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Amazon buys up Middle-earth, it searches the One Ring! (Rings of Power news thread)


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2 minutes ago, Jay said:

  Are you not capable of watching trailers and getting a pretty good idea about what the final product is going to be like?

 

This. Especially if you can piece-together some of the plot which, being that this is an entry into an established series and has the main beats of its plotline outlined in material many of us are familiar with, we can have some impression of what this show will probably be like, and we can adjust our expectations accordingly.

 

For instance, just now: 

 

This video confirms that this rather lush village setting is in Mordor. I'm actually shocked at how Reddit and Discord are reacting enthusiastically to this, because I find that idea one of the worst these showrunners had cooked up: I really don't need to see Mordor created. I'm fine with it just having been there and taken over by Sauron, but to invent this convoluted backstory where it appearantly once a verdant stretch of land that magically turned sulphorous? I think that's strenous storytelling.

 

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2 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

I'm actually shocked at how Reddit and Discord are reacting enthusiastically to this

 

To be honest I'd expect nothing less from Reddit in particular.

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The area around the Sea of Núrnen still had grass and normal people around it between Hobbit and LotR, according to the game.

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On 08/08/2018 at 9:44 AM, Holko said:

I wonder how much bullshit they'll be allowed to get away with.

This is what we have in Shadow of Mordow/War:

-Celebrimbor helped make all the Rings, including The One, which he used for a while to brainwash orcs and lead an army against Sauron, but it betrayed him at the last second

-He survived as a wraith and has latched himself to a Ranger of the Black Gate who was killed with his family when it was taken between The Hobbit and LotR, but thus "survives" and cannot die

-They make a new One Ring together, which Shelob in a sexy human from takes from them, then gives back because they want to use it against Sauron

-Gollum also helps "The Bright Lord" because of this ring

-We learn Shelob was a lover of Sauron who tried to sacrifice her

-The main point is "dominating" and ruling orcs and Olog-Hai by means of mind-control

-Mordor has a Bombadil-like nature guardian spirit who takes the form of a female Groot or various beasts, and we mount her to fight a woken Balrog in full Kaiju style

-Minas Ithil was taken by the Nazgul between The Hobbit and LotR, even though they mention the last King of Gondor being drawn out into his fatal clash with the Witch-King

-Isildur and Helm Hammerhand are among the Nazgul

-Sauron appears in his full battle armor or as Annatar with no problems

 

Here are further "fun" nuggets from those games, wonder if Amazon will outdo them!

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27 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

This. Especially if you can piece-together some of the plot which, being that this is an entry into an established series and has the main beats of its plotline outlined in material many of us are familiar with, we can have some impression of what this show will probably be like, and we can adjust our expectations accordingly.

 

For instance, just now: 

 

This video confirms that this rather lush village setting is in Mordor. I'm actually shocked at how Reddit and Discord are reacting enthusiastically to this, because I find that idea one of the worst these showrunners had cooked up: I really don't need to see Mordor created. I'm fine with it just having been there and taken over by Sauron, but to invent this convoluted backstory where it appearantly once a verdant stretch of land that magically turned sulphorous? I think that's strenous storytelling.

 

 

This is was talking about before. These people, the inhabitants of the Southland are the descendants of the men who fought for Morgoth and as a punishment they were forced to move here and the silvan elves are still keeping an eye on them acting like gentle jailers. I don't know it doesn't sound like the worst storyline ever written but still something very bland, obvious and avarage.  @Chen G.

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7 minutes ago, Servant of Morgoth said:

don't know it doesn't sound like the worst storyline ever written

 

That's fine. What I dislike is the conceit that Mordor was once this verdant stretch of land and then suddenly this big explosion/eruption happens et voilà! InstaMordor!

 

I mean, in The Return of the King we see a glimpse of Mordor after the destruction of the Ring and it looks like:

LOTR-ROTK_5213.jpg

 

So its not sulphorous like it is under Sauron's sway, but its still an arid stretch of land by nature. Its not some heaven turned into hell in a one cheesy fell swoop.

 

Its like how in Solo its somehow really important to explain why the Falcon later has "the most peculiar dialect", only here its even dumber, and done on a much larger scale. I really don't need to see Mordor created.

 

I think these showrunners - and possibly their writers - got caught-up in the excitement of making a fantasy show, and they're making one which is very self-concsiously fantasy, both in the design but also in the plotting because "you can have man just fall from the sky - its fantasy!" or "you can have Mordor created by an explosion - its fantasy!" That scares me!

