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Old 09-16-2022, 03:40 PM   #1
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The Eye **Spoiler Warning** Rings of Power S1E4 - "The Great Wave"

Another week... and am I the first Downer to watch it again? Dear me, how either I or the show have fallen if that's the case.

The stream-of-thought things I noted:
  • ...still sounds like "Adan." That orks needs to work on his "r"s!
  • Is Míriel having the Faramir dream? ... Seems so...
  • Wait, I just heard the name "Míriel!"
  • What--Pharazôn has a son? Are there two Pharazôns?
  • Well, I like the populism angle of Pharazôn (however many there are) as leader of the King's Men.
  • Did he say his name is "Kevin?"
  • I'm not sure that it's intended for Míriel have more queenly presence than Galadriel, but she does--which I like on the former, but not so much on the latter.
  • Isildur the dreamer doesn't make canonical sense--the one anecdote of we have of him in youth is as a DOER.
  • "Dead brother!" Anárion is... dead? AND his older brother? Well, this doesn't bode well for the Line of Anárion, I must say.
  • Okay, that time I heard the "r".
  • Wait--"adar" = "father" = "do you know how the orks first came into being." It's the missing link! The archaeopteryx of Orks!
  • Sirion or Ossir? I suppose both are verboten...
  • Not a god yet has to be "this is Sauron"-bait.
  • "Here to Orodruin"--I'm gonna say, "yup," this is the making of Mordor we're seeing.
  • "Theo" is still a stupid name.
  • The Southlands story still belongs to the horror genre, I see.
  • If you tell me that Celebrimbor is inventing this recollection of Eärendil, I'd believe it...
  • The whole "deception of Durin" story seems... I dunno, either like it made our intro to the Dwarves pointless or redundant or inconsistent or something...
  • Okay, I like a secret knock!
  • It's a bit a late to be finding mithril... but the whole timeline is pointless to nitpick in this show.
  • Betcha that wee bit of mithril becomes an Elven ring or three.
  • Why do the bars on Galadriel's prison look like a 21st century wrought-iron fence?
  • A mortal Southron princeling should not be teaching the granddaughter of Finwë politics--never mind the granddaughter of Olwë or the student of Melian.
  • Okay, Halbrand is a Mary Stu. It's okay. But he is.
  • That the King of Númenor has declined is a very... Númenórean motif.
  • Wait, is a that a palantír--it is! Why are six missing? I mean, it makes sense that they're in Númenor--and that's kind of under-developed by Tolkien: what were they doing in the 2nd Age? Did the House of Silmarien have them all? Were there others? How did Elendil end up with them all?
  • Theo, I think you should really think of going back without that sack.
  • Good timing, Arondir. But I still suspect you've saved a Nazgûl.
  • This is very Boromir's death. Are we going to that well again?
  • Saved by the Sun! Not a bad motif!
  • Are we giving Elrond Daddy Issues™? I guess... that's not... terribly... inappropriate. Still.
  • Durin and HIS dad have a very... Dwarven? thing going on.
  • Well, this is a creepy bartender! An anti-Barliman?
  • I like Míriel's look between without the leafy antlers.
  • Making a public pronouncement indoors in a city that large seems like it's making an event rather exclusive...
  • So, it seems we're going to get some Tar-Minastírian alliance PRE-Sauron... the timeline here is so muddled!
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Old 09-16-2022, 03:49 PM   #2
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Kemen rather than Kevin.
Dead mother rather than brother.
===
"Wait, is a that a palantír--it is! Why are six missing? I mean, it makes sense that they're in Númenor--and that's kind of under-developed by Tolkien: what were they doing in the 2nd Age? Did the House of Silmarien have them all? Were there others? How did Elendil end up with them all?"
The Palantiri were given to Amandil the father of Elendil.
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Old 09-16-2022, 04:35 PM   #3
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Starting to get into a kind of groove watching this now. The main struggle I have is the timelines conflict with what I know from the texts, and that does mess me about a lot, I do like a consistent timeline. There's a pattern emerging, or conceit, that everyone*might* be Sauron, and there's characters constantly looking for him. I hope they don't go too far with this as it could become annoying, and once the bad Maia is found then there wouldn't be a motivation any more.

I was also puzzled by there being just one Palantir.

