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Old 08-25-2022, 06:36 AM   #361
Huinesoron
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As we're about a week out from the first episode airing (or maybe multiple? I've not heard how they're planning to release the series), a few procedural-type questions:

- What are the key sources for the non-Numenorean parts of the Second Age? There's "Galadriel & Celeborn" in UT, and the start of "Of the Rings of Power" in Silm; are there any other major sources?

- I feel like it would be sensible/reasonable to have a thread in Movies for each episode, similar to the Chapter-by-Chapter threads in that subforum of Books. Does that sound okay, or are there enough objections that we should either keep it to this thread or make a single "Rings of Power episodes" thread?

- Given that there are a lot of people who have said they won't be watching the show but are still engaging with the discussion, would it be helpful for the episode thread (whatever that may be) to include a brief synopsis rather than just reactions? Not a scene-by-scene or anything, just a summary of "Galadriel did this, the Harfeet did this, Tom Bombadil did this". (Wait, has anybody speculated that the Stranger in the Meteor might be Tom Bombadil??? I think I'm onto something!)

- Does the Downs have a consensus on how to handle spoilers? For anyone who doesn't know, you can make text invisible <spoiler>like this</spoiler> by replacing pointy brackets with square ones. I can imagine any combination of "do that to big spoilers", "mark the whole post as spoilers", "mark the entire thread as spoilers", "have a spoiler and non-spoiler thread", and "who cares".

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Old 08-25-2022, 07:14 AM   #362
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As I understand it, and I may be wrong about this, Amazon acquired the rights to use information in the LoTR appendices only, not anything in the Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales or HoME. I wonder how Amazon dealt with rights conveyed to Saul Zaentz, which would have included characters, names, etc. from the text of LoTR.

Feel free to open threads to discuss events in the series or episodes within this forum. I expect that it is not necessary to remind everyone to be respectful to other members regardless of your individual views.
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Old 08-25-2022, 07:56 AM   #363
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As I understand it, and I may be wrong about this, Amazon acquired the rights to use information in the LoTR appendices only, not anything in the Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales or HoME. I wonder how Amazon dealt with rights conveyed to Saul Zaentz, which would have included characters, names, etc. from the text of LoTR.
This is a good point, though there has been a little uncertainty on whether they can request the use of other pieces of the Legendarium.

What I'm really thinking is when discussing the plot, being able to distinguish between things Tolkien wrote, things Tolkien made clear didn't happen, and things Tolkien never said anything about - regardless of whether the showrunners were allowed to use it. For Numenor, that will come from Akallabeth and the Description (plus Lost Road if I'm feeling saucy); but I want to be sure I'm not missing anything obvious in the non-Numenor sections.

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Old 08-25-2022, 07:43 PM   #364
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Based upon what I have seen so far, that may be a prodigious undertaking, but you are welcome to do so.

Please open new threads for your discussions, either by episode or subject.
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Old 08-25-2022, 10:20 PM   #365
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For anyone who doesn't know, you can make text invisible <spoiler>like this</spoiler> by replacing pointy brackets with square ones.
Weird enough, on my phone the text shows up in grey but very visible letters. I mean, I know this code trick thingy works, I've used it before. Maybe the browser got an update or summink and now it's too fancy for its own good? Is it just me or does everyone's spoiler cover not actually cover anything anyore?

As one of those people who might watch some of the show to start at least, but probably not right as it comes out, I think it makes sense for each episode thread to be one giant spoiler - in the sense that don't open the thread if you don't want it spoiled, and talk freely once you're in it. But elsewhere on the Downs it might be courteous to hide the bigger spoiler elements. I am also a fan of the brief synopsis in the first post for all the reasons you said. Whether one giant thread or many small ones... uhh, hard to say. But it wouldn't be wrong to do many threads, I think, even if each one individually might only get so many responses.
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Old 08-26-2022, 03:07 AM   #366
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I don't know if I can get this image link thing working correctly, but:



When my Taiwanese wife saw this picture she immediately pointed to the long blond braid dangling down in front of all that armor nearly to the waist and noted how easy it would be to grab the white chick by the hair, wrap it around [their]* throat, and strangle [them]* with it.