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3 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

That's fine. What I dislike is the conceit that Mordor was once this verdant stretch of land and then suddenly this big explosion/eruption happens et voila! InstaMordor!

 

I mean, in The Return of the King we see a glimpse of Mordor after the destruction of the Ring and it looks like:

LOTR-ROTK_5213.jpg

 

So its not sulphorous like it under Sauron's sway, but its still an arid stretch of land by nature. Its not some heaven turned into hell in a one cheesy fell swoop.

 

Its like how in Solo its somehow really important to explain why the Falcon later has "the most peculiar dialect", only on a much larger scale.

Totally agree like I said it's not the worst idea(putting Tolkien's lore aside for a second)but it still sounds like lazy writing

A storyline just written for the sake of shock value, for mass consumption

Just now, JohnTheBaptist said:

You haven't explained what you think is wrong with the image. 

 

Sure, but it's not as self-evident as you seem to think it is, judging by the overwhelmingly positive response outside the darkest corners of the internet. 

I haven't even said anything about that image before. I don't find anything wrong with the image btw

I'm criticising the writing room, the storylines as far as we know, the dialogues, the characterisation of certain characters,  not the actors 

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Hmm, I don't think a volcano transforming a landscape is particularly unrealistic or shocking, especially in a show about elves and wizards, but you're right that this is for mass consumption. We crossed that rubicon around 20 years ago. 

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3 minutes ago, JohnTheBaptist said:

Hmm, I don't think a volcano transforming a landscape is particularly unrealistic or shocking, especially in a show about elves and wizards, but you're right that this is for mass consumption. We crossed that rubicon around 20 years ago. 

If this is the logic and the purpose(shock value and so on) that showrunners used to write all the characters and the storylines in season 1 I think at least this season will be even more middling and bland than I fear. Putting Tolkien's lore aside for a moment

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18 minutes ago, Servant of Morgoth said:

I'm criticising the writing room, the storylines as far as we know, the dialogues, the characterisation of certain characters,  not the actors 

 

Yep. My scepticism about the show (aside from the whole thing being fan fiction) has mostly been the ridiculous, and embarassing, marketing. I don't think I've ever said a single word about the casting, nor have I seen anyone else here do so.

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And I prefer not to speak about the unconfirmed leaks that I've read on Reddit. Two of them confirm two very popular theories about the real identities of Halbrand and Meteor Man. And again they sound like cloying and shock value and subvert expectations

 

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Not all readers understand or appreciate Tolkien’s achievement. Laura Miller criticizes Tolkien’s more enthusiastic readers for admiring “the quantity, rather than the quality, of invention” (Miller 214), but she fails to realize that the quantity is an essential component of the quality of his kind of invention. Tolkien’s legendarium is the equivalent of the mythology and history of a people, indeed several peoples. That this vast epic was the creation of one man is in a way the most impressive and astonishing thing about it, as much so as its specific contents.

David Bratman, Tolkien Studies, Volume 19, 2022 Supplement, p. 3, emphasis mine

 

Anyone else dumbfounded that the most expensive TV show ever is a pastiche? Who the heck can pull off Tolkien pastiche? And why the heck? Guaranteed to disappoint.

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4 hours ago, Pellaeon said:

Not all readers understand or appreciate Tolkien’s achievement. Laura Miller criticizes Tolkien’s more enthusiastic readers for admiring “the quantity, rather than the quality, of invention” (Miller 214), but she fails to realize that the quantity is an essential component of the quality of his kind of invention. Tolkien’s legendarium is the equivalent of the mythology and history of a people, indeed several peoples. That this vast epic was the creation of one man is in a way the most impressive and astonishing thing about it, as much so as its specific contents.

David Bratman, Tolkien Studies, Volume 19, 2022 Supplement, p. 3, emphasis mine

 

Anyone else dumbfounded that the most expensive TV show ever is a pastiche? Who the heck can pull off Tolkien pastiche? And why the heck? Guaranteed to disappoint.


I’m hoping Amazon have been messing with us and all the cheap looking and bottom of the barrel storytelling that has been hinted at has all been an elaborate ruse and they’re saving the good stuff for when they actually drop the first two episodes.

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On 17/08/2022 at 7:01 PM, Bilbo said:


I’m hoping Amazon have been messing with us and all the cheap looking and bottom of the barrel storytelling that has been hinted at has all been an elaborate ruse and they’re saving the good stuff for when they actually drop the first two episodes.