Amongst things I really liked was knowing that there's a Balrog down in that mine, and seeing how the Dwarves might have been driven to go too far (though surely Mithril was discovered before).

The politics of Numenor look promising. It's one aspect of Middle-earth I feel disappointed is left out of Lord of the Rings, there are so many hints about it but they aren't explored as we're focused on that story. I'd love there to be more stories about this, in Gondor or Numenor, so this might fulfill that want.

Who is 'Adar'?

The thought struck me, it all reminds me of the old RPGs, taking an unexplored story from Middle-earth and creating our own tales from them, but with a vast budget. That's a positive thing, by the way.
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Old 09-16-2022, 05:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tar Elenion View Post
The Palantiri were given to Amandil the father of Elendil.
Let's say we take that as a given: WHY?

From a Watsonian, in-universe perspective, why would such powerful tools have been given to Silmarien instead of kept with the Crown? Or were they a later gift to the Faithful after the King's Men had fallen from friendship with the Eldar? (Memory says the latter, but memory is frail.) My general, stream of consciousness thought remains: Tolkien didn't elaborate much on the palantiri in the Second Age and it is a reasonable topic to explore.
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Old 09-16-2022, 06:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
Let's say we take that as a given: WHY?

From a Watsonian, in-universe perspective, why would such powerful tools have been given to Silmarien instead of kept with the Crown? Or were they a later gift to the Faithful after the King's Men had fallen from friendship with the Eldar? (Memory says the latter, but memory is frail.) My general, stream of consciousness thought remains: Tolkien didn't elaborate much on the palantiri in the Second Age and it is a reasonable topic to explore.
Not Silmarien.
They were given to Amandil.
"These stones were gifts of the Eldar to Amandil, father of Elendil, for the comfort of the Faithful of Númenor in their dark days, when the Elves might come no longer to that land under the shadow of Sauron."
The Akallabeth
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Old 09-16-2022, 10:13 PM   #6
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Well the Palantiri erasure has been the first time I've had to pause the show and walk around angrily, so....ok?



Elrond is growing on me a bit, he gives off more "...he is summoned to a secret council and you are not" vibes.


Elrond: My Dad turned into a star.
Durin: That's rough, buddy.



I may have teared up ever so slightly at the scene between DurinII/III. But don't tell anyone. Part of it is because there will be no Narvi, and I am desolate.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Form
Okay, Halbrand is a Mary Stu. It's okay. But he is.

Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh he is Sauron isn't he. Ugh. UGH. I don't want to accept it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Form
Well, this is a creepy bartender! An anti-Barliman?

Quinoaman Margarinebur?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lal
Who is 'Adar'?
Sauron, Mouth of? Eol? Beleg? So help me if he's Earendil who sailed off the edge of the world then came back for revenge I'll be quite put out.


This episode had no Harfeetsies which I am kind of sad about - but lots of Numenor which I'm ok with. This was a very slow episode and wasn't my favorite.
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Old 09-16-2022, 10:24 PM   #7
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Personally, I felt this episode took a step back from the previous two. It does feel like more of a "set up" episode for all the characters and storylines that are about to converge. So, that still has my interests piqued.

But Arondir has so very thick plot armor. I don't know how Halbrand suddenly got released from jail. Was that part of the "judgement" with Galadriel returning to M-E?

I dislike Elrond coming off as a manipulative and slimy politician type. I mean he manipulated Galadriel to take the boat ride, he manipulated Durin and Disa with his "well I think it's time for me to go. I don't want to intrude" act in Episode 2. He sounds sincere in wanting to restore a friendship with Durin, but then previews for Episode 5 show him passing on the mithril to Celebrimbor. I suppose in a twisted lore way he does manipulate Aragorn into claiming the throne of Gondor in order to "win" his daughter. I think I've always been struck by his introduction in The Hobbit, being wise, strong, venerable, but also "kind as summer." A lurking, manipulative politician doesn't fit my own views. I'm not sure if it's just the way Robert Aramayo is delivering the lines, but he sounds creepy and slimy. It's not a kind and friendly demeanor that Hugo Weaving gave us.

Having said this, I'm trying to approach the series with Huey's post in another thread in mind. That any change to a character, or story, can work if it's consistent and makes sense within the context of the adaptation. This isn't the final product, not even close to that point yet, and the series is doing a good job of maintaining my interests. There are still several positives in the episode, as well.