* transgender, non-binary pronoun corrections for the now unacceptable "her."
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Old 08-26-2022, 07:11 AM   #367
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Michael, on the other hand, sailors in the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars and earlier were proud of their long braided hair regardless of the possibility that their locks might be used against them. Fashion was and is a passion...

Galadriel, my strong preference for threads regarding the series is individual and separate by subject or episode or both as appropriate. Sprawling threads with a general subject matter are neither reader nor poster-friendly. I would much rather hear peoples' thoughts than have members' eyes glaze over at the volume of what must be read in a single thread.
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Old 08-26-2022, 05:58 PM   #368
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Michael, on the other hand, sailors in the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars and earlier were proud of their long braided hair regardless of the possibility that their locks might be used against them. Fashion was and is a passion...
As a veteran of Uncle Sam's Canoe Club (a.k.a., the U.S. Navy) I recall lectures in Basic Training (in 1966) about how our navy differed from that of the British which -- according to Lord of the Admiralty Sir Winston Churchill -- ran on "Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash." I wonder how General/Admiral Guardrail the Terrifying will handle those LGBTQ+ [not to mention pronoun] issues as [their] [Rainbow] Ships pass out of and back into The West.
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Old 08-26-2022, 06:29 PM   #369
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For those whose "governments" haven't outlawed access to anything and everything "Russian," see: https://www.rt.com/pop-culture/56145...peter-jackson/

For others, I'll post the article here:

Quote:
What can really kill Amazon’s Rings of Power
Despite a vastly greater budget, the new show will have a tough time matching Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy in a new era

(August 26, 2022)By Andrey Rachkin, KHL administrator, avid gamer, RT Games and Culture contributor.

With the release of the first major Tolkien adaptation since 2014, many wonder how the show will find itself in a different world from the one of Peter Jackson’s trilogies.

When in 2017 Amazon announced it was making a show about The Lord of the Rings and sparing no expense, making it the biggest-budget TV series at an eye-watering $1 billion over five seasons, many fans were rejoicing. After all, this was at the time of Game of Thrones season 7, one of the most popular and influential shows in history, at maximum hype capacity, building up to its grand finale. HBO even took two years to make season 8 instead of the usual one, to ensure the biggest, the baddest, the best conclusion to the show. When it finally released, reality was not too kind to the last season of Game of Thrones, nor to its fanbase, nor even to its legacy – it strikes you to remember how much we talked about it, how many good-natured jokes we made before the last season, and how little we even mention it after that. Like a collective hangover walk of shame. (Shame? Shame!)

And there is good reason to be fearful that ‘The Rings of Power’ might share the same fate. There are many opinions on why that might be, and while some are wilder than the others, there is a good chance the show might not end up being the instant classic it wants to be.

The Fellowship of the Book

Tolkien’s work is truly the root of the fantasy genre as we know it. Any time the word ‘elf’ is mentioned, chances are the images conjured by your mind are of tall, ethereal, nearly immortal, infinitely wise, and infinitely prideful people. The same level of instant recognition is shared by orcs, and even dragons, which were much more niche and folklore in Europe a century ago. Tolkien was not the first author to write fantasy, of course, even the fairy tales we tell our children before bed are technically fantasy stories. But Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings so lovingly and so masterfully that he influenced the minds and lives of millions of people, one of them being George Lucas, when he was creating his space opera, Star Wars.

Tolkien created a timeless piece of work, with its themes finding their way to the heart of any person of any nation at any period of history. Naturally, there is always room for interpretation. But how much interpretation is too much? While altering the timeline of the Second Age and casting black actors to play dwarfs and elves is nothing bad in itself, will the series be a loving homage to the books or a deliberate reflection of 2022 America? The comment section of the show’s Super Bowl trailer on YouTube was quickly filled with the same alleged quote by Tolkien, “Evil is not capable of creating anything new, it can only distort and destroy what has been invented or made by the forces of good,” in several languages. This quote isn’t found in any of the books, but is most likely paraphrased or double-translated from a passage in ‘The Return of the King’, “The Shadow that bred them can only mock, it cannot make: not real new things of its own.” That does not inspire confidence.

