Alrighty. The next Rings of Power episode dropped at midnight last night, (or should I say, this morning) and I stayed up late and formulated a review so that I could get up early and feed you this completely, brutally honest review of the next episode in a series that I’ve had favorable comments for thus far.
Since I realize not everyone’s watched it yet, spoilers for the plot do follow. But if you’re a colossal chad/nerd like me or you’re an uncultured swine who doesn’t care about spoilers, then read on. I like to say that people who’ve already watched the episode will get a better kick out of my reviews.
While I normally post an entire write-up of the plot and characters, I will skip it because I’m really bad at summarizing things (as evidenced in my review of the Wingfeather Saga). I’ll just launch right into my critique of the episode and hoe it fits in to the rest of the series.
First of all: it’s still not woke. The show literally has every opportunity to be woke and liberal, but hasn’t taken any of these opportunities. While this is a plus, its weaknesses lie elsewhere. But anyone calling it “woke” is sorely mistaken and looking to clickbait my loyal and intelligent readers (intelligent readers click the subscribe button).
So, I think the story’s biggest flaws are beginning to show. I’ve narrowed it down to three main problems: Galadriel, the pacing, and the plotting. There’s very little wrong with the plot, but the plotting leaves something to be desired. I’ll explain after I get over Galadriel and the pacing.
Galadriel is one of those characters who is perfect on paper, but is just lagging behind all the more interesting, colorful characters. She had a set character arc at the beginning of the story and a very clear path forward, but she’s made exactly zero progress. Even though other characters in the story have repeatedly told Galadriel to her face that she needs to approach another way, she’s so stubborn that at this point it’s really annoying.
You see, I have no problem with one-sided characters. Those characters are usually just intended to be more simple than the rest, and there’s no problem with that. I have a problem with one-note characters. Galadriel is rapidly devolving into a one-note character who is literally not changing. Oh, and the way she trills her “R”s is nails on chalkboard for me. Galadriel needs to be fixed by starting to become the Galadriel we know from the books and movies. While she’s not quite acquired Reva status for me, she’s not got long before her character just bottoms-out and dies.
The pacing is off and a bit weird, but not bad. The plotting is worse, in my opinion, but it’s kind of weird that we get ten minutes focusing on Galadriel and the Queen-Regent but the episodes starts with the dwarves working with the elves on their project. Something similar happened with the third episode where it all but started with the elves from the watchtower in captivity, but I could forgive that as it proved necessary to move the story along. But if this becomes a trend in the future, it could become a liability.
The plotting is probably the biggest problem with this episode. The conflict between Galadriel and the Queen-Regent could have been resolved in the first scene, as I felt it should. Everything after that became really gratuitous and annoying. It’s find of funny how they spent like twenty-thirty minutes in this episode on the least likable characters of the show without actually developing them. While that’s not a deal breaker for me, the shields are down. One more shot could wreck the show.
And then the subject of plot holes rears its ugly head. While they are beginning to pop up, they’re still not very big. This is only okay considering how there were exactly zero plot holes in the show thus far. Right now, the next episode better pay off real good on the promises of this one.
And now for my greatest fears: I fear that Galadriel will continue to go unfixed, and that she’ll spend the entire next episode on a ship. If only one of these happens, I’m fine. If neither does, it will have fully fixed the discrepancies of this episode. If both do, however, that might destroy the show for me. Galadriel is supposed to be the story’s main character, and ruining her would be catastrophic.
I just hope we get to see more of Adar, Elendil, Isildur, Halbrand, Arondir, and Theo. I actually hope to see more of Galadriel, but only if she gets better. I really want to like her as a character, so I’m hoping for her to get more screen time so that she can actually develop. The ones I’ve listed so far are delightful and entertaining, and I hope the show’s worser parts doesn’t ruin it for me in the end.
Good luck, and happy writing!
Be sure to check out my latest novel, Book 1 in the Praetors of Lost Magic Series, and our Publications page. Plus, I mean, it wouldn’t hurt to check out the Resources tab. It’s full of super helpful material and I promise it will help you out. Until then, writers!