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Old 10-16-2022, 03:44 PM   #1
Bêthberry
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1420! How would you have written The Rings of Power?

Okay, we have now seen all the episodes (those who continued watching) of the first year of Amazon's Rings of Power. Some of us are greatly dissatisfied. Some of us are more willing to cut the writers and show runners some slack. This means that we all have an inner sense of what the Second Age should be about.

So, what is your inner Second Age? How would you have written a tv serial based on the Appendices of LotR?

And before the naysayers and wags get ahold of this thread ("just the way Tolkien did it"), let me present one idea I saw recently about how it should have been done. The author remains anonymous; it isn't me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by one visionary critic
The show should be about the Rise and Fall of Númenor and the part that Sauron plays in that arc - not Galadriel.
Considering the Protagonists would be Men, with some compression we would be able to experience the creation of Númenor by Ulmo, the establishment of the Royal Line and Elrond's part, while dealing with the Noldor (Gil-Galad and Círdan) in a peripheral way and the Dwarves and the Harfoots in a larger way. The Appendices are rife with good potential story telling material. Why didn't they follow it instead of the Plucky Battle Maiden Elf who serves no purpose but to confuse the chronology?
So, does this sound like a better idea? What would you have wanted to see? Write out your fanfiction heart here!
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Old 10-17-2022, 07:12 PM   #2
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Much better. And I note that the Archcompetitor over on HBO has no problem with jumping over time and letting mortal characters pass away.
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Old 10-18-2022, 10:02 AM   #3
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I am surprised that this has not gotten more responses.

My initial reaction is what Bethberry does not want; there's plenty of good stuff in the appendices to base a story upon without taking a red pen to "canon." The counterpoint is that no matter what Amazon did, there would be folks that would complain.

And while Bethberry doesn't seem to want a list of complaints, here are some suggestions where things could have been different.

- Don't make Galadriel a warrior princess. But I get this. Amazon did what Tolkien did. "Unwin wants a sequel. What can I hook on to from what I wrote to create a new story with a bridge to the old story." Galadriel is the "hook."

- No need for the magic tree. Simply take 10 minutes to explain why the Elves might want their Three Rings (and the others).

- No need for the Stranger. Again, I get the "why." He's popular and compelling.

- No need for Halbrand as portrayed. The Annatar/Sauron the corruptor story is fine.

- Why kill Celeborn (if he is "dead")?

- Make Gil-Galad and Celebrimbor better and more compelling characters. They are important to the story are JRRT wrote it.

Just a few quick thoughts.
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Old 10-18-2022, 01:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithadan View Post
My initial reaction is what Bethberry does not want; there's plenty of good stuff in the appendices to base a story upon without taking a red pen to "canon." The counterpoint is that no matter what Amazon did, there would be folks that would complain.
Oh, I'm sorry that what I thought was a joking comment is misleading; I mean it as a joke at my expense because of how I have tried to address overwhelming complaints about the series, complaints so strongly (even stridently) expressed that they would have turned off possible new members to the Forum who are excited about the series--my response to what I felt was similar to "review bombing". I meant simply that there have been lots of complaints about what went wrong with the Amazon series but not much in terms of how, specifically and positively, it could have been done better, from a conceptual standpoint, rather than what is wrong with a character's depiction or plot holes. I had hoped that the quote I provided would have made clear that there is lots else in Tolkien to consider other than Galadriel as the central POV.

It seems to me that a Second Age series could focus on two different aspects: either the rise and then fall of Numenor (as the quote suggests) or how Sauron was able to attract followers. The first would highlight the hubris of men while the second perhaps would show the attractiveness of authoritarianism and how fear leads men into error. That second possibility would, I think, be very relevant to today's context. I would mean that as applicability rather than allegory. Such approaches would have required a careful introduction to the Age, perhaps through a narrative monologue as is given to Galadriel at the opening of Jackson's LotR trilogy, but preparing viewers for different things other than the familiar hobbits. ("There were earlier battles, in a very different age, when men made disastrous decisions, and elves as well; when dwarves had a lively culture and there were no wizards to help in the fight against the Dark Lord." Or something along those lines. It could indeed be spoken by Galadriel, to provide a bridge, without making her the central character. Such a monologue could even address the differences Tolkien made in the younger Second Age Galadriel from the older more serene Third Age Lady of Lothlorien.

