The long wait is over. The Lord of the Rings series, The Rings of Power, which we were eagerly waiting for but managed to break our hearts halfway through, is finally on the air with its first 2 episodes. In this article and in all my future articles, I will try to tell you what happened in the series in 4 storylines as they are divided. At the same time, I would like to open 2 more categories in my first article and talk about Amazon’s advertising campaign and prologue. Because today, if the series has been hit with serious criticism, it’s because of Amazon and the two liars they put in charge of the project. Due to the process, I had already lost all hope about the series, especially after seeing the first trailer. Therefore, what I encountered did not upset me at all. Because I will try to watch the series as a new fantasy medieval story. While interpreting, I aim to avoid an aggressive attitude, compare the original and the series, and point out the points I like and dislike. But let me tell you from the beginning what I will say at the end, the course of this new fantasy medieval series will be just like Wheel of Time. Maybe it will see the second season, but I don’t have much hope for the third.
A Disappointing Opening
During the production process of The Rings of Power, we learned that Amazon did not get most of the copyrights. This was a problem in itself because the lack of copyrights proved from the beginning that the series we expected would not come. Worse, it allowed the producers and screenwriters to fill in the blanks as they wished. Despite all of this, I was thrilled with the first visuals. Because when I saw Aman, Valinor, and the trees, I said we’ll probably see a solid opening. A visual feast and a journey through the ages will enchant us for 10 minutes. Yet, on the other hand, they managed to disappoint me even before 10 minutes.
Due to copyright issues, the producers and screenwriters threw all the “ages” directly into one bowl, melted them down, and produced a single straight storyline. The more beautiful the appearance of the trees, the worse were their destruction. I had no hope of seeing the giant spider Ungoliant sucking the sap from the trees, but I would have liked to have at least seen a Melkor with his gigantic size thrusting his spear into the trees. With the destruction of the trees, the plot jumps directly to the war between Melkor and the Elves. As the battle scenes begin and we see the winged dragons attacking the eagles, we immediately understand that this is the War of Wrath. However, as soon as I saw Finrod among the combatants, I realized that the series has no concept of “age.” It seems that they took the parts they wanted and liked from each age and created a mixed story. Normally, Finrod dies long before the War of Wrath while protecting Beren from the werewolf on his island of Minas Tirith, which belonged to him but was taken over by Sauron. But the screenwriters put this episode after the war, preserving the werewolf part, as we can see from the scar. And they use this to give Galadriel a purpose.
Unfortunately, the opening is feeble, except for that few seconds of Sauron. Passing the fact that they turned the story upside down, I expected at least a Lord of the Rings opening quality work. It’s more like a cheap fantasy book adaptation opening. Since you want to win the “general” audience, the prologue should have been made much more magnificent and imposing. But here, too, copyright comes into play, and since they can’t show any characters, they went over it.
Finally, I want to mention the intro part. I have to say that the intro in the second episode is awful for such a unique special series. Really, I think it may have had my biggest disappointment in the intro. Neither the music nor the design deserves such a “special” series.
A Confused Galadriel
We all already knew that our main character would be Galadriel. But as new news and videos rolled in, it didn’t take long for us to realize that Galadriel is not the Galadriel we know from the movies or the books. Unfortunately, here the producers resorted to a populist approach and decided that only the one holding a sword could be “strong” and turned Galadriel, who didn’t actually take part in any war, into a commander. They are unaware that they are actually masculinizing and harming the character when they try to bring the female character to the fore.
Galadriel realizes that there is evil out there. She thinks Sauron is alive. It’s normal for her to have strong instincts. However, when we look at the original, Galadriel had nothing to do with these issues. On the other hand, in the series, she has turned into a character who lurks in the mountains to avenge her brother. It turns out that they took Celeborn out of the way as well. They didn’t even put Celeborn in the show, as they thought Galadriel, who should normally be married to Celeborn, wouldn’t need a man. Or maybe they will meet in the future, I don’t know.
