How accurate is the Ring of Power for Tolkien fans?

my first encounter Lord of the Rings when I was six years old. Peter Jacksonof Fellowship of the Ring It was the first movie I saw in theaters and I had to stay up late on opening night to watch it. The only reason I was there in the first place was because my mom read these books in the 70s, and they really changed her life, so when she found out that the trilogy would have a live-action adaptation, she made up her mind to see them in person. She was pleasantly surprised and a little impressed, I think, but my six-year-old self was totally hooked. The meticulous world-building and expansive landscapes begin to open up the “secondary reality” that Tolkien created in his book, and for the next two years, I can’t wait to go back to theaters to see what happens next.

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when i finally made it through Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Books, and I’m beginning to see why they’re so popular: even the movies, as expansive as they are, only scratch the surface of Tolkien’s world history, with good and evil, friendship, loss, and the longing for home running deep into the depths of all of his stories place.I read Silmarillion For the first time, the junior high school was touched by the tragic background of the glorious splendor of the first era falling to the end, leaving only the shadow of the third era.

For years, I’ve wondered what Tolkien would have thought if he had lived to see these films. However, after reading Tolkien’s letters and the accounts of those who knew him, I finally came to a conclusion that should have been obvious from the start: He would hate them.

Tolkien’s letter was filled with his comments on the draft script he received. While the script itself was flawed in many ways, he also gave the impression that he would be unhappy with just about any adaptation of his work. Tolkien’s official biographer, Humphrey Carpenter He himself said that Tolkien thought his story was “unplayable” and that he didn’t really expect his book to actually be successful. Christopher Tolkien That idea was later confirmed because the person who probably knew Tolkien best said Jackson’s film “turned the book into an action movie for 15- to 25-year-olds.”

If my assessment of the franchise that has won a total of 17 Oscars is correct, including Best Picture in 2003, Tolkien will almost certainly be unhappy, too. The Lord of the Rings: Ring of Power. However, to be fair, he probably disliked almost any adaptation of his work. Despite the changes and deviations in Jackson’s trilogy, the films are gorgeous displays of cinematography and beautifully scripted scenes that bring a whole new generation of audiences back to the original story, myself included. I also think that this new series, despite its own biases, can do the same. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what the series does to Tolkien’s classic: where it veers, where it falls short, and where it ultimately succeeds.

The Ring of Power is working on a shorter time frame

Perhaps the biggest problem with the series may be the root cause of its many adaptive choices: Tolkien never wrote a book focusing on Second Age events, and the producers don’t have the rights to the book he’s in it did Write the most.Materials written in the main body and appendices Lord of the RingsIt does, however, give surprisingly detailed descriptions of many events of the Second Age, so it turns out to be an interesting question about classical material: what can we glean from it Lord of the Rings Regarding the Second Age, how is this different from what we’ve found in other sources?

One of the difficulties with the adaptation was its decision to squeeze thousands of years of Middle-earth history into a shorter time frame than Tolkien would allow. On the one hand, it is to prevent the lives of mortals from passing by like mayflies, while the elves remain the same, but such a choice does bring corresponding problems, that is, it compresses the timeline of the Second Era, which leads to the confusion of the Second Era. Out of order. The impact of events and individual storylines on the overall plot.

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Gil-galad has too much power and authority

Of course, when it comes to Canon, one of the most important issues in the series is that of Gil-galad (Benjamin Walker) authority. In short, Gil-galad had no power, ability, or right to tell a genie to go to Valinor, or let them pass there. It was a gift from Villa, which he had no right to grant. Moreover, at the end of the First Age, the elves had the opportunity to return to Valinor.Those who were still in Middle-earth at the beginning of the series Decide To stay there, apparently not yet with the desire to return to Valinor.

Another question of Gil-galad power with Arondir’s (Ismail Cruz Cordoba‘s) storyline. Gil-galad is the authority on the Noldor, but not all elves are Noldor. The elves of Tirharad, if any, appear to be forest elves, and they are not under Gil-galad’s control. Different elven groups have different power structures, so the idea that Gil-galad has authority over other elven groups is an extension of the imagination, to say the least.

