Yeah…the Rings of Power. We’re already a few episodes in (and by a few, I mean seven) and my, has the bile towards this show increased. I can’t imagine why people hate this show so badly, because it’s only a 7/10 at worst. I hate to sound like a broken record here, but hey, so do the haters.
I have a tough time mentally navigating this episode, and that frustrates me. This is one of the first times ever that I’ve seen a plot that is nearly invisible yet not weak. It’s not that very little happened: it’s that one or two really big things occurred. Each of our respective plotlines have reached an apex, a pinnacle: otherwise known as a turning point. The plot is changing suddenly and dramatically, so let’s go over the ramifications this episode had on the plot. (Again, you know my policy for spoilers)
The Stranger leaves the Harfoots. Not ordinarily one that would have a huge impact on the plot, but since the priestesses in white are after him (who are apparently super evil), this could spell the end for the Harfoots, and even the broken forces of men. What do the priestesses want with the Stranger? What are they going to do with him? It’s obviously something that doesn’t bode well, and if they get to him before the Harfoots do…
The Numenorians sail back to Numenor. A lot of people might call this a plot hole, but I don’t see anything about the Numenorians’ reasons being weak. They’re undermanned, their army is destroyed, the queen is blinded, and (although this one is unstated) Pharazon could very well have taken the throne while the Queen-Regent was gone. I doubt they ever had plans to conquest or invade, so staying longer than necessary, especially when it wasn’t in their favor, was a bad idea. Hence, the sailing back to Numenor. At this point the fighting force of men is pretty much disbanded, and this means Adar and his cronies are going to have a undeterred path forward.
Durin III refuses Elrond’s request. Self-explanatory, and the king, while unreasonable, thinks he has a good reason for what he’s doing. After all, in his fire-and-rock analogy, it’s plain to see that Durin III is the rock (unmoving, stubborn) and Durin IV is the fire (angry, emotional). Due to their personalities, it makes sense that this would be the case, but essentially dooms the elves to die. Noice move.
Galadriel decides to go back to Lindon and take her allotted punishment from the king. While this may seem contradictory to her character, it actually makes sense: since she’s worn out her alliance with Numenor and she no longer has an army, and can’t manipulate the Southlanders because she’s learned to do better (plus they’re beaten to a pulp as well), so the logical choice is to go back to her hope, hopefully with proof that orcs are invading the southlands (although, if I had to guess, it’s not enough because Adar could very well be a usurper).
Other than that…basically nothing happened in this show, other than continued character development. This is the final bit of development we need, however, because the characters are already well-established. Any development outside of this is gratuitous and should be cut. We need a plot-driven story for the rest of the season. (which is like, one episode)
This show is a filler episode–but, in my opinion, it’s the best kind of filler. With not a lot going on plot-wise, the story was filled with interesting character interactions which actually accomplished more than people will give it credit for. It was a more leisurely, well-paced episode instead of the gigantic, ambitious ones that we’ve had.
The pacing wasn’t nearly as bad in this one. It was even and leisurely, contained a few intriguing moments, and managed to pull off a few cliffhangers for the coming episode (or even the coming seasons) But right now, I think its biggest problem is that it’s still a bit overambitious.
I feared at the beginning of the season that the show was getting too ambitious for its own good. It sure feels like the next and last episode of the first season isn’t going to be able to wrap everything up tidily and satisfyingly, but I guess we’ll see. Stay tuned to my YouTube Channel for a wrap-up of the series once it’s finished.
Good luck, and happy writing!
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