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Old 09-09-2022, 12:55 PM   #1
Blind Guardian
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**Spoiler warning!!** Rings of Power S1 E3 Adar

Well, here we are, back for episode 3.

For some reason the pacing of this felt all over the place. Fast and then slow and then fast... this episode just made me tired and I can't for the life of me remember everyone's names nor do I feel like I have a reason to. Plus there were long bits where it switched to one perspective then to another for a short while then back to the first....

I don't get Elendil's interaction with his kids. Like...at all. Why is he upset about the boy wanting to defer? What does that even mean? Skip a year at school? Sounds good to me...

The Queen Regent who's name I can't remember is underdeveloped. She's your bog standard queen and she wants the Elf dead.

Galadriel finds out that the symbol is actually sideways and is really a map of Mordor. There's a contingency plan that Sauron is following: in the event of Melkor's defeat break glass... lol. I actually kind of like this plot thread. It shows foresight on the enemies part prior to the end of the War of Wrath. They're not completely narcissistic to think they are undefeatable. I can get behind this.

I've said my piece about Halbrand and the Stranger in another thread. Halbrand = Sauron; Stranger = Gandalf. The Harfoots are still cute. I like their story and want to see where it is going.

I feel like Arondir is coated in some very thick Plot Armor. The fight with the Orc was pretty good, but those Elves and Men got SLAUGHTERED...except Arondir. He was fine.

The Evil Sword did not make an appearance this episode.

The outfits and sets are still gorgeous. The only music I remember is the Orc music which was similar enough to the LOtR Orc music.
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Old 09-09-2022, 01:18 PM   #2
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Agree, the pacing was a bit patchy. And wasn't quite clear enough about who was who in Numenor. The events there made me think there could be something unsavoury about Halbrand yet again, both the violence and his ability to charm, but they then threw in a curve ball about his ancestry.

I think they'll keep chucking those curve balls about both him and the Stranger so we're never quite sure.

Numenor looked great, if very overcrowded, the city built on every hill like Rio de Janeiro. Wish we'd seen more of those main characters before going off with Elendil.

I enjoyed the parts with the orcs though it was a really desperate situation without much sense of hope at all, and why would you just kill your enslaved workforce if you were an Orc that couldn't stand the sunshine? Interesting to see the beginnings of Mordor too, and really sad to think of the lush green lands being destroyed - I like how Tolkien's green message is strongly portrayed. The elf character (I'm still not up on all the new names) continued to be a strong actor in this.

Now, the Harfoots....I really enjoyed this, we got a fairly deep look at their culture. It's not a wholly pleasant culture, but it was fascinating. Kicking off it was very Wicker Man, I was half expecting Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward to pop up and I really enjoyed that. I love a bit of jiggery-pokery and creepy folksiness. But there was a genuinely sinister side - the idea that Harfoots who get left behind when they 'migrate' are really left behind. Very Darwinian. And realising that Poppy was all alone. I get the feeling that this is going to be part of their story.

A bit messy, but some interesting potential plot development seeded.
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Old 09-09-2022, 01:46 PM   #3
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*Harfoots:
'we have each other'

Call and response:
'Nobody goes off-trail."
"And nobody walks alone."
(repeatedly)

"And should any Harfoot fall behind this migration, they likewise will be carried with us..."
Exactly, because you have each other, and nobody walks alone. So sweet.

"...in our hearts and in our memories. In life, we could not wait for them."

Uh...

So you are just going to let them die...

