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Rings of Power episode 5 Cannoli Send a noteboard - 23/09/2022 10:18:36 AM

2:51 Wayne Yip directed Wheel of Time Episodes. So, great start.

3:30 I can’t wait until the Harfoots discover shampoo. My head itches in every scene I have to look at the vegetation in their hair.

4:34 Evidence of meteor-man’s goodness? Nori’s sense of entitlement is the only thing supporting that, in the face of what looked a lot like dark magic. And, by the way, Nori was the 8th named character in The Hobbit. Why did they need to use that name for this one?

5:20 Meteor man can’t entirely grasp the basics of the language, but he can follow along the discussion of snoring for a comic reaction?

5:27 No, don’t sing, please.

6:15 Okay, I guess this works for a travel montage. Her voice is not unpleasant and the song is better than insipid Harfoot dialogue.

7:14 NO! “Not all who wander are lost” Those are not your words! Put them back and stop messing with them!

8:10 Oh. Joy. Another original element.

10:27 In the shoes of these people, I would be wanting to know what “the enemy” has to offer and why opposing him is the right move. I mean, Bronwyn knows nothing about this guy, does not have a name or anything, but she’s asking people to die fighting him. What does an oath of fealty to him entail? I mean, as viewers, we know this is bad news, and they shouldn’t, but in their situation, what do the offered choices mean for them?

Also, I am not super-convinced the writers know what fealty entails, and that they are not just using it as a more archaic synonym for loyalty or obedience.

11:12 Maybe some reasons other than “Me no like him!” What did Mori say that those inclined to listen to Waldreg should change their minds? Bearing in mind as well, that he is known to these people as a representative of an aloof and suspicious authority who holds them in contempt. And also, he spoils chess games, so it’s not like he hasn’t been a tiny bit of a dick himself.

11:30 Bronwyn’s argument is no better. She has said nothing but rhetoric largely cribbed from Braveheart. She is the one who led them to this tower where food is becoming a problem. Her leadership has not exactly produced results, and then she ran off with the Elf to fetch her son, after refusing to risk him in getting food for the community. She could easily be spun as someone more concerned with her and hers than the welfare of the community. Maybe this enemy has a grudge against the Elves and her motivation to oppose them has to do with her friendship with Mori, rather than what is best for the rest of the people.

12:10 Numenor is pretty cool, but coming here means the return of the focus to the dueling sourpusses.

14:59 Is that a guild badge on Halbrand’s shoulder? How did he get it? Was the guild only there to add drama to one episode?

16:20 This is the point where they tell Galadriel where to head in. Halbrand has made it utterly clear that he wants nothing to do with reclaiming his position in the Southlands, and Miriel seems to have twigged to the fact that he’s not on board. Why go along with her bullshit?

17:21 Is getting a crown as special as a boat ride to Valinor? You know, the kind of thing that 99% of the people in a society would want, so that turning it down is a particular kind of ingratitude and dereliction of duty? Or perhaps the kind of thing that a person in an analogous situation is in no position to criticize another for rejecting?

21:05 The mystery of meteor man is simply not engaging me. You knew how this whole scene was going to go. There is nothing surprising here, no new information. You knew he was going to save them from their manufactured peril and the show is only going to give us enough to know who he is when they are good and ready.

21:37 I would bet money there is not going to be anything resembling good teaching or training here. Just another excuse to make Galadriel look bad-ass.

21:56 See? I knew it. “Stab it” is hardly unique or novel tutelage, and it was just an empty line to segue into an experienced warrior whupping a bunch of recruits.

23:29 It will be even worse if this turns into Isildur actually scoring a hit through some clever ruse and taking advantage of Elendil’s absurd promotion offer.

24:12 Men, especially those of Numenor, were a lot bigger and stronger than Orcs. This idea of Orcs being brawny noble savages is very much a modern thing, and not of Tolkien at all. If you can hit one, brute force will work just fine.

26:58 This isn’t wrong for Pharazon, but they are really trying to cram centuries of gradual change into a sudden impulsive policy. First they went to aid other men in Middle-Earth, then they turned to trade and enriching themselves, and finally began establishing outposts and client realms and exacting tribute. The riches and successes of their expeditions made them proud which would have been a key element in turning them against the Valar. The show offers no reason for the estrangement between Elves and Westernesse (unless you consider the depiction of Galadriel to be sufficient to explain why people would start hating them)/

29:35 Meteor Man has strange and dangerous powers that he cannot control well! This is completely new information!