Quote:
And while Bethberry doesn't seem to want a list of complaints, here are some suggestions where things could have been different.

- Don't make Galadriel a warrior princess. But I get this. Amazon did what Tolkien did. "Unwin wants a sequel. What can I hook on to from what I wrote to create a new story with a bridge to the old story." Galadriel is the "hook."

- No need for the magic tree. Simply take 10 minutes to explain why the Elves might want their Three Rings (and the others).

- No need for the Stranger. Again, I get the "why." He's popular and compelling.

- No need for Halbrand as portrayed. The Annatar/Sauron the corruptor story is fine.

- Why kill Celeborn (if he is "dead")?

- Make Gil-Galad and Celebrimbor better and more compelling characters. They are important to the story are JRRT wrote it.

Just a few quick thoughts.
I would never deny the value of complaints. Everything is open to negative criticism, all the myriad adaptations we have already seen of his works, as well as Tolkien himself.(Sorry/not sorry if that is blasphemous.) For me, there is really not something like "faithfulness" to Tolkien's lore, because every adaptation is an interpretation and in particular movies as a different genre from fiction require different qualities. But as I hope I have tried to explain above, I meant productive questioning of the adaptation rather than a niggling over individual parts.

But to address your points, Mithadan: I didn't get the feeling that Celeborn is dead; rather that he is MIA.

I agree that Celebrimdor and Gil-galad should be more prominent and compelling. I liked the idea of showing Gil-galad as a wily politician, but some how that aspect of his character was dropped. Making the two elves more compelling characters would have quite easily been done by focusing on either the Numenor aspect or the Sauron aspect rather than on Galadriel.

And maybe I missed something but I thought it could be better brought out why the elves were fading, not simply through leaves turning black/brown, but something more in line with how or why they are fading.

Anyhow, I hope this opens up more ideas for discussion and doesn't stifle positive complaints.
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Old 10-18-2022, 04:37 PM   #5
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I wouldn't.

I'm not being snarky - if I was told to go make a series based on the LotR + Hobbit license (but not either of those stories), I would either make Rosie's Garden (a cosy "murder mystery" series where Rose Gamgee and her kids solve minor crimes and mysteries around Hobbiton while Sam is off being Mayor) or The Fall of Kings (the fall of Arthedain and the breaking of the Gondorian Line of Kings, and all the drama associated with that).

But if I had to do the Second Age, I guess I'd start by asking what people like about LotR (books and movies):
  • Hobbits - so I'd have something like the Harfeet, nudging around the edge of the plot and being generally adorable.
  • Elves - that means I'm doing Lindon and Eregion, and probably using Elrond, Galadriel, Gil-Galad, and Celebrimbor (plus Cirdan, Celeborn, maybe Celebrian).
  • Wizards - so I need a Gandalf-figure, who may or may not be Sauron.
  • Scruffy men (think the Viggo & Sean Bean reaction back in the day) - so I probably want Numenoreans for that.
  • The landscape and locations - so we're filming in New Zealand and featuring as many named locations as we can. Lindon, Eregion, Moria, Numenor, it's all in there.

I'm already pushing up against a very similar plot to RoP. Hmm... I think I'd make it an Elvish show, because compressing the timeline wouldn't even occur to me, and it lets me keep my lead characters around. Let's say S1 is the founding of Eregion, S2 is the forging of the Rings (with several characters coming together to do the work, and one being renamed Annatar later on), S3 is the War of the Elves and Sauron... and at the end of it, the Numenoreans show up out of nowhere to thrash him and forge an alliance with the Elves.

Then S4 is an anthology, because we're comfortable enough to be able to do that. Every episode is a different group encountering the Numenoreans over the next thousand years or whatever. It's all very monster-of-the-week, and we bring in things like the creation of the Nazgul, whatever else is happening in the second half of the Age. The early episodes are good contacts, but as the season goes on the Numenoreans gets darker. Finally, in the last episode, we visit Numenor itself for the first time, for the death of Tar-Palantir and Pharazon's usurpation of Miriel.