...and later laugh about the 'ijits'
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Old 09-09-2022, 02:13 PM   #4
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I wonder if we're going to find out that some of the Harfoots "left behind" started burrows under hill.
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Old 09-09-2022, 02:27 PM   #5
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At this point I'm waiting for the 'left behind' to be turned into something more useful for hungry *harfoots...
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Old 09-09-2022, 03:29 PM   #6
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Another episode, another list... lightly edited.
  • Oh hey, it *IS* Howard Shore!
  • This is a different director--will I notice?
  • It's under covers, but this seems awfully sunny for an ork camp.
  • Are we supposed to believe ALL the Elves in that watch-tower company were captured? This doesn't seem plausible to me... or is just the only three we've happened to see so far? Is that more plausible?
  • Come on! No black sails! Look, I know that's a UT thing, not a an Appendices thing--but the black sails of the Numenoreans is iconic.
  • I don't love the split-mast sails.
  • Megalithic carving in Númenor! I mean, of course there is! Argonath weren't a new idea.
  • Númenor looks a bit overpopulated. I mean, it's big, it's old--but is it THAT populous even in Romennarmenelos?
  • In Númenor it's about SA 3000, it seems--in Middle-earth it's about SA500.
  • I'm digging the fantasy-Byzantine vibe.
  • Why does no one kneel in Númenor? Is this a call-something to Aragorn kneeling to the Hobbits?
  • Evil Chancellor Pharazôn is not Tar-Calion, but he does have slimy Merlin vibes.
  • Does Halbarad have some history with the Captain? That was a weird hug.
  • Why would Númenóreans talk of avalanches? There are no snow-covered mountains on Númenor, and we seem to be lacking in one of Tolkien's favourite Second Age themes: the Númenórean ships exploring back to Middle-earth (and none of the avalanche-bearing mountains are near the coast, really).
  • Wait--that's Elendil? So is Halbarad actually Isildur?
  • Okay, no, scratch that--Isildur is this other sailor guy.
  • Isildur has a sister? Okay, that's plausible. Anárionya? What's the feminine for Anárion?
  • Why "queen-regent"? This is weirdly topical--it's the reverse of "Queen-Consort Camilla." Can 21st century people not tell by context which is meant when someone is called "Queen." But why "REGENT?" Why not "regnant"? Regent suggests it's on someone's behalf--which is the exact backwards fact of Mîriel's story.
  • Wait, is Míriel not in the Appendices? Is that why?
  • These orks are much more frightening than anything in the Hobbit movies--and I do like the shawls (if they're to hide from the sun).
  • This water ration psychological warfare thing is complicated for an ork!
  • There is no way an Elf cutting a tree down can turn out well.
  • You know, I like Elendil's presence. I buy this is Elendil the Tall, even if his story is clearly amended (I see no Amandil, Cousellor and Cousin to the King, in this story).
  • Why the slow-mo horse riding? Goofy!
  • The problem with Halbarad is that he looks more like a Númenórean than the Númenóreans do! At least if you take movie-Aragorn as the type. And he's TALLER than them!
  • Look, someone needs a different accent here.
  • Wait--is Halbarad Sauron? Are we going to spend all season trying to guess who Sauron is? That's not a bad mystery, an it were.
  • I like that the architecture--the arches--are different in Andunie.
  • Wait, are we merging Tar-Meneldil and Tar-Palantír? I guess that explains Queen-Regent.
  • I like his Tar-Wozzizname is just slipped in before the Big Reveal.
  • I'm trying to understand the in-universe reason for a table-carved map of that detail.
  • "There's common sense and nonsense" is a great phrase!
  • Not sure I love Merry and Pippin-styled thieving.
  • Oh, we're doing a Bilbo-speech...
  • Are all these names just taken from the Automated Hobbit Name Generator? Give me a Deágol!
  • Also, how anthropologically likely is it that the community would just leave Dad behind? What about chewing food for old folks with no teeth of their own? And it's not like these... sigh... Harfoots seem like a community that isn't rather loving of their own.
  • "Beings turned into stars"--I see what you did there!
  • Only 1000 years? Why 1000?
  • "Destiny" really doesn't sound like a Tolkien word, does it?
  • "Just for a season"--Isildur Skywalker, I see.
  • Oh good, Anárion does exist!
  • Wait, is Anárion older or younger than Isildur here? Surely the HoME could sue if he's older.
  • Something bad's going to happen to the noncanonical daughter, in the end... right? Handmaiden to Tar-Míriel? A Nazgûl? Something...
  • "Builders Guild"? Builders of what?
  • Okay, I am getting more Sauron vibes from Halbarad.
  • Halbarad is King of the Southlands? Gondor? And he's an Aragorn-expy? That's too obvious--give me back my Annatar theory.
  • Okay, look--yes, all the men who were not Edain generally fall into Morgoth's camp, but the idea of a pro-Morgoth bloodline of royal men in Middle-earth just doesn't FIT: 3000 years of the South Age wipes out memory: this is the Dark Ages. I mean, I like the idea of some connection, but this is both too borrowing of Aragorn's story and doesn't fit.
  • Nori's sister is cute (but seriously, why Nori? Why not Nora?)
  • Chain-fighting is a tiny bit better than shield-surfing, I guess.
  • Yay, sunlight hurts the orks!
  • How hard is it to make a Warg that looks like a Wolf? That is a Hyena.
  • Boromir moment--I guess arrow-deaths HAVE to be slow-mo.
  • "Adan" is just "man" in Sindarin. Seriously, that's what they're calling Sauron in Black Speech?

