The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum

Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Movies
User Name
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 08-24-2022, 05:36 PM   #1
Regal Dwarven Shade
Kuruharan's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: A Remote Dwarven Hold
Posts: 3,684
Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Boots A Golden Opportunity Missed

I’ve been ruminating about all the controversy, some of which has erupted in this here forum, and I think the Rings of Power producers have passed up a golden opportunity to both put together an entertaining show and (more or less) satisfy everyone…kinda.

Picture this:

Coast of Harad in the Second Age, let’s say the area of future Umbar for familiarity’s sake. In the area there exists a relatively sophisticated culture of Haradrim (think Bronze Age palace culture such as Egypt, Hatti, or Sumer) living in your standard idyllic societal paradise, complete with all the benefits of handwaving away all the problems that usually beset human society.

For bonus points this Haradrim society can even be a matriarchy and come with a mandatory once-a-month 24-hour open-air orgy as optional features. (I mean, we have boxes to check off here).

In the background is the looming threat of Sauron’s power, but this is, of course, poorly understood by our Haradrim as their ancestors had nothing to do with the Wars of Belariand and have no experience of elves, dwarves, etc. For the purposes of the idyllic we will assume that in the past they had largely been ignored by Sauron and remain largely uncorrupted by his direct influence…but now he is starting to grow more interested in them.

Let’s say that we have two young and extremely attractive protagonists, and we will call them “Anti” and “Pro.” They will, of course, have building, awkward, and unfulfilled sexual tension between them as they get older. We can probably get a lot of Season One milage out of an irritating “Will they or won’t they” sub-plot that will get the fanbase equal parts frustrated and hooked on the series.

We will also need the series to introduce the Wheel family that lives in the protagonists' neighborhood; most importantly for the story will be the siblings Third and Fifth. We might be able to get a Season One filler episode exploring the tragic circumstances that lead to the death of their sibling Fourth.

Anyway, Third Wheel and Fifth Wheel obviously are head over heels in love with Anti and Pro but Anti and Pro have thoroughly friend-zoned them. (Casting note: Third and Fifth need to be attractive, but not as attractive as our leads…but I suppose this goes without saying. There will probably be some weird corners of the fandom that will stan hard for them though… Those pleb fans, amirite?)

Anyway, this idyllic world is shattered when these strangers from the sea calling themselves Numenorians show up.

Or rather…

Did I say “future Umbar?” We will make it a tension building Episode Two or Episode Three reveal that the Numenorian colony has been there for some time and their influence is starting to impact the Haradrim culture in negative ways. The Haradrim appreciate and are intimidated by the Numenorian material and technical sophistication, but the Numenorians have started attempting to dominate the region.

The presence of the Numenorian colony is what is driving Sauron’s interest in the area. Some kind of Sauronic emissaries need to be flitting around in the background seducing people (in multiple senses of the word…checkboxes, people) and further building tension…errm…moving on.

Umbar will be ruled by some Oblivious Fat Dufus (Casting Note: See if Ian McNeice or Timothy Spall are available) who will be married to the standard ravenous, narcissistic Femme Fatale type (Casting Note: Pretty sure Amber Heard will be available…although perhaps a bit wooden, awful, and past her prime).

All of these factors will simmer together nicely for Season One. The penultimate episode of Season One will revolve around Anti and Pro having a tremendous falling out and they are unable to resolve their issues, get out of their own way, and start a relationship. Third and Fifth are delighted by this development as they think their times have finally come.

In a predictable twist (if the other subplot has been managed correctly) the final episode of Season One will culminate in a heart-breaking sequence where Pro is enslaved by the Numenorians. This causes Anti to finally come to terms with the fact that Pro is THE ONE and, alongside Third and Fifth, resolves to rescue poor Pro. The final scene of Season One will be one of Sauron’s emissaries approaching Anti (possibly in the middle of the monthly orgy…check) and offering to help.

Season Two will begin with Pro having been claimed (ahem) by Femme Fatale and, naturally enough, the travails have made Pro realize that Anti is THE ONE but is unable to escape Femme Fatale’s clutches…(check).

Anti, having accepted the Emissary’s offer of help, is working tirelessly to put together an escape attempt (we can probably squeeze two or three episodes out of this).

Finally, the attempt is launched with the assistance of the Emissary and Pro is dramatically rescued from the clutches of the Numenorians! (We can probably squeeze two or three episodes out of this too. This would also offer prime opportunity to check off the “childish toilet humor” box).

During the rescue the Emissary uses some dark power that is critical to the successful escape. This greatly alarms Anti but Pro is delighted by this and wants to see more.

Pro, personality darkened by events, starts associating more and more with the Emissary and becomes an adherent to Sauron’s cause.

This reinjects the “Will They or Won’t They” dynamic into the Anti and Pro relationship so that they still fail to come to terms with each other, hopefully causing further mayhem in the fanbase. (Successful, stable relationships are boring.) Third Wheel and Fifth Wheel are also delighted by this turn of events.