Similar to Lal, I like seeing the political turmoil building within Numenor. I like Pharazon the populist, appealing to the crowd's dislike of the Elves. That was a clever stump speech, appealing to the valor and pride of Numenor. In contrast to Miriel's appeal of the faith of the Valar's blessing. These divisions will go on to rip Numenor apart and that is a fascinating story. (In the Episode 5 preview, I believe that was Pharazon telling Isildur "when this is over, the Elves will work for us.")

The visual of the great wave flooding Numenor was again stunning.

One more quick thing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Form
"Dead brother!" Anárion is... dead? AND his older brother? Well, this doesn't bode well for the Line of Anárion, I must say.
I believe the one friend said, "dead mother." I'm assuming Anarion is still alive and is somewhere in the West of Middle-earth. I watched the previous episode again before watching the new one, and the whole deferment for a year went something like this.

Elendil: What does your brother having to do with this?
Isildur: Nothing
Earien: Well, more than nothing
Elendil: I told you nothing awaits us on the western shores (something like that)

Isildur's friends are named Valandil and Imrahil. So, that I find interesting. I wonder if they have some larger part to play in future seasons?
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Old 09-18-2022, 04:37 AM   #8
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We just watched this yesterday alongside episode 3, and I'm again having trouble separating what was in which episode and wish to discuss the overall development, so you can take this as a mix-and-match episode 3&4 post. Anyway:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil
Is Míriel having the Faramir dream? ... Seems so...
It was great... except I was way too distracted by her kidnapping that random baby while the mother presumably ran away without her child.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Form
Did he say his name is "Kevin?"
And here I heard "Clement".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Form
Wait, is a that a palantír--it is! Why are six missing? I mean, it makes sense that they're in Númenor--and that's kind of under-developed by Tolkien: what were they doing in the 2nd Age? Did the House of Silmarien have them all? Were there others? How did Elendil end up with them all?
I guess there's not really a particular reason to stick onto canon in this. For the large audience they only need to show two palantíri making it to Middle-Earth. I was more preoccupied with Galadriel's claim of having looked into several palantíri - when and why? But I guess it can make sense as an inspiration for her mirror. And speaking of the palantíri - I liked how they drew a parallel between Míriel and Denethor, both seeing the destruction of their kingdoms in the stones and the despair eating them up from the inside.

Random notes:

- I liked the visuals of Númenór, but the culture/politics felt pretty lazily written. (You could make so much more out of the cultural/ linguistic / dare I say religious conflict. Also "Elves will steal your jobs and Middle-Earthers will steal your women"? Ughhhh tired.) I liked the portrayal of all of Míriel, Elendil and Pharazon.

- Why are there compulsory 2-3 slow motion scenes in every episode? The effect is mostly... comical. Like the whole Aroboromir sequence that set up his death which didn't happen, not to mention the weirdly cringeworthy Galadriel riding scene.

- I continue having mixed feelings about the portrayal of the Dwarves. The secretiveness, family bonds, and Disa's eerie song to the stone were all great. Disa joking about Durin having a girlfriend, plus the absolutely unnecessary thigh high slit in her dress less so. It would be great to see a Middle-Earth story where Dwarves are not the comic relief.

- Out of the mysterious characters, Adar is my favourite. Actually no idea who he is, unless he is Sauron. The only thing we seem to know of him is that he's an Elf. (The name, plus pointy ears.) But why is he so twisted and chilling with Orcs? What happened to his face? Is he some kind of Gwindor Jr who was captured and tortured by Orcs and changed by it, but instead turned it to his advantage?

- I don't know why everyone thinks Halbrand is Sauron, apart from him being somewhere in the jerk/villain territory plus ogling that smithy. Compared to most other characters he actually has a lot of backstory and character motivation already, and that would be wasted on a decoy. I think his character doesn't need the extra layer of being Sauron in disguise, it would actually make it less deep. But future nazgûl? Very likely. (Maybe even the Witch-King, given how big a role he's playing so far?)

- So, the very end heavily implies The Stranger is Sauron. I would take this with a pinch of salt. Or let's say I very much hope it isn't the case. Everything in the portrayal of the Stranger has been screaming Gandalf so far - the actor's looks and mannerisms, the connection with both fire and hobbits, the PJ-y bug obsession - and if he's someone else, that's wilful misdirection of the audience with no other purpose than a cheap "gotcha" and that's just incredibly lame.