The Return of Ka-ching

What comes after a good book? Right, a mediocre film adaptation. There were many attempts in transitioning Tolkien’s book into film or animation, but since the 1950s, many of them drowned in various legal and creative struggles, which included turning feature-length projects into short films, intellectual rights resales, and general under-the-public-radar performance. The only exception was Peter Jackson’s trilogy, which for many is the only adaptation of the books they know. And here lies the possible reason why ‘The Rings of Power’ might end up in the forgettables basket, rather than up there with the Jackson masterpieces. Before making his LotR trilogy, Jackson used to write, film, and act in extremely low-budget horror projects, so he knew how to use practical effects, capture audiences, and tell a story with tight resources. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all. That experience led the New Zealander to create one of the most influential film trilogies of all time, using ‘only’ US$280 million across three films.

This is where ‘The Rings of Power’ stands out. When Game of Thrones and, more recently, The Witcher started relatively modestly, with 60-80 million for their first seasons, the Amazon-backed project is boasting a healthy 460 million. Adding to this unprecedented amount of money, the show has been cleared for five seasons even before shooting began. With these kinds of coffers, the creative team may, ironically, cut some corners in their character development and storytelling, and throw money at CGI people instead, making grandiose scenes just for the sake of grandeur, all the while providing the viewer with regular shock twists to keep their attention. Even Peter Jackson began to rely more heavily on CGI in the ‘The Return of the King’, and even more so in The Hobbit trilogy, which may have contributed to the ‘slump’ in quality that viewers noted in the second and third Hobbit films.

The Too Towering

In general, the anticipation for ‘The Rings of Power’ is quite high – people are making Spotify playlists, analyzing the characters shown on posters and in trailers (poor costume design and quality are popular concerns), which makes it even more worrisome that people might be let down by the end result. Some expect it to be ‘Jackson’s trilogy meets Game of Thrones’, while others are eager for something new in the franchise. But given everything that is going on in the world, where style and agenda pandering often triumph over substance, the show’s creators may have a bulletproof safety net for themselves. If ‘The Rings of Power’ flops, you can always point fingers at any number of common enemies – racism, white supremacy, or uncultured masses in general.

Whatever happens, it is undeniable that ‘The Rings of Power’ will leave a huge mark on the cultural landscape. It is too big and too meaningful not to do so. There will always be people looking for chinks in the armor, or praising something to the Moon just because a certain actor was cast. The only thing that we can do is watch the show when it comes out, make up our own opinions about it, and not give into peer pressure. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.
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Old 08-26-2022, 08:09 PM   #370
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Originally Posted by Mithadan View Post
As I understand it, and I may be wrong about this, Amazon acquired the rights to use information in the LoTR appendices only, not anything in the Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales or HoME. I wonder how Amazon dealt with rights conveyed to Saul Zaentz, which would have included characters, names, etc. from the text of LoTR.
I believe it has been clear for some time that with the Tolkien Estate onboard with the Rings of Power production and with Simon Tolkien actively involved with the production that the producers can use various references as approved on a case-by-case basis, and have done so.
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Old 08-28-2022, 10:51 AM   #371
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- I feel like it would be sensible/reasonable to have a thread in Movies for each episode, similar to the Chapter-by-Chapter threads in that subforum of Books. Does that sound okay, or are there enough objections that we should either keep it to this thread or make a single "Rings of Power episodes" thread?

- Given that there are a lot of people who have said they won't be watching the show but are still engaging with the discussion, would it be helpful for the episode thread (whatever that may be) to include a brief synopsis rather than just reactions? Not a scene-by-scene or anything, just a summary of "Galadriel did this, the Harfeet did this, Tom Bombadil did this". (Wait, has anybody speculated that the Stranger in the Meteor might be Tom Bombadil??? I think I'm onto something!)

- Does the Downs have a consensus on how to handle spoilers? For anyone who doesn't know, you can make text invisible <spoiler>like this</spoiler> by replacing pointy brackets with square ones. I can imagine any combination of "do that to big spoilers", "mark the whole post as spoilers", "mark the entire thread as spoilers", "have a spoiler and non-spoiler thread", and "who cares".
I've had a Prime account since before this was happening and regardless if I continue watching the series or not, I'm keeping my account. Anyway, I think a separate thread to discuss the episodes would be necessary. This thread is already quite bulky and has probably run its course once Episode 1 airs.