S5 is the Rise of Pharazon, the Fall of Numenor, and the Last Alliance (all right, this might be two seasons). We don't see our original elvish protagonists again until Elendil and co are washed up after the wrack of the isle; it's a proper "oh wow!" moment for the viewers to meet them all again. If we're very clever, we might make that the S5 finale and then do the Last Alliance as a movie, to wrap up all our plots at last.

Big problems with this? Numenor doesn't show up until the fourth season! And we spend that entire season having to connect with a new cast of characters every episode. For the first three seasons, there's no obvious relatable characters either - they're all immortal, ageless elves or stone-wrought dwarves. (Though an Elrond/Celebrian romance is a must.)

hS
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Old 10-18-2022, 05:32 PM   #6
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This is a great topic--I don't think the slowness of replies is indicative of anything other than that, because this is a HARD topic. It's easy to say "RoP did XX wrong"--and I think we all have some proposition to put in place of "XX," though the values will vary. It's harder to say "and, therefore, an it were I, I would have done YY." As I was forcefully reminded in the context of having a 4-year-old, there's a difference between being able to recognise (to read it: a mental skill) a letter and write it (a manual skill).

In my own case, some of my biggest--well, most frequent--complaints were more in execution than in the grand scheme: dialogue and pacing and how things were cut together. And while I'm enough of a would-be amateur writer that, if you gave me RoP's text and didn't let me change anything of consequence, I would still want to try tweaking the dialogue, I don't think that's particularly consequential, and I don't think that's what Bêthberry is looking for. And I'm certainly not enough of a screenwriter (that is, I am not one at all) to tell you how to fix the pacing and timing--only enough to say I think it needs it.

That said... if you gave me the same brief as Amazon: make a multi-season show based off the Appendices with the same limitations (i.e. I can't just film a 1:1 dramatic reading of the footnotes to The Nature of Middle-earth), I think I have ideas that might have made the final product better.

1. Eliminate sub-plots! There's too much going on. I understand that they want to show us all of Middle-earth, to explore the whole world, to show off vast, epic scope and marvels, but... whose story is this? As a result of such a broad sweep, everything gets abbreviated. I think, to introduce us to this show, they need to pick a plot as the A-plot and stick with it. Ironically, they do HAVE an A-plot, and it's the same one I would pick:

2. The Elves! Season 1 should be all about the Elves and their internal politicking. Scrap that stupid "we need mithril or we'll be extinct next spring" constraint: if you spent four episodes showing how the Elves are restless and eager and starting to feel the first hints of fading, you don't need that atextual plot device. The hints of this are there: Gil-galad having no party with Eregion and Annatar, Galadriel being involved with Eregion in some way, and Celebrimbor totally putting the craft ahead of any other voice. But this should have been the dominant plot of the entire first season, not crammed into (at best) an episode and a half. There are some corollaries:

2A. Show just how FAST time moves for the Elves. Some of the best stuff in the Elrond/Durin relationship are about how the races view time--say, 20 years--differently. You could easily have parts of the story (sourcing materials, making contact with Númenor) where you meet a non-Elven character in their youth and meet them again old. If the focus is on the Elves, this becomes a short-hand for how time moves differently for them and it also allows the show to go from having a LONG time frame to a narrow time frame (zooming in)--one of the problems, I thought, was that RoP somehow flitted all over the landscape and thereby made Middle-earth feel quite a bit smaller. A similar thing happens to the time-scape: granted, of course, that they're changing timelines, but there's also no real sense at all for how LONG the Elves have been in Middle-earth: it doesn't feel particularly long at all.

2B. You want Original Characters? Where the [expletive not inserted] are the Gwaith-i-Mírdain? Celebrimbor has, at most, a few interns working with him in RoP, but they should be a whole GUILD: and if Celebrimbor is, of course, their leader: the genius grandson of the world's greatest genius, the weight of expectation that comes with being Fëanor's grandson would be far more hammered home if you had more characters: you could have some elder craftsman who worked an age with Aulë, is prickly to Dwarves (till the Aulë connection is demonstrated), and tells Celebrimbor "I smithied side-by-side with Mahtan." You could have some young whippersnappers who don't remember the orks getting a bit too close to Adar-territory. You could have female and POC characters--the Guild is supposed to be cutting edge and bold and into this intoxicating mix, you add Annatar.