- Also our four-'downer home audience was inspired to go on a pretty advanced conspiracy theory of the show actually covering multiple timelines simultaneously à la Westworld, including Halbrand actually being the same character as either Theo or the creepy old man he's speaking with in the end of the episode. This would also allow for Sauron to be multiple people within the series. Personally, I think that would be cool, but I don't really have that much faith in the writers...

All in all, the show continues to be visually stunning, and intriguing to watch from the simple perspective of how they're going to portray various canon plots/ characters / elements. Writing-wise, I'm still very disappointed in it because I think it's simply bad. The plotting, pacing and characterisation are all over the place, and after four episodes they've failed to make me care about what happens to any of these people (with the possible exception of Nori and Poppy). I also don't know who any of them really are like as people. But the worst crime in my mind is still the dialogue which is just atrocious. The tone and vocabulary are a mess, and half of the time the stuff the characters are saying doesn't even mean anything.
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Old 09-18-2022, 05:03 AM   #9
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Palantir-Green

Let me start differently this time.

Unlike others, I am not at all bothered by the Palantíri (or by their absence, as it were). We'll see if they resurface. My only problem is - if I understood Míriel correctly - that the remaining ones are ALREADY somehow in Middle-Earth? Why??? Isn't that one of the few things established in LotR? "Tall ships and tall kings... what brought they from the foundered land over the flowing sea? Seven stars and seven stones..." They should be somewhere on Númenor, maybe Pharazon should have one and Elendil could have one or whatever, and eventually Isil, that good-for-nothing rascal should steal them and ferry them from the destruction.
Ahem, okay, so much for me not being bothered about the Palantíri. But honestly, overall, they do not interest me that much in terms of plot. (At most, it's again a wasted opportunity. But I hope they resurface later.) Moving on.

Unlike others, I am also not bothered by Elrond being a slimy politician, because he does not seem to me like a slimy politician at all. He seems to me like a nice basic dude who is trying to find out why is friend is lying to him and such.

Now for my more traditional order.

The Good


Dwarven plotline continues to be fairly good. I am happy that there has been no more burping and smashing rocks. If the Harfoot plotline has the best worldbuilding (or culturebuilding), then the Dwarven one has the best characterbuilding, relationships and all. Durin-Disa, Durin-Elrond, Elrond-Disa, Durin-Durin.

I like Disa, even though I don't understand the leg-revealing clothes. The singing was amazing.

And now for something completely different. Adar is cool. Whatever he is supposed to be. A dark Elf? Like a literal Dark Elf? Non-canon, but ok. What was that asking about Beleriand? He was there then? Is he an Eöl-like figure?

Or with his scars, is he some sort of pseudo-mutated Elf halway to becoming an Orc? Is he called "Adar", "father", by the Orcs, because he was the first Elf captured by Morgoth and then kept like a "breeding bull" for all the Orcs ever? Is he currently here to populate Mordor?

Or is he... something more sinister *dun dun dun*? Okay, let's ask it aloud, is he Sauron? It would make a LOT of sense: the Elvish name, the fact that it is not a proper name but just a nickname. But perhaps also the fact that Arondir sees him as an Elf, but maybe it is what it SEEMS like... after all, was it not Sauron's prime "ability", at the beginning of the Second Age, to appear to others like he was one of them?

(But then, if he is Sauron, then what about the mention of the Meteor Man?... more on that in Legate's amazing theory that will turn your head full Legate 180°!)

Whatever Adar is, even if he turned something completely uncanonical (say, really an evil Elf), I do not mind, because it is well delivered. He has a personality, he has charm (well, that probably means he is actually Sauron after all).

I still love all of Míriel's headdresses. Whatever that thing with blue stones (sapphires?) was in the departure-scene, I'd wear that too.

And last but definitely not least, while I am not one for dramatic reveals, the, as someone named him, "evil Barliman Butterbur" in the final scene was just delightful. (Also incidentally suddenly having about 90% more personality than half the main characters.) I dig this (ha! Not anymore, quoth th' Orc!), I want to see what becomes of this.

