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Old 09-23-2022, 10:53 PM   #1
Oddwen
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**Spoiler Warning** Rings of Power S1E5 - "Partings"

Episode 5 (of 8 for this season) - things start to move a little faster than the last episode.

Finally, interstitial songs! "With most hobbits it is a supper-song or a bed-song; but these hobbits hummed a walking-song (though not, of course, without any mention of supper and bed)"


Stone (laser) giants!


"I hope someday you will find something you'd sacrifice everything for" ROFLCOPTERS


Anyone else notice (in past episodes) how when someone's yelling for Isildur they sound like Hugo Weaving in FotR


That is the WORST broom I have ever seen. The shame of Numenor.


Yesssss, Elrond and a dwarf exchanging adages!


I'm not a fan of what they're turning mithril into. Ugh.


ELENDIL'S HELMET THOUGH


"The Nomad, The Ascetic, The Dweller" huh I guess I thought they were in Numenor from the trailers. Well I don't think any of them are Saruman.
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Old 09-24-2022, 06:43 AM   #2
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I'm not a fan of what they're turning mithril into. Ugh.
Me neither. This is the new "Arwen is dying", and I'm afraid it's beginning to ruin the whole Elrond plot for me. (Why is it always Elrond who gets the crappy made-up plotlines?)



But I liked the nod to "not all who wander are lost" in Nori's song - like Bilbo used an old Hobbit adage in his poem. And Nori's description of that Grove they're heading for sounds veeery much like Entwives!



Adar doesn't seem to like being called Sauron. So either they've remembered that 'Neither does he use his right name, nor permit it to be spelt or spoken' (in which case the former Morgoth-followers of Bronwyn's people shouldn't use it either!), or he's just a henchman and Sauron is... someone, somewhere else. Eminem & company seem to think it's Catweazle, but I hope that's a red herring.
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Old 09-24-2022, 09:19 AM   #3
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Oh boy, I had tried my best to be optimistic and hopefuly but this has been one of the most egregious episodes yet. I really want to like this, but it is making it difficult.
  • Silmaril = Mithril
    Let's just start off with how silly this is. While the depiction of the last Glowing elf vs. the Balrog over a tree on top of the Misty Mountains was great visually, the incorporation of the Silmaril is another disregard to the stories that came before RoP. The whole "Elves are dying without this miracle drug Mithril" is also really reaching and creates a silly conflict between the dwarves and the elves.

  • Numenor, land of the hundreds
    Now this can easily be debated, but I have felt Numenor to be rather lacking. Where are the great fleets? the giants of men? It feels so self contained to a small market/harbour and that they are only sending 300 volunteers to save the men of the south feels underwhelming.

    Additionally, Galadriel has just felt so weird there and basically forcing her way through the plots and windows of other characters, and then showing off with the sword dancing/training scene.

  • Will the real Sauron please stand up
    Now, I am intrigued at Adar's anger towards being called Sauron and I think there is some factionalism amongst the Orcs, or rather the leaders of them.

    Not sure what to think of the three white-robed people, but I did notice their iconography to resemble the one eye.

    I am pretty sure the Stranger will be Gandalf, and since Sauron is also a Maiar they are establishing how a Maiar can be turned into good or evil.

    But, I am starting to feel like Halbarad will be Sauron, but still not ruling him out as the Witch-King or the King of the Dead just yet. We know that Halbarad was exiled from the southlands, in which we see Adar taking over. Now we saw that Adar hates the name Sauron, so that leads me to believe that Halbarad has met Adar before.
    Secondly, we are shown Halbarad's skill as a smith... maybe he might start making some rings(which also leads me to believe that the pouch he had around his neck contains rings since they made a distinct metallic sound).

    This could also tie into the movies, in particular Galadriel's reaction to being offered the One Ring. This might be leading back to her and Halbarad being companions and she had a choice to choose him over vengeance.