So... I'm only realising now that Elrond/Celebrimbor/Durin/Mom/Morgul-blade are all missing from this episode. I suppose we really don't have room for them. It'll be interesting to see what drops in and out, episode to episode.
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Last edited by Formendacil; 09-09-2022 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Tar-Meneldil and Tar-Minastír are not the same!
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Old 09-09-2022, 03:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë View Post
The elf character (I'm still not up on all the new names) continued to be a strong actor in this.
I think she's called Galadriel?
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Old 09-09-2022, 03:44 PM   #8
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*Adar, father in Sindarin.

Making *Wargs look like they should (Wolves) would likely be... frowned upon...

Tar-Miriel is mentioned in the App A:
"His daughter should have been the fourth Queen, Tar-Míriel, but the King’s nephew usurped the sceptre and became Ar-Pharazôn the Golden, last King of the Númenóreans."
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Old 09-09-2022, 04:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tar Elenion View Post
*Adar, father in Sindarin.
Is that what the orks were calling him? If so, that's probably WORSE than Adan. I could have sworn it sounded like an "n" at the end.

(In the event it's not clear, I am looking up absolutely no ancillary data for this series, have watched no trailers, and was being quite resolute about ignoring it till it happened--so some of my spellings/assumptions may be quite disprovable did I but know!)

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Originally Posted by Tar Elenion View Post
Making *Wargs look like they should (Wolves) would likely be... frowned upon...
I suppose the Wargs in the PJ movies were also quite hyena-like. To be honest... I'd mostly forgotten.

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Originally Posted by Tar Elenion View Post
Tar-Miriel is mentioned in the App A:
"His daughter should have been the fourth Queen, Tar-Míriel, but the King’s nephew usurped the sceptre and became Ar-Pharazôn the Golden, last King of the Númenóreans."
Well, then, it make no sense to me why she's not ever named, unless it's to spare us too many names to remember.

Now that I think of it... we're probably not getting Tar-Minastír's mighty army driving Sauron from Eregion, are we? No pre-Last Alliance last alliance of Elves and men. That's probably going to get folded into (Ar-?)Pharazôn's fleet landing at Umbar, isn't it? Pity. Well, I'd best go predict it...
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Old 09-09-2022, 10:43 PM   #10
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Why is everyone calling the series 'woke' when Elendil is blatantly favoring his failson over his daughter? :P


An episode called "Adar" strongly featuring fathers & fatherhood - Galadriel name-dropping Finarfin, Elendil and his expectations for (two of) his children, Halbrand rejecting his birthright, the Brandyfoot family being threatened by the father's injury and Nori being directly compared to her father, Tar-Miriel(?) warning her father, the orcs revering the guy with the menacing gloves.



I thought Halbrand was going to be revealed as Telchar/the forger of Narsil when he first started eyeing the forges.



Poppy appears to be an orphan who lost her whole family in a landslide, she has to pull her own cart all by herself.


I've gotta say it - BEES?!?!



The Stranger: "What's the common word for 'Mellon'?"



The chain-fu was kinda cool..



