Friday, September 23, 2022

💍 💍

I don’t have that reaction, but “Rings of Power” sucks.


Netflix series were known for sagging in the middle. A tedious series of episodes that didn’t advance the plot but stretched the series out to at least 13 episodes. They finally got the message; but Prime apparently didn’t.

This “story” is based on some notes from Tolkien in an appendix to LOTR. One appreciates the effort Tolkien put into the narratives of his two books when one tries to wade through The Silmarillion, a book I never could read and finally abandoned to the winds of time (I don’t discard many books, but I do those I know I’ll never crack again.). And I read Kierkegaard and Derrida without being required to.

It is not, then, a compliment to say RoP seems like it was taken directly from Silmarillion. It is that lacking in a narrative.

There is a plot here, but six episodes in it still feels stuck in exposition. Tolkien had a journey (Hobbit) to structure one story, a journey and battles and several subplots for the other. And it all made sense. The only mystery in both tales was what would happen next and how would the good guys win?

The mystery in RoP is: who the hell are all these people (especially “the stranger” and the leader of the orcs), and just what the hell is going on?

As I said: six episodes in, and still no idea.

In LOTR 2/3rds of the story involves the Fellowship broken and two stories which fractures in 3 until it all comes back together at the very end. And from the conversation between Frodo and Gandalf at Bag End to the return to the Shire, you know where the story is going. 

You can imagine the storylines of RoP will eventually combine, but you know it’s going to be a train wreck. There was a reason for the making and then breaking of the Fellowship. What reason is there for all these characters to join in the end of this story? So far none of the groups know each other, and all they have in common is living (most of them, anyway) in Middle Earth.

Clearly a battle (at least) is coming that throws all the characters and narrative strands together, but it’s going to be a series of coincidences that would make Dickens toss the manuscript in the rubbish tip.

No offense to David French, but IMHO, “Rings of Power” is crap.*

*Yes, I’m still watching it; but then, I’m retired.  I still haven’t learned not to waste my days.

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