    So the finale I imagine would be the fight between Adar and Halbarad, who allows for the Numenoreans to establish their colonies like Umbar and brings him to take the Annatar-character place.


I am seriously debating about continuing to watch the episodes, if not to watch the trainwreck, or if there will be some redemption. I know with copyright limitations they have to be careful on what they can present, but it feels like they are pushing it or disregarding a lot openly.
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Old 09-24-2022, 04:28 PM   #4
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[*]Silmaril = Mithril
Let's just start off with how silly this is. While the depiction of the last Glowing elf vs. the Balrog over a tree on top of the Misty Mountains was great visually, the incorporation of the Silmaril is another disregard to the stories that came before RoP. The whole "Elves are dying without this miracle drug Mithril" is also really reaching and creates a silly conflict between the dwarves and the elves.
I agree that it was great visually, and I don't even mind the whole Mithril comes from the Silmaril, but idea that the elves NEEDS this is irking me. It seems slightly lazy to have them quarrel over resources.



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[*] Will the real Sauron please stand up
Now, I am intrigued at Adar's anger towards being called Sauron and I think there is some factionalism amongst the Orcs, or rather the leaders of them.

Not sure what to think of the three white-robed people, but I did notice their iconography to resemble the one eye.

I am pretty sure the Stranger will be Gandalf, and since Sauron is also a Maiar they are establishing how a Maiar can be turned into good or evil.

But, I am starting to feel like Halbarad will be Sauron, but still not ruling him out as the Witch-King or the King of the Dead just yet. We know that Halbarad was exiled from the southlands, in which we see Adar taking over. Now we saw that Adar hates the name Sauron, so that leads me to believe that Halbarad has met Adar before.
Secondly, we are shown Halbarad's skill as a smith... maybe he might start making some rings(which also leads me to believe that the pouch he had around his neck contains rings since they made a distinct metallic sound).

This could also tie into the movies, in particular Galadriel's reaction to being offered the One Ring. This might be leading back to her and Halbarad being companions and she had a choice to choose him over vengeance.

So the finale I imagine would be the fight between Adar and Halbarad, who allows for the Numenoreans to establish their colonies like Umbar and brings him to take the Annatar-character place.
I like this idea. Mostly because the whole plot with an exiled king that needs to return to unite the lands, is really a thing I could do without in this show.
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Old 09-25-2022, 06:53 PM   #5
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I couldn't keep a straight face hearing about the mithril plot. What did they say was happening to the Elves? Their light is being extinguished, their souls melting into nothingness, and they know that because a tree went black? Sorry, what? I can see this as part of some mystical fantasy, but in the context of Middle-earth, the whole sounds ridiculous and contrived. (Captain Obvious prediction: this will be the back story for why they need the 3 Elven Rings etc. - but why can't it just be a more metaphorical fading? Not CGI enough?)

On a similar note, I suppose the creation myth behind mithril is just plausible enough (it's a good thing, but a bad thing, you gotta be careful with it etc) - but the myth sounded kinda slapstick. I think the Silmaril makes sense - a metal containing the light of the Silmaril is totally a plausible description - but everything else about it felt like a very half-hearted effort at mythos building. Also, if you are told to recite a Song, you recite the song, not a prose retelling. Was it that hard to come up with one stanza to start it off before Elrond trailed off into the prose summary? It would have been a nice touch.

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But I liked the nod to "not all who wander are lost" in Nori's song - like Bilbo used an old Hobbit adage in his poem. And Nori's description of that Grove they're heading for sounds veeery much like Entwives!
Yes, I enjoyed that line too! Just as I stopped quite paying attention to the song, my ears perked up again. And it's totally plausible that Bilbo did not totally make up that line himself but dug it out of some ancient history book, or, like you say, used some antiquated Hobbit adage!

