The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the...
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Tolkien Collector's Guide
May 12
2022/5/12 20:57:21 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
May 12
2022/5/12 22:12:48 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I've updated the original post with the video and quotes from O Bolsiero (#25 in the list). Positive feelings for both the footage and the showrunners.


May 13
2022/5/13 15:45:14 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Lord of the Rings fans ‘absolutely blown away’ after watching new TV series: ‘It’s just beyond words’

https://metro.co.uk/2022/05/13/lord-of ... -rings-of-power-16636647/
May 13
2022/5/13 16:52:27 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Fellowship of the Fans video on the event later today with Shaun Gunner and VarkingRunesong

May 14
2022/5/14 19:01:57 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Tolkien Experts Saw A Sneak Peek Of The Rings Of Power - Here’s What They Think

https://www.thegamer.com/lord-of-the-r ... of-power-expert-thoughts/
May 17 (edited)
2022/5/17 10:21:41 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Thanks for posting all of this stuff! I had some thoughts (and some drink) and accidentally started to ramble (please skip this drivel if you prefer relevant, interesting or informative posts):

I'd be interested in seeing negative reviews too when/if they appear. They tend, I think, to be more reliable and indifferent to any unintended or purposefully deceitful coercion (regardless if the coercion is conscious or, as I assume would be the case with these reviewers, unconscious). (I'm sure we all know Amazon is more than capable of much worse than simple coercion, so it's nice to hear that the invitees had a good time.) I liked seeing 'Tea With Tolkien's' review since I also was not impressed by the teaser trailer but I find it so hard to trust sponsored reviewers (some of you personally know a lot or all of the reviewers and may know whether or not they'd consider Amazon's feelings when writing these; unfortunately I do not, though I'd like to!):

"It’s become very plain to me that Amazon knows the importance of earning the trust and approval of Tolkien’s most devoted fans. Without the approval of the Tolkien Estate, the show won’t be made; and without the approval of Tolkien fans and scholars, the show won’t succeed. In short, they can’t do this without us."

Amazon, aka Jeff Bezos, knows the importance of earning the trust and approval of Tolkien's most devoted fans? I believe that wholeheartedly. He knows we're important, but not all that important. Then "...without the approval of Tolkien fans and scholars, the show won't succeed. In short, they can't do this without us." But all three of The Hobbit films "... grossed over $1 billion at the box office, surpassing both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers nominally" (IMDB).

I think at this point it's super clear that this series simply cannot be more true to source material than PJ's LotR stuff was; anyone that has misgivings with (in particular) his first Tolkien films will certainly have a hard time with this (I assume I'm stating the obvious here?).

There will always be apologists for this kind of watered down media that appeals to as many people as possible (something I personally don't have much of a problem with), and more than that there are multitudes of passive movie-goers out there (as Stu mentioned) that just don't understand or won't care why others get bothered by something like this. (I'm jealous of them personally; aren't we all to some degree? There's a benefit to knowing what you like and what brings you joy, but in my opinion being picky is more of a burden than not.)

Regarding the newer post from Uruloke about the writing team's influences (or 'heroes' as they put it): if there's anyone here that is a visual arts/film/tv lover (distinct from being a Tolkien fan) they would definitely recognize the listed names immediately and would have most likely cringed (correct me if I'm wrong pls!); Payne didn't even throw in an art or independent filmmaker's name for good measure which is something new-to-blockbuster lala land players *always* seem to do. Did that surprise anyone else? Or maybe people are happy to see such familiar names? For me it's a very stark statement that the writers are more impressed by money-making than they are art-making. I get that and all, those people are everywhere and it is what it is, but I wish Tolkien's work could have had a different path in the past twenty years (or has a different future, something I can't even envision anymore).

Patrick McKay coincidentally happens to be one of my oldest friend's cousin-in-law and I've talked to my friend several times over the past few years about McKay's involvement with the series (mostly about basic things like when he and his family needed to move to New Zealand and how he was coping with the pressure). Because of what my friend shared (he was never told about any juicy secrets so he didn't have to be careful or anything) my expectations for the show were even lower than they would have been already, especially after the Hobbit films' nightmare which truly showed how low the bar could go. But I'm curious, for the younger people here (maybe 30 or under) I can understand you holding out hope that this could be a quality production. But for those over that age (and who follow things like this), don't we all already know what the pattern is? The 1970's U.S. is long gone (one of the few filmmaking decades we can really be proud of); we don't value quality anymore and haven't in a long time (if we ever have) and we're not alone. I'm referring mainly to the 'Hollywood' blockbuster or mainstream style. Money talks, quality walks (if you'll allow me to make up an idiom).

