Sunday, September 18, 2022

Rings of Power (so far)

 

I've made it through episode 4 of series 1 of the Rings of Power.

I think it's pretty clear already that for the sake of my own blood pressure, I'm going to have to get myself into the headspace of watching this as a very pretty generic fantasy show, written by some people who had been given a list of names out of Tolkien and a very abbreviated precis of the era they're working in... which they then mostly ignored. Because what the fuck did this Tolkien guy know about TV, huh? Nothing, that's what! He was just some kinda schoolteacher or somethin'.

On the plus side, I am very pleased that it's making the racists so enraged. I do like it when racists get enraged.

Also annoying a certain group of people is making the proto-hobbits cartoon Irish, but I note that those same people are entirely silent on the fact that the dwarves are all cartoon-Scots — I guess that trope has been well enough established by now. Though I do recall reading something from one of Tolkien's letters about his basing the clannish and secretive dwarves on  stereotypes of the biblical Jewish tribes (though he didn't use the word stereotypes himself, as far as I can recall).

If you don't watch it as an accurate retelling of the Akallabeth, but as a garbled and somewhat confused construction based on a fourth or fifth-hand hearing of some bullet points from that tale, it could be worse. The pacing isn't the greatest, but the acting is okay, and the design is spectacular.

The timeline is all over the place, and the dramatis personae are also rather shaken up — Galadriel, for example, has been given a pretty huge demotion, from one of the most powerful of the Noldorin from Valinor to what appears to be an insubordinate mid-level soldier with no people skills at all. The takeover of Numenor by Ar-Pharazon has been entirely ignored as far as I can tell, but maybe something of that sort will happen later on.

I'll keep watching, because if nothing else it is very pretty.

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