But where are they heading? I was trying to follow the maps. They passed the Grey Marshes (which I suppose are the Dead Marshes minus the dead - I thought the marshes came after the dead did, but that might just have been a Gollum story, and they did seem to get worse if before you could bring a whole caravan across), then they went more southeast (?) which I thought would mean Ithilien, but then they would clash with the Southlands geography and they were clearly headed Not There. East then? Into Rhovanion depths?

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That is the WORST broom I have ever seen. The shame of Numenor.
I know, right?

On the bright side, Numenor has an anthem, and that made me kinda happy! The lyrics were not half bad either. So far I think the songs are the best part about this episode.

Very few things in the Numenor plotlines have been making sense to me, and I feel like I've just gone back to ignoring them except for the most superficial read and value. Sorry, but I can't take that Galadriel seriously, or Halbrand, and whatever they are weaving with the Numenorian politicians is still kept half in shadow. What I really don't get is what are Elendildaughter (Earien or something?) and Parazonson (Kenem? Kemen?) so upset about; they seem to really not want the ships to sail... but why? Elendil is plausible enough, and I feel that I could enjoy his storyline. Isildur's is decent too, though not particularly canonical in terms of character, and so long as they don't call him "Isil" I am happy to wait and see where they take him.

Southlands plots are making more sense. At least you don't have Theo waiting until it gets dark to escape creatures whose main bane is the sun. Theo is actually looking like a more decent sort of lad in this episode, not just a teenage Nazgul.