The Bad

I said Adar is cool, but he should not be Adar. I always understood it the way that Orcs don't like using Elvish. Even if his name were Adar, they should, in my opinion, opt for a Sharku-style nickname.

More slow motion, slow motion everywhere! That is just plain awful. It feels like Bezos just ran out of money and needed to fill five extra minutes, so decided to lenghten every scene by a minute by making it slo-mo. The only thing we're missing are the Naruto-style scenes that recap half of the previous episode in every episode.

And more ripping off PJ imagery during absolutely unrealistic flight through the woods. Also, the boy was in the well during the day. Then the Orcs started searching, so he waited until dusk. Because Orcs move around so much less and see so much worse at night, right? Okay but anyway, so the dusk comes, so the boy climbs out, then sneaks around for a bit, then runs, then it's dawn. Nope, the timing in this scene was just completely all over the place.

Míriel's "Legate 180" on helping Galadriel was super random and swift. A bit more buildup, perhaps? This also seems like it is speeding up too much. What are they going to do for the remaining X seasons? Okay: I presume that this is not (I hope!) yet the thing where they capture Sauron and bring him to Númenor, only a sort of minor incursion, possibly the sort of Tar-Minastir thing that pushes Sauron back somewhere, but leaves him running about?

Or perhaps it will end up being "whoa, we see no Sauron here, but we see plenty of lands ripe for colonising! Hmm, profit!" And the Númenoreans will begin establishing their colonies on the shores.

The... Okay

I originally intended to criticise Bronwyn appearing to save her son. I mean, it was absolutely random and useless - as in, if she at least had appeared with five other armed dudes, you know? But thinking about it... she did not know that there would actually be that many Orcs (if any) or if her son just, say, fell into a ditch. And more importantly, it actually it is nice, as it shows some affection for her son. So that is one piece of what I have been demanding all the time: some sort of showing the personalities of the characters, interaction that establishes relationships. Well, better to remind us that a mother cares for her son in 4th episode than never, I suppose.

Tar-Palantír... okay. That was unexpected (I did not know he was mentioned in the material they had access to, but in fact, he was! Nice). Still, he did not really do much? It was kind of underwhelming.

And so mithril was only discovered now for the first time in history, or what? Elrond, your dad's ship would like a word with you. I mean, again, yes, a narrative shortcut. But let's not make too many of them. There is this little canon info you have rights to, so why not keep faithful to the little you have?

Pharazon's son. He is so far mostly a basic young dude and him hitting on Isil's (sic) sister would put him into the category of character types I couldn't care less about. But there is something about his behaviour that makes it feel like he has much more personality than, say, Halbrand or Bronwyn. Even if one of his major defining characteristics is "the guy who wants to date the girl", there is some believability to it and it makes him more-dimensional than just "Pharazon's son who wants to dabble into guild politics or whatever". I hope he will turn out ot have an interesting character development.

I kind of like the constant feeling of uncertainty and ambiguity of "Sauron can be here, there, everywhere". I just hope the writers will keep it only until as long as to not overstay its welcome.

Overall
I liked the fourth episode possibly on the average a bit more than the previous ones, some of it owing to Mr. Evil Barliman in the last scene. It seems like something is about to start moving, and we might see the stories start to converge... or will we?
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Old 09-18-2022, 06:18 AM   #10
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Legate, I believe you wrote a comment in the Episode 3 thread about the Meteor Man and not finding out anymore to uncover his mystery. Unfortunately, it might be one of the mysteries that get strung along. The actor playing him said in an interview, prior to the series, that the mystery of The Stranger and his purpose isn't revealed in Season 1. I don't think he gave anymore as far as when it's "revealed" but we're at least going to get 5 more episodes of clues, or red herrings, with no actual resolution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lommy
- I don't know why everyone thinks Halbrand is Sauron, apart from him being somewhere in the jerk/villain territory plus ogling that smithy. Compared to most other characters he actually has a lot of backstory and character motivation already, and that would be wasted on a decoy. I think his character doesn't need the extra layer of being Sauron in disguise, it would actually make it less deep. But future nazgûl? Very likely. (Maybe even the Witch-King, given how big a role he's playing so far?)
I see other little clues that did make me wonder, is this Sauron? In Galadriel's jail break scene, Pharazon is next to Halbrand, and Halbrand says something like "I would advise you not to do that." It certainly was meant to look like the captive advising his captors.

