Thoughts on Rings of Power – E05 and E06

Third episode of my very rambly, very disorganised thoughts on Rings of Power. The first episode was here (click) and the second one there (click).

Spoilers ahead!

Episode 5

Harfoots

At last, a song! I do love it, although I’m not a fond of reusing things Tolkien wrote in a wholly different context (“not all who wander are lost”). It undermines the importance of the phrase later in my opinion, rather than expanding a theme. But that’s very personal, and I do love that the Harfoots have a walking song.

We don’t learn a lot in episode 5, except that the Stranger speaks an Elven tongue. But he’s not an Elf. I think. I really hope we get answers by the end of season 1!

The passage with the Wolves worked really well for me. At least the animals were believable and terrifying, contrary to the Chihuawargs.

The Southlands

I can’t remember who pointed it out, but the fact that Arondir stands with Bronwyn on the battlement for a speech doesn’t strike me as a very good idea, knowing that many Southlanders aren’t that fond of Elves. This doesn’t create a problem in the scene, in that Waldreg for instance doesn’t point it out, but it could have been and I don’t think it was wise coming from Bronwyn.

Speaking of Waldreg, have him bow to whom he thinks is Sauron only to discover he’s got the wrong name but he’s willing to bow to anyone anyway, was hilarious. But did you notice that Adar never said he isn’t Sauron? And he doesn’t either in the rest of the episode and in episode 6. He uses phrases such as “the one you call Sauron” but he never says he isn’t Sauron or who Sauron is. I love the mystery! I’m almost not looking forward to the reveal because the guessing is so entertaining.

Last but not least, well done Theo! After spending 3 episodes of me screaming at people to start communicating they finally heard me! I’m so glad that Theo opened up to Arondir about the sword.

Númenor

I don’t know why I don’t hate Isildur, seeing that his motivations are so unclear and he keeps making mistake after mistake, but I’m just so fond of him, even when he asks for a privilege he hasn’t earned. Bonus point to Elendil for putting his son in his place, though. Deep down he must be relieved to see his son stay on the island and not join the war.

There is one thing that may be fuelled by my general mistrust of Halbrand (if not hate – he makes my skin crawl) but that I like to think is still strange, and it is that Galadriel and the Númenóreans seem happy to treat him as royalty based on a pouch he’s carrying. Doesn’t it strike you as shallow thinking? The man himself hasn’t confirmed anything about being in the succession line. For all we know he could have stolen that pouch. He clearly doesn’t want to rule and though that’s usually a good sign, for once I’d say listen to him! Leave him in that jail where he shouldn’t have come out because he hasn’t been judged for fighting and almost killing those four men from episode 3. I fear that so far this series is teaching me that if I’m a white, cishet, able-bodied, and relatively good-looking man I can carry a small pouch with a faded emblem on it and other rulers will offer me a kingdom. I don’t like it one bit.

The sword training was super enjoyable! I was very happy to see some ladies there. I was desperately trying not to blink because they kept switching the cameras – I wish they’d done better justice to the fighting choreography. And the music worked wonderfully. So far I think it’s one of my favourite sequences of the whole series. Give me the swordsmanship without the actual bloody affair that a sword fight is. And as in episode 4, Galadriel is clearly having a lot of fun as well and I loved that.

Rings of Power' Episode 5 Recap: Who Is The Stranger? - Variety

I only wished Halbrand didn’t show off at the end with his little sword flip. Although it seems very believable that a smith would know his way around a blade, contrary to what Galadriel thinks.

Then I almost got my Númenórean sea shanty! It’s not one but I was craving a little singing from them. But then things got a little strange… If even I cannot believe that the son of the Queen’s counsellor was out at night on a fishing boat, then why would Elendil buy the story? Didn’t he recognise Kemen? Was Elendil afraid of political repercussions if he arrested Kemen? That didn’t make a lot of sense.

At the end of the episode, I loved the sequence of the army leaving, and I loved Galadriel’s armour, but where in Arda hell did she get it from? She arrived in her nightgown! Nevertheless, her setting foot on the ship is 100% Elven glamour and I love that.

Elrond, Khazad-dûm & Lindon

Can everyone please stop torturing my poor sweet Elrond yes please thank you.

The bit I said about congratulating Theo for being honest also works for Elrond & Durin. I love their dynamic so so much. Thef= fact that they open up to each other and admit their mistakes is very precious.

That being said, no matter how much I love Elrond’s character in the series (to the point I’m almost ready to forgive his hairdresser), the scenes with him turned me into a living embodiment of CONFUSION.

Why does Gil-Galad sound so accusing when noticing the Dwarves’ mining activities? What does he lack so much charisma? (Ok that was gratuitous.) That made it all the more enjoyable when Durin reclaimed the table. And even though it was bluff on Durin’s part, the unease in Gil-Galad’s eyes was worth it.