What is cheap looking storytelling?

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I think having a chacter literally fall into the story from the sky is cheap storytelling: outside of Terminator movies, we'd consider that a silly conceit in any movie or show.

 

I think all the Harfoot stuff looks incredibly cutesy and cloying - and that impression is only heightened by the saccharine music McCreary saw fit to give them: you get that its the impression he got off of those scenes.

 

And I think creating a convoluted backstory for Mordor whereby it was appearantly this verdant piece of land that was suddenly transformed. I mean, its like how Fantastic Beasts did a backstory for Nagini or how Solo gave the Falcon's computer a backstory: its just...overwriting, in screenwriting terms.

 

Those three things make me incredibly wary for the writing. Personally, more and more am I getting the impression that these two showrunners got swept-up in the excitement of making a fantasy series, and are going to give us something which - in the way its plotted and designed - is very self-consciously fantasy.

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7 minutes ago, JohnTheBaptist said:

What is cheap looking storytelling?

 

Borrowing movie clichėes. And forced storytelling like planting a village into Mordor.

 

The original trilogy is so timeless because it doesn't overtly and directly try to be allegorical. This, however, has allegory coming out of its ears.

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2 hours ago, TolkienSS said:

 

Borrowing movie clichėes. And forced storytelling like planting a village into Mordor.

 

The original trilogy is so timeless because it doesn't overtly and directly try to be allegorical. This, however, has allegory coming out of its ears.

It sounds like you're just upset that it's deviating from the books, which were also pastiche and allegorical.

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12 hours ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

Well, look at the bright side Chen...this show is sure to cause a positive reappraisal of The Hobbit Trilogy. ;)

 

You half-jest but I can totally see that being a thing. I actually don't like fandom's tendency to swing around in response to bad entries - I don't think Attack of the Clones is one iota less bad because The Rise of Skywalker is terrible, for example - but if this show is what it takes for people to see the value in good films that have been (I would argue) viewed through the wrong lens, then so be it.

 

Certainly, there is some ground for comparison: both projects have involved a great deal of elaborating upon what's on the page, both start at a time of relative peace in Middle Earth: the plot of the opening episodes seem to be akin to An Unexpected Journey insofar as a character (Galadriel in this, Gandalf in The Hobbit) tries to shake people out of their complecency and tell them that Sauron had indeed returned. There are some plot similarities, too: the Bronwyn-Arondir affair is sure to make people think of Kili and Tauriel, I think. Jackson even had experimented in Laketown with implementing diversity into Middle Earth in a way that Amazon are now using as a blanket solution across their entire project.

 

I actually think its The War of the Rohirrim that could benefit enormously from this: some YouTube channels already turned the whole thing into Rings of Power versus War of the Rohirrim situation, which I don't think is the case: if anything, Warners hope to ride the coattails of the show's success. But artistically, The War of the Rohirrim, with its smaller scope (one movie, focused almost entirely on Rohan) and lesser emphasis on fantasy, could be quite an antidote to The Rings of Power's attempt to gobble up as much of the "Middle Earth formula" and the project's very overt fantasy feeling.

 

Again, there are some similarities: its crazy to me that The Rings of Power are seemingly doing a Helm's Deep-esque siege while Kamiyama is gearing up to make another actual siege of Helm's Deep in his film. Still throwing me off that the movie's animated, but so be it.

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I think what you're looking for is this:

 

 

There are days when one sits back and realizes just how much one love Jeremy Irons.

 

32 minutes ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

Hmmmmm. The thing is though, critical reappraisals happen all the time in art, including cinema.

 

They do. That even happens to individuals: it took me two viewings to really get into Lawrence of Arabia: I didn't particularly enjoy it the first time around.

 

We'll see. In any case, its probably not going to be a huge swing in opinion like what happened with the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

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39 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 In any case, its probably not going to be a huge swing in opinion, like what happened with the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

 

I'm not so sure about that. IMO, The Hobbit is far more worthy of a reassessment than the Prequel Trilogy, because, well, it's just better (IMO). I'm not sure if the best Hobbit film is better than Revenge of the Sith, but as a trilogy, and in terms of directing, acting, editing, production design, etc. it's certainly superior. For me at least, it's easier to look past The Hobbit's flaws than it is the PT's flaws, because there are just so many cringe moment in the PT.

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Well yeah, that's what I mean: its not going to be as big a swing because it was never quite as derided as those films.

