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Old 01-22-2022, 09:58 AM   #281
Inziladun
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Originally Posted by Kuruharan View Post
Suspect Galadriel, just different actress.
Shame they couldn't have got Cate Blanchett, in that case.
I'm not a huge fan of her portrayal, but she's at least a fine actor.
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Old 01-23-2022, 04:56 PM   #282
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Now that it appears the plot will be focused on the Rings of Power, I think Eregion will be a likely important location. This has piqued my interests in the series a bit, because I think the relationship between Celebrimbor and Sauron is a fascinating story to delve into.

There's not many details in Unfinished Tales: "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" so I can imagine it's a story that appeals to writers who like having "creative license." But even so, it's a fascinating story in my opinion on Celebrimbor's friendship with "Annatar." Was Sauron at any point after serving Melkor sincere in repentance and his friendship with Celebrimbor? Or did he use Celebrimbor's shared ambitions and connection to play him a fool?
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Old 01-27-2022, 07:06 AM   #283
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I wonder if this is indeed true.

I think I've been approaching the problem with this project from the wrong angle.

My worries have been mainly that the desire for GoT style success to generate huge profits would override any fidelity to the spirit of the source material.
However, there is a stronger force in play.

I have seen very many examples in recent years of things I enjoyed being remade and "updated" to reflect so-called modern and "progressive" ideas.

A streaming show on another network is doing its level best to destroy everything I admire about a great Star Trek character.

Is it remotely possible that Middle-earth as depicted in the new show will be recognizable as the beloved world in Tolkien's books? Or even that place Peter Jackson sees in his mind?

If Isildur is now going to have a have a sister, the broken-down examples I pointed at above dictate that he will be ground down and shown to be weak, so she can be that much more superior in every way.

Can the works of a man like Tolkien be allowed expression in their old form? Aren't they too full of male characters who don't deserve the spotlight? Don't so-called progressive messages impose themselves on every facet of entertainment today? Why should this be any different?

The pressure on the producers of this show must be immense. Yes, they want to make money, but they must do it the right way, by appealing to the right people. I don't think old-school fans whose first experience was to the books decades ago are in that group.

Yes, Hollywood. You've torn down Luke Skywalker in favor of a Mary Sue who didn't earn anything she got.
You made Jean-Luc Picard a weak old man, afraid to take decisive action and forever apologizing for being himself.
I really don't even care about Dr Who, but from what I've heard, the BBC has really taken a sledgehammer to everything old fans liked about it.

Again, what hope is there that Amazon won't go the same way with Tolkien?

I think I'm now going to stop paying attention to anything having to do with this rot. That way lies only sadness.
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Old 01-27-2022, 10:12 AM   #284
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If Isildur is now going to have a have a sister, the broken-down examples I pointed at above dictate that he will be ground down and shown to be weak, so she can be that much more superior in every way.

Can the works of a man like Tolkien be allowed expression in their old form? Aren't they too full of male characters who don't deserve the spotlight? Don't so-called progressive messages impose themselves on every facet of entertainment today? Why should this be any different?
Isildur is weak.

Or rather, no. Isildur is three characters.

1/ The one who appears in LotR. He kills Sauron with his father's sword, takes the Ring, refuses to destroy it, and ultimately gets shot in the back while trying to sneak away while his soldiers and sons die. By this point, strong or weak, Isildur is a crown prince (and indeed High King), who must have come a long way from his life in Numenor decades before.

2/ The Silmarillion version, who gets nearly a whole paragraph(!) to himself. He sneaks into Armenelos and retrieves a fruit of the White Tree, nearly dying in the process. This is the strong version, though he doesn't "earn anything []he got".

3/ The version from the drafts, specifically The Lost Road. This one isn't even called Isildur - he's Herendil, son of Elendil, but he has the same narrative position. He's weak! He's practically a Sauron loyalist! "Is there a shadow? I have not seen it. But I have heard others speak of it; and they say it is the shadow of Death. But Sauron did not bring that; he promiseth that he will save us from it." In the notes associated with the text, he either winds up arrested by Sauron - or betraying his father to him.

If you want Isildur to be a character, not simply an archetype (good or bad), the only remotely Tolkienian way to do it is to combine these stories. He starts out led astray by Sauron and Pharazon - he finds his way to being the hero who rescues the fruit of Nimloth - and at the end he succumbs to the lure of Sauron's own weapon and power. He is weak - and then, through character growth, he becomes strong.

As to your comments about Tolkien being a man, whose male characters should be permitted to male in a manly fashion unmolested by women, well, a) , but b) Numenor is the place that idea holds up the least-well. Am I wrong to say it's the only place in the Legendarium where Tolkien wrote a fully fleshed-out story of conflict between men and women? He covered the same theme many times - Nerdanel, Yavanna, Haleth, and of course Eowyn - but the only one who gets an entire story to herself is Erendis.

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Originally Posted by The Mariner's Wife
Men in Númenor are half-Elves (said Erendis), especially the high men; they are neither the one nor the other. The long life that they were granted deceives them, and they dally in the world, children in mind, until age finds them - and then many only forsake play out of doors for play in their houses. They turn their play into great matters and great matters into play. They would be craftsmen and loremasters and heroes all at once; and women to them are but fires on the hearth - for others to tend, until they are tired of play in the eve*ning. All things were made for their service: hills are for quarries, river to furnish water or to turn wheels, trees for boards, women for their body's need, or if fair to adorn their table and hearth; and children to be teased when nothing else is to do - but they would as soon play with their hounds' whelps. To all they are gracious and kind, merry as larks in the morning (if the sun shines); for they are never wrathful if they can avoid it. Men should be gay, they hold, generous as the rich, giving away what they do not need. Anger they show only when they become aware, suddenly, that there are other wills in the world beside their own. Then they will be as ruthless as the seawind if anything dare to withstand them.

Thus it is, Ancalimë, and we cannot alter it. For men fashioned Númenor: men, those heroes of old that they sing of - of their women we hear less, save that they wept when their men were slain. Númenor was to be a rest after war. But if they weary of rest and the plays of peace, soon they will go back to their great play, manslaying and war. Thus it is; and we are set here among them. But we need not assent. If we love Númenor also, let us enjoy it before they ruin it. We also are daughters of the great, and we have wills and courage of our own. Therefore do not bend, Ancalimë. Once bend a little, and they will bend you further until you are bowed down. Sink your roots into the rock, and face the wind, though it blow away all your leaves.
So Isildur might have a woman close to him who objects to him going to war? Who doesn't just let him go about his business, but has a will of her own and does not necessarily bend to the desires of men?