The warg looked like what a chihuahua thinks they look like.
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Old 09-11-2022, 05:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
Another episode, another list... lightly edited.
  • Oh hey, it *IS* Howard Shore!
  • This is a different director--will I notice?
  • It's under covers, but this seems awfully sunny for an ork camp.
  • Are we supposed to believe ALL the Elves in that watch-tower company were captured? This doesn't seem plausible to me... or is just the only three we've happened to see so far? Is that more plausible?
  • Come on! No black sails! Look, I know that's a UT thing, not a an Appendices thing--but the black sails of the Numenoreans is iconic.
  • I don't love the split-mast sails.
  • Megalithic carving in Númenor! I mean, of course there is! Argonath weren't a new idea.
  • Númenor looks a bit overpopulated. I mean, it's big, it's old--but is it THAT populous even in Romennarmenelos?
  • In Númenor it's about SA 3000, it seems--in Middle-earth it's about SA500.
  • I'm digging the fantasy-Byzantine vibe.
  • Why does no one kneel in Númenor? Is this a call-something to Aragorn kneeling to the Hobbits?
  • Evil Chancellor Pharazôn is not Tar-Calion, but he does have slimy Merlin vibes.
  • Does Halbarad have some history with the Captain? That was a weird hug.
  • Why would Númenóreans talk of avalanches? There are no snow-covered mountains on Númenor, and we seem to be lacking in one of Tolkien's favourite Second Age themes: the Númenórean ships exploring back to Middle-earth (and none of the avalanche-bearing mountains are near the coast, really).
  • Wait--that's Elendil? So is Halbarad actually Isildur?
  • Okay, no, scratch that--Isildur is this other sailor guy.
  • Isildur has a sister? Okay, that's plausible. Anárionya? What's the feminine for Anárion?
  • Why "queen-regent"? This is weirdly topical--it's the reverse of "Queen-Consort Camilla." Can 21st century people not tell by context which is meant when someone is called "Queen." But why "REGENT?" Why not "regnant"? Regent suggests it's on someone's behalf--which is the exact backwards fact of Mîriel's story.
  • Wait, is Míriel not in the Appendices? Is that why?
  • These orks are much more frightening than anything in the Hobbit movies--and I do like the shawls (if they're to hide from the sun).
  • This water ration psychological warfare thing is complicated for an ork!
  • There is no way an Elf cutting a tree down can turn out well.
  • You know, I like Elendil's presence. I buy this is Elendil the Tall, even if his story is clearly amended (I see no Amandil, Cousellor and Cousin to the King, in this story).
  • Why the slow-mo horse riding? Goofy!
  • The problem with Halbarad is that he looks more like a Númenórean than the Númenóreans do! At least if you take movie-Aragorn as the type. And he's TALLER than them!
  • Look, someone needs a different accent here.
  • Wait--is Halbarad Sauron? Are we going to spend all season trying to guess who Sauron is? That's not a bad mystery, an it were.
  • I like that the architecture--the arches--are different in Andunie.
  • Wait, are we merging Tar-Meneldil and Tar-Palantír? I guess that explains Queen-Regent.
  • I like his Tar-Wozzizname is just slipped in before the Big Reveal.
  • I'm trying to understand the in-universe reason for a table-carved map of that detail.
  • "There's common sense and nonsense" is a great phrase!
  • Not sure I love Merry and Pippin-styled thieving.
  • Oh, we're doing a Bilbo-speech...
  • Are all these names just taken from the Automated Hobbit Name Generator? Give me a Deágol!
  • Also, how anthropologically likely is it that the community would just leave Dad behind? What about chewing food for old folks with no teeth of their own? And it's not like these... sigh... Harfoots seem like a community that isn't rather loving of their own.
  • "Beings turned into stars"--I see what you did there!
  • Only 1000 years? Why 1000?
  • "Destiny" really doesn't sound like a Tolkien word, does it?
  • "Just for a season"--Isildur Skywalker, I see.
  • Oh good, Anárion does exist!
  • Wait, is Anárion older or younger than Isildur here? Surely the HoME could sue if he's older.
  • Something bad's going to happen to the noncanonical daughter, in the end... right? Handmaiden to Tar-Míriel? A Nazgûl? Something...
  • "Builders Guild"? Builders of what?
  • Okay, I am getting more Sauron vibes from Halbarad.
  • Halbarad is King of the Southlands? Gondor? And he's an Aragorn-expy? That's too obvious--give me back my Annatar theory.
  • Okay, look--yes, all the men who were not Edain generally fall into Morgoth's camp, but the idea of a pro-Morgoth bloodline of royal men in Middle-earth just doesn't FIT: 3000 years of the South Age wipes out memory: this is the Dark Ages. I mean, I like the idea of some connection, but this is both too borrowing of Aragorn's story and doesn't fit.
  • Nori's sister is cute (but seriously, why Nori? Why not Nora?)
  • Chain-fighting is a tiny bit better than shield-surfing, I guess.
  • Yay, sunlight hurts the orks!
  • How hard is it to make a Warg that looks like a Wolf? That is a Hyena.
  • Boromir moment--I guess arrow-deaths HAVE to be slow-mo.
  • "Adan" is just "man" in Sindarin. Seriously, that's what they're calling Sauron in Black Speech?

