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REVIEW: The Rings of Power Full of “Piss and Vinegar” Wrapped in a Plastic, Tolkien Veneer.

When an author tells a story they invite you, without prejudice, to share in their imagination. And when Tolkien shared his, the world had not yet seen an imagination quite like it.

Modern fantasy owes its very existence to Tolkien’s generous and eloquent invitation. For his stories boasted a true depth built from knowledge, passion and long hours of labour. Languages that feel earthy and real. A long history that feels lived-in and organic, tens-of-thousands of years deep.

Every name has a meaning. And if you care to dive into the depths of the lore, as many do, you will find it. Like the most intricately crafted treasure hunt. Layers upon layers of meaning, half hidden amidst a tapestry of places and people, all stitched together to make, arguably, the first ever fantasy world.

Or “The same world, but in a different stage of imagination” as the Professor would describe it. And, when adapting his works, it is of the utmost importance that that is respected. Anything less is nothing but a gross misunderstanding or deliberate subversion of his intention.

Whenever I open the books or watch the trilogy I am invited into a world so vast and so detailed that it staggers the mind that someone, one man, could create such a thing.

Most fantasy is escapist, and when the escape is done… off you go back to the weary, grey world exactly as it was before the escape.

But not with Tolkien, who manages to thread magic into the mundane and nourishes the ordinary with great reverence and meaning. Good food. A high hill. An old tree. A full pipe.

It stays with you. The enchantment bleeds into reality, so much so, that you could believe that his stories were remembered, deciphered, translated and retold rather than conjured into existence by imagination alone.

But now that world is under siege.

The Series

Amazon’s The Rings of Power premiered on their streaming service on the 2nd of September. And it is terrible. Utterly, utterly terrible.

In their hubris, the showrunners boasted that they were writing ‘The novel Tolkien never wrote’, but four episodes in and it is made abundantly clear why he never wrote it. It is mediocre, cliche-ridden fantasy, at best. And at worst; an utterly sacrilegious subversion of a much beloved world.

I attempted to remove my ‘Tolkien-cap’ for the viewing; knowing that most viewers would not be watching through the lens of the deep lore detailed in The Silmarillion, The Unfinished Tales and others.

So ignoring the various gut-punches to Tolkien’s Legendarium, I still found myself feeling an odd combination of bored, nonplused and amused, for all the wrong reasons.

They have spent $500,000,000 on the first series alone, along with another $250,000,000 on securing the rights from the Tolkien Estate (or a small portion of the rights at least).

I feel I can say with some authority (what with my long history of not having much of it) that that is a LOT of money. But for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you what that money was spent on. It certainly wasn’t on costumes, established actors or decent writers.

I was initially going to write a formal review. A scene by scene breakdown going over what it is they did right and what missed the mark. But it seems the showrunners: JD Payne and Patrick McKay, the self-proclaimed ‘writers’ weren’t actually aiming for any mark.

Apparently thinking “Fuck the mark. Let’s not even TRY to aim at the mark. The mark is for pussies. And is probably rife with systemic racism and regressive patriarchal prejudice. After all, why does it have to be a ‘Mark’ huh? Why not a Margret?”

So I will be focussing, instead, on some choice morsels from the first four episodes, with the intention of writing and recording more in-depth breakdowns in the future.

The Writing

Episode One opens with a fifteen minute prologue. Showing us little loner Galadriel getting bullied by mean boy-elves.

Because, apparently, elves in their infinite wisdom and insight, frolicking in the endless wonders of their undying lands… still bully each other. For no given reason.

This is eerily reminiscent of the cringey flashback to Spock’s childhood in the dismal Star Trek reboot.

But her elder brother Finrod calms her down and gifts her some pearls of elven wisdom lifted straight from some open source ‘fantasy prose generator’—

“Do you know why a ship floats and a stone cannot? Because the stone sees only downward. The darkness of the water is vast and irresistible. The ship feels the darkness as well, striving moment by moment to master her and pull her under. But the ship has a secret. For unlike the stone, her gaze is not downward but up. Fixed upon the light that guides her, whispering of grander things than darkness ever knew.”

If you don’t think that means anything, you’re absolutely right. It is utterly meaningless. The first spoken lines of the show, and I found myself having to pause it and have a little moment to myself.

The metaphor itself doesn’t work, and as such you can replace the objects with ANYTHING and still contrive to make the same ‘point’ (for lack of a better word.)

“Do you know why it is that doors can open and walls cannot? Because walls are rooted in the past. Sedentary in the dark they stay fixed in place. The door stays in place also, seeming like the wall when closed. But the door has a secret, unlike the walls, he oils his hinges in fonts of wisdom, and swings towards the hopeful light of the future.”

or

“Do you know why camels can walk, and screwdrivers cannot? Because screwdrivers content themselves within the darkness of a toolbox. The camel feels this temptation also, striving day by day to squeeze herself inside. But the camel has a secret, for unlike the screwdriver, she can’t fit inside a toolbox, and instead walks in the light of the sun, on sands of hope and promise.”



It is a lazy, grade-school attempt at creative writing, that demonstrates that they have no idea how metaphors or analogies work.

This line set the bar incredibly low in terms of my expectations. And while I can truthfully say it doesn’t get much worse, I’m sad to say it doesn’t get much better.

Some choice examples:

  • “We will sweep the enemy from these lands like salt from a table.”
  • “It is said that the wine of victory is sweetest for those in whose bitter trials it has fermented.”
  • “If but a whisper of a rumour of the threat you perceive is true…”
  • “The sea is always right!”
  • “We stay true to each other, with our hearts even bigger than our feet.”

There are some nice visuals, I will give them that. For example, a sweeping shot of the two trees of Valinor; Laurelin and Telperion, with a brief glimpse of the shadow of Morgoth.

However it is lacking in vital context. Morgoth is akin to Lucifer. When the Valar (The gods) sang the universe into existence, Morgoth’s voice was the only discordance. And from that discord much of the evil of the world was born into existence.

Ridding the story of that context is incredibly jarring, as it forms the backbone of all the conflict that comes after.

It would be like adapting Gone with the Wind but not having the rights to the words ‘Civil War’, ‘Confederacy’ and ‘Union’, having to vaguely allude to them in passing with a throwaway line at the beginning that says: “During this time there was a nation wide conflict that was really stirring up a lot of trouble. And then proceeding to never mention it again.

Morgoth as depicted in the Rings of Power is just, apparently, quite mean and doesn’t care for trees that much.

There are then flashes of dragons and eagles, crashing to the ground in fiery torrents, intermingled with shots of elves and orcs crowding near each other, doing a bit of screaming and ineffectually waving their weapons above their heads.

And that is that. That is all of the First Age that we’re treated to. Save for a few ‘memberberries’ brought up later on, with little reverence and less context.

Tolkien’s lore now reduced to what are essentially ‘Easter eggs’ for people that seem to conflate ‘entertainment’ with ‘names they recognise’.

Remember Mithril from the movies? Here’s them naming it.

Remember Helms Deep? This bit is a bit like that bit.

Elrond and Durin are kinda like Legolas and Gimli, and you love Legolas and Gimili, right!?

Remember this? Remember that? Remember when? The show hides behind a mask of nostalgia, just hoping no one realises that there’s no face beneath it. It’s empty.

They claim that they’re distancing themselves from the Jackson movies, yet simultaneously leech off its iconography and world-building; because without it they lack anything of substance.

In the show we are led to believe that Galadriel’s brother, Finrod, was killed by Sauron, spurring Galadriel into a single-minded vengeance crusade that, apparently, spans centuries. But gone is any sense of distance, be it through space or time.

As a reader I know that thousands of years pass between these events. 500+ years of the first age, and then 3000+ years in the second. While in The Rings of Power, 3500 years can pass and you wouldn’t even know it. There’s nothing to even suggest it.

In the Lord of the Rings trilogy directed by Peter Jackson, they manage to portray the tragic and slow passage of time with nothing but the vocal richness of Cate Blanchett and writers who knew what they were doing.

“And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. And for two and a half thousand years, the ring passed out of all knowledge.”

That is how to establish this world. It is steeped in myth. Where story and history are blurred into one, with only the oldest, wisest beings on Middle Earth being able to decipher one from the other.

It seems that while Tolkien ingrained magic into the mundane, Amazon has seen fit to sow mundanity into the magical, and rob Middle-Earth of its weight; of its soul.

The Elves

The depictions of their Elves is by far the most regrettable choice. Elves, the fairest and wisest of all beings, now just act like men. They’re politically motivated and two-faced, in a grim attempt to steep the story in some courtly intrigue akin to Game of Thrones.

Gone is their poetry-steeped culture, one that celebrates art and beauty above power and influence. Gone is their ethereal, illuminating beauty. Gone is their foresight and otherworldly wisdom.

Gil-Galad, High King of the Noldor Elves is now a duplicitous, moronic coward. Who short-sightedly forces Galadriel into an early retirement, back to Valinor. Which is apparently something the he can do, despite the Noldor elves being exiled. But seeing as we’re never given any dates or timespan, there’s no way of knowing when this is all taking place.

So again, if you’re a book reader, best rid yourself of any expectations that the lore will be even slightly respected.

Elrond is now just a downcast career politician who resentfully writes the King’s speeches. Badly. For example…

“These soldiers have swept across crag and crevice, washing away the last remnants of our enemy like a spring rain over the bones of a spoilt carcass.”

…He even has the audacity to look pleased with himself when he hears it out loud.

Elrond  is sad because he is apparently not deemed ‘noble enough’ to sit at the big boy’s table, despite coming from a royal lineage that boasts, without exaggeration, literal divine ascension, as well as a brother that founded the Kingdom of Númenor; the greatest civilisation ever known.

But nah, try harder, Elrond. You commoner.

Celebrimbor, Lord of Eregion, creator of the Rings of Power™, is now a befuddled old barrister, sporting a rather dashing valour dressing gown.

He is meant to be of an age with Galadriel, but looks about three times that, despite elves not tending to age.

But by far the most bizarre and bewildering decision is how they chose to depict Galadriel.

In the books she is a gifted scholar with angelic insight and grace. She is drawn to Middle-Earth because she yearns to rule her own realm. She does this arm in arm with her husband; Celeborn and daughter Celebrian.

She is a respected loremaster, revered elven royalty and much beloved by all.