My thoughts though are it could possibly put me off from the show if Halbrand is Sauron. It would completely ruin Galadriel's character, for me. Even more so than this "there is a tempest in me" and feeling like she's going to have some sort of tantrum every time another authority figure tells her no. I mean, Galadriel is someone we know who has remarkable insight into people (even before her ring) it's established she is known to be able to read people. They've already established will not rest in defeating Sauron, obsessively hunting for him after Finrod's death, rejected Annatar (because she's a superb judge of character). To have her fooled in a cheap "gotcha" Halbrand is Sauron, would butcher her character, imo. I don't think the showrunners are that terrible to pull a Halbrand is Sauron. At least they haven't shown they are yet.

I rather think that "advice" to Pharazon from within a jail cell scene, was foreshadowing and revealing more into Pharazon's character, than figuring out the Halbrand mystery. My current theory after Episode 4 is Halbrand becomes acclimated in Numenor and to Pharazon. Maybe becoming an advisor/general/captain under Pharazon and becoming a future Nazgul. I can see a future Nazgul being formerly important members of the King's Men. Anyway, I think this episode to be more revealing into Pharazon's and Miriel's character. The "Halbrand advising Galadriel and then Pharazon from within a jail cell" is foreshadowing for Pharazon's storyline, and doesn't answer the question of who is Halbrand? At least, that's my personal theory.

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- I liked the visuals of Númenór, but the culture/politics felt pretty lazily written. (You could make so much more out of the cultural/ linguistic / dare I say religious conflict. Also "Elves will steal your jobs and Middle-Earthers will steal your women"? Ughhhh tired.) I liked the portrayal of all of Míriel, Elendil and Pharazon.
I didn't mind that part, because the person speaking to the crowd at first was one of the forge guild members. So, it gives the grass roots, working class perspective. Pharazon swoops in and kind of immediately takes over, stealing the scene for me. He pivots from the "they're going to take our jobs and women" rabble rousing the guild member was doing, to "come now, Elves are not a threat to our lives, because we are the Edain." He pivots to appeal to the valor and pride of Men.

I re-watched the episode this morning and I like Elrond a bit better. Friday was an exhausting day for me, and when I was finally able to sit down and watch it, I probably wasn't paying the closest attention, just being too tired. I still had Episodes 1 and 2 thinking Elrond was being manipulative with Galadriel, Durin and Disa. Then he starts the episode being a sneaky agent for Celebrimbor, lurking on bridges...but his friendship with Durin and Disa felt sincere towards the end of the episode. The episode 5 preview has him showing the mithril piece Durin gave him as a "token of friendship" to Celebrimbor. Made me think he immediately goes and hands over the token of friendship to Celebrimbor, but I also suppose he could just be showing it to Celebrimbor and Elrond keeps that piece. Ah, new theory, keeps that piece for when vilya is forged. (eventhough in the lore Gil-galad should receive vilya first)
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Old 09-18-2022, 06:41 AM   #11
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"...and upon his finger was a ring of gold with a great blue stone, Vilya, mightiest of the Three."
LotR, Grey Havens
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Old 09-18-2022, 07:17 AM   #12
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"...and upon his finger was a ring of gold with a great blue stone, Vilya, mightiest of the Three."
LotR, Grey Havens
I'm not sure your point here? I mean sticking to the lore isn't exactly a major obstacle for this series. I will even take the theory one step further and say that piece of mithril Elrond receives goes into the crafting of Vilya and the dwarf ring Durin receives.
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Old 09-18-2022, 07:25 AM   #13
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The point is that Vilya is made of gold, not mithril.
But, as the showrunners are ignorant idiots, I would not be surprised if they used *mithril to make *Vilya.
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Old 09-18-2022, 07:36 AM   #14
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The point is that Vilya is made of gold, not mithril.
But, as the showrunners are ignorant idiots, I would not be surprised if they used *mithril to make *Vilya.
Well, there's more than one way to tell an interesting story. Without the Bakshi cartoon we wouldn't have viking Boromir, without Jackson's adaptation we wouldn't have Sean Bean in a strawberry-blonde wig. Neither adaptation looked like Boromir, and both portrayed Boromir differently from Tolkien, yet they worked within the context of the adaptations.