So... I'm only realising now that Elrond/Celebrimbor/Durin/Mom/Morgul-blade are all missing from this episode. I suppose we really don't have room for them. It'll be interesting to see what drops in and out, episode to episode.
I enjoyed reading this stream of consciousness commentary far more, I think, than I would watching the actual series. Cheers!
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Old 09-11-2022, 07:11 PM   #12
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Rather than post my own stream of consciousness, I will go off Form's. Mainly to jog my memory, because I watched this yesterday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
Megalithic carving in Númenor! I mean, of course there is! Argonath weren't a new idea.
Yeah, I think we saw these in the promos already, and back then I also thought "Argonath".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Form
Why does no one kneel in Númenor? Is this a call-something to Aragorn kneeling to the Hobbits?
I took that to be more as a reference to Numenor's individualistic and somewhat prideful tendencies - a variation of the theme of "we should kneel to no one, not even the gods" perhaps, changed to "no one should kneel ever, we are FREE MEN here". Though Numenor most definitely made a lot of countries around it kneel in the metaphorical sense at least, so maybe I'm just making excuses for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Form
Does Halbarad have some history with the Captain? That was a weird hug.
Ditto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Form
Isildur has a sister? Okay, that's plausible. Anárionya? What's the feminine for Anárion?
I am just glad her name turned out not to be Carine, as stipulated in one of the leaks. Even with an umlaut over the E, I hated that name. What was she actually called? Earien?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Form
Why "queen-regent"? This is weirdly topical--it's the reverse of "Queen-Consort Camilla." Can 21st century people not tell by context which is meant when someone is called "Queen." But why "REGENT?" Why not "regnant"? Regent suggests it's on someone's behalf--which is the exact backwards fact of Mîriel's story.
Yes. And I feel like the "Queen Regent" is another thing I've heard somewhere, probably also the leaks/gossip, and it still puzzled me when I heard it. My reaction was "Regent... for who?", and it took the rest of the episode and lack of any actual claimant to the throne appearing for me to realize they probably misnamed her. Though perhaps we are gonna find out that she actually is a regent. Or - hang on, did Elendil not say that the king who saved Elros's library was still alive but forced to abdicate? Is Miriel the regent for him? So he didn't truly abdicate, but was sort of forced to relinquish all practical power?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Form
"There's common sense and nonsense" is a great phrase!
I think the Harfeet expressions are one of my favourite things about the show so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Form
Are all these names just taken from the Automated Hobbit Name Generator? Give me a Deágol!
Lol, that would be nice. Most of them sound decent. Why does Nori have to be named Nori? Can we pretend that she is Norry, short for anything other than Elanor - even if it's just Elinor? Or Nora, like you say?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Form
Wait, is Anárion older or younger than Isildur here? Surely the HoME could sue if he's older.
I was confused about this too. It almost sounded like Isildur is the younger brother.

On the subject of Isildur, does it bother no one else that he is nicknamed "Isil"? It just doesn't sound like something you'd do with Elvish names. Hobbit names - yes. Elvish - no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Form
How hard is it to make a Warg that looks like a Wolf? That is a Hyena.
Yup. Definitely hyena. On cocaine. And badly CGI'd. But -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oddwen
The warg looked like what a chihuahua thinks they look like.
This is also a very apt description.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwende
But there was a genuinely sinister side - the idea that Harfoots who get left behind when they 'migrate' are really left behind. Very Darwinian. And realising that Poppy was all alone. I get the feeling that this is going to be part of their story.
Yes, agreed. I am still liking the Harfoot development, including the sinister side. And the "back of the caravan" crew - Poppy and Norry's family and *cough*Olorin*cough* are definitely going to be Up To Something.

The other thing I liked here, which I don't think was mentioned, was Galadriel's realization that Sauron's sign is a map. I think the theme was developed sufficiently to make it a nice "big reveal", and it does make some logical sense - communicating to illiterate minions about the place of assembly. What doesn't make sense is why Sauron was using the symbol as far back as Finrod's death. What, has Mordor always been his back-up plan that far back? Imagine the Orcs chanting Harfeet style - "and if someone falls off the path or gets left behind, just find the mountains that look like our sigil"? Or was the implication more that this actually was Sauron's sigil, and he made Mordor look like that on purpose, claiming it as his own even back in the day?

The things I disliked about the episode? Honestly, too numerous to muster the energy for a proper rant at this point. And I don't think I care sufficiently for it. I'm in a good mood and would rather talk about the pleasanter things.

I also realized that for the past, like, ever I've been calling Harfoots Harfeet and not even realizing.
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Old 09-14-2022, 08:06 PM   #13
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This was the best episode of the series, so far. I'm invested in the story lines and interested to see where everything goes.

The only niggle from Episode 3 is the look of the warg. Oddwen's comment cracked me up, because it's true. Elsewhere, wilwa said "it looked like it had a silly instagram filter on," which is also true. If given the choice, I actually prefer Jackson's hyena-things, even though I didn't like the look of those either. I wonder if it was a decision to try to not look too similar to the dire wolves in GoT?

For as much as I didn't like the warg, I loved the design of Numenor. I'll echo what others have said here, about seeing the societal structure. We got a glimpse into Numenor royalty, the navy, merchant class, guilds, library, architecture. It gave me a feeling of Numenor's history and diversity.