2C. We were cheated of Annatar. There's hints of it, but I want a whole season of it! I think they did Sauron completely backwards: they said "we know the fans know Sauron is coming, so let's make a game of who he is." That is backwards: they should have shown us who Sauron is and then shown how he pulled the wool over all the eyes--heck, they should have shown him teetering on the edge of redemption. Galadriel should have had the "Sam waking up and pushing Gollum into evil forever" moment instead of being "completely right, after all!"

2D. On this note: Galadriel probably wouldn't be the Warrior Woman (in Season 1). There probably wouldn't be a war in Season 1, unless you insisted on a subplot among the Men of the South (which, again: I think you should pick which subplots you mean to keep). But that doesn't mean she can't be one ever: she SHOULD be to an extent in flashback to the First Age and she can be again once Sauron invades Eregion--it's just that insisting that she be one NOW requires that the Elves be fighting things now, and that's just missing the point: this is Elvendom at its peacetime zenith--this is when there really aren't any enemies!

3. On the subject of subplots: I think the best one to keep is the Southlands-turn-into-Mordor. If you insist on having Arondir there in some form... fine--a connection to "that which was before Mordor" in later seasons is fine. This makes a good connection for the passage of time: Arondir is a guardian to Bronwyn's great-grandmother, her grandmother, her mother in successive episodes before getting to Bronwyn. But you have to make a few changes here too.

3A. No Númenor to the rescue--no Númenor at all in Season 1, save references by the wistful Elves. Save them for later seasons (and make the reveal that they've Fallen into a shock and a tragedy--have a Glorfindel type return from the Blessed Realm and give a status update on blissful Westernesse, if you need to). If you need the cavalry to come, give it to the Silvan Elves (use some sort of Tauriel, even, Captain of Oropher's Rangers, if you need a Warrior Woman).

3B. Lean even more into the tragedy: don't let Bronwyn and Theo (who need new names, BTW!) travel with their "saved" people to Pelargir: this should be a rout, a retreat. If Orodruin is involved at all (which... maybe I save for Season 2 or 3 so that Sauron can do it himself), it shouldn't be a demon ex machina: let the Southlands think, in a season or two, that they really do have no choice but to become the Haradrim that are forever on Sauron's side. And let someone like Arondir become bitter at the passage of time and the shortness of mortal life--this can even be a deciding factor for the Gwaith-i-Mírdain, if you like, when he arrives, bloody and beaten to Eregion with tidings of the destruction of the Silvan Elves' allies.

Having said I would put MORE focus on the Elves' (and, by extension, the Dwarrowdelf) story, and that I would remove Númenor, and keep the Southlands but somewhat changed, that leaves the Istar/Harfeet. This got the most set-up-with-no-payoff of the stories in the show, so by removing the Sauron "mystery," I am sort of removing its raison-d'etre. Perhaps it could be reworked or dropped entirely...

My season 1 would look something like this (taking the 8-episode format as a given):

1: The Prologue(s): lots of First Age flashbacks, the Gwaith-i-Mírdain form in Eregion. Galadriel already chafes to form her own realm (I suppose Celeborn can be her tragic backstory... I... I guess. Whatever). She breaks away at last and the Gwaith-i-Mírdain go with her. In the South, we see the Silvan Elves (a SEPARATE realm) establishing a watch-tower in the Southlands, while Great-Grandma Bronwyn has a crush on Arondir.

2: Lots of stuff about the differences between Elves and Others (you can keep a lot of the Durin/Dísa stuff, though Elrond maybe isn't the best ambassador right now. Throw in some Original Character, if you like, or have Galadriel do it--she does say all the right words about Dwarves to Gimli, after all). Time should be passing: Arondir's Elves can have a set-piece battle against those every-multiplying orks in the Hills. There can be dark muttering among the Evil Barlimans of the world--maybe we see the Lugrom Hilt being passed down from father to son.

