I looked forward to the Rings of Power. A show set in the second age of Middle Earth? There is so much potential. Other than the history textbook outline of the Akallabeth, there’s basically nothing set in stone. There are some characters who are described being kings of regions, founding lordships over thousands of years, but for most of it the second age is a blank sheet where you could make any story you’d want. As long as it doesn’t contradict those historical outlines in the Akallabeth.

Except of course the writers of Amazon’s show are apparently even more arrogant than their character they call Galadriel or the Numenoreans of the book. They had to kick the source material in the shin every opportunity they have. They changed so many things considered to be canon it doesn’t make any sense to me. Even just the pilot episode.

It didn’t have to be Galadriel. She was already many thousands years old at the start of the second age, let alone around the time of the fall of Numenor. While she was a proud high elf when they left Valinor, she learned a lot from Melian in Doriath that supposedly made her the wise and pacifist character Gimli adores so much. At the time when the rings of power were forged she’d been married for literally thousands of years and had a daughter (the future wife of Elrond). Her brother didn’t die hunting Sauron, he died protecting Beren from Sauron when they failed to sneak past his watchtower.

When the books clearly state that she lived in Lindon, founded Eregion then moved to Lorien in the second age, why throw that all out of the window? Why not just make a new character, a young shieldbearer of Finrod (the aforementioned brother) who loved their king so much they devoted their life to avenging his death by finding Sauron? A new character, who’d know Galadriel of course, so you could still introduce her as the wise queen of Eregion at some point, even have a sub-plot about her having a fight with Celebrimbor that resulted in her relocating to Lorien. A new character would give so much more freedom and more room for development than someone as loaded as Galadriel.

What’s all this bullshit with “going to the West”? Before the fall of Numenor the world was still flat and you could still “just” sail to Valinor. It was forbidden for all but the elves, but you could. It wasn’t some magic that teleported the elves of their ship. The elves from Valinor would trade with Numenoreans so it wasn’t even that you can’t leave Valinor once you are there. Hell, at the start of the first age Galadriel walked from Valinor to Beleriand… In the first place, the first few minutes introducing Valinor through the eyes of child Galadriel focus on bullying? Is that the “intoxicating light”?

The writers showed that potential in the world of the second age by using the Southlands. They know they could introduce new characters people could feel attached to, just see the Harfoots. On the other hand, none of it seems to matter. Nothing seems to have consequences in this show. People don’t behave like people, they are puppets in a plot where bullet points have to be cleared. The writing is just hollow and boring. Lines are delivered, scenes are marveled at, but now before anyone could as “wait what did you just say” we’re already at the next scene doing something completely different. And utterly inconsequential. It feels like any fanfic author could’ve done better.