Rings of Power Episode 1 Review: So I haven’t done a RoP post in a while, mainly because I wanted to sort of wait until the show comes in. I kind of got excited for the first trailers, but after that it just got kind of boring to me it was hard to keep up with all the new news (ha!) going on.
I vaguely watched many of the trailers, and while before it didn’t really give me the Middle-earth feel, it sort of grew on me after that. But I kind of had this feeling that they might stray too far from the lore – some of which is necessary for any adaptation to an extent. I tried to view it as separate entities though. At the end I’ll probably rate it separately, with based on lore accuracies and just as a standalone show.
Rings of Power Episode 1 Review: Overall thoughts
5 minutes in we kind of see that Galadriel kind of talks about her going to Middle-earth and her desire for power – after that part where she was bullied by the other children. As the main character, her character in the show just doesn’t seem to make sense most of the time. I think it’s because – especially in the beginning from what I remember elves don’t typically have many children – not to say in general that children are bad haha.
The Eldar wedded for the most part their youth and soon after their fiftieth year. They had few children, but these were very dear to them. Their families, or houses, were held together by love and a deep feeling for kinship in mind and body; and the children needed little governing or teaching.”Morgoth’s Ring, Laws and Customs of the Eldar (HoME # 10)
Personally I just didn’t think it was well written even as a whole – you only really get a glimpse of her physical features and traits. I wonder if it’s more like because they don’t have the rights to the Silmarillion, but rather the appendices where the First Age wasn’t completely spread out. So it’s like you could kind of see her for an entire season but don’t really know who she is if you haven’t really read Tolkien’s work.
It was just sort of weird that she would still be a young warrior and also figuring out where to go when her decision to leave Middle-earth happened in the First Age.
They kind of quickly change to the hobbits. Or the Harfoots. There’s not much to say about them over there.
Then Elrond comes in – and they sort of have a conversation. It’s unclear here what the relation between Elrond and Galadriel here, in Tolkien’s lore, Elrond was Galadriel’s son-in-law, but here they seem like they are close acquaintances if I remember correctly – but it doesn’t seem too clear what the relationship between them is though there are a lot of theories.
Furthermore, there are some more scenes of the Harfoots – the few scenes they had of the Hobbits – they were kind of idyllic but it might be to be expected among hobbits. However, I wasn’t sure about their being in the Second Age, it just seems a little bit lagging although the setting was sort of refreshing.
Without giving much away – there’s the Arondir and Bronwyn scene which was introduced in the Vanity Fair article. And most of it would be based on that. They are not in the Legendarium, but are new characters that they would claim to be based on it. Their plot was alright though it was not very memorable in my opinion.
I tried to view Tolkien’s works and the Rings of Power as separate entities – as I did with PJ’s movie adaptations. But even as a standalone show it was hard to capture my attention. I started watching the second one but kind of left in the middle but I’ll probably try to watch it again if I’m bored lol.
Maybe we don’t see Beleriand at all – but rather Valinor, Forodwaith, Lindon, Khazadum, etc. as they only have the rights to the Appendices.
So one could say they had to deviate because of this. But I didn’t see much of the appendices minus maybe some concepts like the locations and lifestyles of certain types of characters.
That could mean that they would start in the Second Age according to the timeline. Since not much was written in the Appendices on the First Age. Maybe it’s how they’re doing the time compression by sort of pretending that the First and Second Ages were one and the same it would seem.
We have this intro in the beginning which has young Galadriel being bullied by the other elf children – before Finrod sort of whispers something.
Dialogue was pretty dull and focused on singular roles, species, etc. (Warrior, Elf, Dwarf, Hobbit, etc) And as a whole they were kind of trapped into said role.
Especially with Galadriel – though she was in most of the scene.
I wonder why they keep having to distinguish hobbits from Harfoots – which is a type of hobbit – the other two being Fallohides and Stoors. It seems they probably don’t want to explain why hobbits were in the Second Age. Their vibe was very similar to the beginning for me with the elf-children. They were sort of made to be almost similar with not much difference in thought, in behavior, etc. when there really is a whole new distinct set of traits.
…where her mother would remind her that she is a Harfoot, and the best thing about being a Harfoot would be to be safe from all danger. What happened to them being similar to elves?
See, I think they took it from the name Elanor, who was Sam’s daughter – “resembled more like an elf-maid than a hobbit” – as well as maybe Bilbo’s and Frodo’s behaviors – as they preferred to wander and visit the Elves than be amongst their own kin. I just personally think it wasn’t done well.
In the legendarium that kind of behavior is generally sympathized, and then later encouraged and celebrated as opposed to being shut down like what Marigold seems to be doing to her daughter in this episode.
This happens twice in the show – with almost the exact same lines. I don’t know, maybe it’ll sort of evolve as the show went on but my personal opinion would be that it wouldn’t really be the kind of message to send to viewers even as a standalone show. Am I thinking about it a little too much? Or maybe it’s just something that I personally take from the legendarium.
And finally…I thought Galadriel refused to leave Middle-earth the entire time until her ring lost its power – she refuses even in the show so the trip to Valinor given to her by Gil-galad doesn’t really make sense? It seems right before Galadriel and Elrond were talking about “leaving” right before, but we wouldn’t know when and why they would be “leaving.” Then she takes a plunge – which is sort of super random and is further proof of how off it seems.
With that being said – the music and layout is much like what you expect in Middle-earth, as it is somewhat similar to what we’ve expected in PJ’s movie adaptations…maybe it does somewhat feel like we’re back in Middle-earth. But that most likely won’t change my overall opinions about the show.
Rings of Power Episode 1 Ratings
- Lore accuracy: 3/10
- Episode rating (as its own entity): 4/10