Sauron’s emissaries are trying to stir the Haradrim people into waging war on the Numenorians and in the final episode of Season Two, during one of the monthly orgies (check), Sauron himself appears (obviously in his hot form as Annatar…double check) to proclaim a campaign against Umbar and the Haradrim people are split into hostile factions divided over how to respond. Season Two ends with Anti and Pro bitterly divided against each other and in temporary relationships with Third and Fifth. (Anti with Third and Pro with Fifth).

Final scene of the season should be Anti and Pro moodily staring at each other across a divide as the people of the city descend into tumult around them.

Season Three opens with Sauron in control of the city (should probably come up with a name for it) and the Anti-Sauron faction (led by Anti, of course) engaging in brigandage and banditry outside the walls. Pro is a mid-tier leader under Sauron, not a very important figure in Sauron’s eyes.

(We can get some filler episodes here…)

Both Anti and Pro are profoundly and deeply dissatisfied in their relationships with Third and Fifth (respectively) and pining for each other to the point of distraction and misery, but neither will admit it to themselves or anyone else. Perhaps give one or the other (or both) a salacious dream sequence with each other to really get the fans riled up..?

Early-ish in Season Three there is a dramatic battle between Sauron’s forces and the Anti-Sauron forces (opportunities for over-the-top action sequences…check). Sauron’s forces are victorious and Anti is hauled back to the City in chains by Pro (both seething with inner turmoil). Third Wheel manages to escape from the battlefield.

Sauron, satisfied with the situation, departs and leaves the Emissary to lead the Haradrim in battle against Umbar.

Pro, discarding all hope of things working out with Anti, willingly joins the campaign.

Oblivious Fat Dufus leads his forces to ignominious defeat against Sauron’s Haradrim army (more over-the-top action sequences…check). Per custom, he will successfully escape the battlefield and return to Umbar.

Femme Fatale, enraged by his ineptitude, and the threat to her social standing, will murder him and take command of Umbar as Sauron’s forces surround the city and begin a siege.

Meanwhile, utter devotion compels Third to return to the Haradrim city and rescue Anti. Anti, still knowing that Pro is THE ONE and believing that Pro can be changed, immediately sets off to rescue Pro from the war. The “I Just Want My Beloved to be Happy” trope being in full play, Third goes along.

In the eight-part Series Finale, a Numenorian fleet arrives and attempts to relieve the siege of Umbar, just as Anti arrives to fetch Pro. The Emissary is killed in the ensuing battle in a manner befitting a stalwart villain who goes down with the ship. Sauron’s Haradrim forces are routed by the Numenorian fleet in a spectacular battle…quite possibly taking place in the middle of an open-air orgy depending on where we are on that quota. In the rout, and quite possibly inspired by the orgy, Femme Fatale charges out of the City to try to re-capture Pro and return him to slavery. Fifth is killed by Femme Fatale while trying to defend Pro, but Pro barely notices.

Pro is occupied in a climactic sword fight with Anti as Anti attempts to convince Pro of the folly of Sauron’s cause. Convinced more by the need to flee from the rout of Sauron’s forces than anything else, Pro, Anti, and Third try to escape but are set upon by Femme Fatale and brought to bay.

Naturally, all participants in this combat will have progressively less clothing the longer this goes.

At this point, the outcome depends on whether the show has already reached maudlin levels of pathos. In the unlikely event that it has, then Third is killed by Femme Fatale while trying to protect Anti and Pro. Pro is then accidently killed by Femme Fatale who is in turn killed by Anti.

Anti then goes on to become a lone, hooded wanderer who frequents all the taverns of Middle Earth and grimly hints at a dark past via cryptic utterings, while occasionally performing solo acts of anti-heroism.

Alternatively, in the rather more likely event that the series has not yet reached sufficient levels of “cover your eyes, I can’t take this level of stupid emotional manipulation” yet then Third, Pro, and Anti are all killed by Femme Fatale who is then herself killed by a stampeding oliphant that was part of the Haradrim forces, leaving the audience to ponder the point of all this…but hopefully not too hard because if the series does well enough we will need to have a sequel series.

This outline has the advantage of checking off all the boxes required by contemporary entertainment elites, including but not limited to: all available sides being evil, fundamental existential meaninglessness, going into areas of Middle Earth dominated by under-represented ethnic groups, having those groups be the sympathetic anti-hero focal point of the story, a multi-faceted anti-oppression narrative, spectacularly unrealistic depictions of violence, cliched heroes, an unbearable romantic narrative, and levels of gratuitous sex that charge forward all the way into the realm of mind-numbing tedium.

This story idea comes with the added benefit of us embarrassing, regressive, troglodytic Tolkien lore-fiends being unable to complain that this story in any way changes, alters, or mutilates anything that Tolkien himself wrote while still being set squarely in an identifiable place and time in Middle Earth.

Also, due to the lack of dwarves, there won’t have to be any arguments about whether dwarven women should be bearded or not.

Sadly, I’ll lay you 10:1 that the outline I just wrote above would probably be a better and more entertaining TV series than the dreck that the two elitist, hipster goobers will plop out.
...finding a path that cannot be found, walking a road that cannot be seen, climbing a ladder that was never placed, or reading a paragraph that has no...
Kuruharan is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:38 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.