Gosh. I wonder where that idea came from.

hS

(PS: Curiously, there are actually two women of "Herendil's" age mentioned in The Lost Road: Almariel, "whose hair is of shining gold, and she is a maiden, and of my own age", who seems to be presented as his friend; and Firiel, "a maiden of [Elendil's] household, daughter of Orontor". Isildur's wife is mentioned, though not named, twice in the Silmarillion, both times after the escape from Numenor. His mother is not mentioned at all. And, interestingly, there is a sister in the Andunie family who plays a significant role: Lindórië, sister of the Lord of Andunie and mother of Inzilbeth. She taught her daughter the ways of the Faithful, and she passed them on to her own son, Tar-Palantir, King of Numenor. Numenorean women are a force to be reckoned with.)
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Old 01-27-2022, 06:54 PM   #285
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Again, what hope is there that Amazon won't go the same way with Tolkien?
Was there ever any doubt that it wouldn't?

I think anyone who goes into this new show thinking it isn't going to take a modern Hollywood approach to diversity and incorporate it into Middle-earth is kidding themselves. And I say that as a dreaded "progressive" who doesn't have a problem with that approach in principle. Execution is a different matter, obviously.

As with most modern sequels/adaptations/re-imaginings etc. I strongly suspect what will really be the problem with the Amazon show will be that it gets the tone wrong, and not because of its gender politics.
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Old 01-29-2022, 09:55 AM   #286
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Was Sauron at any point after serving Melkor sincere in repentance and his friendship with Celebrimbor? Or did he use Celebrimbor's shared ambitions and connection to play him a fool?
Post Melkor, possibly, but by the time he went to Eregion I think it is clear that ship had long since sailed.
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Old 01-29-2022, 11:49 AM   #287
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Post Melkor, possibly, but by the time he went to Eregion I think it is clear that ship had long since sailed.
You'd say I'm probably too intrigued that we may hopefully get a character, Sauron, in this series. I mean making the actual character, depicting his story and his "fall," not just a flaming eyeball.
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Old 01-30-2022, 12:40 PM   #288
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I think anyone who goes into this new show thinking it isn't going to take a modern Hollywood approach to diversity and incorporate it into Middle-earth is kidding themselves. And I say that as a dreaded "progressive" who doesn't have a problem with that approach in principle. Execution is a different matter, obviously.
This, basically. There's absolutely nothing wrong with diversity, it's all in how it's done. To take two current or recent examples: Star Trek Discovery and The Expanse. Both present diversity as a theme, but could they be any more different in the execution?

Maybe the problem is with adding diversity where there was previously none? Why not just say that?

There are a lot of people in this thread who seem to have imagined up a worst case scenario of how this show could go, then decided that they're going to hate it with the burning fire of a billion suns based on not much more than their own imaginings. I just don't get that.
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Old 01-30-2022, 10:53 PM   #289
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There are a lot of people in this thread who seem to have imagined up a worst case scenario of how this show could go, then decided that they're going to hate it with the burning fire of a billion suns based on not much more than their own imaginings. I just don't get that.
It's the trick of setting the bar so low that it's hard to fail so miserably. Expect the best, and you will suffer disappointment. Expect the worst, and you may be spared. It's not going to be "good" by definition, the way I and a number of others here would define a good Tolkien adaptation. But I myself am taking the more cheerful route of gleefully making fun of the expected ridiculousness rather than letting it gall my spleen. You see, it's hard to out-pessimism reality, but if you succeed in out-pessimisming movie expectations, you might actually enjoy it for whatever good elements - or at least entertainment value - it will have. And if it still sucks even after you've done all that - well, it good and truly sucks, if it failed even the lowest bar you could imagine.

I recommend it to all - care less and laugh at it more. Seriously, it's already given me quite a bit of entertainment factor. It's like The Room / The Disaster Artist - perhaps it was not intended to function as a comedy, but if nothing else, it can at least be that in the expectations stage.


But if you wanna talk about more positive expectations - what are yours? What would you like to see, within the scarce info we have, that would make a story you'd enjoy?
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Old 01-31-2022, 06:05 AM   #290
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It's the trick of setting the bar so low that it's hard to fail so miserably. Expect the best, and you will suffer disappointment. Expect the worst, and you may be spared.
But it's kind of grim for those of us who would actually like it to be good, that every time we come in here with a new tidbit of news the responses are all "this just proves that it's going to be terrible" when it doesn't do anything of the sort.

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But if you wanna talk about more positive expectations - what are yours? What would you like to see, within the scarce info we have, that would make a story you'd enjoy?
Thanks, I will!
  • I want to see Numenor. It won't be my Numenor - that's currently veering towards the Egyptian-Mesoamerican style - but it will be Numenor. The visuals from the movies, plus the one image we have from this series, tell me that they're excellent at evoking Tolkien's landscapes.
  • I want to see hints and glimpses of the First Age. Not lots - and despite the contention that the Estate has sold out entirely to Amazon, I don't believe that they would allow a great deal of First Age material - but glimpses like Tolkien scattered through LotR. Give me the Lay of Leithian as background in a party, and paintings of the Fall of Ancalagon.
  • I want to see Elves (Sam says hi ^_^). More than that, I want to see Elvish civilisation. We've not seen that - Imladris, Lorien, and Mirkwood were fading enclaves. I want Lindon and Ost-in-Edhil and, ideally, glimpses of Eressea and Tirion. (Gondolin and Nargothrond is probably pushing it, but ye Valar! Give me a flash of them in the prologue!)
  • As for the story... I want Tar-Miriel to get the respect she deserves. I know, I know - women, in Tolkien?! But it's inconceivable to me that the Last Queen of Numenor - the only person who attempted to intervene with the One to save the island, even if (as an earlier tale of Earendil ran) she came too late - wouldn't be involved in the Resistance.
  • I want to see the fall of Pharazon - or further fall. I want to see him as an example of how there is always a deeper depth to sink to. He starts out pretty bad, as a racist rapist; he winds up as a death-cultist waging war against heaven. I want to see that decline take place not all at once, but in realistic slow time. I want to see Annatar corrupting Numenor (and Celebrimbor, if we get that story) by tiny, reasonable steps.
  • I want them to draw on all the stories of Numenor. Not merging Silmarien, Aldarion and Isildur into a single nightmare timeframe, but using elements from the earlier stories. A series has room for more side characters than a movie, so draw on The Mariner's Wife to give us the Lord of Romenna's fights with his lady wife. Take Elendil and his son's discussions in The Lost Road and use them to give us a Faithful/King's Men debate that's more than just "you're evil" vs "you're too nice".
  • And I want them to remember that, in any story that didn't include Sauron, Numenor would be the villain. The Numenoreans are racist, slave-taking invaders, and even the good ones are built on that foundation (just ask the Dunlendings!). I fully expect that some of our primary cast will be naive King's Men who discover what's really going on and join the Faithful over it; but I hope there will also be those who find out and... don't change, because actually, people can justify almost anything to themselves. "Take up the Edain's burden / The best ye breed forth send! / Go raise your sons as sailors / To bind the Lesser Men."