I kind of hope we get a look at orc society that isn't in a military setting. I'm not too hopeful we will. I think the look of the orcs are excellent and I like that they're not being portrayed as cannon fodder. I think the series has done a good job to show there is a real threat to encounter an orc in this world. That's something I don't recall in any other fantasy story. They're just nameless baddies for the good guys to chop through. There are rumors of a female orc being in the show, but I kind of doubt we're going to get orc society outside the military. I think it would be fantastic for the series to portray the question about orcs Tolkien struggled answering. Whether they are by nature evil and beyond redemption, or not.

I thought the orcs' slave camp were the best scenes. The way the watchwarden talked against cutting down the tree. The hope and plan of escape, needing to get a look above the trench line. The captive working together to break their chain, as the orcs are visibly hurt by the sunlight, "release the warg," it was all a a great build up of tension. "Is one of them going to escape?" To then sudden hopelessness as we finally get a view above the trench. The visual is striking. It reminded me of reading about the trench warfare battles of WW1. Trench digging and soldiers living in the trenches, because you would die if you ran out. But the industrialization of war degraded the landscape into a desolate waste. There was a great buildup of hope, if someone could just escape and get out of the trenches. To those hopes being dashed and the desolation that's happened to the land above.
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Old 09-16-2022, 07:34 AM   #14
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Finally got to this, just as the next episode comes out... them's the breaks.

I agree with the comments on the pacing - some plotlines (the Harfeet especially) felt like they were just marking time until they can hit their next big event.

Numenor - is exceedingly pretty. Very Byzantium, I love it. I'm pleased to see the Elendil family is all present (Anarion gets mentioned, with the implication maybe being that he's hanging out in Andunie being all pro-elfy), and that we finally know why Miriel (whose name is mentioned once) is Queen Regent: her dad is still alive! I suspect he's still officially king as well, since she's ruling on his behalf.

I'm assuming her anti-elf stance is a ploy - she certainly seemed to be sounding out Elendil to see whether he would be a good ally. We shall see.

Halbrand - is still Budget Viggo, and turns out he's Budget Aragorn as well. Very strange. The symbol was even vaguely Gondorian. I love his repeated pickpocket hugs/pats thing; it's so blatant!

Galadriel - is still very standoffish, I'm growing tired of that. The reveal that the "sigil" is actually just a map was hilarious. ^_^

The Southlands - in this episode, the orc camp is firmly placed west of the Sea of Nurn. Given that the orcs were coming from the east, the Southlands pretty much have to be southern Gondor.

Team Arondir's fight with the orcs was fairly standard fantasy fare, except for:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oddwen View Post
The warg looked like what a chihuahua thinks they look like.
That.

Internet rumour says that Adar is an elf. I'm gonna roll the dice on First Age Elves and say he's actually... oh, Daeron, why not?

HarFEET - were just marking time. I didn't enjoy them as much this episode, possibly because they spent so much time in the dark. The consequences of the plot here were effectively nothing - we still end up with Nori and family on the road, with the Stranger tagging along, just like if he'd stayed out of sight and simply followed.

Actually, the Arondir section didn't advance the plot much either. Given the total absence of Lindon, Eregion, Moria, and even Bronwyn, it definitely felt like they had trouble lining things up; this was a filler episode for everyone except the Numenor cast.

(The subtitles reveal that there's a lot of familiar names among Isildur's buddies - Imrahil and Valandil cropped up for sure. Given that Tolkien did the same thing for the Stewards of Gondor, I suppose it's permissible.)

~

One thing this episode does show is how silly some of the overreactions were to rumours before the show was released. Months ago it was announced that they had hired an intimacy/nudity coordinator of some ilk, and that the scene they were concerned about was a slave camp where elves were being turned into orcs. Oh, the protests that raised!

Yeah, turns out it was just a prison camp where they weren't even nude. The same person probably checked in on Galadriel's dress during the raft scenes. All the fuss was over something that didn't even happen.

hS
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Old 09-16-2022, 08:15 AM   #15
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Internet rumour says that Adar is an elf. I'm gonna roll the dice on First Age Elves and say he's actually... oh, Daeron, why not?
As *Elrond the oathbreaker is the youngest *elf (if Aramayo's claim is to be given any credence) then all of them are *First Age.
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Old 09-16-2022, 12:30 PM   #16
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Internet rumour says that Adar is an elf. I'm gonna roll the dice on First Age Elves and say he's actually... oh, Daeron, why not?
No, he's Maedhros. We only see one of his hands, the other's in that mean-looking glove which might as well be a prosthetic, and half his face is heavily scarred - burnt by the Silmaril?