In The Rings of Power she is clumsily transfigured into a ‘Commander of the Northern Armies’ (Armies which, from what I saw, consist of a dozen angsty elves who all hate her.)

She now wields a ten-handed sword, ‘broken because she’s killed so many orcs’, wears full-plastic armour, and is ‘full of piss and vinegar’ as the two lead ‘writers’ describe.

Her husband and daughter are not mentioned. She is neither graceful nor insightful. She is brash and unlikeable from the start.

She treats everyone she talks to with a thinly veiled contempt. Númenorean royalty? Contentious and abrasive. The man who just saved her life? Snide and threatening. Her closest friend of two-thousand years? Dismissive and resentful.

Whinging and whining at everyone she comes into contact with like an obstreperous teenager who’s just had their iPhone confiscated.

If the writer’s consider this behaviour as ‘strong’ and ‘commanding’, that is incredibly telling in and of itself.

It feels wrong to even call her ‘Galadriel’, for after you’ve changed her lineage, her past, her motivations, her family and friends, the places she went, the people she met and even the time in which all these things are meant to take place— how is she in anyway the same character?

They turned one of the most powerful, otherworldly and compassionate fantasy figures into an unlikeable, selfish brat. Who cares about nothing save her incredibly narrow-minded vengeance quest.

She is written by two idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

The Harfoots

Then there are the show’s original characters. The Harfoots. Hobbits, in truth, but without that pesky licensing issue. Who are presented now as nomadic, unwashed travellers sporting a wide variety of appalling Irish(?) accents.

A small, though incredibly diverse, travelling community. Where accents and skin colour are seemingly just dished out at random. And man, are they quirky. They eat snails. They’re clumsy. They talk like simpletons.

…and they are cold-heartedly brutal.

Yes, in this small, neighbourly community, anyone who falls behind, is left behind. Forever. Without leniency or exception.

They celebrate this with a creepy Wicker Man-esque ceremony, where Lenny Henry leads a peculiar procession of children in odd outfits; all the while chanting “Nobody goes off trail, and nobody walks alone.”

This is followed by a candlelit vigil held for all the souls they’ve callously abandoned in the past.

They talk of love and community and how they must band together to survive, but are happy to exile anyone who breaks their abstract and archaic rules.

Their attempt at lightheartedness is jarring, and comes across as cult-like and unsettling, with all the charm of a bad acid trip at a farmer’s market. It is a complete tonal shift, one that does not work. They do not act in the least bit like hobbits.

And, I know it’s a nitpick, but they make constant references to how big their feet are. Despite them having no frame of reference. They ALL have big feet. They’re just ‘their feet’ to them.

It would be like writing dialogue for two neanderthals, and thinking the line “We stay true to each other, with our hearts even more opposable than our thumbs” was suitably poignant and steeped in culture.

The Southlands

There are also two new characters introduced, along with a whole new region, that is not present in the source material. The region of Tirharad, in “the southlands”, which seems to be Mordor before its Mordor.

We are shown a small village, consisting of a sparse but highly diverse collection of human villagers, half a dozen nameless white elves and one named “Elf of Colour” (his phrase, not mine).

Arondir, complete with the freshest of fades, is actually a breath of fresh air; as at least he is attempting to give a performance.

The actor, despite the material he’s reciting, actually does a (semi) decent job conveying the Elven stoicism and mysticism…well, when compared to Galadriel, Elrond, Celebrimbor and Gil-Galad, anyway.

However, he plays opposite a human female named Bronwyn, and their whole characterisation centres around a secret, forbidden romance. So forbidden and so secretive that even the audience is left guessing as to who these people are, how they know each other, and what’s going on.

There is no chemistry whatsoever. There is no scene establishing their compassion or love for one another. It’s just your bog-standard Hollywood interpretation of  love— or ‘luuuuurve’, that doesn’t require the two ‘lovers’ to have anything in common or even share an ounce of genuine attachment to the other.

How do we know they’re in love? We’re told.

Like we’re told how powerful Galadriel is. And we’re told how evil Sauron is. And we’re told that the dwarves are being secretive.

We’re told everything, and shown nothing.

Bronwyn and Arondir find one of her neighbouring villages burnt to the ground, its people nowhere to be seen. It’s only a few hours away; they presumably come here sometimes and know these people. And yet they both placidly stroll through the rubble with all the concern and curiosity of a young couple leisurely looking for their car in a busy car park.

They then find a fairly mundane tunnel, and Bronwyn observes that “No man did this.” I’d like to know how she’s so sure of that. Men can dig tunnels. My immediate thought was, “You’re right, no human being would dig holes like this.”

This is proceeded by perhaps the cringiest line of dialogue in the show (thus far).

While Arondir and Bronwyn are investigating this hole in the ground, Bronwyn says: “You can’t go. You don’t know what’s down there.” To which Arondir dramatically responds: “That is why I must go.”

The elf in his infinite wisdom MUST do something because he doesn’t KNOW something. His days must be full of hundreds of mindless detours and distractions. Opening every box he finds. Climbing every tree. Going through everyone’s pockets. Breaking into their houses.

He does not KNOW; you see, so he MUST find out.

He does not consider that it could be a trap, or that he might get caught.

It is, by the way. And he does

Khazad-Dûm

In episode two Lord Elrond and Lord Celegrandma, wearing his trademark dressing gown, are discussing their legacies.

There is a throw away reference to Feanor and the Silmarils, before talks shift to the building of a ‘master forge’, one that Celelbrimbor intends to further the glory of all Elvendom.

Seeing as they’re elves, they have an eternity to see it built, but Celebrimbor imposes an arbitrary deadline, saying that it must be completed before the spring. Why? Unclear. And Elrond doesn’t feel the need to ask any follow up questions. Merely suggesting that they seek help from the dwarves of Khazad-Dûm.

So off they go.

…And then there they are. At least a hundred miles away. Just Elrond and Celebrimbor on a leisurely stroll. No retainers. No horses. No supplies. Wearing the same clothes they were wearing in the previous scene, as though it were literally right next door.

The dwarves do not expect them, they apparently haven’t sent word ahead. They are elven lords on a diplomatic mission, but no one acts as though this is the case.

Celebrimbor, Lord of Eregion, is instructed to just turn around and go back the way he came; and he’s just cool with it. While Elrond is invited in due to invoking some old (Completely made up for the series) dwarven rite.

This involves smashing rocks with hammers. ‘Cos… dwarves.

This, and the proceeding scenes, raise many questions. Such as: is this meant to be funny? Is it meant to be wholesome? Why are they breaking so many rocks? What is this? Why is this happening?

None of which are answered to any satisfaction.

By episode four we learn that Elrond’s diplomatic mission is a success (this happens offscreen), and work has begun on this forge (also offscreen). We also learn that all of this must have happened inside a week, because while the Dwarves and the Elves have done what seems like months of travelling, trading and construction, all the other storylines have only progressed a few days.

Moria looks okay; they have kept the square-edged symmetrical aesthetic that the movies established and the actors playing Durin and Disa are actually giving a performance, which is refreshing.

But the tone is off, they play the entirety of the dwarven storyline as though it were an odd fantasy sitcom. Making an odder decision to have important scenes take place offscreen.

In episode four a mine collapses, and some dwarves are trapped inside; this leads to a falling-out between Durin and his father, the King of Khazad-Dum. But we neither see the miners being rescued nor the fight between father and son. We just hear about it.

Why? Obviously it’s to make room for the arbitrary use of slow motion for scenes that don’t call for it.

Númenor

We are then treated to Númenor, the greatest civilisation ever known. Where we are gifted a sudden injection of allegory and thinly veiled political commentary.

In the source material, due to the culture stagnating and falling to corruption and decadence, Númenor begins to envy the elves’ immortality; resenting their long life, fearing death and turning their backs on the Valar. On God, ultimately.

It is the tragedy of a post-nietzsche society, reeling from the damnation and abandonment of their faith. Which sounds altogether too familiar.

None of this features in the series, however. Now it is a one-to-one racial allegory. (Because, famously, Tolkien LOVED allegory)

The ‘mean’ Númenoreans are racist against elves, while the ‘nice’ Númenoreans think elves are just swell. The mean ones want to ‘make Númenor great again’, believe the elves are ‘taking their trades’ and are, predominately, white. Led by a man who might as well be called: ‘Donaldir of Son of Trümpdir’.

Get the subtle messaging yet? Racism is bad! Populism is bad! Vote Biden!

The “Diversity”

This brings us round to the question of the show’s “politics” and “diversity”, and the so-called “racist backlash” it received.

From the early days the show used its “diversity” as a marketing ploy, encouraging fans to rejoice at their “elf of colour” and the “the first female dwarf shown on screen”, only to then claim “toxic fans” were being “racist” for not appreciating the changes.

To be clear, not one criticism of the show that I have seen has been based solely on the “diversity” of the characters. The show is laughably bad in almost every aspect, and many people have said so.

But even if the criticism was aimed at the diversity, that doesn’t make it inherently racist (and I’d argue such flagrant and frequent use of the word only serves to cheapen it, and thus rob it of meaning).

If Denzel Washington was cast as Henry VIII, it would not be racist to suggest ‘he doesn’t look right for the part’. No more or less racist than if you cast Tom Holland as Gandhi or Jessica Chastain as Muhammad Ali.

Tolkien created his secondary world as a ‘mythology for England’, as he lamented the loss of our own native myths and legends.

Celtic folklore was decimated by the Anglo-Saxons. Then the Anglo-Saxon’s mythologies were almost completely erased in the wake of the Norman invasion. He hungered for something deeply English, taking inspiration from the various folklores of the surrounding areas. Scandinavian, Germanic, Irish and Welsh.

Would anyone argue that Norse folklore needs updating to better reflect the modern world? No. Of course not. Because the beauty and appeal of old Norse sagas is how firmly they’re rooted in the past; and, not by accident, Tolkien emulated this with Middle-Earth’s spiritual philosophy.

Does Homer’s Iliad need a rewrite? Not a single woman on Odysseus’s crew, after all.

Does Robin Hood? Of course! Merry MEN!? That’s just a symptom of those regressive middle-ages for you.

Do the great Chinese Classics, the four much beloved stories written in the 14th century, need updating for better worldwide appeal?

Or perhaps the Indian epic: Mahabharata?