None of this is particularly implausible (the most unlikely is them using The Mariner's Wife). None of it makes the outcome a definite success. But it would provide the foundation for a good-quality adaptation of Tolkien's world, built on the wonder that is Middle-earth and giving it something to say about the sometimes vile way humans treat each other - and how we can do better.

What I don't want to see is a straightforward adaptation of the Tale of Superhero Isildur and Cartoonishly Evil Sauron-n-Pharazon, And How Good Inevitably Triumphed (Shame About That Ring). Even The Hobbit has more moral depth than that.

hS
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Old 01-31-2022, 09:13 AM   #291
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I want them to draw on all the stories of Numenor. Not merging Silmarien, Aldarion and Isildur into a single nightmare timeframe, but using elements from the earlier stories.*
I can totally get behind that. And this is something GOT managed to do quite well - they integrate snippets of history into the story. So if we can learn about Aegon the this and Maegor the that, I think we can learn about Aldarion and Erendis and Silmarien. And a few First Age tales - but I don't think I want more than a brief flash of the FA.

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I want to see the fall of Pharazon - or*further*fall. I want to see him as an example of how there is*always*a deeper depth to sink to. He starts out pretty bad, as a racist rapist; he winds up as a death-cultist waging war against heaven. I want to see that decline take place not all at once, but in realistic slow time. I want to see Annatar corrupting Numenor (and Celebrimbor, if we get that story) by tiny, reasonable steps.
And this too. It would be nice if this happens. But - and I stick by my previous post - I ain't gonna count on them getting it right. I prefer pleasant surprises to disappointments, especially in the movie industry.
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Old 01-31-2022, 04:41 PM   #292
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I'm excited to get some new blood in a Tolkien adaptation. I wish Del Toro would have been able to stick around for The Hobbit. And I never had any major gripes with the casting in either trilogy, but I think it's good we're getting a different cast and crew for this series.

I believe I read Howard Shore is doing the score again. I was slightly disappointed in The Hobbit score, because I think he recycled a few themes, but the Misty Mountains theme (and the song in Bag End I enjoyed). Not to mention the LOTR score was top shelf. Rohan theme and Khazad-dum theme give me chills every time.
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Old 02-03-2022, 08:16 PM   #293
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Amazon's Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Character Posters Are Extremely Reveal

I forgot how to do links, so I'll just post the Internet Address of a web site named "Looper" where an article entitled "Amazon's Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Character Posters Are Extremely Revealing" appeared. The article appears with the date February 3, 2022.

https://www.looper.com/756872/amazon...&utm_content=3

I have no idea what to say about this but would find the opinions of others here of interest.
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Old 02-04-2022, 12:08 AM   #294
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You'd say I'm probably too intrigued that we may hopefully get a character, Sauron, in this series. I mean making the actual character, depicting his story and his "fall," not just a flaming eyeball.
I think that is absolutely inescapable. How could they do it without him? (Don't answer that.)

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I forgot how to do links, so I'll just post the Internet Address of a web site named "Looper" where an article entitled "Amazon's Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Character Posters Are Extremely Revealing" appeared. The article appears with the date February 3, 2022.

https://www.looper.com/756872/amazon...&utm_content=3

I have no idea what to say about this but would find the opinions of others here of interest.
I'm glad it didn't turn out to be what I was afraid it would be when I read that headline.
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Old 02-04-2022, 09:10 AM   #295
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I’m not sure if they are too revealing, I can clearly see (or guess some of the characters)…Sauron, Isildur, Ar-Pharazon I’d place money on those characters. But don’t have a good idea on most of them beyond “that’s a dwarf, that’s a man, Galadriel is probably in there.

I am impressed with the visuals and design, but with the budget of the project I was expecting the visuals to be stunning. (From the teaser posters they certainly are)
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Old 02-04-2022, 09:56 AM   #296
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I am pleasantly surprised with the Two Trees dagger as an item - creative and canonical, without being tied to any specific Tolkien item. What they do with it is another matter.

I am curious about the last picture, where the person's armour depicts a sun. They don't comment on it. Whose emblem is that? House of Finarfin (Gildor Inglorion?? Galadriel's people??)? House of Finwe (...Gil-Galad? But he has his own heraldic device...)? Anarion, because of the Sun thing?

They speculate about hobbits, and that I am dubious about. It would be a good easter egg to have some stoors make an oblique appearance, and this would certainly not be the first Tolkien fan-fic (yes, that is how I treat it) to wonder where the hobbits are in the earlier Ages... But I have too much suspicion that this is gonna be a let's-repeat-LOTR and have the hobbits secretly save the day things... which I would not like at all. In other words, I have more faith that they will do good stuff with the daggers and armour part of canon and head-canon, and much less faith that they will do good stuff with the Peoples of ME.
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Old 02-06-2022, 10:58 AM   #297
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I am pleasantly surprised with the Two Trees dagger as an item - creative and canonical, without being tied to any specific Tolkien item. What they do with it is another matter.
Good spot. My best guesses would be a Noldor elf, perhaps from the House of Fingolfin. That would seem to make the most sense. So perhaps an item passed down to Gil-galad, and they figure a spear would be too spoilery? Or even, Glorfindel who was a follower of the House of Fingolfin during their exile from Tirion.
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Old 02-07-2022, 02:50 AM   #298
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The comments about this news were seriously disgraceful. Being passionate about the source material is no excuse.

https://mobile.twitter.com/LOTRUpdat...90294983905284
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Old 02-07-2022, 04:34 AM   #299
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The comments about this news were seriously disgraceful. Being passionate about the source material is no excuse.

https://mobile.twitter.com/LOTRUpdat...90294983905284
People are... disgusting. Nor is it even 'passionate about the source material'; there are no sources claiming that all seven houses of the dwarves were pale, and frankly I doubt there's even one for the Longbeards! It's just knee-jerk racism.