I don't recall any strict policies on spoilers. When threads opened discussing The Hobbit movies when they hit theaters, the thread opener always started with a spoiler warning and the posters followed suit if their posts contained spoilers. Having a **Spoiler Warning** in the thread title I would guess would be sufficient to let us know this thread will contain spoilers. I prefer simplicity to out right forbidding spoilers, or blocking the text out. But, I won't be the one starting the episode discussions, I'll just be reading and hopefully interested in the series enough to share my opinions.
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Old 08-28-2022, 11:49 AM   #372
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I believe it has been clear for some time that with the Tolkien Estate onboard with the Rings of Power production and with Simon Tolkien actively involved with the production that the producers can use various references as approved on a case-by-case basis, and have done so.
This is at least evident from their use of the map of Númenor in early promo material. That map only appeared in UT, so therefore they have been able to get access to at least some material from UT.
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Old 08-28-2022, 05:51 PM   #373
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I believe it has been clear for some time that with the Tolkien Estate onboard with the Rings of Power production and with Simon Tolkien actively involved with the production that the producers can use various references as approved on a case-by-case basis, and have done so.
Mind you, it's unclear whether Simon Tolkien has any actual connection with the running of the Estate; his father pointedly kept him off the Board. The son who assisted Christopher in matters Tolkien was always Adam.

(Simon: so committed to his grandfather's legacy that what did he do with inherited the First Edition copy of The Hobbit JRRT had inscribed to his beloved Aunt Jane Neave - a specific bequest in the Professor's will? ... he flogged it at auction. His falling out with his father was reportedly over Simon's eagerness to play ball with the Jackson movies, and the impression I get of the man -which, in all fairness, may be an impression created by the press - is that he's all about the money).
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The entire plot of The Lord of the Rings could be said to turn on what Sauron didn’t know, and when he didn’t know it.

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Old 08-28-2022, 05:52 PM   #374
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And, here is a masterful riff on the unending cliches. Priceless!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGr0PhNO5LM
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Old 08-28-2022, 05:53 PM   #375
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with the Jackson masterpieces.

My, how things appear at a distance.


As stated elsewhere, I didn't like many of PJ's changes to LotR, but (1) at least someone attempted to put the books to film, and (2) not everyone has the same 'vision' when reading Tolkien's works. I appreciated his work on LotR much more once I saw The Hobbit, and saw how bad it all could have been.



Having given it more thought, I'm now more definite about watching RoP. Maybe it won't be what I would have done, but maybe that's a good thing (as I'm not a filmmaker or storyteller by any degree). Going to wait and see.



Maybe we'll all be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 08-28-2022, 06:04 PM   #376
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Hullo, alatar, good to see you around. I look forward to reading your opinions.
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Old 08-28-2022, 07:16 PM   #377
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My, how things appear at a distance.


As stated elsewhere, I didn't like many of PJ's changes to LotR, but (1) at least someone attempted to put the books to film, and (2) not everyone has the same 'vision' when reading Tolkien's works. I appreciated his work on LotR much more once I saw The Hobbit, and saw how bad it all could have been.


I have to say, after two decades of being VERY critical of the Jackson movies, I have softened towards them- largely because until recently I didn't appreciate the force of the argument "It could have been so much worse." Now I fear we are getting a taste of so much worse.
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Old 08-28-2022, 08:37 PM   #378
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...I have softened towards them- largely because until recently I didn't appreciate the force of the argument "It could have been so much worse." Now I fear we are getting a taste of so much worse.
Because, as is usually the case, a preference for an astigmatism or nearsightedness would most always trump glaucoma.
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Old 08-29-2022, 01:27 AM   #379
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I re-read LotR book V lately, first time in a long time, and my opinion of the Jackson movies went the other way. I'm now inclined to agree with Christopher Tolkien: Jackson butchered the story.
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Old 08-29-2022, 07:20 PM   #380
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I re-read LotR book V lately, first time in a long time, and my opinion of the Jackson movies went the other way. I'm now inclined to agree with Christopher Tolkien: Jackson butchered the story.
Indeed. Gutting the whole core of Aragorn's ancestry and discarding Arnor completely was a major change to the Lord of the Rings storyline. Some who have been OK with this are off crying about Anárion possibly not appearing in the series.

