The Rings of Power: a cure for insomnia
Rings of Power Episode 4, “The Great Wave”, involves more Númenor-based Elven hijinks, the big reveal of the mysterious Orc man-God “Arda”, and a Dwarven secret.
There were some good bits. Gimli 2 shows signs of being a genuinely interesting character. The visuals continue to be pretty. The role of the Zummerzet-by-way-of-Kingston-Jamaica-cum-Dublin sort-of hobbits was mercifully minimised. Sadly, the bad is starting to outweigh the good in LotR: RoP.
Galadriel sounds exactly like Kate/Bob from Blackadder II; Female Sam: Dawn French; Celebrimbor: Monty Python‘s Michael Palin. Constantly being reminded of British comedians probably isn’t what Amazon was hoping for with its casting decisions and its investment of one billion dollars.
The writers fulfil the age-old writing adage of “tell not show”… They also mistake a swell of music for a character arc. Poor writing, no characterisation, exposition dumps. This is shaping up to be the anti-Tolkien. Things also just happen because they have to in order to move the plot along. When Legolas 2 (as I’m calling him) copies Gimli 2’s (as I’m calling him) kids’ knocking game and opens up a secret chamber containing a priceless ore, my jaw-dropped — at the absurdity of it all. Also, why is Galadriel a two thousand year teenager? I know actual teenagers who have out-matured Our Lady. Pay-offs happen before we’re made to care about characters, for example, a big meant-to-be-dramatic falling out between Isildur and his mates, two guys we barely remember and don’t at all know.
We just don’t care about these shallow, barely thought-out characters, and there are no clear stakes. I fell asleep twice while trying to watch this. A cure for insomnia is probably not what Amazon was hoping for when they ploughed a billion dollars into this series.
Bored of the Rings? Yes.
© 2023 Bryan A. J. Parry
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