~

Overall I'm not 100% convinced by that twitter account's claims. They're sourcing from this one, and things like... the absolutely covered-in-gold character is Gil-Galad, whose whole theme is silver? Are you sure?

But that's fandom rumours for you. Probably some are true, some are not. We will all find out in - cripes - seven months.

If they are right, then we seem to have three timeframes represented in the posters:

- The First Age. They're claiming Galadriel on the Helkaraxe, and I've seen a very plausible theory that the broken sword could be Gurthang. Also, y'know, Two Trees image.

- The War of the Elves and Sauron. Celebrimbor, and potentially Durin.

- The Akallabeth. This is most of them. ^_^ They've namedropped Elendil, Pharazon, and a surprisingly-scruffy Isildur (and his sister Carine*).

(*Which would be Ca-ri-në, not Ca-reen. Plausibly Quenya but without any obvious derivation.)

I've seen suggestions that the First Age material is limited to the first episode; whether that means it's just a prologue, or whether they're devoting an entire episode to Beleriand, I can't even speculate.

(I was gonna start posting theories about the posters, but a) lots of work, and b) if there's official rumours, there's not a lot of point.)

hS
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Old 02-07-2022, 10:01 AM   #300
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But if you wanna talk about more positive expectations - what are yours? What would you like to see, within the scarce info we have, that would make a story you'd enjoy?

I'll bite - here's a top three.


I want to see the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. There are so many cinematic scenes in that, from the arrival of Turgon, to the charge of Gwindor, to the last stand of Húrin, it almost demands to be visually depicted. It needn't be a full episode, give me it as prologue material or something, but I so badly want to see that.


I want to see more about the Nazgul. If they can construct a good backstory that works well, and show us something about those Kings and Sorcerers before they became Ringwraiths, the people they were, and the reasons why they succumbed to temptation. Get this right and it could be like the fall of Darth Vader times nine, without the angst and whining.


I want to see something I haven't seen before in a depiction of Middle-earth. We've had heroism, we've had struggle, we've had hope, we've had sadness, we've had the passing of an older age; we've already had these themes. I want to see something that evokes the huge titanic struggles, the Powers clashing, something that will make me **** myself.
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Old 02-07-2022, 11:03 AM   #301
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I want to see more about the Nazgul. If they can construct a good backstory that works well, and show us something about those Kings and Sorcerers before they became Ringwraiths, the people they were, and the reasons why they succumbed to temptation. Get this right and it could be like the fall of Darth Vader times nine, without the angst and whining.
Okay, I would love this. Previous attempts to do anything with the Nazgul have been... uh... pretty dang bad, and I will be clawing at the walls if any of them turn out to be a) dead or b) Isildur. But if they can do it well, it would be incredible.

hS
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Old 02-07-2022, 12:26 PM   #302
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Hey hey, actual news! The first trailer is coming next Sunday! And TORn are doing a watch party.

Honestly I would not have expected to find myself visiting TORn for movie-related news again. What a world.

hS
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Old 02-10-2022, 08:29 AM   #303
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Ring I'm not a purist, but...

Has anyone else seen in the new Vanity Fair article with lots of pictures and details about the main characters and storylines? https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood...ies-first-look

I have to say I'm not super impressed (sounds like high budget fan fiction, some of the costumes are terrible... is that one dude wearing a t-shirt??). I'll comment more a little later after I've chewed this and read the recent discussion on this thread.
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Old 02-10-2022, 09:31 AM   #304
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Has anyone else seen in the new Vanity Fair article with lots of pictures and details about the main characters and storylines? https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood...ies-first-look

I have to say I'm not super impressed (sounds like high budget fan fiction, some of the costumes are terrible... is that one dude wearing a t-shirt??). I'll comment more a little later after I've chewed this and read the recent discussion on this thread.
Just had time to look at the first few paragraphs... Life of Gal is not what I wanna watch. I expect nothing other than fan fiction, but - there's fanfiction, and there's fanfiction.
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Old 02-10-2022, 09:40 AM   #305
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I've taken the liberty of starting a new thread for the Vanity Fair article, because I'm likely to go on about it at length and don't wanna swamp this one.

"The Rings of Power" Vanity Fair article

hS
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Old 02-12-2022, 01:00 PM   #306
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My read is this will be a generic fantasy show with the Tolkien label slapped onto it. This is Bezos attempt at emulating HBO's success with Game of Thrones, nothing more. An utter disaster that should never have been conceived.
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Old 02-12-2022, 05:13 PM   #307
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My read is this will be a generic fantasy show with the Tolkien label slapped onto it. This is Bezos attempt at emulating HBO's success with Game of Thrones, nothing more. An utter disaster that should never have been conceived.
It won't be Tolkien or Middle Earth as he wrote or envisioned it or it's protagonist. It will simply be an attempt an immersive fantasy series branded as Tolkien because everything is about "Branding" first, as a commercial appeal to the masses while continuity and Tolkien's purpose for conceiving it all a distant second.
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Old 02-21-2022, 12:02 PM   #308
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People are... disgusting. Nor is it even 'passionate about the source material'; there are no sources claiming that all seven houses of the dwarves were pale, and frankly I doubt there's even one for the Longbeards! It's just knee-jerk racism.
hS
I rather take exception to that. There can be other motivations which have nothing to do with "knee-jerk racism," starting with a wish to see Middle-earth rendered as its creator envisioned it. And while, no, T never said explicitly that the Seven Houses were all pale-complected, within the overall structure of the world -calqued upon Europe as it expressly is - it would take a direct counter-statement for me to accept it (e.g. T telling us point blank that Dwarven women had beards).

But more than that, there is the aesthetic objection to everything in pop culture being arbitrarily sploodged in Diversity Ketchup, the universal condiment of the 2020s. This is not casting-Sidney-Poitier-in-the-Sixties social courage; it's just more pumpkin spice product.

Does it represent an artistic improvement? No. It is an entirely political superimposition; and its defenders tend to react to artistic objections in (insulting) political terms.

Would it be "racist" to object to an adaptation of Things Fall Apart including white and Asian and Latino actors, because "diversity?" Should Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon be castigated because there isn't a single non-Chinese character anywhere? Should Moby-Dick (which always had a racially diverse crew) be re-shot with women whalers interjected, and would objections thereto be "sexist?"
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Old 02-22-2022, 05:08 AM   #309
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I rather take exception to that.
You take exception? I rather take exception to the claim that seeing any non-white characters in a story that spans thousands of miles of fictional terrain, and runs from the Arctic to nearly the equator, is "arbitrarily sploodged in Diversity Ketchup", "more pumpkin spice product", and "an entirely political superimposition". I take exception to the insistence that every Good character in Tolkien must be white, because... well, because they must be, right? Tolkien would never have imagined that the Good races could include non-white people, right? Because...?