Using something Elrond was given as a token of friendship to go into the making of 2 rings the friends receive will cement the friendship between them. But what do I know? I'm just making guesses of what I think would be an interesting story.
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Old 09-18-2022, 11:55 AM   #15
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(From LotR: FotR) The quality isn't super clear here and I can't tell if Vilya is gold or just a duller silver than Nenya - I can't find if a licensed Weta Workshop replica was ever made of it. It's more likely that Jackson/Weta will be copied than Tolkien, like it or not.
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Old 09-19-2022, 03:06 AM   #16
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Legate, I believe you wrote a comment in the Episode 3 thread about the Meteor Man and not finding out anymore to uncover his mystery. Unfortunately, it might be one of the mysteries that get strung along. The actor playing him said in an interview, prior to the series, that the mystery of The Stranger and his purpose isn't revealed in Season 1. I don't think he gave anymore as far as when it's "revealed" but we're at least going to get 5 more episodes of clues, or red herrings, with no actual resolution.
Really? Well, a shame. That sounds like another example of the show's bad pacing. Doesn't sound like he's going to have much of an arc in season 1 then, and rather like he's just gonna be there. Which begs the question why did they even introduce him (or the harfoots) yet, if the plot has nowhere to go yet.

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My thoughts though are it could possibly put me off from the show if Halbrand is Sauron. It would completely ruin Galadriel's character, for me. Even more so than this "there is a tempest in me" and feeling like she's going to have some sort of tantrum every time another authority figure tells her no. I mean, Galadriel is someone we know who has remarkable insight into people (even before her ring) it's established she is known to be able to read people. They've already established will not rest in defeating Sauron, obsessively hunting for him after Finrod's death, rejected Annatar (because she's a superb judge of character). To have her fooled in a cheap "gotcha" Halbrand is Sauron, would butcher her character, imo. I don't think the showrunners are that terrible to pull a Halbrand is Sauron. At least they haven't shown they are yet.
Agreed. Also it would make the sexual tension between them even more cringy. (Fortunately they haven't really played that angle the way I was afraid they would. It seemed like that in episode 2 but they have seemed to take a step back since and I didn't really get that vibe from episode 4 anymore, thankfully.) But Galadriel coming back to rescue Halbrand to help him reclaim his throne seemed quite undeserved to me, and it would be worse if he was Sauron. I mean, currently I can buy it that she sees in him potential for greatness (or decency) that I just personally don't see.
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Old 09-24-2022, 01:56 PM   #17
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We've just watched it tonight. My wife initially enjoyed the show, but has dropped back to just admiring the visuals, having declared the plot and scenes "a bit too Game of Thrones" after episode 3 (specifically Halbrand's bezerker rage). I'm still more forgiving.

In the absence of the Harfeet, I felt the Southlanders were the "most LotR-ish" portion. Theo in particular hits a lot of Hobbit beats - hiding from evil, escaping through the woods, even using sunlight as safety and an end to the battle. Evil Butterbur feels like someone you could encounter on the grottier edges of Tolkien's writing, and even the whole "swear fealty or be destroyed" is an echo of the Mouth of Sauron.

So, Adar. He's not a god, so I don't think he's Sauron - my guess is we haven't seen Sauron yet, and that he will first appear as Annatar (probably not named as such). If he's not just Evil McElfy... I'm going to throw out two longshot options: he is either Maglor or Feanor.

Maglor I'm pretty sure is said to be alive in LOTR, while Feanor - I checked - is never said to be dead. We've been told a lot of lies, didn't he say? And Feanor has been name checked at least once. I would laugh so hard if he was Feanor.

I enjoyed the Moria scenes - Elrond's daddy issues make a lot of sense, actually, and the dwarves were... I mean, they're just fun. Durin and Disa are the actors who most seem like they're enjoying themselves, which is always positive.

I think the state of Numenor is becoming clearer. They rebelled against Tar-Palantir, so Miriel was given the sceptre as regent. The west of Numenor seems to be almost independent - the Faithful are out there, including Anarion, and nobody seems to be doing anything about it. I assume they gave Tar-Palantir one of the palantiri, and kept the others hidden. (Someone asked why Galadriel had handled a palantiri before - I mean, her uncle made the things, right?)