Should Bollywood be held to account for having almost exclusively Indian actors in their movies?

Should Squid Game be scrutinised for having only the one westerner in the cast? Of course not.

The writers and producers claim to have “diversified” middle earth in order to better reflect the real world, but all they’ve done, as far as I can tell, is diversify to better reflect California.

Which I understand, IS the whole world as far as most Californians are concerned. But it’s not, and I think they need to be reminded of that occasionally.

But if diversity and inclusion was the main goal, it could have been achieved in a less tokenesque and far more creative way.

If by studio edict you HAD to have Harfoots in the series, why not make them all dark skinned? Tolkien does say they are ‘browner of skin’ than the others breeds of Hobbit. So interpret that as you will.

Why not make the creative, aesthetic decision that while Harfoots lived in the south and east, before they settled in the Shire, they were outdoors much more and their skin developed melanin to protect itself.

Thousands of years later, as they settled in less arid places, their skin got lighter as it no longer needed to protect itself from the sun?

Y’know, like Europeans did.

We all descended from native Africans, and our skin colour adapted and changed as we migrated and settled in more temperate climates.

For Tirharad, why not make the indigenous population black? Why not decide various sects within Númenor were black?

There are whole nations and cultures mentioned yet barely elaborated by Tolkien – the Haradrim, the men of Rhun, and the Easterlings – who are all described as non-white.

In short, if the show wanted “diverse” characters in “diverse” cultures, the writers had numerous opportunities to add them, and in ways that would respect the lores, histories and established genealogies of the source material

They chose not to.

Instead they chose to force “diversity” in the least believable way, by peppering small isolated communities with a couple of token characters, or changing established ethnic and cultural rules.

Why?

Perhaps to set up a situation in which they can deflect and purposefully misconstrue any criticism?

Perhaps to use “controversy” as a marketing tactic?

Perhaps because they knew they made a bad show, knew there would be a backlash, and had to ensure they could dismiss it as a racist backlash?

Because that’s exactly what happened.

The Backlash

The Rings of Power is a failure. A disaster. And the root of that lies in its far more egregious mistakes than cheap tokenism.

There are countless serious issues, chiefly, but not limited to the aforementioned:

  • Complete revision of all previously established lore.
  • Poorly written characters and dialogue.
  • The presence of modern political allegory.
  • The innumerable contrivances required for the ‘plot’ to develop.
  • The the overall cheapness of the production despite its $1billion investment.

Costumes are bizarre, lazy and cheap. There is a prevalence of plastic fabrics, Lycra under armour, ill-fitting plastic breastplates. They always look pristine and freshly laundered, some of the main characters seem to have only one costume that is worn for every weather and every occasion.

Background characters, whatever region they’re from, be it Númenor, the Harfoots or the southlanders; all dress the same in generic, vaguely medieval ‘peasant clothes’.

The dialogue is stilted and clumsy. Conversations often comprise of two characters espousing non sequiturs at each other in a tone that is at odds with the words they’re saying.

The characterisation is inconsistent, often scene to scene. Their motivations are completely unclear; and seemingly irrelevant to the broader story.

It all feels soullessly cobbled together by a clueless, corporate hive-mind, that is desperately trying to understand ‘why people like this fantasy stuff?’ And failing.

All of this in spite of how much the showrunners profess to ‘love Tolkien’, but ultimately words are wind, and you must judge JD and Patrick not by what they say, but what they do. And what they did, with the first four episodes alone, is, in my view, literary heresy.

But what they did in the wake of this particular disaster is even more telling, and vocal critics of The Rings of Power have been warning that something like this would happen. The same thing that has been happening since 2016 with that godawful all-female Ghostbusters reboot.

Yes, they resorted to false outrage and identity politics.

In the two weeks since the release countless accusations of ‘white supremacy’ and ‘bigotry’ have been hurled at those who dared express any opinion that was not unbridled praise.

And many of them came straight from the same international, multi-trillion dollar company whose success hangs in the balance. Who also froze reviews on their streaming platform, and vetoed any overly negative reviews on IMDB (Which Amazon owns coincidentally.) They even claimed that hateful, alt-right fans were review bombing the show in a conspiratorial effort to make it fail.

Y’know. The usual.

We’ve seen it all before. They put out a bad product, people complain, and the corporate media deflect any criticism by labelling the fans as any ‘ist’ or ‘phobe’ there is.

If you disliked Ghostbusters 2016– you’re sexist Trump supporter.

If you disliked Obi-Wan Kenobi— you’re a basement dwelling racist.

If you disliked She-Hulk— You’re a misogynist who hates strong women.

And now, if you disliked Rings of Power— You’re a racist, neckbeard incel.

Ousting fans from their own fandoms, replacing them with, and relying solely on the disposable income of the ever-fickle “average consumer”.

Not realising, or realising and not caring, that the average consumer is an apathetic, fragile patron… who, given time, will turn on anything and everything as the tides of ‘popular opinion’ ebb and flow.

Closing Thoughts

I am aware, in being swept up on this particular controversy, that I may well be playing Amazon’s game… in reacting to the series at all, I’m giving them what they want.

For they hold, whole heartedly to the ethos “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” And they even take it a step further. “There’s no such thing as anything. Apart from publicity.”

Amazon and their showrunners deliberately disregarded the established lore, knowing full well it would be a divisive move, they then deliberately stoke this division by painting one half of the divide as bigots and one side as virtuous.

Turning The Rings of Power into a sort of quasi-crusade and those eager to flash their proverbial, righteous tits waste no time in signing up, of course.

Meanwhile on the other side, those who feel attacked are going to respond in kind, with name calling and long frustrated rants about how “Elves could never be black because of x, y, z…” not seeing that, even if they’re right… it doesn’t matter.

The creators knew the controversy was coming. They welcomed it. It is part and parcel with their marketing campaign… people have to talk about it.

You could be excused for thinking that Amazon or the studio has “taken a side” – what with their politically charged marketing, the many vacuous Vanity Fair articles and the endless amounts of secrecy and name-calling.

But they don’t really care. Whether you’re an NPC conditioned to clap like a seal for “diversity”, or an outraged fan screaming a decade worth of frustration into a one-star IMDB review, Amazon holds equal amounts of contempt for both parties.

For all people, in fact. For any thread of magic found within the ordinary.

Good or bad. Right or wrong. True or false. Doesn’t matter. The main objective is relevance.

So long as its trending. So long as the comments are full of angry, lost, confused people flinging insults at one another, it is doing its job.

Not as a piece of art to be enjoyed, but as a product to be consumed, and a distraction to hold the public attention while the real world falls apart.

In the age of entertainment through subscription, there is no longer any precedent to create anything objectively good.

WandaVision, Loki, Falcon and the Winter Solider, The Book of Boba Fett, Hawkeye, Obi-Wan Kenobi, She-Hulk, Resident Evil, Halo, The Wheel of Time. Forgettable filler that says little and means less.

Everything is open ended, because an ending would mean stopping something… and that would be silly, especially if it’s received well. They’re just soap operas with a massive budgets.

The stakes and drama mean nothing, deaths and betrayals mean nothing, characterisation and consistency mean nothing. It’s just turgid, warmed over tripe with the occasional reference to when it used to be good.

The Eternals and Obi-Wan Kenobi only came out this year, but they have already fallen to the ranks of irrelevance. Now that they’re out, nobody cares.

Almost as though the self-labelled ‘controversies’ that surrounded their production were more important than the quality of the product itself.

Movies and TV Shows are no longer made to be lasting, they are just consumer fodder blasted out by content-factories, whose only real aim is to maintain some semblance of fleeting relevance.

All they need is the subscription. All they need are the views.

And quite frankly, they can make those up.

Amazon claimed that 25Million people ‘sampled’ the first episode, whatever that means. As it turns out that was a grotesque exaggeration. Samba TV says that the viewing figures were closer to 1.8Million. Dropping off to 1.3Mil for the second episode.

So, if all the backlash and all the pearl-clutching is engineered, if the viewing figures are exaggerated and the reviews can’t be trusted, if half the accounts on social media are shills, bots and fakes and the show they spent one billion dollars on is a soulless, shallow joke; why should any of us take this ludicrous, dystopian farce seriously?

It all amounts to the corporate equivalent of a mad man, naked, manically reciting Shakespeare in a dark alleyway, scurrying about playing the actors, the hecklers, and the audience all at once.

So sit back, grab some popcorn and watch as this insatiable ouroboros devours itself, clearing the way for better hands and brighter minds, wielding paint, music and drama.

Truthfully, the best way to combat the darkness of moral relativity and the prevalence of ‘message over matter’ is to simply be a discerning individual.

Call out hypocrisy and corruption and dishonesty whenever you see it. Tell it to keep its forked tongue behind its teeth. Don’t give it the satisfaction of taking it too seriously. And don’t let massive corporations dictate their fickle, vacuous morals to you.

Be honest. Be hopeful. And never settle for less. That so many fans are drawing a line in the sand on this is a major silver lining.

Before now I would have said that fan bases are jaded and traumatised, hurt and betrayed to such an extent that apathy had crept it. That no one really cared anymore.

But it has been incredibly heartening to see that, for many people, corporatising The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien’s works is, quite simply; a step too far.

Tolkien and his ‘secondary world’ remains sacrosanct.

Amazon’s offering has been rejected by the fans. Legality and rights and the Tolkien Estate’s blessings mean little and less… it is not welcome. No admittance. Not even on party business.

You. Cannot. Pass.

JR Leach is a fantasy author and graphic designer whose debut novel The Farmer and the Fald was published earlier this year. You can follow him on Twitter or Substack and see more of his work on his website

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Wilhelm
Wilhelm
Oct 1, 2022 7:39 AM

Just ask yourself; why erase and purposefully deface an ethnic peoples cultural story?

European American
European American
Sep 29, 2022 6:58 AM

The Series is a perfect reflection of the insanely satanic virus that is infecting the world today.

Andrew O'Gorman
Andrew O'Gorman
Sep 25, 2022 4:53 PM

A critique on Unheard panned it and so many of the comments were equally dismissive of this series that I took their advice and won’t waste my precious time watching it.

So I thank the author of this review and will make doubly sure to avoid it.