"Racism" is not a political term. It is a matter of fundamental ethics. Treating people who look different as lesser or unwanted, especially when you have social or political power over them (which answers most-to-all of your "scare-quoted" questions at the end, by the way), is wrong. Excluding them from things - yes, including playing characters in an adaptation of Tolkien - for no more reason than that you're comfortable with the way things are is wrong.

And I firmly believe Tolkien would agree with me.

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For the high men of Gondor already looked askance at the Northmen among them; and it was a thing unheard of before that the heir to the crown, or any son of the King, should wed one of lesser and alien race. There was already rebellion in the southern provinces when King Valacar grew old. His queen had been a fair and noble lady, but short-lived according to the fate of lesser Men, and the Dúnedain feared that her descendants would prove the same and fall from the majesty of the Kings of Men. Also they were unwilling to accept as lord her son, who though he was now called Eldacar, had been born in an alien country and was named in his youth Vinitharya, a name of his mother's people.

Therefore when Eldacar succeeded his father there was war in Gondor.
When Gondorian nobles objected to immigrant Northmen playing Beren on stage, I bet you it was on "aesthetic" grounds.

hS
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Old 02-22-2022, 09:38 AM   #310
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You take exception? I rather take exception to the claim that seeing any non-white characters in a story that spans thousands of miles of fictional terrain, and runs from the Arctic to nearly the equator, is "arbitrarily sploodged in Diversity Ketchup", "more pumpkin spice product", and "an entirely political superimposition". I take exception to the insistence that every Good character in Tolkien must be white, because... well, because they must be, right? Tolkien would never have imagined that the Good races could include non-white people, right? Because...?

"Racism" is not a political term. It is a matter of fundamental ethics. Treating people who look different as lesser or unwanted, especially when you have social or political power over them (which answers most-to-all of your "scare-quoted" questions at the end, by the way), is wrong. Excluding them from things - yes, including playing characters in an adaptation of Tolkien - for no more reason than that you're comfortable with the way things are is wrong.

And I firmly believe Tolkien would agree with me.
It is Tolkien's mythology for England. The heroes as well as the most malevolent characters are white. The area of Northwestern Europe wherein lies much of the plot has white ethnic groups. Only when one travels to the far south or east are there deviations (not surprisingly mimicking global trends). I am quite certain the heroes and villains of most African ethnic groups' mythologies are decidedly dark skinned (I am only acquainted with Yoruba and Zulu mythos, but they are applicable).

Greek mythology has a lot of Greeks in it -- their gods and heroes. This may be distracting or absurd to you, I know, but it suited the Greeks. Did you get indignant when decidedly non-Greek Brad Pitt played Achilles -- other than the bad acting, of course?


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For the high men of Gondor already looked askance at the Northmen among them; and it was a thing unheard of before that the heir to the crown, or any son of the King, should wed one of lesser and alien race. There was already rebellion in the southern provinces when King Valacar grew old. His queen had been a fair and noble lady, but short-lived according to the fate of lesser Men, and the Dúnedain feared that her descendants would prove the same and fall from the majesty of the Kings of Men. Also they were unwilling to accept as lord her son, who though he was now called Eldacar, had been born in an alien country and was named in his youth Vinitharya, a name of his mother's people.

Therefore when Eldacar succeeded his father there was war in Gondor.
When Gondorian nobles objected to immigrant Northmen playing Beren on stage, I bet you it was on "aesthetic" grounds.
hS
"No Irish Need Apply". Actually, if you read the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, the worried monks who scribbled the annals spoke of the "demon race" the Danes, damnable invading white guys who were not Danish for the most part and were nearly kissing cousins of the Saxons priests they were pillaging.

The refined and perhaps debauched Gondorions probably viewed these proto-Goths in much the same way.
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Old 02-22-2022, 12:32 PM   #311
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You take exception? I rather take exception to the claim that seeing any non-white characters in a story that spans thousands of miles of fictional terrain, and runs from the Arctic to nearly the equator, is "arbitrarily sploodged in Diversity Ketchup", "more pumpkin spice product", and "an entirely political superimposition". I take exception to the insistence that every Good character in Tolkien must be white, because... well, because they must be, right? Tolkien would never have imagined that the Good races could include non-white people, right? Because...?

"Racism" is not a political term. It is a matter of fundamental ethics. Treating people who look different as lesser or unwanted, especially when you have social or political power over them (which answers most-to-all of your "scare-quoted" questions at the end, by the way), is wrong. Excluding them from things - yes, including playing characters in an adaptation of Tolkien - for no more reason than that you're comfortable with the way things are is wrong.

And I firmly believe Tolkien would agree with me.
I don't want to raise the temperature in here, but you are getting very close to name-calling.

Yes, it absolutely is political. One confusion of our confused and angry age seems to be the conflation of the two, the (intentional?) obfuscation of the difference between the political and the moral- because it seems more suited to the censorious contemporary mindset to say not "I disagree with you" but "I condemn you;" not "You are wrong" but "You are evil." And so the denial that the entirely political decision that People of Color need representation injected into in a work written in the 1940s by a middle-aged Englishmen is political, and is instead (and inaccurately) recast as "ethical."

Could you explain to me exactly what artistic or aesthetic enhancement is involved here? It certainly has nothing to do with "Treating people who look different as lesser or unwanted, especially when you have social or political power over them" Nobody is treating POC as "lesser or unwanted" by observing that they simply weren't there. Would you make the same argument with regard to an adaptation of David Copperfield or Pride and Prejudice or (ha!) Vanity Fair? These were books written in England from an English perspective featuring Englishmen (and -women). Tolkien was writing from the perspective of an England where just about nobody, unless they had been out to the Empire, had so much as seen a black person in the flesh until American GIs started coming over.

Tolkien was writing about "the North-West of the Old World." A place which, as he understood it (long before the Nationalities Act), was populated by Europeans. To the extent POC stepped on the stage they were, like the Easterlings and Haradrim, the Other, the hostile invaders from south and east.