It will be nice to see opinions of those who actually watch the show instead of all the 'I hate it already because of (choose one or more): 'Amazon is evil', 'woke BS', 'It's not true to the Peter Jackson movies', 'It's not true to individual head-canons' 'etc.
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Old 08-29-2022, 07:49 PM   #381
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Indeed. Gutting the whole core of Aragorn's ancestry and discarding Arnor completely was a major change to the Lord of the Rings storyline. Some who have been OK with this are off crying about Anárion possibly not appearing in the series.
There are still several cast members without a known role yet (at least looking on IMDB). So, I don't know if that's true or not, I guess we'll find out soon enough. I would guess Cirdan would have to be in it, as one of the keepers of the three, and there's no one tied to his role yet. This is just an assumption though. I have a theory one of the character posters (the one holding a rope) is Cirdan, because I see a ring and what looked to be a beard, combined with rope being likely something a shipwright would have.

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It will be nice to see opinions of those who actually watch the show instead of all the 'I hate it already because of (choose one or more): 'Amazon is evil', 'woke BS', 'It's not true to the Peter Jackson movies', 'It's not true to individual head-canons' 'etc.
I cut out the rumors, and news for several months now and have stuck with watching the trailers. Since the blow up/freak out over Sauron looking like Eminem (which as far as I can tell, ended up not only being an over reaction, but untrue) I just stopped paying attention to whatever supposed leaks people were putting out there.
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Old 08-29-2022, 10:27 PM   #382
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Indeed. Gutting the whole core of Aragorn's ancestry and discarding Arnor completely was a major change to the Lord of the Rings storyline. Some who have been OK with this are off crying about Anárion possibly not appearing in the series.
It's not only the big stuff. Even small details have been ripped apart, shuffled around, and reinserted out of context and in a way that causes them to lose their subtlety and nuance. Things like lines of dialog pulled out of their original discussion and given to other characters in the wrong place. The destruction of Theoden's character, rarely commented on.

I will give Jackson credit where he gets it right, or even improves. Boromir (although as much credit needs to go to Sean Bean here), the "many that live deserve death" speech was well done, Aragorn's pep talk before the Black Gate. But his natural inclination to turn everything into a crash-bang spectacle got the better of him more often than not, and fatally so on the Hobbit movies.

Regarding RoP, I've been round the block, this isn't my first rodeo. I've seen the Internet Hate Machine swing into action on other properties before, and what's happening here is nothing that hasn't been seen before. Deciding to hate something before they've even seen it, attempting to play the "paid shill" gambit, these and others are all old, old tactics. Tolkien's snipe about people reviewing the book rather than reading it rings true.
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Old 08-31-2022, 04:40 PM   #383
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Thanks to all who helped answer my questions; if I happen to be the one to start the episode 1 discussion thread, I think I now know how to do it.

An interesting article just crossed my internet: A Tale Conceived Epically from Tolkien Guide looks at Tolkien's responses to adaptations in his lifetime to see how he might have reacted to Rings of Power (and indeed every other adaptation). The conclusion: he would have detested it, torn it apart if given a chance to critique it - but taken the money and approved it anyway.

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Old 09-04-2022, 06:51 AM   #384
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Looking through the end credits, despite the showrunners name dropping Tom Shippey at the SDCC, I did not find him credited.
The "loremaster" credit (along with assistant writer) is someone named Griff Jones.
Anyone heard of this guy?
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Old 09-04-2022, 08:52 AM   #385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tar Elenion View Post
Looking through the end credits, despite the showrunners name dropping Tom Shippey at the SDCC, I did not find him credited.
The "loremaster" credit (along with assistant writer) is someone named Griff Jones.
Anyone heard of this guy?
Never heard of him. A quick google search shows this...

