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Old 10-14-2022, 05:06 AM   #1
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Ring **Spoiler Warning** Rings of Power S1E8 - "Alloyed"

We have arrived to the end of the beginning. RoP has generated a lot of discussion, and enflamed a lot of passion, both good and bad. As the show continues with, most likely, future seasons, it may become something to appreciate in hindsight.

Play by Play Thoughts:

- The "Halbrand is Sauron" theory is abound in this episode. He isn't even hiding his glee at being at Eregion.

- Are they ever going to say "Ring"?

- Glad to see some story progression of the Stranger, or at least the culmination. Still no name drop but looks like he is indeed one of the Istari.

- Assuming those cultists are wights or wraiths, but going around calling weird meteor man your overlord with no proof is no good basis of a sustainable cult.

- Wait, why did Sadoc die when there is literally a magic man with magic hands 10 ft away from him.

- Woop, there it is. Thought they said that Sauron wasn't going to be revealed this season.

- As critical as I am about Galadriel, I do appreciate the temptation of power for Galadriel and how it ties into the LotR.

- Also liked the usage of Finrod's dagger, that was a nice touch.

- Celebrimbor is making it hard to believe that he is one of the greatest smiths alive when he doesn't understand the basics of smithing.

- "The key to unlock the dam" is a bit cringe. What does that even mean? Dams aren't meant to be unlocked. That defeats the purpose of a dam.

- Given the Stranger's relationship with the Harfoots, it definitely feels like he will become Gandalf and i imagine in future seasons he will introduce the remainder of the Istari. (Okay, it is definitely Gandalf with that 'Always follow your nose' line).

- They really had to show the meaning of "long goodbyes"

- What's this? Rings of Power in my Rings of Power show!?!

So wait, Galadriel isn't going to tell anyone that Halbrand is Sauron, and that the whole Annatar plot in crafting the rings was condensed into less than 20 minutes of screen time. Now that we know the truth of Halbrand, looking back his whole encounter with Galadriel was rather silly. Just happened to be on a raft in the middle of the ocean, and Galadriel decided to call him the King of the Southlands and then bring him to Eregion. It feels like the reason why Halbrand/Sauron succeeded was cause everyone around him are idiots.

Future Seasons:

- Now that Sauron has been revealed, I imagine it will be more division between the elves and Numenor, with Sauron trying to placate himself to Numenor and sow the distrust.
- Also hope to see the rings of man and dwarves get fleshed out and we see more of the seven dwarven kings and nine human kings.
- I also expect more power plays in Numenor, with Ar-Pharazon usurping Miriel and welcoming Sauron, which will lead to its invasion of Valinor and its doom.
- Isildur will be back, maybe a slave in Mordor and will escape. Maybe as a hostage of Sauron.

Final Thoughts:

It has been quite a journey and we have reached the end of the first season. While I was impressed with and enjoyed some of the story elements, there was a lot that left me disappointed with. Time will tell if they grow and try new things in the future seasons, and where the fanbase will go with it.

