Well, I would have arrived then, in Middle-earth. It’s probably also because there are finally harfeet to see again! In addition, in what is probably the best sequence of the series so far, when after a warm-hearted dialogue between Nori and the stranger who fell from the sky, a wonderful travel montage suddenly begins, which captures a lot of the Lord of the Rings flair of bygone times. Plus a touching halfling song sung by Poppy Proudfellow that’s been in my head all day. Sing to me, sing to me lands far away…
I loved that and if it’s up to me the stranger is gandalf we’ll see what happens. I also enjoy seeing the writers continue the Durin-Elrond story. Durin is one of the strongest characters so far anyway and the way the two rediscover their friendship and thus cement the alliance between elves and dwarves on their own was very much to my liking. I especially laughed when Durin talked Gil-Galad into getting a new kitchen table for his wife. It’s the simple things that get me on this show.
When it gets more pompous, I often distance myself emotionally. I appreciate the visual attention to detail that goes into the Numenor scenes, for example, but I don’t feel entirely at home here. It seems a little too sterile, clean and staged, especially in crowd scenes. In addition, there are probably too many characters in too narrow a space to act. They don’t all get the time they need, seeming like staffage here and there. At the same time: I like that the authors didn’t take the easy path and that Miriel acts very loyally and morally against his better judgment and that the devious Pharazon as his right hand also does the right thing, albeit for the wrong reasons.
In Numenor, Galadriel also has a cool fight scene as she demonstrates against several inexperienced recruits that elves and humans are not quite the same after all. Presumably Mary-Sue accusations will come again, from the same people who previously criticized that the elves were too ugly or too short-haired. Anyway, Galadriel kicked ass in rows for a good two minutes and that was long overdue. Also, we get a good character moment when she describes why she’s fighting to Halbrand, who also wished he could have come earlier. Her friends “no longer knew how to distinguish me from the evil I was fighting,” she says. Their fight goes on until the picture is straightened out – and that doesn’t happen without the fall of evil. At the peak of the episode, the Numenorians sailed towards Middle-earth, which released me from the episode again with a feeling of elation.
In between, ork leader Adar (Joseph Mawle) should once again create a whole lot of atmosphere from little material. Although it struck me repeatedly here that The Rings of Power isn’t the first time that it shies away from the evil it’s supposed to frighten us of. As if it had its hand on the palantir, the makers shied away from showing the barbarity and brutality of the orcs. The way it was faded out before Waldreg offered his blood sacrifice seemed too tame and fearful to really get me excited about the actual conflict. We know the orcs are the bad guys, but you’re allowed to show that every now and then.
Also, I was expecting a little more darkness regarding Theo handing over Sauron’s sword shaft, which he found, just because it’s the right thing for the situation. There would have been potential for conflict here, a way of tempting one of the good guys and letting him slowly fall victim to darkness. But the show has so far lacked the guts for that as well. That’s the part where it still seems a little too idealistic and therefore also a bit yesterday’s – first of all meant value-free – but that’s not all that bad.
Thinking back to my expectations beforehand, Rings of Power is far from what I feared. I was prepared for a lot less heart. More pop(corn) and less will to go to the extreme technically and in terms of equipment, as is the case here. Even if I wouldn’t marry it: So far I’ve counted Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power as a success.
More reviews of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
– Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Episode 4 – I can’t wait for the fall of Númenor!
– The Rings of Power Episode 3 is finding its direction, but I don’t know if I like it
– Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power makes me question my love for fantasy