The Rings of Power 1.1: A Shadow of the Past

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!

Some spoilers behind the fold!

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Rest of 2020 and into 2021 ebook roundup post

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 LiesRecklessNever TellHidden 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

161 total for 2020. 11 so far for 2021.

Bilingual LotR Reread: The Fellowship of the Ring: Chapter 2 (French commentary)

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!)

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Bilingual LotR Reread: The Fellowship of the Ring: Chapter 1 (French commentary)

Finally, another post in the Bilingual Lord of the Rings Reread series! This post provides my commentary on the French edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, and specifically on Chapter 1.

As I get into the bilingual commentary on these chapters, I’m going to be following a similar format to what I’m doing in the Harry Potter Reread posts. So I’ll be borrowing many of the same headers I’m using on that series!

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Bilingual LotR Reread: The Fellowship of the Ring: Prologue: Concerning Hobbits (French commentary)

Welcome back to my reread of The Lord of the Rings! As I’ve posted in my previous post, this reread is now bilingual, since I’ve been regretting not doing that properly for a while. And since I do have French editions of this trilogy, though not German editions yet, so it’s bilingual instead of trilingual.

To refresh your all’s memories, my commentary post on the Prologue of Fellowship is here. To this, I will now add some commentary about what it says in the French edition! I’m going to do this similarly to how I’ve been doing the Harry Potter reread posts, limiting the lingual commentary a bit so that I can keep the length of the posts down to something manageable.

So here we go! This is mostly going to be a bunch of commentary about various worldbuilding terms, given that they’ll be important once we get into the story proper. Once I’m past the prologue I’ll kick into the format I want to use for these posts.

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LotR Reread is now the Bilingual LotR Reread!

Y’all may have noticed that I’ve been dragging my feet on doing the Lord of the Rings reread posts. This is because I’ve also got the trilogy in French, and I’ve been vexed at myself for not doing a proper bilingual reread since I’ve got the French versions available!

So I’m waking these posts up again, but I’m going to do it moving forward with covering what I can pick up out of the French editions as well. I’m going to format the posts similarly to what I’m doing in the Trilingual Harry Potter Reread–i.e., limiting the lingual discussion to “five general things noted in the French edition” and “five worldbuilding things noted”. This will be in the interests of trying to keep the post lengths down to as reasonable a length as possible, and also to help me actually try to do them in a reasonable time frame.

My next post is going to be a catchup to get to the point where I left off in the English edition, which is to say, the hobbits are about to meet Tom Bombadil.

For the interested, my French edition of The Fellowship of the Ring is this one, or at least has this cover; the ISBN on my copy doesn’t match this one on Goodreads:

La Communauté de l'Anneau (Le Seigneur des Anneaux, #1)

Now that I’ve completed another rewatch of the movies, though, I am now totally in the mood for this. So let’s do this, shall we? Next post is about to drop!

(And the only reason this isn’t a full Trilingual Reread, by the way, is that I don’t own copies of the trilogy in German. YET.)