My comment to Unheard was that the same insult was given to The Wheel of Time (and I did watch that rubbish) and wont bother with the rest of what should have been a stunning series. Will just read the books again.

Les Berkley
Les Berkley
Sep 25, 2022 4:44 PM

You know, you were making a lot of excellent points, except that you liked those awful movies. Still, I forgave that, because you were very correct on other things. Until you got to the “woke culture” crap. Does that have to worm itself into every discussion? I mean, we had white Othellos in bad makeup; the Mahdi was played by Olivier in bad makeup, etc. Indigenous Americans were played by Jews; Jewish mobsters weren’t. It’s really a total shame that you got caught by that silliness, because your discussion about the Tolkien universe and its misrepresentation was completely valid.

Sam - Admin2
Admin
Sam - Admin2
Sep 25, 2022 5:51 PM
Reply to  Les Berkley

While opinions can vary, I don’t think it’s in question that the Peter Jackson movies created a more faithful representation of Tolkien’s universe! A2

George Alexander
George Alexander
Sep 25, 2022 6:29 PM
Reply to  Les Berkley

Firstly, the movies are fantastic. But I understand tastes vary.

Secondly, I don’t completely understand your point. Do you think the use of racial quotas and gender based equity in art and film is conducive to quality? I think it’s definitely the opposite. Which is what the author is talking about. And then to use manufactured moral indignation to better market their products and to deflect any backlash is completely reprehensible.

Does it need to worm it’s way into every discussion? No. But take that up with western politics and Hollywood, who seem to think that it does.

Oilman2
Oilman2
Sep 24, 2022 7:07 PM

So, Amazon ended The Expanse to make this bowl of poop.

They will get what they deserve – as will HBO and many others.

Hollywood will disintegrate as it is no longer needed – but talent IS needed, but the purse holders are unwilling to pay…

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 24, 2022 11:55 PM
Reply to  Oilman2

It isn’t that they’re not willing to pay that’s the real problem. It is so Americanist and just like what Rockefeller did with Standard Oil, only with our culture: rudely crowd out all competition, close off the market.

It would be great if Hollyweird disintegrated, but they’ll just rebrand and relocate.

They boycott and blacklist talent that counts, the kind that keeps its vision free and won’t pander. Clearly.

Les Visible
Les Visible
Sep 23, 2022 4:09 PM

One of the more outstanding and brilliant articles I have read. It seems The Awakening… though slower than we would like, is really happening. It is the APPEARANCE of conflict and contention that WILL allow the cream to rise to the top again, and we will no longer be bobbing for road apples in a punchbowl. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It appears I am not alone.

John Ronald Reuel
John Ronald Reuel
Sep 22, 2022 1:06 PM
Tubber
Tubber
Sep 22, 2022 10:23 AM

I was struck by Galadriel’s resemblance, in both appearance and tone, to our new leader Liz Truss.

Pilgrim Shadow
Pilgrim Shadow
Sep 22, 2022 3:23 PM
Reply to  Tubber

Meme artists, get to work!

Antonym
Antonym
Sep 22, 2022 6:58 AM

Original young Tolkien’s guardian RC priest Francis Xavier Morgan imprinted the binary Good VS Evil meme on him and the result was Elves VS Orcs. The author’s WWI Somme trench experiences didn’t help. Western mind needs an enemy and it has to declare it evolutionary useless.
In the East all creatures, forces have their own goals (dharma) and even the asuras (~devils) have a function, a bit like a kick in the bud for lazy people. So Amazon’s serial has its use.

As usual for US video, physical violence is the no.1 solution to any difference in views. The Pentagon is pleased. The CCP also loves violence but more as a collective action vs the individual cowboy style. Both seem to be made for each other.

Red Pill Reader
Red Pill Reader
Sep 22, 2022 5:01 AM

It’s comically bad. But I don’t think they intended to be funny.

Patrick L.
Patrick L.
Sep 21, 2022 10:51 PM

Ffs, this is new, it’s now impossible to edit a comment without sending it into “suspected spam” purgatory.

Some human somewhere is fannying about with the sacred algorithms.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 22, 2022 8:00 AM
Reply to  Patrick L.

I keep reminding me to breathe deeply and write a comment offsite, with edits, and post the finished whole item after that, because I have been posted so many times where the “save” or “pending” or whatever widget, expires, and I lost the options to edit out misspellings, typos, etc. But you’re right, there are wrinkles like that in edit mode recently that I’ve never seen before, a bit frustrating. (I have been trying for two years to get notices on comment replies, pushing all the right buttons, and then again, and never has one arrived, to date. Not knowing the source of that, I just accepted it, but it is far from ideal, and a sort of inverse censorship?)

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
Sep 22, 2022 12:37 PM
Reply to  John Ervin

The sending edited comments to spam thing is nothing to do with anything we are doing. It must either be Akismet or the comment software. It would be a crap way of censoring wouldn’t it. Totally arbitrary in fact.

I would not even know how to investigate since there’s def no code or setting that says “send all edited comments to spam”. It’s just bizarre and annoying. We will eventually have to trouble shoot it, but it promises to be a long process. And there’s always other things to do.

Some feedback would help. Does it happen every time a comment is edited?

Re. Notifications. Hotmail are blacklisting mail from OFFG, so if you have a Hotmail or MSN email you won’t get notifications.

fertility
fertility
Sep 22, 2022 9:12 PM

I would not even know how to investigate since there’s def no code or setting that says “send all edited comments to spam”. It’s just bizarre and annoying. We will eventually have to trouble shoot it, but it promises to be a long process. And there’s always other things to do.

Yes it does, It comes up red and in the word of spam whilst editing the comment and then the comment later disappears 95% of the time.

You can investigate it by taking a screen shot which someone in another article showed and then forward it on to the tek people and ask why it has started doing this.

Doesn’t make sense and it is a tek error.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 23, 2022 10:39 PM
Reply to  fertility

Such notices like that seem to be an almost old school auto-mechanism, but not well-tuned.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 23, 2022 10:33 PM

Ah! Thanks.

I have gmail, but I have not got notifications since the whole platforms were changed here. Was it late 2020? (Possibly a blessing in disguise, or partly, since I was late to everything while answering replies, and now I am so punctual.)

But personally I may also be a case in point, since NSA/CIA/FBI has long had me targeted as “a person of interest” (no accounting for “taste”) and they have been hacking my email, intercepting it, changing it, deleting it outright, at times, since a prior millennium. No joke. I’m known at my post office to the old boys there as a person of interest, as “supervisors” have waylaid my mail to my P.O. box, though a rarity. Going back at least ten years.

But I thought it was worth the time to backtrack to this post, “manually”, and voilà, some new insights, much appreciated.

[To give some context to my own odd scenario, which may be an example made, the sermon preached at our corner church Sunday evening, a shock but no surprise: “Suppose the FBI knows so much about you, goes through your garbage, reads your mail, even knows what you had to eat last night just before bedtime…. Well, if your heart is undivided, YOU DON’T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT THE FBI.”

Since he said that to one and all at the Teen Life Mass, I assume it’s in the public domain. I really doubt if the Holy Spirit applied a copyright to all of that

But there you have it. Over-scrutinized. A sign of the times. All bets are off, but we all must wage through that fog.]

NB: It doesn’t happen every time, but in edit it’s usually inflicted after more than 1 edit. So, my memo to me is to maybe copy the text from my phone, edit it offsite, then post. Which is not that much bother, but I simply forget. It is awkward on phones to exit and then come back. If I breathe deeply, it’s easier.

(Also, it’s clear, from much experience, that I (we) am being monitored by The Man in real time, during edit, and otherwise, and they are not above playing tricks with the software. They do that. It comes with the job. It’s an aid to general paranoia, they figure.)

The “checking for spam” or “pending” are only a nuisance insofar as they both (et al., like) interrupt the edits, then half-edits get posted with the uncorrected typos…. That can get awkward in the grammar.

Thanks again for your attention to these details.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Sep 21, 2022 9:55 PM

I wouldn’t be so hard on the producers of this show but then I’ve never been a Tolkien fan. JRR Tolkien was a hard act to follow, anyway, because he was first and foremost an academic who knew his base material inside out. Few, if any, modern screenwriters could match his credentials so you’d expect anything they produce to be derivative and prone to modern influences (the correct culture, correct language, correct symbolism — in an ironic twist we end up with a Ficdep/MinTruth production).

My problem with this material, both original and derivative, is that I found Terry Pratchett before Tolkien. Pratchett worked hard at entertaining his audiences but his fantasy world was both fantastic and real, magic being, for example, an adjustment of forces to create a desired outcome and invariably undesirable side effects which is why its practice was frowned upon. There are so many clever ideas and subtle concepts in his works that they’ve never been satisfactorily turned into screenplays, there’s just too much structure. To give a glimpse of his vision I’ll repeat what he wrote about elves-

“Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.Elves are terrific. They beget terror.The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.No one ever said elves are nice.Elves are bad.”
Try and put that in a screenplay! (The quote is from the book “Lords and Ladies” and like most of his tales, its both entertaining and cautionary.)

rob2
rob2
Sep 21, 2022 8:26 PM

Insightful and interesting reading. I couldn’t agree more which is why I’ll never bother with the series. The books are wonderful and much better company anyway.

Curious about the author, I visited his website and read his about page, sure I’d get confirmation of how my mind’s eye perceived him: an English professor smoking a pipe. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to see a young man sharing his ignited imagination through his gift of writing seemingly ancient stories.

Go Westernesse young man!

Donaldir Son of Trumpdir
Donaldir Son of Trumpdir
Sep 21, 2022 7:45 PM

Excellent review.

Johnnycomelately
Johnnycomelately
Sep 21, 2022 6:56 PM

Full of “Piss and Vinegar” Wrapped in a Plastic,

Brilliantly put this is exactly how i feel theses days when i watch U.K colon, alex jones or David icke.

Patrick L.
Patrick L.
Sep 21, 2022 5:16 PM

The Rings of Power, Season 2: Sphincter of Vigor

A mighty force is gathering in the tenebrous realm of Rektom…

George Mc
George Mc
Sep 21, 2022 9:21 PM
Reply to  Patrick L.