[/kidding]No, I'm still betting he's Ann-Adar himself, and he got those scars from Huan.
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Old 09-16-2022, 02:15 PM   #17
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No, he's Maedhros. We only see one .
Well in Episode 3 all I saw was a blur...

hS
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Old 09-18-2022, 02:46 AM   #18
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So, I finally got to watch this - back-to-back with Episode 4, so apologies if I mix something up. I will try to post here just the things that I am (fairly?) certain happened in ep 3.

This time, I shall go in the order: the great, the bad, the okay.

The Great

The Harfoot culture continues to be my favourite part of the series. The more savage aspects of their culture nicely contrast with the fluffy hobbitishness. But we don't live in fluffy smials yet, we live in this dangerous jungle, tooth and claw, where sometimes people fall behind, freeze, or... BEES. (I actually liked all of this.) The "memorial service" was in fact very moving. And it's a great concept, too.

Sidenote, I wonder if somehow one day some "fallen behind ones" eventually develop into the sedentary Hobbits.

Otherwise: in fact, the worldbuilding in general is really good on many levels - the same goes for Mordor (SEE? I WAS RIGHT! IT IS MORDOR!). I am extremely satisfied that this beautiful green landscape turned out to eventually become the slag we all know. Also the "cut down the trees, uproot 'em, smash 'em, stick 'em in a stew..." er... anyway; very Tolkien-y in general!

And the Orcs! The Orcs not just somewhat sheepishly occasionally complaining about the sun, but literally unable to remain in the sun! They may be capitalising it a lot, but better that they over-stress it than if they just skim over it! I much prefer this to PJ's "ah well, the difference between a snaga and an Uruk-hai is merely cosmetic; by the time of the Hobbit, completely forgotten". And - again worldbuilding - I love the Orc "dig cover" (I remember those from my time at the excavation site in Khirbet Qeiyafa, very useful!) and especially their "anti-sun ponchos"! Man, the Orcs are resourceful, cunning in the practical sort of way, they hate the sun and you can see it... they are great!

The Bad

Okay. The warg, some people have mentioned, I don't care what it looks like after the half-pig that PJ gave us, but why the puppy eyes! I however kinda liked the small detail that we saw its nipples (okay, this should have gone to the Mirth thread... no, but seriously: I mean it; I liked it as a random detail that showed the attention to detail when making that creature).

But the warg overall actually did not bother me that much.

What DID bother me was basically everything concerning Harbrand. I am okay with him being this sort of crude thieving a...sphodel, but what I absolutely disapprove of is his way of treating Galadriel. Or let me rephrase: okay, if he is the asphodel, and he dares to speak to a High Elven lady like he would speak to a commoner (fine - he met her when she was half-drowning somewhere, so maybe his personal impression of her is somewhat different; even though I argue that there should be some aura of untouchability about the Elves, definitely the High Elves, as it were; basically he should be "are you an angel?" and shut up), but even if he does dare to "play clever" and throw Han Solo-ish witticisms at Galadriel, she ABSOLUTELY ought to throw a Leia back at him and retort in some wise Elven quip that would totally ground him. And we did not see that. I call that sloppy writing, because that makes Galadriel, with all her sword-swinging and fiery-eyed muttering "I shall not rest until I avenge my brother", absolutely toothless.

The second thing that I disliked about Har Har Brand (yeah you can see the guy really gets on my nerves, but it isn't really him, it's the scenes he ends up in) was the beat-up in the back streets scene. Unnecessarily violent. Still doesn't reach the Game of Thrones level (thank Eru), but a little too much for my taste. I also hope Mr. Halberdsson eventually becomes a Ringwraith or something, because that would partly excuse this terrible violence. I mean, I like characters with personalities that are not stark black or white, but this is still Tolkien, and I think that e.g. Aragorn would never have done this. So I hope Mr. H. becomes an antagonist rather than protagonist, and it better happen soon. In any case, I hope we won't see this detailed violence much, ideally as little as possible if not at all.

On a similar "this is not Game of Thrones" note - the dialogues continue to be rather bad most of the time, which is a pity. It is no longer fake-Shakespearian mumbo-jumbo now that we haven't had Elves talking to each other in a while. But still I really think they should have hired a couple of professional writers to proofread. For some reason, what really disturbed me was Elendil's dinner talk with his kids. That just sounded out of some random, any random TV series. John and his kids. Homer Simpson and his kids. Or even Ned Stark and his kids. But that's the problem. This is still supposed to be Tolkien and this is still supposed to be Elendil. I am not saying that he needs to say "nay, Isildur! Thou hast not wash'd thy teethe properly! Let me brush them with a mallorn bough yonder, and show their quality!" - but it should be rather something in that direction than just "hey Isil how's the marks at school?" "Not bad dad." "Great to hear. Wanna grab some popcorn when we return from McAnardil's?"