By the way, can someone remind me why the reverse-morgul blade is that? As in, why is it reverse? Because it takes something from the wielder (rather than leaving a piece of itself)?
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:19 PM   #6
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But where are they heading? I was trying to follow the maps. They passed the Grey Marshes (which I suppose are the Dead Marshes minus the dead - I thought the marshes came after the dead did, but that might just have been a Gollum story, and they did seem to get worse if before you could bring a whole caravan across), then they went more southeast (?) which I thought would mean Ithilien, but then they would clash with the Southlands geography and they were clearly headed Not There. East then? Into Rhovanion depths?
If I read the map right they started out near the eastern side of the Emyn Muil and are heading east, which would place them somewhere north of the Ered Lithui, about the later location of Dagorlad; maybe in the southern parts of the Brown Lands, where the gardens of the Entwives used to be?
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Old 09-27-2022, 06:10 PM   #7
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Well, I was away for the weekend, enjoying my other nerdly hobby and it has taken me till now to watch this episode--desperate or urgent and needing to watch it as soon as possible, it was not, whatever that may say of the show or me. This one really felt like it sloshed between stories--I almost appreciate when there were "only" three or four to cut between. As always, my stream-of-thought thoughts:
  • Is it just me, or did the recap make the "lost king of the Southlands" more clear than the previous episodes did--or is this a feint and Halbrand is NOT the heir?
  • Wow, that Harfoot accent is thick today.
  • Well now: that's a map of lands with some different names on it! Not so dead, these marshes. And I'm not 100% sold on the lyrics, but I do think having Hobbit--sorry, Harfeet--walking songs makes good Tolkien sense.
  • Okay, who the expletive are these new characters? Why do they look like evil, Nazi, Elves? Don't we have ENOUGH characters yet?
  • Adar has screen presence, which is more than I can say for Bronwyn. She doesn't make sense as an inspiring leader--Evil Barliman has a better presence of leadership.Is he a Nazgûl too?
  • I still like Elendil... and really would prefer none of this Isildur at all. But this father-son conflict feels unnecessary (and un-Tolkienian! Where are the Lost Road-esque father-sons of this story?)
  • Apparently, I don't remember Caesar's name. You know, the one guy who looks like a Roman more than the rest of them.
  • Why would they let Halbrand wear a weapon into the Queen's presence?
  • I guess Tar-Palantír still has a little pull...
  • Hobbits and mushrooms--I approve.
  • Why do the wargs look more like wild boars this time?
  • We're definitely supposed to be thinking Gandalf here--I can't decide if I'd prefer he isn't.
  • What is the POINT of this scene? It's not action, exactly, since there aren't really stakes. Is it just to show that Galadrield is a badass?
  • Ah, I see--somehow this is going to ingratiate Isildur back in.
  • Why is Pharazôn a COUSIN? Are they afraid to be as incestuous as Tolkien?
  • Pharazôn's case seems... almost mild?
  • Tar-Palantír looks more a wizard than the Starman does. Cutting to the Starman actually emphasises this.
  • If Nori gets frostbite, I'll be surprised.
  • This does boost Starman's Sauronitude a wee bit.
  • Gil-galad comes off as very politiciany... and I can't get over him and Celebrimbor being bosom friends. Although there's a Nargothrond-connection one might make, they're kind of at odds in the Second Age.
  • I'm not sure I buy this "legend." I mean, it's clearly here, but it doesn't seem necessary: Celebrimbor's besetting sin--the sin that creates the Rings is NOT to recapture the Silmarils. It's a different, albeit related, impulse.
  • Okay, fading *IS* a real impulse of the Ring-makers.
  • Is the reference to the number of years an indication of a prolonged lifespan--or ignoring it?
  • Well, that's an ominous hope, as it will turn out.
  • Domestic terrorism actually feels kind of on point for the King's Men... even if they should be commanding both Númenor and her fleet.
  • Galadriel, I know you're the prescient one, but... how do you know that things are getting worse? Like, there is pretty much no intel on Middle-earth, and when you left, things looked pretty rosy, your suspicions aside.
  • Okay, it's bad enough that Celebrimbor and Gil-galad are tight, but for them to be CLOSER than Gil-galad and Elrond is just... non-canonical!
  • Calling Eärendil a mortal man is... actually kind of accurate. Maybe not Celebrimbor's anecdote, though.
  • Halbrand isn't very good at sweeping.
  • Why does only Finrod get love? Sure, he's the favourite, but Galadriel could throw a few "brothers" in there, right? Or is that not in the Appendices?
  • So, the upshot of condensing the Second Age into a single generation is that... the Second Age actually remains a wide, unpainted canvas--not actually filled in at all.
  • Evil Bombadil asking on behalf of all of us!
  • Adar having only one glove is prominent there--but he can't be Maedhros: the arm is wrong!
  • Well, Theo, maybe you can be saved after all... maybe.
  • Whoa, that's some Nazgûlish music!
  • "An entire age" is a very imprecise measurement of time here, Arondir. There's way too much memory and nearness of the First Age among Men in their Dark Age, but it's also supposed to be forever.
  • By spring? The fading should not be so swift! Arbitrary, mcguffiny, timeline!
  • Elrond, your cloak is a bit too long to be practical in a forest--I would think an Elf would notice such things.
  • Durin and Elrond have chemistry, but this dialogue...
  • Gil-galad the creeper.
  • Very "epic old movie" feel to "Númenor goes to war"--am I thinking Ben Hur or Cleopatra or the Ten Commandments.
  • Elendil's helm is what Aragorn should be crowned with in RotK.
  • "Galadriel comes aboard" is presented way more... epicly than her in-story role should merit, right? That sort of drama should be for Míriel or Elendil--someone taking command of the ship. She's still a foreign national.
  • Amazon's desire, like all streaming services, to skip the credits annoys me.
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Old 09-27-2022, 08:26 PM   #8
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  • Apparently, I don't remember Caesar's name. You know, the one guy who looks like a Roman more than the rest of them.
Are you thinking of Pharazon's son? He looks pretty Roman. Can't ever remember his name either.

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  • Why do the wargs look more like wild boars this time?
Lol, I forgot about that scene. My first thought was sabretooth possums. I suppose you could contrive an explanation for proto-lupine creatures being the evolutionary ancestors (or perhaps cousins) to the modern Canis lupus. But then you really wonder what monstrosities must have lived even earlier in time on Tol-in-Gaurhoth and in Angband. The "eastern cousins" is the easier contrived explanation, because if the vastness of Middle-earth can be inhabited by Meeple, it could be inhabited by sabertooth possums.