Hi Patrick. I reckon you may not be a Tolkien fan so I thought I’d post this delicious observation on the mighty JRRT under your post where it may avoid the attention of the Ring Wraths. I like Tolky myself but I can understand why someone wouldn’t. In this case Michael Moorcock, who wrote this:

… we are not sure -­‐ because Tolkien cannot really bring himself to get close to his proles and their satanic leaders -­‐ if Sauron and Co. are quite as evil as we’re told. After all, anyone who hates hobbits can’t be all bad.

Patrick L.
Patrick L.
Sep 21, 2022 10:37 PM
Reply to  George Mc

You’re right George, I’m not a fan, though it wasn’t for want of trying. The thing is, I had already been inoculated by reading Alan Garner, whose books exemplify what he once called “the poetic disciplines – pace, compression, simplicity”. The Owl Service said more to me in about 200 pages than LOTR did in what felt like 10,000 (though I never got more than about 100 pages into it, despite at least two conscientious attempts). I remember thinking, “Oh ffs, not yet another character, yet another made-up name, yet another bloody kingdom, yet another subplot, who can care about any of this stuff?” Maybe chucking at least one book across a room is an essential part of growing up.

LOTR (when I was about 14) and Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams (four years later) were probably the two most disappointing books of my adolescence. I hadn’t expected to be so bored and exasperated by either of them, never mind both. Two interminable works of dogged and ponderous fantasy.

I do remember enjoying The Hobbit, though. Smeagal/Gollum is one of the few recognisably human characters in the whole solemn blatherfest.

George Mc
George Mc
Sep 22, 2022 8:47 AM
Reply to  Patrick L.

Terry Pratchett once said (paraphrasing): “If you don’t think Tolkien is the greatest writer in the world when you’re 14, there’s something wrong with you. If you still think that when you’re 50 then there’s really something wrong with you!”

I was around 14 when I read LOTR and I loved it although even then I had difficulty with the last book and its stodgy Biblical cadences (“And lo!” etc.) A couple of years ago I attempted to re-read it and was struck by the pedestrian prose. Nevertheless I managed to get as far as the last book which defeated me. It wasn’t the Biblical thing (I didn’t get that far!) but a line about how the noble knightly caste had to make the world safe for the little commoners. Yuck!

I reckon you might like the whole Moorcock essay (titled “Epic Pooh”):

https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/english/currentstudents/undergraduate/modules/en361fantastika/bibliography/2.7moorcock_m.1978epic_pooh.pdf

Other disappointments? I was dismayed to find that, in Moby Dick, only about a third of the book is given over to the story, the rest consisting of essays on whales in myth, whales in history, details of the whaling industry etc. And then about twenty pages from the end Melville seems to wake up with a jolt and realise, “Oh that’s right! I’m supposed to be telling a story!” and we get a perfunctory round up. Still, I suppose it may be better a second time round?

Patrick L.
Patrick L.
Sep 22, 2022 8:39 PM
Reply to  George Mc

So much depends on where and when you first encounter a book, and on the unique past & present you’re bringing to it. Some things you’re too old for, some you’re too young for, some are just too “foreign” to get through to you, at least at that time in your life. Sometime, as in The Three Bears, the book is just right. Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist wouldn’t have gripped and disturbed me so much when I was 15 if I hadn’t been raised Catholic and known Dublin. So if a teenager in China or Africa is bored or baffled by it, then fair enough (especially if they’re reading it in translaton), I gain nothing by insisting it’s a Great Book,

Still, there are truths that are recognisable across nations and generations. Alan Garner wrote a sequence of four long short stories, eventually published together as The Stone Book Quartet, about four generations of his own rural working-class family in Cheshire, from about 1870-1940, smiths and stonemasons. Single episodes in a chid’s life, periods of confusion and unhappiness culminating in numinous moments, “epiphanies”, vocations. Becoming most conscious of connections just as they break. He has spoken of how moved he was to get a bunch of letters sent to him by a schoolteacher in a remote village in northern Canada, excited letters by Inuit children who had recognised themselves in these English children watching their fathers practise their craft just as that way of life died out. Adolescents full of life and struggling to find a way forward.

Aye, well. Ttime passes and if you manage to survive unbroken you see more of the world and certain pressures ease off and new and different pressures arrive and pass in their turn. If books matter to you at all, then different books will start to matter. I didn’t get far with Moby Dick or Middlemarch in my teens or twenties. Decades later, I was absorbed and moved by both of them in their turn. (And it’s hard to imagine two more different books.)

George Mc
George Mc
Sep 23, 2022 9:47 AM
Reply to  Patrick L.

It’s odd that you mention that bit about reading a book at the right time. I made a first attempt reading The Hobbit whilst at primary school at the age of maybe 7. I didn’t pick up on what adults might have called the “cuteness” of it. In fact I found it quite disturbing. But I was hooked … until they all got to Mirkwood and it got too scary for me.

At 14 I decided to tackle the LOTR but thought I’d better get The Hobbit out the way first. This time round, I found the first half which I’d already read too juvenile but the second half seemed to perk up. I then found a book on Tolkien that agreed that The Hobbit seems to change its tone about half way through when Tolkien seems to outgrow the fairy tale roots. It was odd how my experience mirrored this.

As for Moby, yes I should give that another go.

(Primary School joke:

Q: What’s big and hairy and lies at the bottom of the sea?

A: Moby’s Dick!

ARF!

Sorry!)

Patrick L.
Patrick L.
Sep 23, 2022 4:47 PM
Reply to  George Mc

Did you ever read Alasdair Gray’s Lanark? I first read it the week it came out and damn, it made an indelible impression on me. Greater Unthank! My home city never looked quite the same to me again.

sean harvey
sean harvey
Sep 22, 2022 10:29 PM
Reply to  George Mc

It really is better the second time around. You give up on a well-paced story and accept that there’s going to be a lot of fairly interesting asides interrupting that story. Or you just don’t give it a second read.

Patrick L.
Patrick L.
Sep 21, 2022 10:53 PM
Reply to  George Mc

^^ response pending, now practically inevitably

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 22, 2022 8:42 AM
Reply to  Patrick L.

For those too young, National Lampoon did a whole great rewrite of the hallowed tomes about 50 years ago, early ’70s. Frodo became ‘Frito’ and Bilbo, ‘Dildo’ and whatever worked best, a bit broad, but a great laugh for us young toxic hippie chess players, playing speed chess on the late nite clock in our many smoke-filled lairs. I imagine those comics are still sold online, still sneezable fun decades later. I am still a JTTR fanboy, and the other bigtime Inklings (C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams) but such rollicking sendups are a good antidote for the more seriously toxic spider poisons.

Clive Williams
Clive Williams
Sep 22, 2022 10:18 PM
Reply to  John Ervin

Post 70’s to be critical I find US entertainment far to group induced to comment on. In fact, personally I still rate as an example of American, the comedy Classic mad mad…World (not because of any present circumstance)., the funniest movie ever made. I still love watching it.
As a boy Artist (9),.. I hated anything on British Television from the US with its obvious in vogue adjustable dubbed laughter.
By the late 60’s this inner feeling just dismissed the military American vision.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 23, 2022 11:03 PM
Reply to  Clive Williams

I feel you. It is pretty dumbed down and polyester, mostly, but a few great exceptions. “MAD” magazine could be a hoot, I believe that was the inspiration for Terry Gilliam, as the only non-Brit in Monty Python. I was edified to find out lately that he was growing up just down the street from us in the blistering “Valley” of L.A. and expatriated to UK after getting roughed up by the Van Nuys cops (fun fact: Larry Fink the czar of BlackRock was also a nearby neighbour, as was Greg Palast, though I only found out about all 3 after I was mercifully long gone.)

John
John
Sep 21, 2022 3:48 PM

Excellent review. I agree with everything you said. I couldn’t get beyond the opening scene of the children bullying each other. I knew right then that the show was just wrong.

banana
banana
Sep 21, 2022 3:18 PM

https://twitter.com/markets/status/1484407347716005890

Bloomberg Markets

One Covid shot to rule them all, one Covid shot to find them, one Covid shot to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

TomUSA
TomUSA
Sep 21, 2022 3:00 PM

Tolkien, like his friend C.S. Lewis, was a Realized soul and thereby could and did bequeath to us ethereal beauty from the Divine Realm to which he was connected.

I won’t trouble to view this apparently mercenary attempt to channel Tolkien, but did so advisedly in the case of The Chronicles of Narnia and, while I appreciated what seemed to be a sincere attempt to faithfully render the narrative it was utterly lacking in the magic such great souls are able to convey.

Howard
Howard
Sep 21, 2022 1:58 PM

So long as “the suits” stayed in the background, there was hope for something worthwhile. The moment they moved to the foreground, something hideous transpired.

In their hands, creative license becomes a license to kill. Yes, it’s a hackneyed phrase; but as such the most appropriate way to convey the dynamic.

It’s impossible for these “suits” to create fantasy because their only concept of reality consists of beans waiting to be counted. Without a base in the real world (as opposed to the corporate world), fantasy becomes anything anyone wishes to come up with.

An elf can kiss a toad and out pops God in a gold mini skirt, telling the world she was enchanted by a giant gnat. What a story that would make! (Beans on ready.)

plino
plino
Sep 21, 2022 1:14 PM

An excellent article that perfectly describes some of the most pressing problems of our time.

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
Sep 21, 2022 1:26 PM
Reply to  plino

I moved your equally excellent comment on Ukraine to the latest article covering the subject

plino
plino
Sep 21, 2022 1:47 PM

Thank you very much, dear Sophie. I have always relied on your timely reaction for the most accurate determination of the place of the relevant comment.

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
Sep 21, 2022 2:20 PM
Reply to  plino

No problem dear plino. I’m sure you appreciate the minimal courtesy involved in not hijacking this space with OT comment.

plino
plino
Sep 21, 2022 4:00 PM

I appreciate your courtesy most highly. I am strongly opposed to spaces hijacked, and if I did, it was unintentional, and because of my inexperience, I did not realize that it would come to this.

My mistake; I should have been more careful to realize that it was my comment that would distract from a space already littered with deeply related to the topic and belonging to this space comments about basketball player Kyrie Irving’s message; a general comment about the harmful influence of the media; the space agency that will blow up an asteroid on the 26th; making it easier for the CCP to achieve world domination; the Anglo-Normans, the Welsh, the Cornish and the Scots and the Damned Saxons; EMP and Starlink; Bill Gates; Hugo Talks; and Covid shot. I should be more careful in the future.