32:40 I love how this so-woke show, with its feminist flexing by having women running around and making nonsensical assertions in most of its plot lines, decides to just have a woman sitting there silently at a diplomatic feast where important political decisions are made

32:53 Oh, and cleaning up afterwards…

35:13 Why would Elves believe that nonsense, much less make policy around it? The fate of the Silmarils is known, each one being determined by one of the men closest to father-figures for Elrond, so he, in particular should be scoffing at this legend of the origin of mithril, much less any connection with the Silmarils. Not to mention the idea that an Elven warrior with so pure a heart could duel a Balrog without the rest of Elf-kind not only knowing his name, but having three or four more for him! Elrond is a descendant of both Finwe and Elwe, two of the first three elves to go to Valinor, only six and four generations removed, respectively, from each one. These people don’t have dim antiquity like humans do. Elrond’s great-great-grandfathers Fingolfin and Thingol were among the first elves to make weapons, and fight the forces of Morgoth. Hell, Morgoth that was named by Fingolfin’s brother. They would not have forgotten this mythical warrior or the details of his fight with a Balrog.

And narratively speaking, why did we need an origin story for mithril? Actually it would make more sense if it was petrified light from the Lamps in the Spring of Arda that were spilled by the Balrogs who pulled them down at Melkor’s behest.

And the idea that something could be made stronger by combing the powers of evil and good is completely antithetical to Tolkien’s writing. It is impossible that the power of Morgoth could do anything other than weaken a substance and create flaws in it. The idea that the strength of mithril comes from evil is offensive in its disregard for the source material.

36:10 The light of the Eldar has been fading since the first sunrise.

36:37 Refusing to answer is tantamount to confirmation in this particular case, because if there is nothing to conceal, there is no reason for Elrond to refuse.

37:16 “Hope is never mere…even when it is meager” Who writes this bullcrap?! Hope is not a sense, either. And none of this rhetoric about hope is an argument, much less a justification, for breaking a solemn oath.

37:25 You started this conversation talking about how you sent Galadriel away out of wishful thinking that the wars were over, and now you are somehow using the concept of hope to get Elrond to reverse his sworn stance and disclose the fact of the Dwarven discovery of mithril because if the Elves leave Middle-Earth, Sauron will conquer it. What is this logic? How do these ideas fit together?

39:27 To be fair to Valandil, that is 100% what I would think Isildur was coming to ask too.

40:13 Now this is the point where they say he’s not coming because he is utterly unreliable. They saw him deliberately screw up to flunk out of the navy and piss away the effort his father made to get him the post in the first place. This is not someone you want on your team, much less under your command.

43:39 Okay, so the one guy wants to sabotage the expedition regardless of Pharazon’s explanations, for reasons we don’t know. Isildur tried to stop him, but then just stopped to watch the boat burn, but also carried him off when he fell, and now has lied to cover for him. Why? Why not tell the truth that Isildur saw him sneak aboard, and open the oil casks to burn it? At the very least, he owes his father the truth and I don’t see how getting this guy in his debt helps Isildur get to go with the expedition, considering how determined he was to wreck it.

46:00 This is still nonsensical, but it’s beginning to look like they are building up the motive for Celebrimbor to make the Three Rings for the Elves.

48:48 NO! Engaging with the Darkness is never a path to finding the Light, let alone a requirement! The Hobbits succeed in destroying the Ring where no one else could, because they were good and innocent and had no Darkness in them, nor did they dabble in it. Those who seek to understand the darkness for good ends are Denethor and Saruman, falling under its sway.

50:13 If Elrond and company could not distinguish Galadriel from the evil she fought, her every action thus far has been wrong. She should have used that fact to reflect and make some attempts at self-improvement, rather than dragging so many others down her path to damnation. This does not make her cool, just an utterly selfish idiot.

Also, the last thing you do with someone you perceive as evil, is send them to Valinor.

51:19 I somehow doubt Waldreg survives this episode.

53:16 That was kind of pointless because we haven’t seen enough of Waldreg or the younger guy to care about their fates, or be invested in Waldreg’s choice. What did the kid matter to him, that made his choice easy or difficult? Did he have any loyalty to his neighbors, that this was a sacrifice he was willing to make? Is he an eager adherent, or merely desperate to survive?

And any sort of foreshadowing of this moment might have been helpful to give significance to their decision to leave Ostirith and kneel to Adar.

54:33 What was it Mori came to know about these people? On what basis are they staying or leaving? Up until now, the conflict has been between speakers offering empty platitudes.