The friendship between him and Elrond is excellent. Sensing evil, Galadriel asks him to help her stand before Gil-Galad, the great King of the Noldor. Even though Elrond says he will handle it after the ceremony, he can’t. Because the ceremony, which I thought King would send her to Eregion as a commander or something, turned out to be a ceremony of expulsion from middle earth. Kings cannot determine whether an Elf goes from middle-earth to Aman. This is an entirely personal decision. However, the series made such a decision so that all the coincidences could overlap. Which I will explain shortly.
As far as I can see, they have gathered all the features of others in Galadriel. They gave her the warrior spirit of her brothers, the command of Elrond, and the awareness of Sauron’s scourge that Gil-Galad was anticipating. But in doing so, they deprived Galadriel of reason and charisma. If Galadriel is the commander of Lindon’s armies, how come some Elves can rebel against her and drop swords? The person we are talking about is Galadriel. The woman I’ll talk about shortly is the woman Feanor who came to her asking for her hair and beating the Silmarils for being rejected. An extraordinary being with features that many Elves don’t. One of Tolkien’s most remarkable characters. Taking Galadriel, who is known to be such a unique character, and making her jump into the ocean just as she was about to enter Aman… There are 10 screenwriters; I guess not one of them said what are we doing? Belegear is a vast ocean. Even if it’s an elf, I’m exemplary; you can’t swim from America to Europe. Come on! And let’s pass this such ridiculous decision; the story of the encounter with Halbrand and the way it’s grounded is far more ridiculous. Where is Mordor? Where is Galadriel, who threw herself into the water without entering Aman? What are you guys doing off the coast of Belegaer, fleeing the Southlands that would later become Mordor? How did you get there? The fact that they did this 2 nonsense just so that the Numenor ship could find them is another question mark. It’s a classic “let the story go” logic.
I would like to dedicate 2 sentences to Halbrand. His statement that looks can be deceiving may reference the fact that he is actually Annatar. I’d say it’s a forced guess. However, I can easily say that his ego and strong male characterization of the character is really forced.
Morffyd Clark is a good actress. I don’t think it’s a lousy cast, either. But unfortunately, she plays a poorly designed Galadriel. It’s low on motivation, lacking in charisma, and worse yet, completely cut off from its original story. In fact, they changed the whole character of Galadriel, which made Galadriel, Galadriel, by entirely attributing the reason for Galadriel’s stay in Middle-earth, who left Aman because of her interest in Middle-earth and management.
I liked Robert Aramayo as Elrond. Although there are some problems with Elrond, in general, Elrond’s story is good enough. In the first chapter, we see that Elrond is not invited to Gil-Galad’s council because he does not have enough rank. However, in the original story, Elrond was the commander of the armies that Gil-Galad would send to Eregion. Maybe they will use it to connect this partition. Even though he is currently unranked, with the activity in Eregion, Gil-Galad will declare him a commander and send war. As far as I can see from the trailers, it’s as if Galadriel will command those armies. Elrond, on the other hand, pitifully will remain with the second plan.
Elrond’s dialogues with Celebrimbor were both beautiful and also revealed the series’ problems. Celebrimbor shows us the hammer that Feanor used to forge the Silmarils. And Elrond sighs at how such small things cause such great problems. So if we’re talking about the Silmarils, why didn’t you mention Melkor stealing the Silmarils in the opening? Let’s get past those who know Tolkien; why didn’t you give this motivation to the general audience?
Celebrimbor shows the tower he wants to build after the Silmaril chat. Stating that he envied Feanor and wanted to design something magnificent like him. Celebrimbor’s conversation references the rings he will forge in the future. But the tower he wants to build needs to be finished very quickly. Elrond offers him the dwarves since he has no Elven power to do so. I think this part is well connected. The dwarves, especially the dwarves of Belegost and Nogrod, built many unique Elven structures. The city of Norgothrond tops the list. It was good of Elrond to make such a suggestion since he also knew his history. But the part about going to Khazad-Dum was funny.
There is a severe distance between Eregion and Khazad-Dum. Eregion is a region in the middle of middle earth. But for some reason, it was shown as a port city in the series. Obviously, they’re going to connect this place to somewhere else, or why would they change the geographic location of a region? Celebrimbor and Elrond walking into Khazad-Dum is a farce. If only you had shown the horses, soldiers, etc., who carried them there or accompanied them. One is Lord Celebrimbor, and the other is Elrond. Details like these, unfortunately, make the series cheaper.