Pilgrim Shadow
Pilgrim Shadow
Sep 21, 2022 5:39 PM

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” — John Muir

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 23, 2022 11:06 PM
Reply to  Pilgrim Shadow

Hear, hear! (~A.D.D. lifetime “patient”)

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 25, 2022 12:04 AM
Reply to  Pilgrim Shadow

Or as my man, the late great Randy California was the 1st to state: “Everything is Everything.”

Tom
Tom
Sep 21, 2022 12:12 PM

This article started as a critique by a hurt and confused member of a betrayed fandom and then wandered into an amazing insight into an observation of the the stack-high sell-cheap of modern consumerism, the streaming services doing to literature what shows like “The Voice” did to music. Loved it. Bravo.

Observe
Observe
Sep 21, 2022 12:42 PM
Reply to  Tom

…a hurt and confused member of a betrayed fandom

This alone deserves ridicule.

Pilgrim Shadow
Pilgrim Shadow
Sep 21, 2022 2:20 PM
Reply to  Tom

“the streaming services doing to literature what shows like “The Voice” Rap and autotune did to music. Loved it. Bravo.

Observe
Observe
Sep 21, 2022 11:11 AM

I’m really enjoying the series. I just don’t care as much as the Church of Tolkien appreciators about the legacy of the work or it’s importance to life. I’m therefore able to just enjoy what is, without worrying about what was or could have been. You might not feel the same as I do, but it’s a lot more sensible and happy-making than the warped and enraged defence of a fantasy story that doesn’t live up to the expectations of the faithful.

Simon
Simon
Sep 21, 2022 11:19 AM
Reply to  Observe

Ah my God, let me guess you already have your order in for that delicious bug flour and you’ll soon be making your pancakes with it and telling people you’re loving every blessed mouthful. There’s no saving some humanity from their own stupid.

It’s shite my friend. Brain-destroying, culture-killing shite designed to destroy your critical faculties if you have any, which, excuse my frankness, you obviously don’t.

And spare me your recycled Amazon-bought-and-paid-for put downs. “Church of Tolkien”, for God’s sake, do you not have one original thought in your head.

Observe
Observe
Sep 21, 2022 11:25 AM
Reply to  Simon

Typical straw-man, no-brain response. I like a tv show therefore I want to do whatever I am told and eat bugs. You’re a shallow thinker for sure.

It’s an opinion. It differs from yours. You think it’s shite. I enjoy it. Hope you can live with this as I know it must be tough having to defend a cherished fairy tale as an adult.

Simon
Simon
Sep 21, 2022 11:35 AM
Reply to  Observe

There’s certain levels of dumb-fuckery we need to call out my friend, and I’m sorry your are the perpetrator and I hurt your feelings. But if you can’t see what this monstrosity and all the other similar shite is aimed at doing then sooner or later you will be eating bug pancakes and telling us you like those too, even if right now you don’t think you will.

For your sake I’m hoping Amazon is paying you to come here and talk gobshite and when you clock off you go home and read great books and watch great movies. The thought of you sitting there enjoying being showered in Bezos shite is just too sad.

Observe
Observe
Sep 21, 2022 11:59 AM
Reply to  Simon

I’ve seen many great movies and read many great books, including Hobbit and Rings. The difference between us is I can have my experience of them remain as great as they were and move on to enjoy a re-telling (the Jackson films) and visit old and new places and characters in the series.

I’m not childishly bound to the original Tolkien works and am not in any way as clearly emotionally impacted by this series as you and others appear to have been. Take a breath, think about your feelings on this and maybe ask yourself why it bothers you quite as much as it does.

Simon
Simon
Sep 21, 2022 12:32 PM
Reply to  Observe

Ah no my friend, that’s not the difference between us. The difference between us is that you like being showered in corrupting shite and I don’t. Or hopefully that you are being paid by mr Bezos to come here and pretend you like being showered in shite. Or perhaps that you just enjoy turning up and saying “controversial” stuff. Maybe you haven’t even watched this lamentable abortion at all. I hope so for your sake

Observe
Observe
Sep 21, 2022 12:47 PM
Reply to  Simon

Seen the first three eps so far. Looking forward so much to the 4th and 5th that I’ve stopped watching each week and instead watching two at a time so I can enjoy them at film length.

While you’re seething and crying tomorrow night I’ll be sipping wine and toasting my complete lack of interest in how they compare to something I read decades ago. Enjoy your salty tears!

EasyEight
EasyEight
Sep 21, 2022 3:48 PM
Reply to  Observe

The main problem with your argument is that even if you take Tolkien entirely out of the picture and treat as just a stand alone show, it’s awful. The CGI visuals and some practical sets are nice (except for the laughable ChihuaWarg), but many of the costumes are cheap, the story is full of holes, the dialogue is bad, the characters either uninteresting or unlikable (Galadriel who has one emotion – pissy)prissy. I have been given no reason to connect with or care about any of them. And lazy production, can’t even be bothered to visually represent travel – like when the two elves stroll off camera in Eregion and then stroll back on camera in the same clothes 50 miles away like a Skyrim fast travel cut scene. Just bad, unoriginal fantasy…I mean, were you surprised and moved to laughter by the two Hobbity girls letting go of the wagon so the Stranger rolls down hill?? Yuck yuck yuck, eh?

Observe
Observe
Sep 21, 2022 8:25 PM
Reply to  EasyEight

I can agree that much of what you say is true. I can, at the same time, continue to enjoy the show with the understanding and history of experience that what we are seeing is new; the journey has barely begun. Characters will flesh out, actors will settle and grow in their roles and the writers will grow with them. Or they won’t, and it will wither and fail.

I’m just not in agreement that the show is as poor as is being said. It’s an online, amplified outrage of short-lived renown. They happen every week now.

Tolkien Fan
Tolkien Fan
Sep 21, 2022 11:46 AM
Reply to  Observe

I thought you were being cleverly sarcastic then saw your replies. Oh dear.

Observe
Observe
Sep 21, 2022 12:15 PM
Reply to  Tolkien Fan

No sarcasm. Though I do take satisfaction from seeing the futile, brain-draining and childish defence of treasured comfort blankets.

George Alexander
George Alexander
Sep 21, 2022 12:27 PM
Reply to  Observe

I’m sure there are things you care about.

When they’re subverted and desecrated, you’ll have my sympathy; do try and extend the same.

maybe ‘treasured comfort blankets’ isn’t so silly a thing to defend, considering there is an ongoing effort to destroy them.

Observe
Observe
Sep 21, 2022 1:07 PM

Christ. There will be an attempt to destroy it when the books are banned. Until then it’s a sad tale of grown men (mostly) clinging to something they love and hating others who don’t feel the same.

There is no book or work of art you could subvert or desecrate that would raise in me the kind of twisted, sad and angry defence seen with this and other cry-fests online. I’d compare it easily to the often irrational defence of multi millionaire sports people and teams by their fans. It’s disproportionate and lacks perspective.

I expected a greater number of broader more flexible minds at OffG. Even here some bring their blankets and their echo-chambers.

Pilgrim Shadow
Pilgrim Shadow
Sep 21, 2022 2:39 PM
Reply to  Observe

Vive la Lord of the Rings. piss on the Rings of Power!

Howard
Howard
Sep 21, 2022 3:21 PM
Reply to  Observe

I believe it’s totally appropriate to call the “creators” of tenth-generation re-makes to task. Fantasy, not to mention all artistic work, deserves an update.

They should stop copying and copying the copies and re-ordering the copy of the copy of the copy.

It’s called “running it into the ground” – and thereby reducing whatever was good about the original to a “formula.” A template.

Undoubtedly there are persons who have never encountered the original and therefore enjoy the tenth copy as if it really were something original. And persons who are able to accept the re-make on its own terms.

But the real harm entities like Amazon pretending to be film-makers are doing is making it nearly impossible for present and future “Tolkiens” to appear. Had Mr. Tolkien written his masterpiece(s) this very year, it is practically guaranteed it would not see the light of day – because it would have no track record.

Granted there’s no reason most people should even consider such as that. But for an artist of any persuasion it really is a big deal.

Those trying very hard to kill the culture must first destroy the value of art. If you ever want to see this process in action, look at some of the Soviet era paintings.

James R
James R
Sep 21, 2022 7:15 PM
Reply to  Howard

I think the Greek word ‘epigone’ politely covers it.

Simon
Simon
Sep 21, 2022 12:38 PM
Reply to  Observe

Ah yes, those treasured old comfort blankets of integrity, vision, honesty and beauty. Thank God we don’t need all that shite any more, eh. Just stick on your plastic armor and run about talking bullshit – more than good enough for our poor little shrunken modern brains. It’s moving. It’s shiny. We’re hooked.

Observe
Observe
Sep 21, 2022 12:50 PM
Reply to  Simon

…treasured old comfort blankets of integrity, vision, honesty and beauty.

The originals haven’t disappeared you know. You can read them again if you like. Cry me a river.

Howard
Howard
Sep 21, 2022 9:57 PM
Reply to  Observe

I’m still trying to figure out, several hours down the road here, how the concept of “comfort blanket” got into the picture. A work which a person very much likes and considers great is not a “comfort blanket.”

Shakespear’s “King Lear,” which many (myself included) consider the greatest of all literary works, does not wrap well about the psyche or give the warm, fuzzy feeling of a blanket – unless it be an Army blanket.

Also, you might be wrong in saying “the originals haven’t disappeared.”
That may be literally true; but figuratively, you cannot wrap layer upon layer of artifice atop something and expect it to convey the same essence it once did.

If Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony is re-worked as a Rap “song,” something of the original is forever lost. Why? Just because somebody thought it could be updated and made “relevant” to today’s culture.

Thoughts carry greater weight than we give them credit for.

Observe
Observe
Sep 22, 2022 12:07 PM
Reply to  Howard

It becomes a comfort blanket when an over-emotional response is shown to something that is neither a threat to the original work or to the person who experienced the original work. The person wraps themselves in their emotional connection to the blanket and all reason and perspective are lost.

It’s your opinion that a rap version of a classical piece would diminish the original. In my opinion that’s completely subjective and may result in the classical piece becoming a comfort blanket for a person who perceives the impact of the rap in the way that you apparently would.