https://writers.coverfly.com/profile/griffjones

And I had to type in "Griff Jones Tolkien" to get this to pop up. Because apparently there's a well known "Griff Jones" who is a comedian.
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Old 09-04-2022, 10:22 AM   #386
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Thanks. I just got the comedian when I googled the name, but I did not use Tolkien, but rather Rings of Power which only led me to an article in which the actors said they would go to him for a deep dive.
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Old 09-04-2022, 12:33 PM   #387
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Never heard of him. A quick google search shows this...

https://writers.coverfly.com/profile/griffjones

And I had to type in "Griff Jones Tolkien" to get this to pop up. Because apparently there's a well known "Griff Jones" who is a comedian.
So, based on his sparse resume', as a teenager he may have read The Lord of the Rings once after seeing the movies. In paperback, of course. Brilliant.
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Old 09-05-2022, 10:04 AM   #388
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It strikes me that Amazon's use of 'diverse' casting was brilliant. No, not in any sort of dramaturgical or artistic way, or even really in a political way: but as a tactic it has been quite successful.

Here was Amazon's problem: they knew going in that they were working with the bestselling English-language book in history, and following the insanely successful movies; there was a truly massive fanbase out there. But they also knew that they were going to be selling what the bulk of fans would consider rubbish, and the backlash would be terrible. How to defang it?

The answer was cynical but brilliant: discredit the fan protest by by setting it up for the label of "racist." Deliberately go, not just for 'diverse' casting, not just illogically diverse casting (multi-racial communities and even marriages, in a 'medieval' setting), but then intentionally choose actors who were going to make a big deal of it. Yes, actors' personalities are a definite factor in casting. Peter Jackson knew that he was looking at a three year fairly isolated shoot, and has stated sought actors who would get on together and even bond, in which he mostly succeeded. Here, Amazon's people went for actors who would be aggressively forward with their ideology, starting with Lenny Henry, long known as an outspoken activist.

This was the setup. The fans were goaded, the fans protested, and Amazon lowered the "racist" boom which has been successfully seeded throughout the media coverage, and used to rhetorically nullify the fact that viewers hate this POS (30% on Rotten Tomatoes).

And yet- Henry and Nomvete and Cordova and the rest, in their assertive ideological earnestness and occasional indignation, seem completely clueless as to the real situation: that they are tethered goats. Back in the day, tiger hunters would tie a goat to a post in a jungle clearing, and wait for the tiger to pounce so that they could blast it. And is that not precisely the mechanic at work here?
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Old 09-05-2022, 10:08 AM   #389
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Here was Amazon's problem: they knew going in that they were working with the bestselling English-language book in history, and following the insanely successful movies; there was a truly massive fanbase out there. But they also knew that they were going to be selling what the bulk of fans would consider rubbish, and the backlash would be terrible. How to defang it?
While I can't say you are wrong, I also think you are assigning them a level of cunning they don't deserve. I also think you aren't crediting them with sufficient ideological fervor.
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Old 09-05-2022, 10:13 AM   #390
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Well, consider what Disney did with Oni-Wan Kenobi: there they used artificially manufactured racism, by singling out 5 troll comments out of 10,000, in order to claim they were under "racist attack" and thus handwave away the bad reviews. That was clearly deliberate; and I don't think Amazon is any less cunning than Disney.
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Old 09-05-2022, 11:08 AM   #391
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Well, consider what Disney did with Oni-Wan Kenobi: there they used artificially manufactured racism, by singling out 5 troll comments out of 10,000, in order to claim they were under "racist attack" and thus handwave away the bad reviews. That was clearly deliberate; and I don't think Amazon is any less cunning than Disney.
But that is a well worn defensive parry rather than utilizing it as an offensive tactic.

Most people are too egotistical to genuinely believe in their hearts that people are going to hate their works enough to pre-plan to take advantage of that hatred.

Again, you may be right, but I find it quite odd, in a general sense, to accuse people of being so incompetent that they can't re-write or adapt (in this case) Tolkien's works, even when mutilating it, in an interesting way and at the same time believe that they are so shrewd to utilize the negative reaction to their work to their own advantage.
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Old 09-05-2022, 12:52 PM   #392
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B

Again, you may be right, but I find it quite odd, in a general sense, to accuse people of being so incompetent that they can't re-write or adapt (in this case) Tolkien's works, even when mutilating it, in an interesting way and at the same time believe that they are so shrewd to utilize the negative reaction to their work to their own advantage.

