“The Rings Of Power” Has Inexplicably Terrible Writing


I have come to a sad realization: the creators of Amazon The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power know how to put on a show, but they don’t know how to tell a good story.

There it is, scribbled in blood on the wall. The writers and showrunners responsible for this show could have won me over with some good fanfiction. They could have thrown Tolkien lore on a bonfire and I would have been perfectly happy if they had just crafted an enjoyable story with characters I care about.

Unfortunately, power rings is written so poorly that it defies even my worst fears. Oh yes, I was impressed and impressed by the first two episodes, like many others. But my how quickly a poorly written TV series can wear down its reception once the shimmer wears off.

“All that glitters is not gold” is the old aphorism; it’s the one Tolkien flipped on his head for “The Riddle Of Strider” –all that is gold does not shine.

But power rings only knows how to sparkle, and it’s definitely not gold. He knows how to shoot nice slow-motion shots of elves on horses or orcs leaping through trees. He gets the giant statues of ancient Elven kings and shining cities. It has a score that’s enjoyable to listen to, but which, like the show’s melodrama, is perhaps a bit too incessant. This is a show show and the show is generally okay.

The problem is everything else.

Galadriel’s adventure in Númenor is honestly just embarrassing. She got there – after being rescued – and effectively intimidated everyone in her way like the Elvish version of a steamroller. The Queen Regent has her hands full from the moment Galadriel walks through the gate, and soon she demands to see the King, then demands an army.

Miriel has to lock her up and then take her back to the elves just for her to stop. Then, thanks to petals falling from a tree, she decides to take it back and engage her people, who moments earlier were almost chanting “death to the elves!”, in a war in a foreign land? Everything that happens in Númenor is just shorthand for the plot. Advance the plot at all costs, no matter how many characters are slaughtered in the process. (I recently wrote about Black Speech’s hilarious spy note, which is another great example of shoddy writing on this show) >

Instead of actual character drama, the creators of rings of power just make everyone bicker and argue all the time. Whether it’s Isildur and his father and his friends, Elrond and Durin, Nori and the village elders, Bronwyn and the village fools, or Galadriel and everyone else, everyone seems to be arguing.

The people Galadriel wants to save are evil and stupid and some of them seem ready to throw themselves with Sauron in the blink of an eye. But for some reason, we’re supposed to care about Galadriel’s quest to go fight to save them from the enemy?

MORE FORBES‘The Rings Of Power’ Episode 4 Recap And Review: An Epic Disappointment

I don’t mind Elrond and Durin and Durin’s wife, Disa, but their story circles around everything else. It would, and could, work very well if the rest of the series were willing to take their time as well. I’m not mad at this show for being slow. I’d be perfectly happy with a slow-moving show that’s done a good job of developing its characters. This show is tedious and rushed all at once.

And while I love the Harfoots, they were also written in a very strange corner. “No one walks alone!” the little folk song, while leaving behind them their lame and their old, their sick and their maimed to suffer and die.

Then there’s new villain Adar. I was enthusiastic about him at first. He seemed like a pretty intriguing villain – until he let Arondir go. “deliver a message to humans” which, if you ask me, may as well be “just because.”

Just because the writers couldn’t be bothered to find a smarter way to get Rounding out of there I guess? Way to undermine the very tension you hoped to create.

We have a show, however. Lots of great dramatic moments with . . . literally no accumulation for them. Arondir is freed, saves Theo just in time, then they run through the woods (right where Bronwyn finds them!) and evade dozens of orcs because they shoot arrows like Stormtroopers shoot blasters and run to about as fast as those. bounty hunters Obi Wan Kenobi. We’re supposed to remember Boromir at this point, aren’t we? Many little reminders of the Jackson trilogy. Lots of little reminders that those movies were much better.

Nothing is gained in The Rings of Power. Neither the emotional nor the epic. Things just happen because the writers want them to happen. Something is happening so what something else is going on. There are no real consequences, no real hard points to come out, just a series of events that unfold, frictionless and boring.

Galadriel gets her army – just by being a jerk for a few days – now what? We are going to war! The problem is, we don’t care. Arondir returns to Bronwyn and his news is very serious! The problem is that we don’t care!

This is bad writing, pure and simple. Bad characterization. Jerky dialogue. Characters that don’t make sense and clearly hate each other as much as we hate them. Everything feels forced and contrived, especially in Galadriel’s storyline.

I’m trying to imagine the writing process here, how they came up with this story of all the stories they could spin. They had carte blanche to invent whatever fable of Middle-earth they wanted and they give us this cobbled-together nonsense with a cast of characters we can barely stand, thrown randomly into predicaments and events that ooze false gravity but have no real stakes.

I don’t understand. I really do not know. I really wanted to like this show and I was totally willing to hang my disbelief and treat it like expensive fanfiction. But it looks cheap.

It was a show I was looking forward to watching with my kids. Now I doubt I’ll bother. That’s about the most damning verdict I can draw.

(We will continue to enjoy locke and key and look forward to season 4 of The Dragon Prince and season 1 of Willow. There is always Esoteric to help us out, or The Lord of the Rings movies. Andor is just around the corner. Lots of great things to watch these days. No need to sit through this slog, though I’ll keep watching so I can keep revising).

How to tell a good story

All the money in the world can’t save bad writing. No show can ever hide a lousy script.

For all his show, power rings missing something precious: the sense of adventure.

Here’s a thought:

Maybe the creators of the series should have started smaller. Chose one or two of these stories and planted them, nurtured them and gave them space to breathe and time to grow.

Expand this smaller cast of characters and give us a reason to care about them and cheer them on (or hate and despise them, or just feel for them somehow).

Then place these characters in difficult places that create tension; give them tough choices that are as painful for us to watch as they are for the characters to make; and advancing the story through organic character motivations and interactions that make sense and flow naturally.

Slowly progress to epic, era-crossing, globe-trotting, world-changing stuff, instead of rushing all of a sudden.

After all, one does not just enter Mordor – one must first leave the Shire and walk to Rivendell; one listens to the elves sing, and one tells stories in a tavern, and one sees there beauty and peril; and in the course of it all, we grow and change. Adventure is in the heart as much as it is along winding roads and winding valleys and among the tall towers of warrior men.

In other words, tell a good story first. Then let that story find its way into your epic fantasy. Not the opposite.

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