3. Annatar shows up. Gil-galad will have no truck with him. This is when we get Bronwyn & Theo and "the present," with Oropher pulling out of the Southlands (this was just a quick mission for them--and maybe the Sea is too near). If we're retaining The Stranger and the Harfeet, this is where they should really come on-screen (though there can have been hints of them earlier which pay off now).

4. Annatar and Galadriel are close, as he is with all the Mírdain. Adar can be still be revealed here. Basically, the remaining episodes can follow the rough beats of the real RoP (RRoP), but with the extra screentime created by the removal of Númenor being given to internal squabbling and experimenting of the Elves of Eregion (maybe a mission by Herald Elrond to Celebrimbor is rebuffed, but Galadriel starts getting Bad Vibes from Annatar, and this leads to whatever her big discovery is later in the season.



All of which is to say... the reason this thread has few replies is that it takes a LOT of time to reply to properly. I don't feel like I've answered it adequately, but I'm out of steam and bedtime looms. You get the idea, though--I hope!

EDIT: X-posted with Huinesoron, it took me so long to get here--and he pre-agrees with me that Númenor should have been saved!
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Old 10-18-2022, 07:38 PM   #7
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Can I second all that has been said about good question but hard question, and needs both time to think and time to answer?

I feel like I haven't had enough of either yet, but I want to put out a couple preliminary thoughts. Firstly, the question can be broken up into two interpretations, as Hui already pointed out: 1) if we were to design any adaptation based on the SA / the Appendices / other Tolkien, or 2) if we were to design an adaptation with a similar set up or premise as ROP? Because the two have very different answers.

1) If I have my pick of story, I would actually prefer a fanfic series that focused on entirely fanfic (or very minor) characters, but which would reference some key points or people in the canon with reasonable accuracy, and then would tie back into the flow of some recognizable ME event. Born of Hope comes to mind; I only have a vague recollection of it, I think I watched it when I was still a freshly undead wight, but I am thinking of how they made a story with an internally compelling storyline which then went "and that's how Aragorn was born!" and you can make *mind blown* noises. Have people reference characters like Galadriel and Gil-galad as some distant figures. Do a cameo of some recognizable name, but don't make it the focus. Toss in some names or references that would be recognized by the "scholars". Create a story that is minimally constrained by existing material - but then ground it in widely recognizable events, so that the ending would be "and that's how the story you all know came about", a smooth return back to the existing orbit, so to speak. If it's about the Rings - then make the Rings that anchor, and have the story build up to their making. Or it could be about the Fall of Moria. Or the Fall of Numenor. But then I feel like you can get a better fanfic following some made-up Numenorian character who does this and that and only several episodes into his struggles (which are still set in the canonical setting and timeline!) he would just so happen to bump into Elendil, and trigger a chain of events that leads to the founding of Arnor and Gondor. Or, what I was initially hoping the show would be when we first heard it was Numenorian GOT - make up an entire court full of intrigue and intrigue away, and then reveal towards the end (or at least the middle) of the story that this is a direct precursor to something Isildurian. The benefits? Freedom of story and freedom of characters! Make a good story that is enjoyable to follow, in whatever genre you choose. Make the characters whatever you want, so long as they are plausible in whatever setting you choose. Go nuts! It's a fanfic that can co-exist fairly easily with both book and movie canon. The downside? You don't have the instantly recognizable names to put in your trailers, you don't have the same sort of fan draw by familiarity. That is why it would never actually be done by a large film industry. The other issue, of course, is that you actually have to make up the story, you have to be the mastermind - that is both the blessing and the curse. You can't just take an existing idea and make it happen, you have to be creative. And that is why I would not actually venture to design such an adaptation, just as Form said - it's one thing to critique and quite another to generate such things.