The worst bit came just after the dinner, during Gil-Galad and Elrond’s little chat. That’s where my confusion erupted: surely saying you’ve sworn an oath of secrecy goes against the oath??? It’s almost like saying “yes, my king, there is mithril there and oh, I’ve sworn not to tell you but here I am telling you anyway”.

Rings of Power episode 5 review: The gray area of Lord of the Rings -  Polygon

And the cherry on the cake was the Hithaeglir business and the shining Elves with the mithril being infused with the light of the Silmarils. During the whole sequence I screamed a silent “noooooooooooooooooooo”. Of course the showrunners have to make things up to balance the fact that they can’t use The Silmarillion. But the importance of mithril is clearly stated in The Lord of the Rings and to me there was no need to go further than that. It makes absolutely no sense to tie this ore to the survival of the Elves. Celebrimbor’s plan to cover all the Elves in mithril armour sounds ridiculous. No amount of emotional blackmail talking about Elrond’s dad will change that.

Especially when Gil-Galad admits that evil is coming back to Middle-earth, which didn’t prevent him from sending away Galadriel, the one most dedicated to fighting it!!! This equals to “let’s not talk about this and the matter will surely disappear”. It makes zero sense and by that point I was getting very angry.

So far, I feel like this mithril business is the worst idea the writers have had. Thankfully they’ve set it in the gorgeous decor of Lindon with those swoon-worthy lanterns.

Strange cult-like people

We almost got more info about them on social media than in the episode, so I don’t have anything to say yet. I’m waiting to learn a bit more.

All in all, episode 5 had high highs (the sword training, Elrond & Durin) and low lows (Halbrand, Gil-Galad & Celebrimbor). I’m starting to see a pattern of me preferring on the whole episodes where we don’t follow every single story arc and focus on a couple of them at a time.

Episode 6

This episode had me on the edge of my seat and even though I have a few reservations which I’ll list below, I want to start by saying that on the whole I think it worked great even if it made me nauseous.

The opening scene of Adar planting seeds reminds us that he’s not 100% evil and I love it. Give me nuance. Then we cut to the attack on the tower and I don’t care if it’s not believable, I was having tremendous fun watching Arondir jumping around and bringing the tower down by himself before doing a cool kick to trap the army in. I loved that sequence to bits.

I found the whole “playing around with the buildings to trap the enemy”, both at the tower and in the village, extremely enjoyable. This is pure fun and I welcomed it all the more so as I hated the grimdark passages with close fights later in the episode.

In those passages, just like in the street fight between Halbrand and the Númenóreans, I feel like the showrunners are crossing a line of violence that stops this show from being family-friendly.

The attack on the village was super tense and well executed in my opinion. My only problem was with the deus ex machina. Because Adar enters the tavern while it’s still night, and they don’t spend more than ten minutes in there before it’s suddenly full morning and the riders arrive to rescue the villagers. To me the times of day don’t match between the attack on the village and the Ride of the Númenórean Rohirrim.

As for a tiny, aesthetic detail: the Númenórean helmet with its horse’s tail is a bit ridiculous: you can see how it flops around and literally blinds the soldier under it.

I thought the conversation between Galadriel and Adar was spectacular. The showrunners are doing an excellent job with non-canonical characters and Adar might be my favourite writing-wise. He never clearly states things and keeps us all guessing. Yes!

Image

In this house we don’t talk about the dialogue between Galadriel and Halbrand after the battle or I will turn into an angry volcano. I almost hated it more than the stabbing-the-orc-in-the-eye passage.

The passage between Elendil, Isildur and Berek was oh-so-lovely and was a perfect nod to The Lord of the Rings without it being a direct quote like Bronwyn’s line about the light being forever beyond the shadow’s reach. Here we have a lovely quiet, father-and-son(-and-horse) moment with men not being afraid of being tender and speaking their hearts.

And finally…

I’m sorry but there’s no deus ex machina thanks to which the characters can survive a blooming volcano. My mum said it must have been a dream but I very much hope it won’t be that. A vision maybe? That wouldn’t be satisfying either. I know Frodo and Sam survived their volcano, but they were on a rock surrounded with flowing lava, not caught in a pyroclastic flow!

Expectations for episode 7

What expectations? I’m positive everyone died in that volcano eruption (and I’m barely joking).

https://www.cnet.com/a/img/resize/edb1b020a36ec1e4e8e0de5d81fb49625790f106/hub/2022/08/16/c18d0484-603a-4329-9273-3b3be15b9912/credit-matt-grace-prime-video-00338-r5-1.jpg?auto=webp&fit=crop&height=675&width=1200

OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Marie Bretagnolle (5 octobre 2022). Thoughts on Rings of Power – E05 and E06. Tolkien & illustration. Consulté le 13 juillet 2024 à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/v8v8


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