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  • Why is Pharazôn a COUSIN? Are they afraid to be as incestuous as Tolkien?
Is he not though? Cousin to Miriel? I thought that part was canonical. And IIRC in the books he only marries Miriel on her father's death - which hasn't happened yet in show.
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Old 09-28-2022, 02:21 AM   #9
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You've all mentioned the points I was thinking while watching, except one only briefly - the wandering song! That alone was worth watching the confused and confusing rest. I love Tolkien's walking songs and have compared different melodies considering their beauty as well as their usefulness for the purpose.

This one has a wonderful melody, and though it is sung pensively, it could be sung while walking. I love the way it begins with the rustic voice we would expect, and then becomes more polished as it goes on - would you have expected the actress to have such a lovely voice?! I also love the way it is set musically - starting off without accompaniment, then very subtly adding instruments bit by bit. Then the final note is completely a capella and fades into silence.

The lyrics are well written, imo - bits of foreshadowing in the "not all who wander are lost" (the word play with wonder/wander reminds me af the Christmas carol "I wonder as I wander), some contents to speculate on (trees of stone, tower, black sand) - what did you notice about it?

I defy anyone to listen to it and not be moved!
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Old 09-28-2022, 02:16 PM   #10
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Is he not though? Cousin to Miriel? I thought that part was canonical. And IIRC in the books he only marries Miriel on her father's death - which hasn't happened yet in show.
You are correct--I think I've muddled my genealogy. The problem, I think, is that "Pharazôn" here feels like more like his father, Gimilkhâd--and that fact that he has a son (wozzizname), who seems a better fit for the Pharazôn role, is confusing me.
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Old 09-29-2022, 12:27 PM   #11
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Hi Gil Galad, Rune, and Esty. Nice to read your posts here.

I watched Episode 5 last Friday, but haven't been feeling well this week and memory of it is quite foggy. I'll probably rewatch the Episode tomorrow, before the new one to share more opinions.

I've read from quite a few people about being put off by the Elves needing mithril to survive, as if their immortality depended upon mithril. Like I said, my memory is a bit foggy, but that's not the impression I had. I thought Gil Galad and Celebrimbor were talking about how Middle-earth was decaying and the Elves would "fade" like Middle-earth was fading without the mithril. I didn't take it as the Elves would die without mithril. It seems to definitely be going a "mithril is used in the forging of the Rings of Power" theory. It has been one of the head-scratching "I'm not sure this is going to work for me" moments in the series. But I'm trying to stick to a belief that any change to the lore can work, if the adaptors make it work, by being consistent within their own story.

Thankfully, it appears my fears about Elrond were unfounded. I really liked him in this episode and his portrayal. It was nice to get his forceful opinion about making and breaking oaths. It reminded me of the part in the book in Rivendell when Gimli says an oath can "strengthen" a wary heart (paraphrasing here) and Elrond says "or break it." Elrond knows full well the consequences of oath-breaking and that I think came across in the TV series. I also chuckled with Durin's table stealing ploy.

The Numenorean song and the Harfoot walking song were unquestionably the highlights of the episode. The music and songs feel like they fit in Middle-earth. I just wish the same could be said about the dialogue.

My thoughts are a bit jumbled, because I'm still under the weather and taking cold medicine. I have a feeling when I read this later, it's going to be difficult to follow whatever points I've tried to make.
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Old 09-29-2022, 02:18 PM   #12
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*Elrond: But I came for mithril.
*Durin: Why?
*Elrond: Without it, my kind must either abandon these shores by spring, or perish.
*Durin: Perish? Perish how?
*Elrond: Our immortal souls will dwindle into nothing, slowly diminishing, until we are but shadows, swept away by the tides of time. Forever.
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Old 09-30-2022, 11:45 AM   #13
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Having finished watching Episode 5 again, I'm left thinking this episode simultaneously contained the best moments and the weirdest of the season so far.

