This post is many days after the fact, but I didn’t want to leave the finale of Season 1 of The Rings of Power unremarked upon! I’ve been taking the time to sit with the episode for a while in my head, as well as the season as a whole, before finally writing up my thoughts about it.
Found episode 5 of this session shakier than previous ones, for issues I’ll get into after the fold–because I’m finding my ability to not get cranky about Tolkien canon being broken challenged hard by this episode. (But there are also several high points I’ll talk about too!)
My household watched the first episode of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power tonight. Spoiler-free picoreview: I liked it!
Fair warning to my fellow Tolkien nerds, particularly if you know anything about The Silmarillion: yes, it is absolutely taking liberties with the way events played out from the First Age leading into the Second, particularly in regards to Galadriel.
However, it’s taking liberties in ways that so far I don’t actually mind. It’s helped that I very deliberately set my expectations here to “very pretty, very expensive Tolkien fanfic”, to give myself permission to not be bugged by any discrepancies between this story and what Tolkien actually wrote.
It also helps a lot for me to keep in mind the quote out of Tolkien’s own letters, about how his vision for Middle-Earth was as a mythic milieu with room for stories by other creators. The key word here being myth.
If you know anything about Greek mythology, you’ll know that that entire mythos contradicts itself all over the place. And with that in the back of my brain to establish precedent, I’m pretty at peace with the idea of other Middle-Earth stories contradicting Tolkien’s canon… as long as they hold true to the spirit of what Tolkien wrote, and do not actively break the world.
So far, as of episode 1, they do not appear to have done so. So far, so good. We’ll see how this holds up as we proceed through season 1!