2) Taking the basic gist or premise of ROP - I mostly agree with what has been said. At the most superficial level, it can do with a thorough editing of the dialogue, and of the scene sequence to improve pacing and the not-really-cliffhangers which are more annoying and all over the place than intriguing. At a less superficial level - absolutely everything that has been said about making the actual story of the Rings more at the focus of the show - or at least Season 1 - instead of squishing [spoilers]Annatar's arrival, influence, and the Rings' creation[/spoilers] into a single episode. Cut some storylines, or else separate them out - perhaps delay introducing them until later seasons. And basically everything Mithadan said, I highly agree with all of that. Then, taking it to a level that I absolutely cannot mastermind but which would be really cool... Hui mentioned a couple times in his posts that up until the last couple episodes there was very little linking the storylines together, and they could be happening hundreds of years apart. I would want that. Witcher-style, or Dark-style. Wouldn't it be cool if you were following three characters, X, Y, and Z, and then you realize that based on their conversation and references they either exist in very different places or else times, and X can be an immortal Elf who connects all the storylines... That would be rather cool. And it would allow them to keep different storylines with different mortal and immortal characters in the show without squishing everything into the span of a few mortal years. Pick two climax points - as a rough proposal, the Fall of Eregion and the Last Alliance. Each has their own storyline. In order for the second storyline not to spoil the first, you have to reference it carefully so as to generate curiosity rather than spoiler effect. Perhaps establish a blooming Eregion, peaceful Elvendom, intrigue and pursuits of craft out of boredom, in contrast with an Elven society preparing for war, threatened and on brink of collapse. Then have someone from the doomsday timeline then pass through the devastated Eregion to present the audience with the question of "that was then, this is now, what happened? - and then proceed to advance both storylines to explain, both on screen and in retrospect via referencing, what happened then and how it applies to now, and finish by resolving the now. This would be a single-season stunt though, it doesn't work when stretched across multiple seasons, you need a converging of the timelines within the same chunk of the story. But if they actually made the Marring of the Southlands with Adar's line and some concurrent events one timeline, and either the Rings' creation or Numenor's arrival in ME as the other - that would just be so cool.



I am not sure that I have really answered the question. My answer is too vague of an "it would be more interesting if it was more interesting". But then I am not the one proposing to write "the book Tolkien never wrote". You put yourself forward with the scope and audacity that Amazon did, you have to be prepared to deliver. In the end, I think the main issue of the show is that it was torn between trying to accomplish too many things, arguably unnecessary things - and in the process it forgot that the chief purpose of any book or movie or show is still to tell a good story. And the fix to that is... make the story more compelling!
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Old 10-18-2022, 08:53 PM   #8
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All of which is to say... the reason this thread has few replies is that it takes a LOT of time to reply to properly. I don't feel like I've answered it adequately, but I'm out of steam and bedtime looms. You get the idea, though--I hope!
Yes, as soon as I saw the thread, I said to myself "I need to reply to this." It's just a matter of finding the time to do it properly.

I'm going with the same specifications the Amazon series has: a 50-hr show, 5 seasons, 10 hours per season. Only access to LOTR and the LOTR-Appendices.

Like Huey, the main storylines of the series are the ones I like the most. The forging of the Rings, the fall of Eregion (Celebrimbor's relationship with Sauron/Annatar), the fall of Numenor and the Last Alliance. I recall before watching the series, one of the showrunners (either Payne or McKay) said the story from the 2nd Age they loved the most was Numenor. After watching season 1 and reading their comments about the fall of Numenor is a different story than LOTR, it's easy to tell they have a deeper understanding of the material than Peter Jackson. They said it's about the mortality of men and Numenor being ripped apart from within between the King's Men and the Faithful. However, I'm also in agreement with everyone else who has said just leave Numenor out of Season 1 completely.

I think that is the biggest pacing problem for me. Yes, Numenor was stunning and I like how they showed the structure with different classes. I just don't see a "need" to have Galadriel be in Numenor at all, nor have Halbrand/Sauron there at this time either. Those caused the biggest problems for me, and I feel Numenor bears the brunt of the "time compression." Which, I'm sure that time compression will have to be necessary, but it's also ok to show how time passes for Elves. I like Form's idea about this.

I've written a lot already and running short on time, so sorry if this gets brief and hard to follow...