I mean it is good to show the characters acting in mundane situations, and not making them just heroic figures who probably do not have to go about their daily work, take off their shoes or pee (but still please don't show the latter). And it is obvious that you need to show some mundane interactions and talk about mundane topics and not be just "I say, we must destroy the Dark Lord!" But even that can be done in some... I don't know... fancier way?

It may feel a bit classist. But Tolkien's stories were a bit classist. Or "fancy", as it were. But there is no problem with stuff feeling a bit "high culture". I mean, do we have any more TV series that would be like that nowadays? Exactly. So I think having one would not kill anybody.

And since we are talking about speaking, and since before I said "thank Eru". I am not sure if this was already in this episode or in the next, but I am mildly disturbed by Elendil randomly saying "gods" (and later Míriel said something else; it may have been in the following episode). Like... yes, to a degree, yes, okay. The Valar were called "gods" in some of the drafts (that however nobody has the right to?), otherwise the g-word was really sort of a no-no to LotR and basically everywhere else. Definitely in the main bulk of the canon. So, I find it very un-Middle-Earth-y to use it. Especially by Númenoreans. Or by Faithful Númenoreans. In fact, true, the only place where I would find it appropriate IS on Númenor in its decline - call it a sort of symbolic as the "fall to the heathen ways". But it is just disruptive. Have you ever heard PJ's characters use that word? No. That was like the one thing he did right.
But yeah - if it turns out that this is a clever ploy and setup for, say, eventually Sauron coming and being called a god, and Elendil being the one to use the word just being a sign of bad influence that he picked up from the surrounding culture, then I'm taking this back.

Oh and one more thing was absolutely terrible. The slow-motion horses. And why did Galadriel take such a delight in riding a horse? Why on land would she be so delighted by that? It was just weird and random.

The... okay

Basically everyone I talked to praised Númenor's Greek/Byzantine architecture. I... yeah, I liked it, but I'm at the same time kind of bored. Everyone everywhere thinks that just stomping the Colossus of Rhodes into the port makes a civilisation look great and ancient. Like yeah, the colours, the colours are pretty. Overall really nothing to complain about. But a bit more, I don't know, imagination would have still helped. And I personally always imagined Númenor as sorta rather Egyptian. (Get it? Ar-Phara-oh! Okay, no, horrible, sorry.) But that is purely a comment about personal preference. Not bad, not terrible.

But I liked the costumes, and especially Míriel has AMAZING headdresses. Ar-Pharazon is great, I want to see more of him - he's rather more Rasputin than I'd imagine him normally, but whatever, changes changes.

On a related note, I was sorta happy in the beginning that there were some PJ referrences, like nice evocative, maybe to lure back the nostalgic PJ fans, but not too many. Now it seems like there are more and more of them and I am not sure I like it. I think some of the visuals - the "Minas Tirith replica" (or rather, MT being the replica of this, as it were) looking too much like PJ's own Minas Tirith. You could have made some distinctive changes, say, in colouring, size, or somesuch. And others. I don't recall all the scenes, but there were multiple (and more in the following episode, I'm not sure what's where). "My friends, you kneel for no one" and the "elf Boromir being shot by arrows in exactly the same pattern" being some I can recall for sure.

Overall rating

It definitely picked up the pace (even though to be fair, there still is not that much plot! For example the Harfeet - however much I like the worldbuilding - it's been 3 episodes and we got no closer to finding out anything about the Meteor Man. We are literally in the same spot as three episodes ago). There are some nice things, but I still need the characters to make me care about them in person, or their plotlines.

When watching this with Nogrod, Lommy and Greenie, we likened the series to A Feast for Crows. I think that's an apt comparison. AFFC, for those who do not know, is the fourth book of the series that became Game of Thrones. And that specific book has been sometimes criticised for featuring a lot of random plotlines following some of the characters just riding around the countryside doing things absolutely irrelevant for the plot. The big difference, and the reason why many still enjoyed the book, was that those characters had been already known and established. Say, if you read a book about Faramir walking from Minas Tirith to Osgiliath, it would probably not be a thriller, but you might enjoy it because you already know and are familiar with Faramir. But if the same story was written about Halbagor son of Halborn, you probably would have no motivation to read it, unless Halbagor was established to have a really interesting personality in the first paragraph, or unless there was a really big overarching plot point, that we would know from the beginning that something really dramatic would happen if he managed to get to Ithilien. With all the characters in RoP so far, these elements are completely lacking. I hope this will change.
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