Hmm. Nobody but Tolkien can write Tolkien. His mind was, in addition to being brilliant and astonishingly well-educated, unique. His work is inimitable.

Whereas manipulating TV ratings and reviews only requires the sort of low animal cunning which is plentiful in the industry. Compare, e.g., the tremendously effective Oscar-campaign strategy developed by Harvey Weinstein, whom nobody would take for any kind of 'genius.'

Even if the showrunners and producers and PR people were egotistical enough to think they could match the Master, they would have been very aware that they only had rights to the Appendices, and therefore would have to be diverging sharply from the canon, and therefore almost certainly had to be anticipating fan backlash.
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Old 09-05-2022, 03:45 PM   #393
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almost certainly had to be anticipating fan backlash.
I still think you are giving them more credit than they deserve.
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Old 09-05-2022, 03:49 PM   #394
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Amazon is taking steps to protect the Rings of Power by implementing policies that will halt the phenomenon of "review bombing."

https://www.avclub.com/amazon-review...-ri-1849493204
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Old 09-05-2022, 04:01 PM   #395
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Translation: silence the critics.

A comment from YouTube: "Beware of review bombing, which is,"The practice of blaming negative reviews on audience bigotry when showrunners and other creatives where so preoccupied with inserting ideopolitical messaging that they forgot the fundamentals of story structure, character development, and screenwriting in general.""
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Old 09-05-2022, 06:18 PM   #396
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Quote:
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Translation: silence the critics.

A comment from YouTube: "Beware of review bombing, which is,"The practice of blaming negative reviews on audience bigotry when showrunners and other creatives where so preoccupied with inserting ideopolitical messaging that they forgot the fundamentals of story structure, character development, and screenwriting in general.""
To be frank, the critic reviews have been far more positive. Although, for myself I take critic reviews with a grain of salt, since they're part of the industry and have their own agendas to push. I take social media "audience" reviews with even less weight than a grain of salt, because it's intentionally inflammatory. The positive reviews can only go on about the visuals and camera work, nothing else. The instant reaction negative reviews was just mocking anyone who enjoyed it and trying to be gatekeepers defending Tolkien's legacy.

The most damning reviews are the ones I've seen from members here, who I know are fair minded and thoughtful with their opinions...like Lommy, Eomer and elsewhere Agan who say it's boring.

There is a seedling in Episode 2 that the series can get right, imo, if they continue with the theme. It's something that Jackson botched with the movies and Episode 2 touched on it with Elrond and Durin. That is the theme of Elven immortality vs the mortal races. How the races view the world differently causing strain between them, Men's fear of death, and Elves' motivation to preserve their way of life, "unchanged and unmarred." It will be wise for the series to pursue that theme more, but I have little hope the script writers will do the topic justice.
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Old 09-06-2022, 09:55 AM   #397
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It occurs to me that a non-spoilery review of the first episode (only one I've had time for) would probably be handy for people who are considering whether to watch the series. Adapting this from my spoiler version:

Episode one ("A Shadow of the Past") is not as faithful as I'd hoped, but nowhere near as bad as people anticipated. There's been a lot of impressions based on the trailers, and even in this episode it's clear that the trailers don't show everything.

One thing it is is very pretty. Valinor looks like Valinor. The swan-ship looks like a swan-ship. Lindon is like Movie!Rivendell writ large. There's an "old farm" in the Harfoot sections which is exactly the kind of place you'd like to stumble on exploring a wilderness. Even the small things have had a lot of thought put into them - I flagged an elvish ladder which the propmakers clearly designed as if it had been grown as a single tree, shaped over a decade or more. It does owe a lot, visually, to the Jackson movies (LotR, not Hobbit), so if you didn't like the style there you probably won't here either; but for me, it feels like being in Middle-earth of the Second Age.