Again, I loved the songs and music in this episode. This is the first time the music was memorable to me, because of the Harfoot traveling song (beautifully sung), Numenor's song, and the orcs marching chant.

I also liked Elrond and Gil Galad's conversation about oaths and Gil galad telling him that hope was never mere. The memorable music, oaths and "mere" hope are good themes that make it feel like a Middle-earth story, in my opinion.

Then the weird. Celebrimbor's line about needing enough mithril to bathe all the Elves in the light of the silmarils. Oh boy...I'm hoping that's just clunky script writing. That was truly the weirdest moment of the series so far, even weirder than the slo-mo scenes.
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Old 10-08-2022, 12:49 PM   #14
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Silmaril

Getting to this one quite late, and I think people have said most everything. I too enjoyed the presence of song, and feel Tolkien would at least approve the principle.

Watching with subtitles, the Orcs were apparently yelling something like "Narmat!" as they marched out. It certainly looked like Quenya, but... wouldn't that be a dual noun? A bit odd.

Okay, the Mithril Fable. Definitely nonsense, but in fairness to the Elves, a) one Silmaril is literally a star now, and b) they don't know what happened to the others. How could they? Maedhros and Maglor nicked them and ran off and never came back. There's probably all sorts of legends about them. Per Tolkien's later thoughts, the Numenoreans said the boys destroyed them and essentially themselves, but what do the Elves think? Who knows.

So I'm assuming the story is just that: a story. Any vaguely shiny rock from the Misty Mountains would fit it. Jewels, ore, volcanic glass, even a river (the Silverlode, for instance). If we need an explanation for where the legend came from, water might fit - Mirrormere, perhaps, reflecting the Evening Star. It doesn't have to be true.

So why do the Elves need it? I mean, we actually don't know if they do! Gil-Galad just thinks they do, and has a dying tree to prove it. Which... dying trees being Meaningful is a bit of a thing in Middle-earth, right? I can see how The Tree of Lindon dying could bode ill for the Noldor, and they would want Light to restore it.

I think Celebrimbor was just being mystical about what they actually need. The whole smothering everyone in light metaphor is all very well, but in practical terms I reckon he's talking about arms and armour that the Dark cannot overcome. Maybe rings later, but the direct "light of Silmaril = elves get better" thing is just poetry.

Also, hahahaha the Silmaril's in a tree that's ridiculous.

hS

hS
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Old 10-22-2022, 03:54 AM   #15
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We only watched this yesterday and boy... what a mess. Clearly the weakest episode of the series so far (maybe along with the premiere). None of the plot - old or new - made any sense, nor did the dialogue. The whole elf/mithril thing is ridiculous and they didn't even bother explaining properly how it works (well they don't explain much in general, do they? Like the plot just jumps into things without buildup and it's neither plausible nor emotionally compelling that way. See also: Bronwyn's sudden leadership.) I'm also getting tired of Morfydd Clark's one angry face acting and the harfoots' ridiculous accents, neither of which I originally minded.

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Originally Posted by Huinesoron
Watching with subtitles, the Orcs were apparently yelling something like "Narmat!" as they marched out. It certainly looked like Quenya, but... wouldn't that be a dual noun? A bit odd.
Our subtitles said "Nampat!" Not sure that makes any more sense either...
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Old 10-22-2022, 05:19 AM   #16
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Question

I have to sadly say that this was, by far, the worst episode of the entire series. The start with the Hobbit song was nice, even if a bit cheesy, but after that it went quickly downhill. I have said earlier that I liked the Elrond storyline the most, in terms of characterisation and relationships (ignoring the fact that Dwarves continue to be portrayed as rude louts, but I accept that this was simply the filmmakers' choice), but the plot does not make any sense. And by that I mean internally. In the first episode, Gil-Galad tells Elrond to go to see Celebrimbor, and Elrond suggests going to see the Dwarves. (And there is the entire plot-wise illogical sequence of then being denied entry.) Now suddenly Gil-Galad tells Elrond "yeah nice when we sent you to these Dwarves, huh?" No, you sent him to talk to Celebrimbor, who himself did not come up with the Dwarf idea, but Elrond did. And it was pure chance (and through several hurdles) that Elrond managed to get the Dwarves' aid. Also, he had just learned about the mithril, but suddenly everyone knows about it (or knows that Elrond knows). Maybe I am missing something, but the way the plot is presented does not make any sense.

