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!
Geez, this post was sitting in my drafts section of my WordPress for ages. Oops. Let’s see if I can get this finally posted, okay?
Acquired from Kobo during the end of 2020:
Hench, by Natalie Zina Walschots. SF/Superheroes. Grabbed this once I saw buzz going around about it from the Bitchery, because it sounds awesome: a story about a young woman in a superhero world driven to serious injury as collateral damage in a fight between heroes and supervillains–and nobody cares because she was temping for the villain at the time. So she starts using her own strong talent for data gathering to show how ordinary people are being harmed by the superheroes, until she winds up being a top supervillain’s second in command. I’m here for this!
Secrets and Lies, Reckless, Never Tell, Hidden Sins, and Deception, by Selena Montgomery. All romance/romantic suspense, by Stacey Abrams under her pen name of Selena Montgomery. Bought on general “because damn, Stacey Abrams has been awesome the last several years” grounds.
All Together Now, by Alan Doyle. This is Alan’s most recent book talking about his history with Great Big Sea and his life in general. Bought for general “duh, because ALAN” reasons that any Great Big Sea fan will certainly understand.
Goldilocks, by Laura Lam. SF. Grabbed this because I liked the last SF novel I read by this author, because this is a plot featuring women, and because the plot in general sounded intriguing.
The Last Emperox, by John Scalzi. SF. Nabbed because it was on sale at the time, and because it’s book 3 of his Interdependency series. I liked Book 1 and will look forward to reading this one.
Pre-ordered from Kobo during 2020:
While Justice Sleeps, by Stacey Abrams. Forthcoming thriller, this time written under her actual name. Bought on same general grounds of “because Abrams is awesome”.
Acquired from Amazon during 2020:
The Psychology of Time Travel, by Kate Mascarenhas.
Acquired from Kobo during 2021:
The Key to All Things and The Chocolatier’s Ghost, by Cindy Lynn Speer. Gotten because Cindy is a fellow former Drollerie author, and because I quite loved The Chocolatier’s Wife.
The Year of the Witching, by Alexis Henderson. I’ve seen a lot of buzz about this one over the last several months, both on Smart Bitches and Tor.com.
The Once and Future Witches, by Alix E. Harrow.
Spoiler Alert, by Olivia Dade. Romance by an author I’ve heard about via Smart Bitches, Olivia Dade, and one of whose books I’ve already read as a library checkout. She seems to have a nice trend going in her books of larger heroines, and plus this particular book is heavily fannish as well.
Girl, Serpent, Thorn, by Melissa Bashardoust.
Acquired from Amazon during 2021:
Subversive, Radical, and Revolutionary, by Colleen Cowley. Fantasy trilogy. Nabbed this entire trilogy because of this review over on Smart Bitches!
Acquired as birthday gifts this very weekend as I write this post:
Middle-Earth: Journeys in Myth and Legend, by Donato Giancola. Wanted this because I’ve seen this man’s art come up again and again in discussions of the Tolkien legendarium, particularly on Tor.com. They have a lovely profile and interview of him over here. And the artist’s own page is here.
1000 airs du Québec et de l’Amérique francophone, by Olivier Demers. if you’ve hung around my site long enough to know how big a Le Vent du Nord fan I am, and also that I’m a fiddle padawan, you’ll know why I had to nab this songbook of tunes from the Quebecois repertoire by one of my top favorite fiddle players from the province. I will very, very much look forward to delving into this in depth. :D
Been a while since I did a Bilingual Lord of the Rings Reread post! but since I was reminded I needed to continue doing a proper reread thanks to this post over on Tor.com about certain actions of Gandalf, here, let’s get back into this a bit with the French commentary for Chapter 2!
(Notably, the poster on Tor.com was writing about things Gandalf did that really rather made him out to be a jerk, and there’s interesting commentary in the comments about how the movies have influenced Tolkien fandom a lot in that regard. Certainly one of my things about Gandalf turns out to be exactly that, more movie-influenced than book-influenced. More on this to come!)