That feeling doesn't always extend to the characters. The absolute stand-out stars here are the Harfeet, who are utterly believable proto-Hobbits (and adorable besides). But while Galadriel is a believable Galadriel (if you can accept that the woman who fought fiercely at Alqualonde might possibly pick up a sword once in a while), most of the features male elves have a weirdly craggy look to their faces, though their costumes are usually pretty good. The mortal village swings a little too far into "medieval people wore mud and rags" at times; but based on the trailers, I have high hopes for the Numenorean costume design.

A fair few people have been talking about "inserting ideopolitical messaging" and the like, but honestly, Episode One has none of this. The only argument I can see being made is that the existence of non-white people, or of Galadriel acting like some sort of "man-maiden" or something (), is an ideological statement in and of itself, but I don't put much truck in that claim. I think people are projecting external statements by the actors and creators onto the show, and seeing things that - again, in Episode One specifically - aren't actually there.

The storyline has some canonicity issues. A lot of them stem from what Bêthberry has quoted in another thread - the legal requirement for the writers to not only not use the Silmarillion, but to actively work to make their story not look/be inspired by it. In places, they achieve this by being deliberately vague, but there are places where their storyline and interpretations fly in the face of, if not the text, at least the most likely intent of Tolkien's work. That's probably a good thing for their ability to actually tell a story - to take an extreme example, a Fall of Numenor which tried to vague its way around anything in Akallabeth would have to be completely plotless - but it does mean the Tolkien content is reduced. "The book Tolkien never wrote" is not an accurate description of this show.

Viewed apart from Tolkien (which is hard to do in places), the story is... fine. It falls firmly into the "first episode setup" genre, establishing characters and settings rather than giving us anything to chew on. The characters mostly follow their character as established in the show - I only counted two particularly irrational acts, one of which was highlighted as politics, the other an act of desperation. The elves have the air of smug superiority which you'd expect from the Noldor at their second peak, and there's one moment where Gil-Galad's response to Galadriel is very definitely "I'm the High King, but you are my terrifying aunt and I really hope you don't make an issue of it".

I'm not great at judging dialogue or acting, but I had no problem with it. There are some beautifully delivered lines in this episode, several of which showed up in the trailer. It's clear that Galadriel is the main character, and I think Morfydd Clark can carry that role. There's enough characters who aren't stuck in the Tortured & Harrowed mindset that the ones who are don't drag it all down. And the Harfeet are a positive delight.

Overall, my expectations have lowered slightly, but I enjoyed it, and will still watch the second episode when I get the chance. It works. It's fine - and I hope, when the plot gets its feet under it, it can graduate to "good".

hS
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Old 09-06-2022, 10:33 AM   #398
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A fair few people have been talking about "inserting ideopolitical messaging" and the like, but honestly, Episode One has none of this.

hS
Wasn't the white boy southlander with short hair on the sides and back, longish in front, saying 'knife ears' and 'you people' to the black *elf in the first episode?
Or was it the second?
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Old 09-06-2022, 10:57 AM   #399
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Wasn't the white boy southlander with short hair on the sides and back, longish in front, saying 'knife ears' and 'you people' to the black *elf in the first episode?
Or was it the second?
I didn't "read" that as a racial statement because of the casting of a black actor and "ideopolitical messaging". I read it as typifying the harfoots' uneasy relationship with elves, all elves. There are several examples which show that the harfoots don't like or don't trust the elves but I haven't committed them to memory.

As for the elves, I "read" Galadriel's comment to Elrond that he has not been invited to the high table because that is for elf lords as suggesting the arrogance of elves (which is highly attested to in Tolkien's work) about Elrond's status as only half-elven. I suspect we will see Elrond earn his status as elf lord just as we will see the peoples of Middle-earth come together. very Tolkien that.
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Old 09-06-2022, 11:12 AM   #400
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Wasn't the white boy southlander with short hair on the sides and back, longish in front, saying 'knife ears' and 'you people' to the black *elf in the first episode?
Or was it the second?
Yep, it was in the first episode. The idea of mortal racism against elves appears in Tolkien's writings on both the First and Second Ages. The King's Men are the classic example, but who was it that said "Let the Eldar look to it; our lives are short enough"? A Beorian, I think.

hS
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