Then we see Elrond somehow entering Khazad-Dum “alone.” Oddly enough, Celebrimbor has probably returned alone. We learn that Elrond and Durin are close, but Durin is offended by Elrond because he did not come to his wedding. In this episode, we meet Disa, Durin, and the dwarven King. The dwarves’ distrust of the Elves is particularly elaborated. I think there will be more to come in the future. But no matter what they do, they manage to find common ground. But, as I said, although there was some severe nonsense in the Elrond episode, I think it was the most successful part.
The series was initially criticized for being diversified under the name “diversity.” Seeing a black Elf infuriated many people. Although we know that Tolkien referred to elves as shiny as porcelain, the black Elf design clearly shows that it was done for a specific purpose. The statements already made clear that some producers were trying to adapt the series to the world of 2022. That was the point of view that pissed everyone off. I’d expect at least some justification, even if I’m against it. Although we haven’t received a response yet in the first 2 episodes, I’m still waiting for an explanation as to why Arondir is black.
Arondir is on duty at a watchtower in the Southlands by order of the Noldor King Gil-Galad. I don’t understand this part at all because I haven’t figured out how the Noldor King would give orders to the Sindar elf. I would like to think that they established an infrastructure based on the good relationship between Cirdan and Gil-Galad, but I don’t think so. Arondir has a woman in town he loves: Bronwyn. However, they are cautious in their relationship; also, they have not yet broken the wall between them either. When Gil-Galad says the war is over and summons all the Elves back, it’s time for Arondir to leave, too. Arondir, who came to see the woman he loved for the last time, sees the villager who comes to Bronwyn’s door and the cow with black tar from its udders, decides that the darkness has returned and starts to investigate with Bronwyn. Then they explore the tunnels. Orcs do not like the sun, so they have dug tunnels for miles to be able to move during the day, and they are obviously advancing and attacking from village to village. While investigating this, they catch Arondir, while Bronwyn encounters and fights one-on-one with his son Theo. Then she shows the orc whose head they cut off to the villagers and says that they should emigrate.
This migration part is actually a third-age story. Namely, As Sauron’s darkness increased, especially in Anduin, which would later become Dol Guldur, and the attacks of the orcs increased, the Hobbits living around Anduin were forced to flee. It seems that the series will use this third-age migration story to tell both the hobbits and the people there to go to the side of Eregion. Because the region called Southlands will turn into Mordor over time. On the one hand, the issue seems to be related to Harad. But here, too, they made a mixing between the ages. Harad is not a sinister place altogether. After the fall of Numenor, they will switch sides with the black Numenoreans mingling there and Sauron’s complete return. But the series changed this part as well, turning the Haradrim and people around the Southlands into former Melkor supporters. However, there is more time for them to be Melkor supporters.
I loved the part where the mother and son fight the orc, except for the cheap romance in the Arondir and Bronwyn part. I think it’s done pretty well. But other than that, it is not yet clear where the story will be connected. It is not clear who burned the villages and how.
The Harfoots and the Giant Man
Nori Brandyfoot is my favorite character in the series so far. I loved the way of life of the Hobbits and the communication between them. The Harfoots are the ones who are discovered living in the Hobbit Holls we see in the movies. We can say that we have seen the principal versions of these Hobbit Holls.
They also captured their silliness and curious attitude beautifully. Nori wants to go on adventures, see and live in the middle earth, but her mother says everyone is protecting their own territory, no one has business with us, so we are safe. This will change soon. They will also begin to migrate, as I explained in the above section. According to the original, their path should go all the way to Eregion, but it’s hard to predict what will happen, considering the story is completely turned upside down.
Let’s talk about meteor man. Suddenly, one night, a meteor, advancing from the top of Lindon to the Southlands, illuminates all of Middle-earth. Gil-Galad, Elrond, Arondir, and almost all of the middle earth see this meteor. But guess who doesn’t? Sadoc, who says the sky is very strange. The fact that he does not see the meteor falling near where they live and that those who see the meteor do not say “what is this” are the products of the “let the story progress” logic of the series. Otherwise, Galadriel isn’t crazy enough to jump into the ocean. Everyone just stares as if the meteor is passing every day, and it’s normal.
