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The Rings of Power: Discussion Thread

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
Plenty of people hated Donatello's version of the Magdalene, too. Or ... well, a near-infinite number of reworkings of familiar figures, stories, etc.

Rather than try to project into what a dead man thinks, why not try to watch each work exactly as it is meant: as its own work? Does it tell a good story? Does it tell the story well? Do the characters engage me? Why not treat this particular work as an especially ambitious bit of fan fiction?

Going beyond that is rarely productive. It gets the heart pumping but it rarely changes minds. We might get occasional insights (I didn't know there was a movie project during Tolkien's lifetime), but it's rarely worth enduring the shouting. Tolkien probably didn't like the Hildebrandt brothers' paintings either, but plenty of people loved them.
 

Aldarion

Inkling
Plenty of people hated Donatello's version of the Magdalene, too. Or ... well, a near-infinite number of reworkings of familiar figures, stories, etc.

Rather than try to project into what a dead man thinks, why not try to watch each work exactly as it is meant: as its own work? Does it tell a good story? Does it tell the story well? Do the characters engage me? Why not treat this particular work as an especially ambitious bit of fan fiction?

Going beyond that is rarely productive. It gets the heart pumping but it rarely changes minds. We might get occasional insights (I didn't know there was a movie project during Tolkien's lifetime), but it's rarely worth enduring the shouting. Tolkien probably didn't like the Hildebrandt brothers' paintings either, but plenty of people loved them.
Because it is based on Tolkien's work, and is labeled as an adaptation. Therefore, Rings of Power cannot be considered as a standalone work. How faithful they are to letter and spirit of Tolkien's work must enter the equation, IMO.
 

Reaver

Staff
Moderator
Because it is based on Tolkien's work, and is labeled as an adaptation. Therefore, Rings of Power cannot be considered as a standalone work. How faithful they are to letter and spirit of Tolkien's work must enter the equation, IMO.
I agree with you wholeheartedly however I'm also inclined to treat it as my esteemed associate skip suggests: an ambitious bit of fan fiction. Plenty of people who don't know or even care to know anything (i.e. the writers and show runners) about the source material yet they write fan fiction all the time. The internet is overflowing with horrible fan fiction and in my not so humble opinion, TRoP is the most expensive example of shitty fanfic in history.
 

Aldarion

Inkling
I agree with you wholeheartedly however I'm also inclined to treat it as my esteemed associate skip suggests: an ambitious bit of fan fiction. Plenty of people who don't know or even care to know anything (i.e. the writers and show runners) about the source material yet they write fan fiction all the time. The internet is overflowing with horrible fan fiction and in my not so humble opinion, TRoP is the most expensive example of shitty fanfic in history.
Problem is that, in my opinion, there is a fundamental difference here. Fan fiction is not made for profit (or at least it should not be), everybody knows it is a mutation of the original work, and nobody expects accuracy from it.

Rings of Power, however, are a for-profit, lincensed work using Tolkien's IP. This automatically holds them to a much higher standard, despite being a type of derivative work (adaptation, lincensed work and fanfiction are all categories of derivative works). And in my opinion, even fanfiction should try and abide with the fundamentals of the work*: it is a question of simple respect towards the author. I love reading fanfiction, but if fanfiction a) changes the world too much without being an outright AU (be it modern-world AU or a crossover) or b) changes the characters too much (e.g. making someone like Aragorn, Ser Barristan, Luffy or Todoroki into a psychopathic murderer), I still drop it as soon as I realize what is going on, because at that point it is less of a fanfiction and more of an original work.

And yes, I am aware that Rings of Power are really a fanfiction. But as I have said: even fanfiction should be held to certain standards. And Rings of Power are a fanfiction that somebody is profiting off, which is simply disrespectful towards Tolkien. Making money from fanfiction is normally illegal - and for a very good reason - but apparently if you are a big-name studio, it is completely fine.

* This is why I haven't written any fanfiction yet. I am planning to - and in fact have several ideas - but I want to ensure not to contradict any of the fundamental ideas of the universe it will be set in, which requires research.
 

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
>This automatically holds them to a much higher standard
It may hold them to a higher standard, but it doesn't necessarily hold them to *my* standard. I don't feel qualified to judge whether this show holds to letter and spirit, except to judge whether I thought they've told a good story or not. I went into Peter Jackson's work the same way. I was hoping for good; for me, I got better than good, so I was very happy. There were others who felt that trilogy failed. That's fine. Everyone gets to have their own standards.
 

Aldarion

Inkling
>This automatically holds them to a much higher standard
It may hold them to a higher standard, but it doesn't necessarily hold them to *my* standard. I don't feel qualified to judge whether this show holds to letter and spirit, except to judge whether I thought they've told a good story or not. I went into Peter Jackson's work the same way. I was hoping for good; for me, I got better than good, so I was very happy. There were others who felt that trilogy failed. That's fine. Everyone gets to have their own standards.
Well, they fail at that as well. Getting through first episode alone was a chore.

But I still stand by belief that adaptation must at the very least show respect to the original author. And that means keeping to his/her beliefs and intentions when creating the world.
 

Nighty_Knight

Minstrel
He definitely would have been. He already hated editors changing Dwarves to Dwarfs. In several of his letters he comments on how he views changes being made to his work. He wrote extensively on a movie adaptation which was being worked on during his life, and he absolutely hated any changes they made which were being made to his work.