 

And besides, with Star Wars, much of the reappraisal is around "look at how improvized the sequel trilogy's story is as compared to how masterfully preplanned the prequel storyline was" which is just bollocks. Whereas here one assumes the reappraisal will mostly hinge on the storytelling.

 

6 minutes ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

I'm not sure if the best Hobbit film is better than the best Revenge of the Sith

 

It is to me, and this is not spoken as somehow who particularly dislikes the prequel trilogy, either.

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1 hour ago, Chen G. said:

I think what you're looking for is this:

 

 

There are days when one sits back and realizes just how much one love Jeremy Irons.

 

 

They do. That even happens to individuals: it took me two viewings to really get into Lawrence of Arabia: I didn't particularly enjoy it the first time around.

 

We'll see. In any case, its probably not going to be a huge swing in opinion like what happened with the Star Wars prequel trilogy.


I enjoyed that video more than anything we’ve seen from RoP! I didn’t cringe anywhere near as much as I did while watching that RoP soap opera clip. 

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13 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

A part of me still wonders what he might have done with Saruman.

 

I've always thought of Irons as one of the great perverted actors of the age (along with James Spader back in the day). I'm sure it would have been quite something. I also think Frank Langella would have been an interesting choice (and like Lee he'd have real presence with his physical stature).

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1 hour ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

 

Jeremy Irons is, of course, stellar.

 

But the Borgias got way too soap-operaish for my taste, and I eventually gave up on it. And I say this as someone who loves historical dramas.

 

 

There's no wondering about it, he would have killed!  But would I trade Lee's performance for it? Nah.

I didn’t mind them treating the scandals as fact. I have always loved the story of the Borgias and always longed for someone to do just such an adaptation: gorgeous, somewhat accurate but operatic to a fault, treating the most terrible of rumors as truth. Basically, I wanted a papal mob family with incest and I got it in Spades. I even love the way it ends early, right at the height before the fall. Very operatic. I personally love it. Although I understand your opinion, too. Holliday Grainger simply is Lucretzia.

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10 hours ago, Holko said:

Of course we don't like that it throws Tolkien out the window for the sake of generic cliche crap but again you're just wrong about the books.

In what way? They're just retellings of medieval folklore, that's about as cliche as it gets. This isn't some great secret, it's literally what Tolkien studied.

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2 hours ago, blondheim said:

I didn’t mind them treating the scandals as fact. I have always loved the story of the Borgias and always longed for someone to do just such an adaptation: gorgeous, somewhat accurate but operatic to a fault, treating the most terrible of rumors as truth. Basically, I wanted a papal mob family with incest and I got it in Spades. I even love the way it ends early, right at the height before the fall. Very operatic. I personally love it. Although I understand your opinion, too. Holliday Grainger simply is Lucretzia.

 

Yeah, I watched it initially b/c I'm interested in the subject as well. And I did enjoy the first season, I thought it was incredibly enjoyable. I just remember thinking at some point it started to go over the top with the soap opera, incessant scheming and really attractive people having sex (not that there's anything wrong with that).  ROTFLMAO

 

But awesome that you loved it so much, it's great when you find a series about a subject you're interested in that really hits you just the right way. I love hearing about something people are passionate about, even if I disagree! :up:

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My Borgias of choice is the 1981 BBC drama, which was unfairly maligned at the time. Sure it's hamstrung by a modest budget as were many BBC costume dramas of the era, but, like the BBC's magnificent earlier series' about the Tudor monarchs, it's wonderfully acted, superbly written, and just all round strikes me as an intelligent take on a historical subject which we wouldn't see today. In particular, I don't think Oliver Cotton's brilliant take on Cesare has been bettered.

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When people ask me what my favourite TV historical costume drama is, I say HBO's Rome.

 

Spoiler

The real answer is Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

 

...and I don't care what anyone says! :rock: It remains a wildly entertaining and eminently re-watchable guilty pleasure of mine. 

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3 minutes ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

When people ask me what my favourite TV historical costume drama is, I say HBO's Rome.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

...and I don't care what anyone says! :rock: It remains a wildly entertaining and eminently re-watchable guilty pleasure of mine. 

 

People have been banned for far less.

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8 minutes ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

When people ask me what my favourite TV historical costume drama is, I say HBO's Rome.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

...and I don't care what anyone says! :rock: It remains a wildly entertaining and eminently re-watchable guilty pleasure of mine. 

Both are nice. I approve this message

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