What We Thought About The Rings of Power | Talking Beasts

One way or another, Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series is a significant moment for fantasy filmmaking. So, the podcasters are venturing over to Middle-earth and discussing their reactions to the most expensive television show ever.

This discussion is spoiler-free until 36:55. For more extensive spoiler talk, watch the post-show chatter.

Rilian, Gymfan, Glumpuddle

7 Responses

  1. Amy says:

    The best point you could make and exactly what i have said for so long about the Peter Jackson LOTR movies – a big budget ruins these things. when they are forced to be more creative with a smaller budget it turns out much better…

  2. icarus says:

    I think the best way to enjoy this show is to view it as an original prequel to the Peter Jackson movies, rather than as a faithful adaptation of the Tolkien Lore. Although it’s not technically related to the Jackson films, I feel like the filmmakers made a very earnest attempt to make it feel like a continuation of the Jackson universe, not just in terms of visual design and casting, but also the overall tone and feel of the story.

    Yes, the show does lag for pace a bit at times, but after the over-the-top “Video Game” style action of the Hobbit trilogy, it was nice to have a Middle Earth adaptation that wasn’t afraid to be a bit more contemplative in nature. Sure, there is a lot you can probably criticise about the show, but I never really felt like any of it was as brash and cynical as the Hobbit Trilogy was from a commercial perspective. By contrast, everything here felt very sincere and genuinely earnest in its intent, and for that I think it deserves credit.

  3. coracle says:

    I’m a New Zealander. Amazon Prime spent lots of money to get the rights, then did a deal with NZ government to get $100 million dollars to film it here. It was to be done on a season-by-season arrangement.
    Amazon brought in all its workers, used the beautiful NZ countryside (perhaps so it would have a Jackson look), and filmed one series. Then they pulled out, having decided not to film here any more, but somewhere else – Scotland? But it won’t look the same as the first series locations.
    Perhaps they are going to do a lot of GreenScreen work, with a huge collection of scenery shots that they took while they were here (do they have the right?) I await developments.
    Another point that during 2020 when we were in a national lockdown, with our borders closed except for essential work that could not be done by a local, this production also managed to fly in actors (including size doubles) from UK instead of using locals. Now that was very unlike PJ and the local casting agencies, who would have tried here first. A bit of a slap in the face for actors here, who were on the spot, suitable and available.
    These two factors left me feeling far less excited about the series. I don’t have Amazon Prime, and I believe it’s not available here. No tears shed.
    The review by our eminent Podcasters shows me I was right not to shed any.

  4. Col Klink says:

    Glumpuddle’s description of what the Narnian equivalent of The Rings of Power would be made me positively nauseous! Now I almost feel like boycotting the show even though I don’t really care about Tolkien.

    When I read or listen to criticism of The Rings of Power, I read or hear a lot of “it’s fine but not great or anything” and “it’s bad but not terrible or anything.” My brother, who’s more of a fan of The Lord of the Rings than I am, says that the actors and the visuals are great, aside from the overuse of slowmo, but that the writing is really cheesy. He’s cautiously optimistic about the second season since they’re getting a new team of writers. He’d recommend the first season to people who are really interested in the material, not necessarily to everyone.

    I kind of wish Rilian and Glumpuddle could have debated more about whether Galadriel’s character in this show is reconcilable with her personality in The Lord of the Rings. It sounded like it might be interesting especially to someone like me who didn’t remember her having a personality in The Lord of the Rings. But I understand they didn’t want to get into too many spoilers.

    While the audio clips in this episode generally confirmed my brother’s assessment of the dialogue, (“Hearts even bigger than our feet?”) I agree with Rilian about the line he liked best and which he said the series as a whole didn’t really reflect.

    I heard the Talking Beasts crew is going to record an episode about The Magician’s Nephew this weekend. I’m so excited!

  5. mary says:

    My sister and I have been Tolkien fans almost all our lives, and we absolutely love the series. And one of many things we loved is Galadriel, and seeing the beginning of her journey to repentance. Because yes, she does need to repent. This is canon, as is her warrior spirit and athleticism. Her temptation in episode 8 was psychologically and emotionally astute.

    I also LOVED Arondir and everything to do with his story, especially his growing bond with young Theo. And, in spite of some clunky dialogue (I agree about that “hearts bigger than our feet line!), I loved the Harfoots.

    I also really loved the steady emphasis the show placed on choice, free will, creation, and sacrifice.

    Elrond, Durin, and Disa were terrific, too, and the cinematography was excellent, and the musical score beyond excellent.

    Things (in fairness) which I didn’t like: the clunky dialogue. Much of the dialogue was lovely and true to Tolkien, but the occasional howler or poor use of grammar really stood out. I hope they will fix this aspect of the writing in future seasons.

    Second, given that the show runners said they were making a family show, I was shocked at the level of violence. I had to force myself to rewatch episode six; it was really hard to take when Bronwyn got shot.

    On a theological level, I really didn’t like the mithril myth. I appreciate that it was a nod to Glorfindel, but the implied Manichaeism–the suggestion that good and evil are equally powerful and necessary–bugged me a lot. I’d say this implication was my least favorite part of the show. Again, I hope this is something they will fix in later seasons.

  6. Lyra says:

    Self-professed Tolkien scholar needs to read the LotR appendices again. There’s a pronunciation guide in there, and pronouncing the elf-queen’s name Ga-lade-ree-ell is as wrong as calling her husband seleborn. Your pronunciation of Sauron is also incorrect.

  7. Isaac says:

    It was absolute garbage. Non faithful adaption, woke virtue signalling everywhere and boring as anything. Tolkien would be disgusted by the desecration done to his work Netflix better not do that to Narnia. Faithful adaption of the material

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