a memberberry wrapped in a mystery box just for the sake of it
In Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power Episode 6, “Udûn”, we find out who Adar really is, the orcs try to take the Southlanders’ village, the evil broken sword’s true purpose is revealed, and there is an explosive finale.
A lot of action, for a change, but it’s a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. I had to work quite hard to pay attention as I was fairly bored again. And I want this series to be good, I’m really trying here. These dramatic moments, and to be fair there were several in this week’s outing, aren’t that interesting as we just don’t care about the characters and we just don’t care about the world. And then there’s the shoddy dialogue. No amount of dramatic music and explosive action can remedy these fatal flaws.
“One cannot satisfy thirst by drinking seawater”. We’re back to the Shakespeare-level lines here. The dialogue isn’t getting any better as this series goes on.
Big emotional moment between Galdriel and Halbrand. She stops Halbrand killing someone. Then they sit down like proper hombres together. “Thank you.” “No, thank you” “Thank you” “Thank you” “You saved me” “You saved me” Etc. I expected them to get down to it right then and there. It’s all just a little bit sh*te.
This show has since the beginning heavily featured plagiarised versions of characters we love in order to kind of soft reboot the Lord of the Rings: there’s probably-Gandalf, Legolas 2, Gimli 2, basically-Hobbits, Female Sam and Frodo, and so on. We’ve also got pseudo-ring (the broken sword) and pseudo-Gollum (what’s-her-face’s son), but we don’t care. And when we find out what the pseudo-ring / broken sword is for, it doesn’t really make any sense. Kind of like it was merely a memberberry wrapped in a mystery box just for the sake of it.
The episode was marginally stronger than average. Mainly because stuff was actually happening, at last, and there was none of the stupid Gimli 2 – Legolas 2 bromance, no Zummerzet-Irish hobbits, and none of that Númenorean stuff which has always felt like a different show. Nonetheless, it just doesn’t make sense. Especially the ending. I don’t see where we go from here… There is literally no way the series can even continue after this week’s finale, short of a cop-out “it was all a dream” or a deus ex machine ending.
Most episodes are barely scraping a three-star review, but whereas most episodes are just about passable in isolation, the series itself as a whole simply isn’t hanging together in any way that makes sense. The mystery box broken sword exemplifies that. So far, Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power is far less than the sum of its very imperfect parts.
© 2022 Bryan A. J. Parry
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