Demelza Henry
Demelza Henry
Sep 21, 2022 10:28 AM

Very fine analysis which has gone some way to restoring my faith. I can’t watch this atrocity but my husband can and does.

Jos
Jos
Sep 21, 2022 10:20 AM

I haven’t seen and have no intention of seeing the film and must confess I couldn’t finish reading the review but I wonder why anyone needs fiction for a story of good and evil when we’re clearly living through one. The media is filled with devilish strutting, misogyny of an extreme kind so that the rewriting of great women is tarnished and erased, and evil beyond comprehension. It’s a better battle that needs to be fought and won so maybe the film-makers need to stop writing this crap and start righting the world.

Demelza Henry
Demelza Henry
Sep 21, 2022 10:27 AM
Reply to  Jos

The greatest truths are conveyed best through stories. In decrying this you are turning your back on what it is to be human. Another destructive act in line with the one analyzed in the review imo.

George Alexander
George Alexander
Sep 21, 2022 11:14 AM
Reply to  Jos

Right!? If only Solzhenitsyn and Orwell had focussed on politics over literature, they would have made much more of an impact, I’m sure!

End Central Banks
End Central Banks
Sep 21, 2022 11:44 AM
Reply to  Jos

So true. Bad writers are bad writers, be they in entertainment, news/propaganda media or self-appointed “reality” makers, whose poorly imagined Technocracy transhumanist world vision is a “ludicrous, dystopian farce” that should not be taken seriously.
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/09/21/the-narrative-matrix-hides-the-truth-about-the-world-and-about-ourselves/

Mr Y
Mr Y
Sep 21, 2022 9:52 AM

Glad I’m a “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” man.

No, wait, idiots ruined that too!

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0371724/

sabelmouse
sabelmouse
Sep 21, 2022 9:44 AM

are you that saying the adaptation is not as good as the book? that goes for 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 of all adaptations.

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
Sep 21, 2022 10:20 AM
Reply to  sabelmouse

No, he’s saying it’s insultingly bad, poorly-written, poorly-rendered, poorly-acted, unimaginative, infantile garbage. Did that not come across?

johann
johann
Sep 21, 2022 2:08 PM
Reply to  sabelmouse

…. and there is no book !

George Mc
George Mc
Sep 21, 2022 9:42 AM

The WSWS is about to release its own fantasy sequence:

“This is the introduction to Volume 1 of “COVID, Capitalism, and Class War: A Social and Political Chronology of the Pandemic.””

The most audaciously imaginative alternate universe epic of all time!

George Mc
George Mc
Sep 21, 2022 11:11 PM
Reply to  George Mc

The article announcing the new franchise is worth looking at for the laughs:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/09/20/pand-s20.html

As the virus spread, a veil of silence was imposed by the corporate media and political establishment through the end of February 2020, covering up the growing dangers facing society.

That’s why nobody heard about covid. No lockdowns, no masks, no distancing!!!!!

dom irritant
dom irritant
Sep 21, 2022 8:24 AM

this article is much too long, i watched the first episode for about 20 minutes and it was crap, end of story

dom irritant
dom irritant
Sep 22, 2022 9:34 AM
Reply to  dom irritant

haha 12 down votes so far for that excellent, the msm bots are out in force

Edwige
Edwige
Sep 21, 2022 8:20 AM

Keeping the possibility of some sort of EMP event on the go:

https://www.newsweek.com/spacex-satellites-destroyed-solar-storm-space-weather-1743539

It looks very like whatever Starlink was it didn’t work and this is the cover story. If it was some sort of surveillance grid as seems most probable, it’s failure would explain why they so suddenly cooled on track-and-trace.

John Milton
John Milton
Sep 21, 2022 7:56 AM

Anything starring former comedian Sir Lenny “we need racial quotas, but
I’m not racist” Henry is a must watch!

Duckman
Duckman
Sep 21, 2022 6:55 AM

tolkien taught us that times of plenty and relative peace produce apathy and we too easily forget the past, but more, he taught us that as before we must again gather in numbers throwing aside our differences to defeat evil

this is where he was inspired to write his vision:

comment image

rechenmacher
rechenmacher
Sep 21, 2022 9:57 AM
Reply to  Duckman

Where is that, Oxfordshire?

Duckman
Duckman
Sep 22, 2022 7:01 AM
Reply to  rechenmacher

ampleforth valley, n yorkshire, v special place

Memesahib
Memesahib
Sep 21, 2022 6:21 AM

As a long time reader of the books I did not like the Peter Jackson movies. All visual renditions have lacked depth. Shall certainly stay away from the series which seem even more trite than usual.
To quote Christopher Tolkien,
Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time… The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing.”

Rory
Rory
Sep 21, 2022 5:59 AM

The story is unimportant. The characters are unimportant. Nuanced conversation is unimportant.

This is a huge advert for the metaverse. Amazon/Disney (whoever) wants you in the metaverse. All the wonderful towns and cities and vistas are CGI. They are a video game. Disney/Amazon (whoever) wants you to climb in to this video game. It hasn’t been released yet, and you’re going to need a VR headset and a haptek suit to really get the most out of it, but you can pick those up along the way as you gain credit for completing various tasks à la Ready Player One. That whole scene with the boy escaping from the orcs – get out of the house – run to cover when they’re looking the other way – run to the other house when they’re looking the other way – it’s been played in countless other games.

I’m not talking about a video game that you play occasionally – they want you in this world permanently (or some other one of your choosing). “You can live in this world,” they will say, as an elf or an orc, or a hobbit, or a human. This is what it means when they say, “You can be whatever you want to be,” because in the metaverse you can.

Keep your eye on 2025, and most certainly by 2030.

les online
les online
Sep 21, 2022 5:42 AM

Talking about rings of power, how about the bill gates circle of the powerful that’s seeking World Domination by Stealth using Concern For Your Health to disguise their aims !

On the surface their concern seems to be about making more money, but really the plan is driven by one man’s fear of germs, fear of contagion – personal fears that will have severe consequences for your life, your rights, your freedom…

In 2021 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation contributed $789 million (54%) of the WHO budget, exceeding the US contribution by $50 million…He could have bought a house-size anti-contamination bubble for a lot less !

dailysceptic.org/2022/09/20/the-growing-menace-of-bill-gates-global-health/

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 21, 2022 4:37 AM

I wouldn’t be too alarmed about the series, there was first an animated version of the Hobbit back in the 1970s. I’d waited forever to see some kind of filmic dramatization, the books lend themselves to that so wantonly. When we aficianados (I named our school underground mag “Palantir” in 1967) heard that there would be an ultra-animated version of it, we all said, “Well, who knows, maybe that will work, or won’t be so bad,” though we had doubts. It was more horrible and pathetic than even the Bezos minions could possibly achieve, on their best efforts to desecrate it.

It quickly went the way of all flesh, or the dodo, or the Nazgul ultimately, and nobody remembers it today. So we can hope. Of course, I said that in the early 1980s about rap, and now it lives on forever despite all stagnation. That, of course, is because it’s industry-driven: like 50s teen idol songs, and beach blanket bingo, it is an easy score for quick dividends. In short, the industry now decides what it is most people like, and fake the poll results, surveys, etc. So, we have to contend with the artificially concocted tastes. Let’s hope that something this horrid won’t prevail.

Simon
Simon
Sep 21, 2022 11:25 AM
Reply to  John Ervin

Here’s something to try. Watch a bit of the old animated movie (I know it well). Then watch the first 30 mins of RoP. Then watch the movie again. You’ll be amazed how full on smart and sophisticated that old thing suddenly looks.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 22, 2022 6:40 AM
Reply to  Simon

Nice, makes total sense.

Pilgrim Shadow
Pilgrim Shadow
Sep 21, 2022 3:00 PM
Reply to  John Ervin

I remember that adaptation, and hated it when it came out. I have no desire to go back and revisit it. That being said, I believe its failure was more one of execution, vision and finances, as opposed to Rings of Power, which is a wholesale shitting and spitting upon the source material and its fanbase, and more broadly, the greater culture that gave birth to LOTR.

Rings of Power is execrable, eminently mockable, insulting rubbish and it can’t fail hard enough to suit me.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 22, 2022 6:41 AM
Reply to  Pilgrim Shadow

I feel you, on all counts.

Hele
Hele
Sep 21, 2022 4:32 AM

Banal billionaire wanking.

Johnny
Johnny
Sep 21, 2022 12:43 AM

And then there’s the greatest fantasy novel of all time: the Bible. And all the Hollywood versions of that epic.
Holy shit !
The Sheeple don’t read anyway, so they will lap up any dross.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 20, 2022 11:47 PM

If this ain’t on topic, I just don’t know:

Kyrie Irving, who wears a true Ring of Power for his NBA championship as the superstar point guard of the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers captained by Lebron, just now messaged the world that the “vaxxes” and mandates “are some of the biggest violations of human rights in history”!

My Man. No fantasy lore there, the real deal. And a real Ring of Power that children hoopsters fantasize about the world over.

The future thanks you, Sir Kyrie Irving!

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/bb-nets-star-irving-vaccine-mandates-biggest-violations-human-rights-history/?utm_source=salsa&eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=9419524c-3d9e-46d9-89df-ffa75483deba

(It goes without saying, but well worth posting, that Twitter went instantly atweet with slamming of, if not on, Kyrie by embedded trolls and wannabes calling him “brain dead” and five or six “conspiracy theorist” slam junk back to back.)

“Whenever ‘conspiracy theorist’ I hear
I know a brain has just gone suddenly out of gear.”

~~ David Martin, “The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton” at dcdave.com

£4£&$4$+my2cents

Blind Gill
Blind Gill
Sep 20, 2022 11:40 PM

It’s just a show. What’s been interesting is the kick back. I’ve quite enjoyed it. Its not brilliant but what is? The vitriol spewed is amazing. The actors and studio may be woke – but this far the show isn’t. You can pick holes in anything.

What it’s telling me though is not one source has said “it’s okay.” They are all decrying it. That’s odd.

Pilgrim Shadow
Pilgrim Shadow
Sep 20, 2022 11:59 PM
Reply to  Blind Gill

“It’s just a show.”

Is it, though?

Marielle
Marielle
Sep 21, 2022 12:36 AM
Reply to  Blind Gill

You can enjoy it all you want. You just have garbage tier taste.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to jump off my boat and swim 700 miles to shore.

