Lord of the Rings series!?

For discussion of Amazon's new television show "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power"
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Alatar »

Sorry, but that looks even more generic.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I watched about ten seconds and couldn't keep watching.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Eldy »

The uploader's description for that video sure is something.
The Amazon series seems convinced we want to see interpersonal drama...instead of the apocalyptic rise and fall of kingdoms The Simarillion describes.
It's obviously not an either–or situation, but if I had to choose, then—yes! Give me interpersonal drama; it's the heart of storytelling. I might have felt differently at 13, but I have a hard time caring about fictional apocalypses if I'm not engaged in the characters and their personal lives/struggles. But it boggles the mind that one of the self-appointed defenders of Tolkien's legacy believes personal drama is somehow antithetical to his works. The 1977 Silmarillion can be impersonal, but only because it's so compressed (and because there are entire chapters of worldbuilding to give context for the meaty, character-driven stories).
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I guess I'll post this here, and I guess I'll note that I don't exactly find it encouraging, particularly the name.

A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

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Yeah, I'm not sure how fitting Bronwyn (Theo's mother), a Welsh-derived name, is for the south of Middle-earth (Harad or maybe Gondor), but at a stretch one could imagine it as being a case of convergent evolution from a local, Nandorin- and/or Avarin-influenced human language that ended up sounding remarkably like Sindarin. Her romance with a Silvan Elf is, perhaps, circumstantial evidence for this. But "Theo" feels much more out of place. It immediately brings to mind Greek names for me, though perhaps Amazon had in mind the Germanic connection (cf. Théoden, Théodred). It's harder to construct a book-plausible explanation for such a name cropping up in "Tirharad," but who knows what the show's lore will ultimately look like.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Anduril »

Sigh. Just playing the sound-alike or remix game without regard to real or invented languages. Théoden doesn't contain theo(s), it contains theod or þeod. Anglo-Saxon/Old English basis vs Greek basis. then same for Éowyn and Bronwyn. Anglo-Saxon basis vs Welsh basis. Éowyn has wyn yes, like Theodwyn, but the wyn in Bronwyn is really wen. No win. Plus it's the Second Age so a name with Old English Theod should instead use Gothic Thiuda or something. Some of Tolkien's most enigmatic names IMO are based on Gothic: Vidugavia, Vinitharya, Marhari.

We all know Tolkien's personal and professional relationship with languages, how big a part languages and names have/had in this setting and its creation. If only they cared about the lore and the man as much or more as they cared about holding the IP.

The possibly sadder thing is that the casual audience won't care about this. They'll eat it up.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

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Anduril wrote: Sat Apr 23, 2022 9:42 pmthen same for Éowyn and Bronwyn. Anglo-Saxon basis vs Welsh basis. Éowyn has wyn yes, like Theodwyn, but the wyn in Bronwyn is really wen. No win.
It'd be a shortcut, but using a Welsh name (even with an Anglicized spelling, though that's obviously not ideal) isn't a terrible way to pick a character name that's intended to sound like it comes from a language related to Sindarin. Though it would be preferable, given the money and resources available to the production, if they hired a linguist and came up with non-Primary World names that could fulfill the same function. Of course, this assumes they're trying for something Sindarin-like, but that's just a guess on my part.
Anduril wrote: Sat Apr 23, 2022 9:42 pmThe possibly sadder thing is that the casual audience won't care about this. They'll eat it up.
When have casual audiences ever paid close attention to the languages? I don't mean that as a criticism of such audiences, just that their interest tends to be focused on the story at hand rather than the details of the world. I don't find that sad, any more than I find my own disinterest in the finer points of Wheel of Time lore (despite watching that adaptation) sad.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I don't have a big problem with the name Bronwyn. But Theo ... ?

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A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Túrin Turambar »

Anduril wrote: Sat Apr 23, 2022 9:42 pmThe possibly sadder thing is that the casual audience won't care about this. They'll eat it up.
I honestly doubt they'll pay much attention to names one way or the other. Unless the writers picked some wildly anachronistic name (King Shane is lord of all Men in these parts) they'll just gloss over it.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Anduril »

Another thing: "Bronwyn and Theo" sounds very modern, like you could see a family in a modern city having those names. They're real names. The mix of languages isn't that significant, or it's only significant because it shows how the modern world is more of a melting pot than before. The ordinary nature of it is sort of hobbit-like given that the hobbits are the audience surrogates, but even they had exotic names like Frodo and Bilbo too. Even Sam is not Samuel, he's Samwise.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Anduril »

That still contains "theod" because the hobbit language and names are influenced by the ancestors of the Rohirrim. He would be Théodbold if he were a Rohan man, I guess.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

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Encouraging words from Shaun Gunner, the Chairman of the Tolkien Society.

I met the team behind The Rings of Power: they love Tolkien
Last week I was invited to London to get an exclusive glimpse at Amazon’s forthcoming series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power which will première on Amazon Prime on Friday 2 September this year.

It was an honour to represent the Society to have this sneak peak of the show, and from the 20 minutes of footage I saw, it is clear that although the storylines are not exclusively Tolkien, the show has been created with a level of craftsmanship and attention-to-detail which is unparalleled, and which is a love letter to the Professor. This homage to Tolkien includes, as we’ve seen from the trailer, Galadriel and Elrond and Gil-galad, and other characters and locations familiar to us all.

Alongside the footage, I was able to meet with the showrunners – J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay – whose vision and passion is the driving force behind the show. What they are seeking to do is fill in the gaps in Middle-earth: that expanse of the Second Age where we know very little of what happens, they are going to provide us with their ideas of what could have happened. What was the world like at this time?; who are the key people?; and why did they want the Rings of Power. This is a story which is familiar to all of us in the Tolkien community: good and evil; friendship and fellowship; and ultimately love and death.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

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I think "vision and passion" are more distinct concepts than Mr Gunner implies. While I'm pleased (and unsurprised) to hear another testimonial about the showrunners' passion for Tolkien, years in Tolkien fandom have taught me that equally dedicated fans can have diametrically opposed views on a variety of topics, including how to approach adaptations. :P Based on the little we have to go on so far, I'm not sure I'll like their vision of Middle-earth, even if I can respect their passion. But we'll see!
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I'd be willing to bet one of my prized stained glass windows* that at the end of the day you will not consider it a good adaptation overall.

* Not really, but it sounds good.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

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I'm not taking that bet.
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

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A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

This, however, looks quite "good" (which is to say, they look pretty awful, as they should).

Exclusive First Look at the Orcs From Prime Video's The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

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"What's a different thing that we can do that still feels like Middle-earth but is unique for this story?" asked Payne.

McKay continued, "[...] Every episode has set pieces, creatures, battles and white-knuckle fights to the death. But instead of having 10,000 Orcs fighting 10,000 men, what's it like to have one Orc in your face, in your kitchen? What's it like trying to kill an Orc when you've never killed an Orc before?"
One out of two ain't bad, I suppose. :V

(In all seriousness, if I think of this show as "officially licensed fanfiction" this stuff doesn't bother me, and has the potential to be quite interesting. But I imagine it will require some impressive mental gymnastics to argue that this "feels like Middle-earth." :P)
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Re: Lord of the Rings series!?

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"Nothing is evil in the beginning" is of course a line from the book, said by Elrond of Sauron. Beginning this clip with a shot of Meteor Man could be considered circumstantial evidence for the theory that he's Sauron—I've already seen at least one person suggest as much on Reddit—though it could just as easily be a red herring.
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