Now, it would be entirely one thing If you were to come back with "You are wrong; Tolkien did not envision his world as being all-white," and argue from there. You could even attempt an argument that the work is somehow artistically improved by a multiracial cast. What you cannot legitimately do is play lazy ad hominem games and accuse me of racism (which I am not) because I do hold that opinion- nor, frankly, for mocking the current rather silly fashion for Diversity Ketchup, especially its empty claims to moral imperative.
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Old 02-22-2022, 05:12 PM   #312
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I don't see how any of it matters at this point. If it isn't true to the source material (which it clearly isn't) then that's simply the way it is. There's nothing any of us can do about it except to not watch the show; I don't intend on watching it. I already don't have an Amazon Prime subscription and this isn't going to get me to pay for one. I already avoid buying books from them except where they've monopolised the market for something that I need for my academic research (into Tolkien).

And I say all this as someone who couldn't care less if there are more roles for women and non-white people in the show. That was inevitable and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. I simply don't care if Elves or Dwarves aren't all white. I don't think they need to be for an adaptation to work; personally I don't think you need an all white and predominantly male cast to still have the same tone as Professor Tolkien's work. But the tone will be the thing they almost certainly don't capture because audiences wouldn't get it, and they probably don't get it themselves.

I can't help but feel as if Amazon wants these arguments about diversity and "politics" to be happening to create more conversation around their show. It just remains to be seen whether it's successful with their core audience or not; Tolkien fans aren't exactly going to be making up a majority of their market share at the end of the day.
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Old 02-22-2022, 07:03 PM   #313
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I can't help but feel as if Amazon wants these arguments about diversity and "politics" to be happening to create more conversation around their show.
This is the truest statement on this thread, I think, and it is arguable that they're getting what they want, if so. If even the Huorns have been roused on the 'Downs, there is conversation aplenty!
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Old 02-22-2022, 07:28 PM   #314
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This is the truest statement on this thread, I think, and it is arguable that they're getting what they want, if so. If even the Huorns have been roused on the 'Downs, there is conversation aplenty!
Personally though, I am not against a rousing of the Huorns, and I maintain that this is one of the good consequences of the show, as proof that good can come of evil.
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Old 02-22-2022, 08:06 PM   #315
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I don't see how any of it matters at this point. If it isn't true to the source material (which it clearly isn't) then that's simply the way it is. There's nothing any of us can do about it except to not watch the show; I don't intend on watching it. I already don't have an Amazon Prime subscription and this isn't going to get me to pay for one. I already avoid buying books from them except where they've monopolised the market for something that I need for my academic research (into Tolkien).

And I say all this as someone who couldn't care less if there are more roles for women and non-white people in the show. That was inevitable and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. I simply don't care if Elves or Dwarves aren't all white. I don't think they need to be for an adaptation to work; personally I don't think you need an all white and predominantly male cast to still have the same tone as Professor Tolkien's work. But the tone will be the thing they almost certainly don't capture because audiences wouldn't get it, and they probably don't get it themselves.

I can't help but feel as if Amazon wants these arguments about diversity and "politics" to be happening to create more conversation around their show. It just remains to be seen whether it's successful with their core audience or not; Tolkien fans aren't exactly going to be making up a majority of their market share at the end of the day.
Hear, hear. It does seem that one detail out of very, very many is generating a lot of heat and very little light, ridiculously because it isn't really any more or less important than any of the other myriad infelicities which make up the malodorous whole. It's no better, or worse, than a beardless Dwarf-queen or "Nori Brandyfoot" or plate-armored General Galadriel on her Roaring Rampage of Revenge- or, for that matter, the almost-guarantee that they are going to slap a beard (or at least scruff) on Ar-Pharazon. And yet even these remain violations of geekish details, just the scabs encrusting the surface of the rotten non-Tolkienian chancre.
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Old 02-27-2022, 04:43 AM   #316
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Hear, hear. It does seem that one detail out of very, very many is generating a lot of heat and very little light, ridiculously because it isn't really any more or less important than any of the other myriad infelicities which make up the malodorous whole. It's no better, or worse, than a beardless Dwarf-queen or "Nori Brandyfoot" or plate-armored General Galadriel on her Roaring Rampage of Revenge- or, for that matter, the almost-guarantee that they are going to slap a beard (or at least scruff) on Ar-Pharazon. And yet even these remain violations of geekish details, just the scabs encrusting the surface of the rotten non-Tolkienian chancre.
I pretty much concur, except with a small - but I believe crucial - adjustment here. Let me (try to) sum up succintly what I believe are the biggest problems in the discussion, especially the one "out there" - I think this forum hosts, thankfully, a much more civilised debate:

1) Of course what matters is "the core", i.e. the spirit, whether this is Tolkien or just a bad generic fantasy. However, many fans seem to be pre-decided that this is going to be bad, so bad, already before seeing very much and ignoring the signs that might (potentially) also point to the contrary (e.g. the facts that the authors seem to be honestly trying, that there are "real fans" among them, that they have been reading Tolkien every morning before filming and so on). (Sidenote, before anyone shelves me as a defender, let me restate that I am against all and any adaptations including this one, but I am trying to be objective!)

2) Which is directly connected to the next one, where I would ask everyone (does not necessarily apply to members of this forum of all things, but everyone try to discern about yourselves) to try to examine their own thoughts and feelings about the topic, and tell to themselves TRUTHFULLY what does your negative feeling about the show truly depend on and where does it come from. I mean: often human mind works the way that once you decide that something is bad (or good), then you just keep looking for more proofs for that things are the way you see them. But what was the first trigger, and what was the first major "proof" that solidified your belief? Were you the most annoyed by that Galadriel was wearing armour, or was it by that there was a non-white-skinned Dwarf or Elf? And are all your subsequent arguments only addendums, while your issue with the show lies in this? Or are you jumping on some train of thought that may be built on false dependency? ("If they cast dark-skinned Elves, it means they are not treating Tolkien canon with enough respect, or are not trying to be true to the spirit." - That for example would absolutely be false dependency, as that's an aesthetic choice about the same weight of deciding whether Númenor has statues that are inspired by Greek, Egyptian, Roman or Aztec art.)

To sum it up: I don't think we have enough details to say with certainty that there is a "rotten non-Tolkienian chancre". There definitely are "scabs on the surface", and then the question is, how much weight we give to them - and to which ones, and for what reasons. I very much wish all the fans to be honest to ourselves about it.
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Old 02-27-2022, 09:54 AM   #317
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1) Of course what matters is "the core", i.e. the spirit, whether this is Tolkien or just a bad generic fantasy. However, many fans seem to be pre-decided that this is going to be bad, so bad, already before seeing very much and ignoring the signs that might (potentially) also point to the contrary (e.g. the facts that the authors seem to be honestly trying, that there are "real fans" among them, that they have been reading Tolkien every morning before filming and so on). (Sidenote, before anyone shelves me as a defender, let me restate that I am against all and any adaptations including this one, but I am trying to be objective!)
I am curious - can anyone imagine a good TV adaptation of Tolkien? Not a simplified children's version, not an action movie, but legitimate Tolkien?

