is correct, Sauron is rising. Only she truly sees it at this point because only she is obsessed enough. So she is right. But that obsession is what prevents her from, right now, being the person who can unite everyone. She is too single-minded. Numenor was a first step in loosing some of that blinkeredness. It's consistent. It's not random. It's just not the Galadriel we are used to as we are used to an older person who isn't in the midst of these trials. And you can enjoy that characterisation or not (I do, at the end of the day, it's all personal preference). But it's fairly consistent within its own narrative.
The problem is, she is known to later just let a hobbit deal with Sauron while she herself stays put. Not very satisfactory.
She also must have known Sauron is a Maia and that it is beyong her power to deal with him just by using arms - he is not yet trapped in his body - he will just make another one. So her quest is senseless from the very beginning - if she is not training in magic - and we do not see anything magical about her yet. And Finrod is already reembodied in Valinor or shortly before. She just might miss her brother wedding in Valinor while chasing a Maia she cannot kill. Also completely senseless.
 
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