The show must make a decision for Tolkien

Another problem with adaptations in general is that in order to bring a product to the screen, the series needs to make decisions in areas where Tolkien himself never came to a final conclusion. For example, one of these points is the origin of the orcs. Tolkien, in most of his writings, considered the possibility that orcs were twisted elves but constantly struggled with their origins, their free will status, and their ultimate destiny. By the end of his life, he seemed to have gotten rid of the idea that orcs were fallen elves, but that’s an indeterminate point that the show may be exploring, so they’ll have to make a decision where Tolkien himself isn’t.

Another such view is Míriel’s character (Cynthia Ardai-Robinson). Her authority was eventually usurped by Farazon (Trystan Gravelle), she will eventually destroy Númenor, but in one version of the story she struggles with his disastrous tendencies, and in another she supports him. Here, again, the series has to make a decision.

Tolkien’s character and voice are hard to imitate

A further complication of the story is also that it deals with a number of beloved canonical characters as its protagonists, and the descriptions of those characters may be oddly different from the canonical version established in the text: Gil-galad seems to be almost intentionally unaware of where he is The dangers of the realm, he was actually more vigilant than most of Sauron’s threats. Galadriel (Murphy Clark) can be reckless and self-righteous and single-mindedly take revenge on her. Of course, the “supporting characters” have something to say about their character arcs that will eventually move into more familiar territory, but dealing with visions that don’t align with beloved characters can be disconcerting for the foresight of the text and the belief that they will end up in correct location.

Writing is another element of the show that has its ups and downs. Tolkien has a very unique style of writing and a way of capturing culture, history and time periods, through the way the characters speak and the rhythm of the narrative. He’s also perfect for it: he’s an Anglo-Saxon professor and linguist who knows the nuances of English better than almost anyone. However, while writers recognize the beauty of Tolkien’s prose, they often struggle to replicate it. Sometimes it’s successful, but other times it just seems blunt and unnatural.

Ring of Power successfully captures thematic elements of Tolkien’s work

On the other hand, many of the show’s changes are executed almost flawlessly and fit well with Tolkien’s themes and work. The dynamics of light and dark, good and evil are front and center of the series, both in story and visuals. It’s one of the most distinct elements of Tolkien’s story, and a theme that amply demonstrates the value and power of true friendship.

There’s also something that might even enhance the world Tolkien created, capturing Tolkien’s world better than the Jackson films: the series pays full attention to the issue of orcs traveling during the day, for example, and emphasizes that doing so is physical to them on the pain. As far as orcs go, the depiction of orcs in Episode 3 is incredible, despite some criticism of the overly CG Warg. They also found a lovely way of contemplating the elves’ view of time in Tolkien’s world, as the passing of twenty years meant something completely different to Durin (Owen Arthur) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo).

The show showcases the majesty of Middle-earth and its culture

Another excellent area of ​​work in this series is the visualization of the big cities described in Tolkien’s books. In the Darkness of Moria, stepping back in time to reveal the kingdom of Khazad-dum in its greatest glory is one of the most stunning visual sequences of all the adaptations, and Númenor’s presentation is just as good. The beauty of Lyndon, the awe of the dwarven kingdom, and the crumbling nobles of Númenor are all presented in stunning detail.

Perhaps their greatest achievement, though, is that the series builds many beautiful Tolkien-esque moments that Tolkien himself didn’t write about. For example, nowhere is it mentioned that dwarves find the right way to dig by singing to the stone, but it fits perfectly with Tolkien’s comments about the importance of music to dwarves and their loving dedication to their craft. It also sets a beautiful, possibly tragic, border crossing: the mountain apparently tells you where not to go, and the dwarves will break that rule one day.

This also happens in Arondir’s storyline, especially in episode 3. Tolkien’s work can be haunted by his experiences in the trenches of World War I, and the Tirharad trenches and bombed-out lands in that episode are effectively reminiscent of the no-man’s-land in the middle – Earth . Besides, there’s probably no better moment for Tolkien than a genie weeping and apologizing to a tree for having to chop it down.

Perhaps that last point best sums up the series’ stellar performance so far. Themes of decline and loss run through the history of Tolkien’s creation, as well as the deep and abiding pain that arises from loss: the character’s desire to be healed, but only a glimpse into the reader. Elrond points this out when he talks about Galadriel healing her grief in Valinor, and Arondir interacts with the same thought as he sees the world around him crumbling into corruption. Where the story came from is inconclusive, but whatever the show’s missteps, it demonstrates a basic understanding of Tolkien’s themes and, at its best, is truly admirable.

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