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2) Which is directly connected to the next one, where I would ask everyone (does not necessarily apply to members of this forum of all things, but everyone try to discern about yourselves) to try to examine their own thoughts and feelings about the topic, and tell to themselves TRUTHFULLY what does your negative feeling about the show truly depend on and where does it come from.
Is there a lot of dissatisfaction, perhaps, because the portrayal of Tolkien's world is not how you imagined it to be, and that just grates too much? A superficial rub rather than a deeper lack of understanding on the show's part?


Personally, I think they could have made a great generic fantasy show. Have it in Second Age Numenor, you could put an entire Game of Thrones in there without a problem, have some familiar names mentioned in the background... It it legit Tolkien? Of course not. But it could have been a good show - a Tolkien-themed story, set in Tolkien's universe, but also disconnected from the main stories and able to shine as an independent TV production, free to take the story and visuals wherever they want to make the show good. I had such high hopes for it. But then they make it very clear that they are NOT making it disconnected and independent; in fact, it seems that they are doing everything possible to link it up with existing material, movie and book alike. And some of that is good - I think we will find a lot of neat references in there. And some of the references are probably gonna be incorrect, but that won't be the problem - that would probably be good fun. But then they begin encroaching on things that are sacred, and people get mad. What is sacred? It's different for everyone, and I don't know if it's possible to pinpoint exactly what it is. I think that people generally tolerate discrepancy between the imagined and the portrayed fairly well when it really is something that is a mere detail; like, ok, maybe you'd find the adaptation "ok" instead of "exceptional", but I don't think people often give bad reviews for non-critical details. However, when you are emotionally attached to certain things, that sort of change is a lot harder to accept. And that can be a visual depiction, or a character, or a dialogue, or a culture, or a landscape, or the details of just how exactly something is said or done. If you are sufficiently emotionally attached to the story in one version, you naturally react stronger to changes to that vision, from the way it was in your head and the way you cherished it for so long. So of course people get mad over details of every sort - we are all emotionally attached to Tolkien's world, and some aspects of it are more vivid for some and less vivid for others, and the vision is more rigid for some than for others, but we all get angry when that little sacred part gets stepped on. Or at least that's my theory of why fans get mad about adaptations in general, not specific to Tolkien or fantasy or any other specific genre.

As an objective measure, I propose a test of recognition. Obviously we will all imagine things differently; however, with a faithful enough portrayal, we should be able to recognize familiar people and places without difficulty. If you struggle to recognize a character or place without the name or context provided, just by the visual, it probably means that the visual is not a great representation. This is true for art - when I look through various fan-art, it's amazing how you can usually place each picture within seconds. You'd think that in Tolkien art everyone is dressed sort of the same in some medieval costume, but there is always a gestalt of details that lets you identify the character - even on the black and white pencil drawings, where you can't go by hair colour or colour of clothes. And then there is some art where you just wouldn't be able to tell what that is without there being a deciphering caption or title. So let's put the trailer to the test. Is there sufficient visual detail and acting skill to portray people and places in an easily recognizable manner? As a first step, would you be able to guess that the places and people are from something Tolkienesque? For step two, if you were shown a still photo of these characters and told "this is from somewhere in Tolkien" but not any more details, would you be able to identify the person or place (or race of people, or specific named item, or any other specifier)? (Or, do you think there is a better way to put these questions - if so, let's go for it. Let's run a survey experiment and see where opinions fall. Of course, it's not truly objective, because it depends on a what-if scenario where you already know the answer. But try to think of your first reaction when you saw the images or heard bits of the plot).

Doing the test for myself, and thinking back to my first about this, I find that if I didn't already see Galadriel and Elrond in the article prior to the trailer, with explanations of who they are, I would not recognize them easily. Elrond - not at all, Galadriel - maybe after a lot of thinking through who this could possibly be, in a world with not that many named female characters. It's not just about their physical appearance, but because so far we haven't seen them do what we most often imagine them doing, in places where we most often imagine them being. (Like, for instance, there's a good chance that at some point in her life Galadriel happened to be near an icy waterfall, but by virtue of statistical probability you're more likely to imagine her in a forest or an Elvish palace). So, if this is to be treated as a sort of fan-fiction, they've only shown the "fiction" part of it - but with just enough canon to enable everyone to scream "no! this is wrong!". And based on the few scenes that we have, is it then not natural to have incredulity, if they don't match our imaginations to such a large extent? I am curious who thinks they would recognize Galadriel in the raft scenes without being told this is her. Galadriel with armour - I think I might have come to that deduction after some playing detective. But Galadriel on the raft? And if the show's image of the character (their combined visual appearance, actions, and acting) are so bizarrely different from your mental image, even despite a few correct details (e.g. blonde hair), is it any wonder that people complain?

Similar story for the Silvan Elf (does he have a name yet?): that is not how I would imagine a Silvan Elf, and I don't think I would be able to place him in that category without being told to expect him - not that there is any specific detail that is wrong or lacking, but the gestalt, from the haircut to the clothes to, well, unspecified gestalt. But then again, all that we've seen him do so far is do ridiculous looking stunts - we haven't heard him speak, we haven't seen him even walk normally, we just know he catches arrows in mid-flight. So while it's possible that he might actually be a decently made character, of what I've seen so far there is more evidence against than there is for.

I won't go through all the characters (lol, Meeple), but honestly, going by the people alone, there's not much to go with without any context. Gil-Galad? Wouldn't know him (are we even sure it's him?). So I don't think it's wrong of people to offer more criticism than support, because 1) we have concrete evidence for criticism, and while there is a possibility of good dialogue and acting and maybe even plot, at this point in time that is all faith and wishful thinking; and 2) experience teaches that putting too much faith in movie adaptations results in disappointment.

That is different for some of the inanimate items though. The Two Trees dagger is very suggestive. Several other details in the armour and weapons are perhaps not placeable immediately, but suggest that they may become placeable with a little bit more development (e.g. we might see them associated with certain characters or groups). I think that has potential.

As for places, for myself it was a mix. It only took me a few seconds to place Numenor, which to me says that it's probably a good depiction. And you can argue that the architecture is off or that Meneltarma is not sufficiently steep, but it's recognizable. The Dwarves-in-cave scenes are presumably Moria, but this is due to a paucity of such locations more than recognition by details. The rest are not easily identified (the Golden Wood is apparently Lindon, which I found confusing), and I suppose they are too generic to say much. They do look nice though, and there is a good breadth of geography which is fitting.