Season 1:

Prologue was ok (I really liked the reference to the Kinslaying of Alqualonde). Narrated by Galadriel still. I would have cut Finrod's importance to Galadriel out completely though. Replace it with the cause of strife between Elves and Dwarves in the 1st Age. I don't recall what specifics are mentioned in LOTR and the Appendices, but there is I think enough references in the text that Elves and Dwarves do not get along. Showing the tension between the two races would be important for Plot B.

Plot A. The Elves relationship with Annatar/Sauron. The main elves being Gil-galad, Celebrimbor, and Galadriel, how they interact with Annatar. Forging the 3 Elven Rings.

Plot B. I'm ok with Elrond being the ambassador/link between the Elves and Dwarves, but Celebrimbor would still be involved. So, Elrond, the Durins, and Disa don't change much between how it's in the series. Remove the Elves need mithril to survive plot. Replace with Celebrimbor designing the Doors of Durin and their construction. Forging the 7 Dwarven rings.

Season 2: Heavily focused on Men, bring Numenor into the Season.

Plot A. I do like the invented Adar plot and what they have done with the orcs. I think the origin of orcs and portrayal are the best things the series have done. Adar is the character I'm most interested in, just because of the mystery and not knowing how this will eventually play out. So, keep the Adar/orcs/Numenor stuff, but put it all into Season 2 and make that the focus.

Conclude the Sauron/Adar/Southlands plot.. That is, perhaps at this time, it would still be unclear that your Sauron figure is actually Sauron. (Huey brought up a good point in another thread that you can understand the series went with a different name for "Annatar."). My "Sauron figure" would be on the side of the Southlands against Adar, Numenoreans join on the side of the Southlands and establish a foothold in Middle-earth.

Plot B. Elves and Dwarves will still be involved in the season, but they take the subplot spot in the season, to show better the passage of time. Forge the 9 Rings of Men (might be able to move forging the 7 rings to this season too).

Season 3: Sauron's out now and essentially it would follow these parts of the timeline from Appendix B:

Quote:
c. 1600. Sauron forges the One Ring in Orodruin. He completes the Barad-dur. Celebrimbor perceives the designs of Sauron.
1693. War of the Elves and Sauron begins. The Three Rings are hidden.
1697. Eregion laid waste. Death of Celebrimbor. The Gates of Moria are shut. Elrond retreats with the remnant of the Noldor and founds the refuge of Imladris.
Plot B. Show the Numenoreans power and foothold in Middle-earth increasing during this season, which makes Sauron nervous. Establish it in this season, because Sauron's war with the Numenoreans will come to a collision course in Season 4. It will also establish the settlements that Elendil and the Faithful escape to after Numenor's destruction. Don't introduce Elendil until Season 4 though. The main focus on this season is Sauron's War with the Elves and laying waste to Eregion.

Season 4: No Elves or Dwarves this season. It's all about Sauron's war with the Numenoreans. His defeat and capture. Corrupting Ar-Pharazon and the sinking of Numenor. Introduce Elendil and his children. I realize this is still doing a lot of funky things with the timeline, but after Season 3. The impression I want to leave is the Elves and Dwarves of Moria are in a recovery mode after Sauron laid waste to Eregion.

Season 5: Elendil, his sons, and the remnant of the Faithful escaped the sinking of Numenor and fled to the previously established Numenorean settlements in Season 3. They come to Middle-earth, meet Gil-galad and Elrond to form the Last Alliance. War of the Last Alliance. Death of Gil-galad and Elendil. Defeat of Sauron and overthrow of Barad-dur.

That is the general path I'd follow if I was writing it. Inventing characters (like Arondir/Bronwyn/Disa) as necessary for the Adar/Southlands plot and doing wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff. As much as I like and am interested in the Stranger and Harfoots plot, I think it's just adding too much. As I said, from the 2nd Age I'm most interested in Sauron, the Rings of Power, Fall of Eregion, Rise and Fall of Numenor. I think that's enough to make a compelling 50-hour 2nd Age Middle-earth story. Then again, the Amazon series probably isn't aimed for hardcore Tolkien nerds like you and me.

Edit: Crossed with G55.
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Last edited by Boromir88; 10-18-2022 at 09:05 PM.
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