As for the actual LoTR movies, we don't know Tolkien's opinion on them, but we do know his son's opinion on them, and he disliked them. He thought they weren't true to his father's tale and vision, and had too much focus on action for instance.

I'm sure the Tolkien estate is now very much enjoying the Rings of Power. I know I would if I was given $200 million for doing basically nothing. Even more so since they only have 20 or so years left to benefit from their IP.


might and strength at arms are two very different things. Galadriel at the time of The lord of the rings was one of the oldest elves in the world, and one of the few to have been to the undying lands and have seen the light of the trees. She is definitely one of the most powerful beings to walk the earth (and would have been more powerful than Gil-Galad. But her power wasn't in strength of arms, but rather in her magic and her wisdom. I don't think there's a single mention of her fighting an actual fight with a sword in her hand.

If you want to dive deeper, then after that you could also read The History of Middle Earth series, with all the stories and notes from Tolkien which didn't make it into the Silmarillion.

I personally feel that this show should be judged not on the name Tolkien which they put on, but rather as its own thing. It's not Middle Earth, but it doesn't have to be. As long as the story is good it can still be a good show.
I don’t even think the problem is that she is fighting with a sword. It’s that she seems to have completely forgotten that she was a powerful magic wielder altogether when it comes to arms. Also she seems to have completely forgotten her husband whom she made a lot of decisions and major second age choices with. And she forgot about her child. And she forgotten she was thousands of years old, could see through the souls of people, was considered one of the most graceful of all beings and for some reason is acting like hothead who can’t control herself.
 

Wamsutta

New Member
And she forgotten she was thousands of years old, could see through the souls of people, was considered one of the most graceful of all beings and for some reason is acting like hothead who can’t control herself.
I also think that beyond any accuracy to her character according to Tolkien's materials, Galadriel in TRoP is not a very likeable character. She is overdramatic, doesn't listen to people, and always need to have the last word. That's not strength, but insecurity. In fact, I think her best moment was when she was genuinely happy riding the horse. If it wasn't for her supporting characters, she would be completely uninteresting. I find some of the other storylines to be far more interesting, such as the dwarves and Elrond.

I do have conflicting emotions watching this series. I find it mildly entertaining, but if I look too hard, I'll be annoyed by the obvious effort to create Peter Jackson's LotR vibes. It could be better, but it has some creative merit. I know I can only enjoy it because I don't know Tolkien's source materials well, but I do feel somewhat bad about that. If someone did this to my work, I would hate it, but only if I'm alive. When I have shuffled off this mortal coil, would I really be concerned about such things? I cannot control it. I hope my work stands, but does it matter if others derive from it? I've heard it said that Tolkien is rolling over in his grave. Is he, or does he have better things to do in his undying lands?
 
Rings of Power is gorgeous, and I find entertainment in seeing how the writers tried to work with and around canon when the Tolkien Estate won't hand over a lick of anything that would allow production to STAY in canon. So, on the one hand, breaking from canon is annoying, but on the other, there is no way to satisfy purists. I'll give a pass on much, such as Galadriel's fighting, because does it anywhere say she didn't fight? Nope. If you live long enough in a time of war, what frigging elf shouldn't know how to fight? I'm not a purist on any movie adaptation... and this notion that Jackson stayed "true as he could" is rubbish. They went too Pirates of the Caribbean before completely destroying the Hobbit.

House of the Dragon comment: episode one was so frigging cliche I stopped watching the series. Not that I won't get around to it eventually, but I spent too much time groaning through episode one to get excited about watching more. My review of episode one went like this: Shockingly weak and weak in its shocking. It felt too much like seasons 7 & 8 of GoT to me, and that disturbs me.
 

Nighty_Knight

Minstrel
Rings of Power is gorgeous, and I find entertainment in seeing how the writers tried to work with and around canon when the Tolkien Estate won't hand over a lick of anything that would allow production to STAY in canon. So, on the one hand, breaking from canon is annoying, but on the other, there is no way to satisfy purists. I'll give a pass on much, such as Galadriel's fighting, because does it anywhere say she didn't fight? Nope. If you live long enough in a time of war, what frigging elf shouldn't know how to fight? I'm not a purist on any movie adaptation... and this notion that Jackson stayed "true as he could" is rubbish. They went too Pirates of the Caribbean before completely destroying the Hobbit.

House of the Dragon comment: episode one was so frigging cliche I stopped watching the series. Not that I won't get around to it eventually, but I spent too much time groaning through episode one to get excited about watching more. My review of episode one went like this: Shockingly weak and weak in its shocking. It felt too much like seasons 7 & 8 of GoT to me, and that disturbs me.
I have genuinely been liking House of the Dragon. The writing is leaps better than ROP. It’s not season 1-4 GOT good but it’s better than seasons 5-8 IMO.
 
I have genuinely been liking House of the Dragon. The writing is leaps better than ROP. It’s not season 1-4 GOT good but it’s better than seasons 5-8 IMO.
GoT writing was okay when they kept the porn writers out of the room, heh heh. And their source material was GRRM in his prime, and I'm not so sure he's that anymore. But seriously, episode one was hack. Lame. Same old same old.
 
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