So, on the whole, the only thing I can conclude from my own experience is that they just chose the worst possible way to make the trailer. Perhaps the idea was that they'll flash a few characters to allow people to identify some people and places, and leave the rest up to guesswork, hoping that would heat the hype. Except that in selecting the scenes that they did, they managed to include a lot of the wrong stuff, and have neglected to put in any right stuff. The audience of book-supporters is probably less interested in arrow catching and explosions and the "fiction" part of the fan-fiction, and those scenes just tend to trample the sacred without offering much in return. As a rule of thumb, don't judge a book by its cover, and don't judge a movie by its trailer - but if that's all you have to judge by, how can you not.

But more than that, I am curious what the answers would be if we actually did do a sort of informal survey, on how many book-readers could recognize these characters without being told who they are. How much does the show measure up to our imaginations? It is absolutely going to differ, but I still maintain that on average a good depiction will still be recognized by most. And if, on the contrary, most people would not associate this depiction with the character, I would question the gestalt of the portrayal - how the character looks, speaks, dresses, acts - and, in some way, I suppose that is synonymous with the "core" or "spirit" of the character and the work.

Anyone else wanna do the recognizability test?



(Thank you Legate for giving me something to chew on, and for a new line of thinking)
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Old 02-27-2022, 02:06 PM   #318
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Well, I think that for me the gestalt - good choice of words, thank you - is the problem. It isn't any one detail, but the pattern created by all the details. And that pattern goes beyond getting buttons or drinking vessels or skin color "wrong" - too often this sort of discussion turns on the kind of geekery we mock Trekkies for - but that they are all wrong in the same direction. They are all alterations in the direction of Generic Fantasy Tropes and Mass Market Appeal. So it isn't simply a question of "not getting it," of not having spent fifty years parsing the Appendices, Letters, the Simarillion index and HoME, but rather an evident willingness intentionally to warp everything in service to the great god whose name is Ratings. And, moreover, to take the Lazy-Hollywood rather than the Inspired-Hollywood path, that of dreary imitation and recycling.

But if you had to ask about one specific thing that tempted me to put an ashtray through the TV screen? The plate armor- not that Galadriel is wearing it (although that's part of the gestalt too) - but that anyone is wearing it.
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Old 02-27-2022, 03:27 PM   #319
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But if you had to ask about one specific thing that tempted me to put an ashtray through the TV screen? The plate armor- not that Galadriel is wearing it (although that's part of the gestalt too) - but that anyone is wearing it.
As someone with minimal knowledge of medieval warfare and weaponry, could I ask you to elaborate on why the armour galls you so much?
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Old 02-27-2022, 03:44 PM   #320
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Anyone else wanna do the recognizability test?
Yeah, okay. Using this count of the trailer scenes, and assuming I saw the "Welcome to the Second Age" map way back when, but then nothing until my Fire TV said "Rings of Power trailer - watch?"

Voiceover: clearly a Hobbit. She's got Pippin's accent and a Tookish feel to her lines.

1. Numenor or Mithlond. After a little thought, the single mountain suggests Numenor (ie, Romenna).

2. Meeple, probably just common Men in M-e. The wooded valley could be Lorinand or Fangorn I guess.

3. A Hobbit, probably the one doing the Voiceover. Looks about right for a pre-Shire halfling.

4. Icy waterfall. Doesn't ring a bell.

5. Woman off a cliff. Stars suggest elf or Numenorean, of which I'm inclined to the latter (Numenorean women stayed at home). Looks blonde, so Galadriel-as-Nerwen?

6. Man on a raft. Shipwrecked Numenorean? Hard to see who else would be out on a breakable boat.

7. Pointy-eared archer showing off? Must be Silvan. Is it the lighting or is he darker than Legolas et al? (Though of course Leggy is at least half Sindar.)

8. Meteor shower over... Mirkwood, maybe?

8a. Posh elf somewhere elvish. The leaves suggest Lorien, but they could just be birch in autumn. He doesn't dress like a Lorien elf, so Lindon? Could be Elrond or Gil-Galad in that case.

9. Eowyn. No, probably not Eowyn. Proto-Rohirrim?

10. The blonde elf from before, in a cave, finding a troll thing (could be a Great Goblin). Given the appearance of several obvious original characters, she could be an unnamed elf warrior rather than Galadriel. Wait, is her armour the same as not-Eowyn? Could do with a better shot.

11. Pretty trees, clearly elvish but the cliff doesn't scream Lorien. Maybe Lindon again? (Or western Numenor before they kicked off.)

12. Dwarf. Maybe a Firebeard rather than Longbeard.

13. Elf. Is he in the dwarf mine? If so, Celebrimbor (hence the metal thing).

14. Singing woman, maybe also underground? Could she be one of the elusive dwarf women?

15. Blonde elf on a raft. Are these the blonde and raft from earlier? Swinging back to calling her Galadriel - she's got the right sort of intensity.

16. Naked man being pulled out of a fire. Sau...ron? It's hard to see how, but nothing else even remotely fits.

17. Dwarf smashes rock. Smash, dwarf, smash. Hey, if that was Celebrimbor maybe this is Durin.

18. Someone jumping. Could just about be showy Silvan elf from before. Is he chained up? Is he fighting Numenorean slavers? That'd be cool.

19. Is this part of the Last Alliance sequence from the movies? Maybe it's the fall of Eregion - could he be Celebrimbor from before? I'm not great with faces.

20. Tiny hand says Hobbit. Clearly this is a Gandalf-esque figure she's fallen in with - maybe one of the Meeple?

Title: The Rings of Power. So probably yes on Celebrimbor, Galadriel, Elrond/Gil-Galad, and Durin. Maybe yes on Sauron in a fireball (volcano mishap?). Didn't see any obvious Nazgul candidates or Cirdan.

~

So actually, yes: if you have an idea of the time frame, I think most of them are recognisable. The big fail is "Celebrimbor", because his distinctive feature is hanging out with dwarves, which doesn't scream Elrond. Lindon/Lorien is another possible issue, but for this trailer the goal was clearly to make you think "elvish", which for me succeeded.

And I don't think there's anyone else Lady Nerwen /could/ be. ^_~ Even if you expand the scope to the entire history of Arda, "blonde elf lady in armour" is Galadriel before she settled down.

hS
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