Opinion | Series Rings of Power is a missed opportunity for greatness

While in Europe Russia has started a direct war with neighboring Ukraine for the first time since WWII, which pays a lot of attention to the heroism of Ukrainian soldiers, and the atrocities and destruction by Russia, worldwide audiences of millions are turning the attention to fantasy series such as The Rings of Power (Amazon) and House of the Dragon (HBO). The first is a prequel to the successful Lord of the Ringsadaptations of the books by JRR Tolkien, and in this classic tale of the struggle between good and evil, it is not difficult to see similarities with the struggle in Ukraine.

There is, also in NRCattention for The Rings of Powerbut also for the criticism about skin color and women in combat roles that the series has faced.


That criticism is unfortunate, not only because the complaints are superficial and largely unfounded, but also because the racist and sexist sound of the criticism hinders the more substantive criticism of this most expensive streaming production ever. Because there is quite a bit wrong with the series, and that is not about skin color or the role of women, on the contrary the somewhat browner skin of the Bruives (Harfoots in English) is precisely how Tolkien distinguished them from the other hobbit peoples. The same goes for Galadriel: according to Tolkien, she was as big and strong as a male elf, and was second to none in athletic prowess.

No, where The Rings of Power The flaw is not in the looks or in those details, but in the big picture: the history as written by Tolkien, and the actions of the main protagonist, Galadriel. In Tolkien she is one of the three most powerful elves with King Gil-Galad and master blacksmith Celebrimbor, but in the series she comes across as a relatively young elf who is sent away from Middle-earth by Gil-Galad (Tolkien’s second cousin). . Her inseparable husband Celeborn is not even mentioned in the books.

Also read: ‘The Rings of Power’ will have to do even more to justify itself

But all that is forgivable if the writers of the series had a good reason for it and they told a good story with it. So it was my surprise that Galadriel, arriving on the fantastically rendered island of Numenor (visually the series is an absolute delight), comes into contact with Elendil, a character that Tolkien only situates some 2,000 years later. Two stories from completely different eras are mixed up in the series, and after the fourth episode I see coming that the fall of the underground dwarf kingdom of Moria will also be added, which should take place with Tolkien again 2,000 years later. find. A period of 4,000 years is squeezed into one season, so if you find the story a bit crowded and difficult to follow, then that’s not a bad thing. It’s like having Julius Caesar meet Napoleon, while medieval knights fight a crusade against the pyramid builders.

And it could have been so much better, especially with the huge budget the creators had. The storylines could have been better divided over the different seasons. That would have made history much more dramatic. Show the passage of time, how the humans change, and the elves don’t. All working towards the point where the Lord of the Rings movie story begins. I don’t know why the creators didn’t take that big, epic approach and instead try to cram as much history into a season as possible. With fewer storylines at the same time, the series could have had more focus. It’s a missed opportunity for greatness.

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