Simon
Simon
Sep 21, 2022 7:39 AM
Reply to  Blind Gill

Congratulations Blind Gill for showing up on an alternative media blog and regurgitating exactly the same vacuous pseudo talking point put out by all the bots on social media. Quite an achievement.

Blind Gill
Blind Gill
Sep 21, 2022 9:22 AM
Reply to  Simon

You’re very welcome. It has been much more interesting to me that the alternative media has not deviated from the “isn’t it shit and woke” position. My point is that the show isn’t woke (so far) and I’M REALLY LOOKING. The interest to me is that everyone isn’t engaging reason here – they’re just parroting the same boring bullshit – no one in the alt media has stepped out of line with reason – which is – it’s just a mediocre show. But this backlash? Fascinating.

I think I did say it wasn’t brilliant – of course it isn’t. But this pearl clutching bullshit over such things has to stop. Be careful of what mob you join because in the end you’re all just mobs.

Jane
Jane
Sep 21, 2022 11:36 AM
Reply to  Blind Gill

I agree. The backlash is a little bit much. I didn’t find anything “woke” about it either. I thought the hobbit movie was worse. The hatred for Gadrielle is over the top. They make a point showing her as a bitch. So it’s obviously some character arc. I didn’t notice the writing was that bad till the article pointed it out. It’s a mediocre show. Disappointing for the budget. I’ll probably still watch it. I’ll take anything where orcs are the enemies and not climate change.

Howard
Howard
Sep 21, 2022 3:40 PM
Reply to  Jane

You hit the nail on the head: “character arc.” The whole idea of a show like this is to get as much mileage out of it as possible. Which means the most magical of all magic words: SPIN-OFF.

The thing that needs to be said can no longer be said: “Get the Suits off the Set!”

les online
les online
Sep 20, 2022 11:34 PM

I have not read any Tolkein, or watched any of the movies (even though they’re reshown every four or five weeks lately on local tv). Do you think i’ll find the series enjoyable ? Boring ? What ? as i dont have your developed taste etc against which to appreciate it…(I certainly found the female version of Ghostbuster a stretch…)

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 21, 2022 4:42 AM
Reply to  les online

The books are all marvels, if you let them cast their benevolent spell upon you. Of course, I first read them at 15, and that excuses any errors in taste, but they rocked our world in High School, among all the sharpest brats, many fanboys for life. Not as bad as Trekkies, mind you, but they have a very Jungian “archetypes of the collective unconscious” life all their own, if you catch that mesmeric quality, and are really something. If you get in their groove, they’ll grab you and won’t let go, like the Balrog and Gandalf’s ankle. So, there’s that.

rechenmacher
rechenmacher
Sep 21, 2022 10:11 AM
Reply to  les online

Read the books, by all means (Rings first then Silmarillion then Hobbit). The films are a mixed bag. They have overwhelming scenes but also ridiculous ones. Don’t touch anything from Amazon/Netflix/Disney.

Pilgrim Shadow
Pilgrim Shadow
Sep 21, 2022 7:34 PM
Reply to  rechenmacher

I’d suggest Hobbit first, then Rings. Silmarillion is optional.

Ort
Ort
Sep 22, 2022 8:26 PM
Reply to  Pilgrim Shadow

Although a lifelong and settled Tolkien aficionado– and arguably a proud “purist” despite the sneering, pejorative use of the term– I only skimmed the article and comments threads because I was instinctively repelled from the first by the news that Amazon was flensing chunks from the vast Tolkien MSS carcass and transmogrifying them into a pasteurized, processed, Woke-flavored subscription content product.

Hell, I enjoyed the Jackson LOTR films, but still shudder at the way Faramir was perverted– and I adhere to the unpopular opinion that the “Scouring of the Shire” is an essential feature of the tale (or “quest”) that shouldn’t have been omitted because it was an episode too far.

Anyway, I can’t resist offering a belated caveat: the pitfall of beginning with The Hobbit is that JRRT was consciously, even self-consciously, writing a children’s book that drew elements from his extant sophisticated “adult” mythology. 

As it happens, I first read– actually, devoured– LOTR when I was about 12 years old. Most of the background history went over my head. When I subsequently read The Hobbit, I enjoyed it but was a bit let down, IIRC. I liked it enough to periodically re-read it, and came to consider it worthwhile and charming. 

But reading it as an introduction to Tolkien may disappoint or discourage adult readers because it doesn’t showcase the intricacy and resonance found in LOTR– nominally a “sequel” written for the (young) readers who clamored for “more hobbits”, but which “grew in the telling”. 

Put slightly differently, I can imagine an adult reading The Hobbit and concluding that it’s a nice little book, but lacking the compelling power that Tolkien fans see in his imagination and writing.

Pilgrim Shadow
Pilgrim Shadow
Sep 23, 2022 4:04 AM
Reply to  Ort

Your points are all fair ones. For me, it’s simply a question of a) I read the Hobbit first, so sentiment, and b) continuity. Characters and events are introduced in the Hobbit that later come into play in LOTR.

I’ve read all of them many times.

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 22, 2022 6:49 AM
Reply to  rechenmacher

Disney may defeat humanity by marshalling ALL the demons of cuteness. Always been that way. I went to its plastic incarnation, Disneyland, 1955, as a 3 years old, and despised it even at such a tender moment. I was precocious.

We must arise, believers, and, joining our strengths as one, exorcise the Disney Demons of Cuteness!!

John Ervin
John Ervin
Sep 22, 2022 6:50 AM
Reply to  John Ervin

George Lucas: “Dare to be cute!”

There you go, know the enemy.

Howard
Howard
Sep 21, 2022 3:45 PM
Reply to  les online

I have not read the books either. But I do have (at least I think I do) an appreciation of great art. I need nothing further to look askance at bastardized versions of artistic works.

If, upon seeing a movie (or even a series), one’s first reaction is “I can’t wait for the sequel!”, then something very dark and foreboding has come over one’s sensibility.

Stop The Prison Mentality
Stop The Prison Mentality
Sep 20, 2022 10:28 PM

I don’t do TV or Radio, so I can’t really comment on the review or the show, but it does sound bloody awful though, which is hardly surprising.

Considering the last few years, I would have thought by now it was eye-wateringly obvious that the media, or should I say the propaganda department of the 0.1%, are not your friends. They are currently at war with you, and they are winning. I don’t think it’s really that important whether a program is liked or not, it’s that it was watched at all, that’s the problem. People need just step away from the remote control.

But I know they won’t. They are hopelessly lost and will continue to watch and feed their addiction, much like an Off-Guardian reader & meme hater clicking on a meme Monday post to satisfy their meme hating addiction.

Kika
Kika
Sep 20, 2022 10:20 PM

I didn’t watch the queen’s funeral yesterday, but did watch the ‘Hugo Talks’ video about it. This masonic ritual included the ‘breaking of the wand’ by the lord chancellor. When a magician dies, this is how her/his magic spell is broken.

Also, the ancient (and present) druids consider the holly tree to be sacred, so they make their wands out of holly-wood. Get it?

The show must go on!

https://hugotalks.com/

Russian Hank
Russian Hank
Sep 20, 2022 10:24 PM
Reply to  Kika

He seems very on point.

Blind Gill
Blind Gill
Sep 20, 2022 11:36 PM
Reply to  Kika

He’s full of shit and has several different channels.

Blind Gill
Blind Gill
Sep 21, 2022 9:10 AM
Reply to  Blind Gill

He’s a shill and has several entertainment channels.

KiwiJoker
KiwiJoker
Sep 20, 2022 10:14 PM

Excellent, succinct review of a tepidly served mashed offal pie, the ingredients of which are the floor sweepings of decaying left-overs, scavenged from beneath the table of a great historic feast.

Shipintheknight
Shipintheknight
Sep 20, 2022 10:06 PM

? Explain svp, I wasn’t interested in the slightest but curious for any “slippage” by the msm.

Marfanoi
Marfanoi
Sep 20, 2022 10:03 PM

Also we have Artemis frustrated and desperate to get home launching soon to join in the shitshow with her bow and arrows.Its fucking great eh ? We need a good poem off the dragon Gordan x

NixonScraypes
NixonScraypes
Sep 20, 2022 10:03 PM

Carry On Up the Lord of the Amazon. Kenneth Williams brings a fresh nuance to the role of Gandalf…..etc. You really don’t have to watch it, in fact- you should have thrown the tele out the hotel window years ago.

Marfanoi
Marfanoi
Sep 20, 2022 9:56 PM

And on the 26th the geniuses at the agency of space not a space agency are gonna blow up an asteroid to see what happens.These people need a payrise.Its genius made up shite.But the rocks could fall from the heavens.Onto Rome or London or Washington.

Duckman
Duckman
Sep 21, 2022 7:05 AM
Reply to  Marfanoi

a link so folk can make their own minds up, didymos, dart, interesting names, fucking with things they didnt ought??

https://earthsky.org/space/dart-impact-an-asteroid-on-september-26-2022/

Marfanoi
Marfanoi
Sep 20, 2022 9:43 PM

And now we have The Liz saying she giving the money to bankers before they scurry off like rats to the sewers they built for themselves with no money.Sound.

Marfanoi
Marfanoi
Sep 20, 2022 9:05 PM

Just scanned comments from last two articles and nobody mentions what happened yesterday with the itv coverage of the funeral.BBC wtc7 similarities.They revealed part a very small part of their script.

Pig Swill
Pig Swill
Sep 20, 2022 9:11 PM
Reply to  Marfanoi

Go on…

Marfanoi
Marfanoi
Sep 20, 2022 9:12 PM
Reply to  Marfanoi

It was live and many people say they heard it.I didnt/couldnt/ care/didnt want to watch it.But it happened. Live on itv.Commentary for they broadcast by accident my elbow.games of thronings is in.gets better all the time.Dont watch just smile.

Sophie - Admin1
Admin
Sophie - Admin1
Sep 20, 2022 9:25 PM
Reply to  Marfanoi

Heard what?

Marfanoi
Marfanoi
Sep 20, 2022 9:30 PM

Somebody sounding like Diana saying her death is irreversable she is trapped or something.Watch it.Google her death is irreversable and its the first hit.Live on the itv.

Derek
Derek
Sep 20, 2022 9:55 PM