Nori goes to the place where the meteor fell and encounters a giant. Who or what this giant is is still a question mark, but from the whispers and fireflies surrounding him, we understand that this man is Gandalf. We were wondering what Olorin, who should come in the third age, is doing in the series, but considering that the ages are ruined, I think this giant friend is officially Gandalf. We’ll be seeing the Balrog soon anyway. For this reason, we will have to leave the ages aside when interpreting from now on.
Gandalf the Grey. It seems that he was sent by Eru to fight the approaching darkness. Nori’s finding him is not a coincidence, as she calls herself. This will also be the beginning of Gandalf’s friendship with the Hobbits.
Liar Producers and Their Companions
When the series entered the production phase, we understood from the news and the selected actors that there will be many black characters in the series. This in itself posed a problem. But days passed, new information came about the series, and when the first trailer came out, the black Elf turned into the last and minor problem of the series. The show apparently had nothing to do with the universe Tolkien wrote about. It was very clear from the trailer and the actors participating in the series that the series would not be faithful to Tolkien’s story.
After the trailer came out and the things we feared were proven, people started openly expressing their disappointment. This caused Amazon to panic. The producers quickly arranged special screenings, summoning so-called Tolkien fans and having them watch the show. While these so-called Tolkien fans emphasized how much the producers loved Tolkien, they could not go beyond calling the series a visual feast. Likewise, the producers expressed their motto “stay in the book” on every platform. The most obvious was San Diego Comic-Con.
But we see that the series has nothing to do with Tolkien. All the stories were mixed together, the characters were changed, and even the places were rearranged. The producers publicly lied to everyone for a year. They also used the people they invited to watch the series and used them in this deluge of lies. They also praise the series with hundreds of fake Twitter accounts set up by Amazon on Twitter. This flood still continues. Some, who for some reason feel the need to take sides, find the courage to say without shame that the show is very close to Tolkien’s work.
Amazon, the producers, and the cast have often wanted to express their pride in changing the universe over time. Sophia Nomvete, who plays Disa, made the mistake of saying, “I am the first dwarf woman to appear on the screen,” as if she were memorized in front of every camera she appeared on. Ironically, she’s not the first “dwarf woman” to appear on the show. Excuse me, I laughed a lot in this episode… Even the actors have always expressed that they are proud of the changes made in the series, and that the story is not diverse enough, so their additions are correct. The producers also fueled this situation to the end.
Amazon deletes the bad comments made on Youtube or Amazon, and tries to prevent the bad ratings on IMDB. I can clearly say that Tolkien fans exaggerate the criticism, but we can easily say that the work in the middle is not logical and of high quality, even when we put Tolkien aside. We know that the visuals that everyone praises don’t pay off when there’s no story. Since the series has just started, it has created serious excitement, but when we come to the middle of the season, everyone will lose that excitement and realize that the visuals are not worth a penny.
Amazon has taken half of a work that should be immortal and timeless and entrusted it to the producers who will fill it with the troubles of 2022.
While all of the works written by Tolkien had dozens of problems and problems, it was, unfortunately, a cheap and pathetic move to take the story and turn it into a black-white conflict or a fight between men and women. And worse, they know very well what they are doing, but they are trying to suspend this fire with the names they have paid for. But the fire does not go out by blowing. The facts are now clear as day.
I hope the series gets better. However, the series has revealed where it will go with its opening. The series, which can be the most Wheel of Time, will be the second major work Amazon ruined. They do not realize that the project they spent billions of dollars will also harm them. Because right now, Amazon Prime is completely dependent on The Rings of Power. The series, which even the ordinary audience will call mediocre, will burn with the fire of those who want to watch it.
In the third chapter, we will see Galadriel in the land of Numenor, which she never actually visited. They will also give Galadriel the friendship that Gil-Galad made with the Numenoreans. We’ll watch and see.