Similarly the dialogue during the whole episode went only from bad to worse. With only one notable exception, which I considered one of the best dialogues in the show so far - the talk between Galadriel and Mr. Halbransson in the smithy. It was the one thing that made sense, the dynamic of Galadriel's thoughts and him playing the tennis partner to bounce them off of. I felt like obviously, from Tolkien canon perspective, this is entirely made up, but that it makes sense within the context of Galadriel's character. For maybe the first time in a long while, Galadriel felt like she may be Galadriel (unlike in the sparring match. I never had any problem with showing Galadriel as a fighter to a degree, but this was Ciri from the Witcher, not Galadriel).

One reservation though that may make for example the character of Galadriel or some events make more sense overall in the context of the show - I think we, the Tolkien-knowers, are making the mistake of judging the events and people like Galadriel based on what we know: she should already have the First Age behind her etc. But it seems to me that the show really operates like a "prequel to Peter Jackson", so to say: yes, there was some murky First Age stuff with some Morgoth, but we are pretty much discarding it because we have no rights to it besides the literally two sentences in the Appendices, which are that there was some First Age and there was some Morgoth and that's about it. So for example when speaking of Galadriel, despite the fact that it is implied that she has some First Age history, this is her origin story. She is young, brash and inexperienced right now. (Whether Galadriel was ever thus is for another debate, but this is what we have, and the showmakers can start her character development from here.) I am just saying it because from this perspective, it makes all the canon-related stuff make considerably more sense than it does otherwise to me as a Tolkien-knower. (But nb., while it makes some of Galadriel's attitudes make sense, it still does not, in my opinion, demand portraying her as the angry teenager she seems like.)

One important thing to note is that I am watching this after having heard some spoilers - such as, I know who is the Stranger, or the history of Mr. Halberdsson. I don't know how I would feel had I not known. Personally, from my current perspective, it makes me care for the story more, but I am probably missing on the aspect of "oooooh who is this? Who is that? What is the dark secret here? Where is Sauron?" While I like a good mystery, I think actually not knowing would make the watching worse, because e.g. I would have surmised that some things are a red herring anyway, etc. And knowing things makes me care about some events or characters more and makes me make more internal sense of the show as it is.

Speaking of dark secrets though, let me say one thing - the worst possible thing about the show is leaving those vague hints in the form of unfinished sentences. This was partly what made this episode so bad, because there were so many of them. There's already one thing in contemporary cinema that mystery is overused and overrated, but RoP takes it into a completely new level. The audience needs to know things to be able to follow and care about the plot! And even if you are having a random dialogue between two characters, you could at least have them finish their sentences (I recall several such occasions with Gil-Galad and also Elrond and Durin. I also think there was something like that in a dialogue between Míriel and her father, and in any case multiple other occasions).

I don't remember the exact sentences, but to illustrate, LotR if written in the same way would be like:

Gandalf: "Frodo, I must tell you something about your ring. I fear... something."
Frodo: "What do you mean?"
G: "Something... dark."
F: "So is my Ring dangerous?"
G: "Yes. If left unchecked, it will..."
F: "Oh no! That is... dark!"
G: "Yes. For now, keep it secret. And don't... Because if you would..."
F: *stares in terror*, end of scene.

If the audience is to have anything out of the dialogues and the plot, this style has to change.

I hope the following episodes will be better (I am saying this already having watched the sixth one, so yes, that one is definitely better).
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