Despite its failings and misgivings, this show is a product of a world that has inspired countless numbers of us and gave us a fantasical universe that has shaped our thoughts and emotions. This is still a product of that love, and many people put their passion into it. Factors abound made it what it is. Like it or not, this is Tolkien for a new generation and hopefully it will rekindle and remind everyone new and old of what the writings of the Professor has meant for us.
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Last edited by Gil-Galad; 10-14-2022 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 10-14-2022, 01:04 PM   #2
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More sustained thoughts to come later... the TLR is that I generally liked things in this episode but generally feel--like last episode--that the pacing is wobbly and there are inexplicable adaptational choices made. I think it ends the season on a comparative high note, but that's not without many, many caveats.
  • Wow, it feels like ages since I watched this--the recap feels ancient, including stuff that JUST happened.
  • A mysterious apple-thief/spy? Haven't you introduced enough new--oh, oh never mind. It's the creepy white cloaks.
  • Well THEY think he's Sauron, anyway.
  • I will miss the opening credits being in my life each week.
  • Lindon looks impressive--or is that Eregion? Does Eregion exist in this world?
  • Oh, are the Rings supposed to be the back-up plan to the Mithril Sun-Baths? It's... quite the dramatisation, but...
  • Elrond, YOU are the healer, right? Why aren't YOU doing any healing?
  • "The only thing we can do" just doesn't hit--hackneyed writing!
  • Oh, do we get an actual Celebrimbor scene?
  • Even if Halbrand isn't Sauron, this is a good Annatar-baity scene.
  • "A gift"--okay, that's even more Annatar-baity.
  • "Forge a tomb"--you don't forge tombs, Pharazôn!
  • Why are you talking to Númenor's apprentices? This sounds very plot-convenient, Pharazôn. You should be talking to the island's master craftsmen.
  • While he's a bit atextual, crazy seer Tar-Palantír is effective.
  • Gil-galad being the one who DISLIKES this plan feels out of character for THIS Gil-galad, but closer to the book. I don't understand this Gil-galad's motivations.
  • "Return to Lindon"--okay, this hastily-erected city that looks ancient actually is Eregion. Gotta keep it.
  • More Halbrand-is-Annatar bait.
  • The fact that Galadriel is researching Halbrand's background feels like more Annatar-bait. But at what point do I have to admit it isn't bait but what the plot actually is.
  • Well, that was ominous, Halbrand--the point seems to be coming. So, of course, let's switch to the Starman plot.
  • Okay, but why are the stars strange in the East? That's not exactly how it works in this world. And, yes, Aragorn spoke of walking far in the east--but also the south!--where the stars are strange. Is this just bad research or a comment on the flatness of the world?
  • Look, Harfeet, at some point you should just consider him lost on the road--this seems a very bad--oh, hang on: we have Blue Wizards, me thinks! Or some sort of weird duplication.
  • Awww, no, it's not two Starmen--it's a disguise.
  • These White Cloaks continue to be sufficiently creepy.
  • Wait, the association with fire is supposed to be a Gandalf thing, isn't it?
  • Too much CGI.
  • "Istar" well, that would seem to be confirmed, whichever Istar he is.
  • This is an overly dramatic death scene--and your magic wizard is RIGHT THERE.
  • Also, doesn't dawn seem to have arrived really conveniently? Like, right after midnight?
  • "Does not merely mean one who loves the stars" is a nicely tight and understated--and unspoken--way of saying it.
  • Well THERE are the black, erm, sails of the Númenóreans--kinda. Context is all wrong. Dramatic, but not consistent.
  • "Ourselves," Galadriel? You're not quite part of the smithing, are you?
  • Well, Halbrand, I guess you're Annatar by default now.
  • I feel like Arondir or, say, Bronwyn should have told you this, Galadriel. The way they responded to "King Halbrand" makes this look like a last minute change.
  • But it is a dramatic reveal. The music works, and that's some of his better dialogue.
  • Oh yeah, that's what they thought Finrod looked like...
  • This is a nonsense dream? mind-invasion? scene--but the lies Sauron is whispering are fairly in character.
  • The Ring always offered power and rule, I suppose.
  • I don't know if we can believe a word this Sauron says... but if we could, it's got some textual support.
  • "Three Rings for the Elven-Kings," I guess.
  • Giving up her blade for the Rings is... unexpected, but I suppose I like it.
  • So we just need confirmation if Starman is Gandalf or a Blue Wizard--the indications would seem to be Gandalf. A Blue Wizard I'd enjoy... Gandalf annoys me: it's such a case of prequelitis (stuffing things into the prequel from the first story "because" when it doesn't have to be there.
  • I do sort of thematically like the idea of Gandalf getting to meet the Hobbits before they can possibly remember it, but it offends my sense of timeline--and how is Gandalf to get Narya from Círdan as he arrives at the Havens?
  • Hobbits imparting advice at parting is nice as a concept.
  • Was that supposed to be a Gandalf pre-quote?
  • You don't look hot next to this forge, Galadriel. An elf is supposed to always look cool, I suppose.
  • Travelled to Mordor rather quickly, didn't we, Halbrand?
  • It's weird getting end credits...
  • So, do we get a new set of Rings at the end of each season? Dwarves at the end of 2, Men at the end of three, Sauron at the end of 4--and then the Last Alliance in Season 5?
I prefer history, true or feigned.
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Old 10-14-2022, 03:06 PM   #3
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Elrond seems to have become a healer in the Third Age.

However, the show established, in the first episode, that *Elves don't really have healers, as their bodies heal with out aid. They have artisan's who make works of art to heal the soul.
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Old 10-14-2022, 09:01 PM   #4
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I must admit that was a satisfying end to a season finale. It's just nice to have some key characters revealed and seeing a general direction of where the showrunner's creation is heading. There are issues I have mostly with the pacing and writing overall in Season 1. I'm not sure if it will get better, but at least the finale paid off to leave me interested and anticipating Season 2. I can enjoy a slow burn, if done well, but the middle episodes felt more like a slog and unnecessary time filler more than actually progressing anywhere. Now watching the pay off, my interests are piqued again to imagine where future seasons will go.

So, I was expecting to hate it if Halbrand turned out to be Sauron. Now that I know he is, I actually don't hate it. Part of it might be I just wasn't interested in the Galadriel/Halbrand plot. After the previous episode, I was wrapping my head around Halbrand is probably going to be Sauron, so let's see how they pull this "reveal" off. I think both actors stepped up and into their roles in the finale that I'm ok with it. I like a Sauron 2nd Age redemption fanfiction and glad they went that route with someone who was redeemed after Morgoth's defeat. They left open a potential that if Galadriel never brought Halbrand to Middle-earth, or even indeed if he was never brought to Eregion, perhaps events would have played out differently. I like the Halbrand is Sauron better than I thought I would, because of the Sauron 2nd Age "fair form" redemption after Morgoth's defeat is a good story.

It convinces me that the showrunners understand the source material and are inspired by the story they're adapting. I see it in their portrayal of the orcs, the trenches, the pay off in the Halbrand/Sauron plot. I would even say, I've seen enough where they understand the story more than Peter Jackson did. So, why am I still kind of disappointed and not immediately taken in like I was with Peter Jackson's films?