I read Miriel as secretly Faithful, but having to completely hide it to avoid another rebellion. Pharazon is trying to keep her under control, but also secure his own powerbase. I suspect his usurpation will be caused by the death of either Tar-Palantir, or his son Kemen, or both. His marriage to Miriel isn't mentioned in LOTR, but could still happen.

Halbrand is increasingly sketchy, though I'm not entirely clear on whether he told Pharazon where Galadriel was going (would he really let Miriel confront her in private?). I think the whole Southland is in an interesting moral place - the Elves have been wildly racist and oppressive towards them, so why *wouldn't* they turn to Sauron, especially if he shows up separately to the orcs? Especially especially if the elf-led Numenorean invasion leads to the canonical Numenorean slave economy.

hS
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Old 09-24-2022, 04:51 PM   #18
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Maglor I'm pretty sure is said to be alive in LOTR, while Feanor - I checked - is never said to be dead. We've been told a lot of lies, didn't he say? And Feanor has been name checked at least once. I would laugh so hard if he was Feanor.
Maglor is not mentioned in LotR. And both are implied to be dead:
"The sons of Eärendil were Elros and Elrond, the Peredhil or Half-elven. In them alone the line of the heroic chieftains of the Edain in the First Age was preserved; and after the fall of Gil-galad the lineage of the High-elven Kings was also in Middle-earth only represented by their descendants."
LotR, App. A
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Old 09-24-2022, 05:42 PM   #19
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Maglor is not mentioned in LotR. And both are implied to be dead:
"The sons of Eärendil were Elros and Elrond, the Peredhil or Half-elven. In them alone the line of the heroic chieftains of the Edain in the First Age was preserved; and after the fall of Gil-galad the lineage of the High-elven Kings was also in Middle-earth only represented by their descendants."
LotR, App. A
I would have sworn he was in the Appendices, but I stand corrected.

For Feanor, all that means he has to die before Gil-Galad, which I figure is a given - unless he's Sauron or the Mouth, Adar can't survive the series without raising serious questions as to where he went. Yes, I'm firmly committed to this crackpot theory now.

All right, a replacement for Maglor as my backup theory: Turgon. Namedropped as king of Gondolin and Elrond's ancestor in Appendix A, and therefore as the wielder of Glamdring. Lots of lovely family connections to play with, and for bonus points his canonical death has him dying in his collapsing tower, which he could plausibly have survived with, I dunno, burn scars or something.

Darn, I think that might actually be a reasonable theory. There's enough Gondolin across Hobbit and LotR that they could easily do a flashback to the Goblin Wars when his identity is revealed.

Whoever Adar is, I'm kind of hoping he sets up against Sauron, rather than just being his servant. It would be fun to see the Saruman dynamic replicated and drawn out a little more.

hS
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Old 09-24-2022, 06:56 PM   #20
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All right, a replacement for Maglor as my backup theory: Turgon. Namedropped as king of Gondolin and Elrond's ancestor in Appendix A, and therefore as the wielder of Glamdring. Lots of lovely family connections to play with, and for bonus points his canonical death has him dying in his collapsing tower, which he could plausibly have survived with, I dunno, burn scars or something.
LOL. While I do not necessarily subscribe to the theory as the most plausible way the show is gonna go, this is another fanfic I would want to see.
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Old 09-30-2022, 09:17 AM   #21
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Speaking of people being canon characters in disguise... with all Galadriel's talk about Halbrand being a king, someone online reminded me that there is actually a canonical late-Second Age king in future Gondor: the King of the Dead.

And it would fit. I don't think Halbrand is likely to go full Sauron-cultist (as someone said, it would really put Galadriel in a bad light). But from what we've seen up to Episode 4, he is absolutely the sort who would flatly refuse to let his people go to fight in someone else's war. Particularly since he's in contact with Numenor this early - I could see something like Isildur saving his life, and when he claims his throne he swears an oath there and then, that "if you are ever in need, Isil, just say the word and I will bring my entire kingdom to help you if that's what it takes". And then when Isildur comes back for the Last Alliance, he's all, "that was a long time ago; I have responsibilities, and your squabble with Sauron is none of my business."

This could also mean that some of those bit-part Southlanders are destined to become ghostly warriors, hang out in a cave for millennia, and then help Aragorn spook a few sailors before finally heading off to Mandos.

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