57:07 And here, it looks like Bronwyn is about to chuck all her principles and ideals that have been motivating her leadership of the village and decision to resist Adar, just for the sake of her son’s safety.

1:03:07 So, if Halbrand is going along with Galadriel’s plan, why leave behind with sigil necklace? And who took it? Isildur seems the mostly likely one for no reason other than no one else on this island has a motive to be so furtive, but why?

1:03:51 I guess saving the guy from the boat explosion got Isildur a post, which does not make much sense. How does being in the right place to be able to rescue him disprove all the questions of his fitness raised earlier?

1:06:29 So why is Halbrand going other than the plot needs him to? And who snatched up his necklace?

This episode put out a lot of motives they seem to think were dramatic, but were undermined by the lack of characterization or their redundancy. Nothing really happened with the Harfoots, aside from our being told that off-screen, Meteor Man's powers have made an impression. What are we supposed to think of the conflict between the Elves and Dwarves after Durin's gag with the table makes a mockery of their dealings. Also, while to a Tolkien fan his claims might have sounded screwy, they were about par for the course with all the other invented or adapted mythology of the show, which does not help their world-building. It's not parody of Tolkien, because there was never anything like that in Tolkien. He didn't put a lot of rituals or customs into his world-building, except to explain particular actions. It seems like we are supposed to be worried over Elrond's conflict with Gil-Galad & Celebrimbor's revelations and his oath to Durin, but he kept the oath and all he would have had to do is say "They already know" and only extremely unreasonable hostility on Durin's part could hold that against him. But we don't know how or why he will act. Is he touchy and upset about Elrond's ways? Being sneaky on behalf of his father? A true and loyal friend to Elrond? Scamming the Elves out of a tabletop for lolz?

In "the Southlands" we have a generic conflict of normal people against evil conquerors, but we know nothing about these people besides Bronwyn and Theo. We don't have any sense of who or what they are or what they are for, or why they might care one way or another about Adar and his orcs. Their despair at the odds and their heroism in the face of them are not earned, because the stakes are not established.

In Numenor, we can't be sure what the popular mood is. First the people were anti-Elf, but now Miriel had a dream and has decided that the proper interpretation is to send an expeditionary force, and the people are so firmly behind it that the top politician on the island feels he has no choice but to go along and spin this expedition to the profit of the nation. This great naval kingdom, whose Sea Guard is a prestigious institution, only has a handful of ships to spare for the expedition, and when one burns, they have no replacements. Isildur's depiction to date supports the decisions of Elendil and Valandil to reject his request to join the expedition, but he is placed on it, with no resolution of those issues, just an authorial mandate. And what was all that about his being drawn to the West? ITB, at the outset, it was forbidden for the Men of Numenor to sail farther west than the sight of Numenor, and it was ultimately the violation of this prohibition that caused its downfall. There is nothing to suggest a sinister temptation being proffered to Isildur, so what is the point?

And what is the position of his sister in this? She wants her love interest to oppose the expedition, and when he protests that Pharazon won't listen, she tells him speak louder, with no further clarification, and the next scene he is in, he questions Pharazon's actions and gets an explanation. How this was a result of his presumably figurative "speaking louder", is not apparent. And the explanation, though he didn't argue against it, failed to convince him, because he burned one of the ships. Was it solely because the girl asked him to?

Then we have Galadriel. In this episode, she appears to be aware of her character flaw and the obsessive drive of her quest, but does nothing to change it. All she does is keep arguing for this expedition, no matter what anyone says. Also, Miriel's father, despite Galadriel claiming the expedition has his approval, warns her that going to Middle Earth she will only find darkness. On the one hand, dur, they are going there to fight it. But if the expedition is heading to doom, or bringing it back, what does that say about Galadriel?

There is a similar thing with Halbrand. He keeps affirming that he does not want to return and take up leadership and that there is some dark deed in his past behind this choice, but doesn't tell anyone and inexplicably goes along with Galadriel in spite of his protests.

This was just a wasted hour. Nothing was advanced, nothing was developed, plot just happened and characters went along with it regardless of their characterization.

“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” GK Chesteron
Inde muagdhe Aes Sedai misain ye!
Deus Vult!
This message last edited by Cannoli on 23/09/2022 at 10:23:10 AM
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Rings of Power episode 5 - 23/09/2022 10:18:36 AM 139 Views
Re: Rings of Power episode 5 *NM* - 23/09/2022 10:22:35 AM 46 Views
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