Well, I think to Jackson's credit, he put better people around him, and more qualified experts from the Tolkien community that at times he listened to. The pacing was far better (I'm speaking strictly of the LOTR trilogy, btw), but I also must admit pacing for 3, 3+hour films is going to be different than a 50-hour episodic series. That's part of it, but the main source of disappointment with Season 1 is it seemed to play this odd, middle-ground. I honestly think I would have liked it more if they had gone crazier with it, instead of this quasi-don't break too far from Jackson's films so we can appeal to those fans. They tempted us with some bold and crazy ideas (that from a fanfiction POV might have worked or completely bombed), but in the end decided to not want to stray too far from the films, or PJ's visions. Even hitting it over our heads with the similar movie quotes this episode. That's my main disappointment.

Maybe the story-telling kinks will get worked out in future seasons, maybe not? I don't know, but like I said I do know that the finale at least did its job to answer what I wanted answered at this point. They finally got to the forging of the 3 rings. The ring verse song in the end credits was wonderful as well.

That's kind of all I have time for at the moment, getting sleepy. There's more, smaller tidbits with the episode I enjoyed, that I'll put in the cherry-picking thread.
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Last edited by Boromir88; 10-14-2022 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 10-14-2022, 09:53 PM   #5
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"Lord Sauron" Huh. I'll believe THAT if it still stands at the end of the episode.


"Six days ago. We rode wihout rest. Can you help him?"
"Well not anymore!!!"

"The master I apprenticed to" yeah yeah yeah everyone was apprenticed to Aule, you aren't special

"His hand never touched or sullied them"

Pardon me while I lay on the floor and groan for a while at Halbrannatarwurst inventing the elven rings to Celebrimbor's face.


Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both 'hope is never mere' and 'it is a fool's hope'

Gil-Galad is cynical and doom-besotten as all get-out in this but I really like the actor's face. So you know, I'm perfectly balanced between two points and all that.

Galadriel's green dress is pretty.

"He weights all things to a nicety in the scales of his malice"

THE LANDS OF RUNE????? (I'm glad I get to hear one of my favorite lines "where the stars are strange")

Sadoc : (

Mothrandir strikes again!

Just tell them Galadriel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


"Nobody goes off trail" Except for Nori we're running her off the road byeeeee! (I know her name is "Brandy"foot but will she be the progenitors of Tooks or Baggins? Or will she meet them in season 2?)


"Just follow your nose" Okay she is a proto-Brandybuck. Is it Tolkien? Not quite. Is it endearing? Yeah. (Also The Strangedalf lapsing into slightly more formal language - almost too much? Have they been using all of that terrible dialogue on purpose all this time?)

Celebrimbor: :}

So I'm not a metalsmith but I (used to be? will be again?) am a glass-smith, and that is my not-at-all professional opinion that that's a needlessly complicated apparatus.

Elven riiiiiiiiinggssssss (the jewels aren't cut???? those are some really small tanning beds. what will Sauron make the Seven and the Nine out of?)

Okay. I'mma say it since no-0ne else has yet. Elendil is a a little bit delectable even without the Helmendil. Thanks for coming to my (The Elendil D.......emeanor)

So I agree with B88 that they revealed the Halbrand/Sauron not too terribly - I like the idea of Sauron thinking he's redeeming himself but still greedy and not quite able to grasp what "healing" actually is, still grasping for power over and not power to heal or preserve, looking forredemption in all the wrong places - he did try to repent out of guilt several times as I recall, not out of desire to do good in itself - and really, who could be considered his equal in Middle-earth if not Galadriel?

Originally Posted by B88
Well, I think to Jackson's credit, he put better people around him, and more qualified experts from the Tolkien community that at times he listened to.

Jackson's greatest feat was the artisans he brought in - Howe & Lee, the craftsmen who wrought the armor, clothing, sets, jewelry and special effects/Weta workshop - as well as the the land that shaped him. I hear that future seasons will not be filmed in New Zealand for budgetary reasons (eff you and your budget amazon) which is incredibly sad, as nature and the preservation thereof is a core of Tolkien's beliefs and work. Not sure which thread to put that thought but there it is.
But all the while I sit and think of times there were before
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door

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Old 10-15-2022, 01:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Oddwen View Post
I hear that future seasons will not be filmed in New Zealand for budgetary reasons (eff you and your budget amazon) which is incredibly sad, as nature and the preservation thereof is a core of Tolkien's beliefs and work. Not sure which thread to put that thought but there it is.
That is disappointing. They made a big fuss about having a 1 billion dollar(insert Dr. Evil voice) budget here but it really didn't feel like a 1 billion dollar budget show.
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Old 11-06-2022, 05:21 PM   #7
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What would have made this episode perfect

I was satisfied with the season finale and how they wrapped it up. But I wished Halbrand would shaved his beard and the forging of the rings would be longer. The show could have cut down the Harfoot goodbye scenes and gave us more Sauron-Celebrimbor.
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