There are members here that I know feel the same way I do about past Tolkien film adaptations (that for whatever merit they had they still could and should have been much better). But that conversation is almost always specific to Tolkien (naturally). If I may digress slightly (not that I haven't already), are there any serious film people here? (I.e. people that are or were active in film studies for more than a class or two in college/university.) I'd be very interested in what you/they might have to say about the chatter for this upcoming series (granting that we can compare tv to film nowadays since the production value of each has grown so much closer).

My apologies for the long digression
May 17
2022/5/17 10:58:53 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Berelach wrote:

Regarding the newer post from Uruloke about the writing team's influences (or 'heroes' as they put it): if there's anyone here that is a visual arts/film/tv lover (distinct from being a Tolkien fan) they would definitely recognize the listed names immediately and would have most likely cringed (correct me if I'm wrong pls!); Payne didn't even throw in an art or independent filmmaker's name for good measure which is something new-to-blockbuster lala land players *always* seem to do. Did that surprise anyone else? Or maybe people are happy to see such familiar names? For me it's a very stark statement that the writers are more impressed by money-making than they are art-making. I get that and all, those people are everywhere and it is what it is, but I wish Tolkien's work could have had a different path in the past twenty years (or has a different future, something I can't even envision anymore).y walks (if you'll allow me to make up an idiom).

I personally tend to worry when a writers heroes are people who are heavy-hitters around franchises. The list of heroes appears like a who's who of the in-crowd to me. Of all the poeple name checked I was relieved to read William Goldman because he is a stonecold writing genius. He has adapted plenty of Stephen King so I have always been interested in him but his writing credits are amazing in general. The others are all connected with massive franchise media and that is always concerning to me. Those heroes all whiff of a certain 'rinse and repeat' culture.

That all basically echoes your own concerns, I very much share them.

As for Tolkien past/future. I always wanted a show or movie series that utilised the likes of David Lynch, David Fincher, Ridley Scott, Ang Lee, etc. Nolan would make a very interesting looking Silmarillion. Names who really care about the visual style as the primary experience for the viewer. Hell, give me a Woody Allen Shire series set like The Waltons hehe.
May 17 (edited)
2022/5/17 16:41:41 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Olwe wrote:

Sometimes I would wish TORn would not continously presume to speak 'for all fans' because they are one of the sources mainstream nerdsites use as rehash-content-sources, that is, they basically copy what appears on TORn.

They certainly do not speak for me.

Hear! Hear!

... though I'd probably extend the “they certainly do not speak to me” to most, if not all, of those invited to this event.


In my experience, the use of the phrase “lore” often signals an understanding of the concept that I would find rather superficial. It is, I think, often associated with the approach characterised by reading The History of Middle-earth to discover “The Truth” about Middle-earth, rather than to understand the author and his changing conceptions of, and relations to, his own sub-creation.

“Knowing your lore” usually means something that is closer to being able to reel off the rulers of the South Kingdom rather than being able to discuss the way ‘Myths Transformed’ might inform us about Tolkien's changing aesthetic and philosophical views as expressed through his sub-creative process.


I am probably just being an old curmudgeon here (I am sorry if that offends anyone), but I remain rather unimpressed by the attendees enthusing about the showrunners being “great fans” who “know the lore” – I'd rather repeat Gandalf's cry to “go and find some old man of less lore and more wisdom”.
May 17
2022/5/17 17:47:49 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Troels Forchhammer wrote:

I am probably just being an old curmudgeon here (I am sorry if that offends anyone), but I remain rather unimpressed by the attendees enthusing about the showrunners being “great fans” who “know the lore” – I'd rather repeat Gandalf's cry to “go and find some old man of less lore and more wisdom”.

I am not at all offended, and don't think you are being curmudgeonly. The Prime team invited a wide variety to their event, and got a wide variety of responses from those who attended. I know some of them much better than others, and so (on a personal level) I know I discounted completely some feedback as I don't have any frame of reference to know how to weigh their words against anything relevant to me. From those attendees that I do know personally, it was quite helpful to me to hear their thoughts. I did get the sense from those reports that they felt the showrunners had more than just fannishness and lore knowledge.

Flipping it around for a moment as an exercise - if the attendees had reported "they are not fans of Tolkien" and "they have no grasp of the lore", those would be huge red flags for me. In other words, from my perspective, those are minimum requirements to still have hope for the show. So I am quite glad to hear they are fans and have internalized the lore! I also agree 100% with you that having wisdom, and understanding Tolkien's philosophies and themes is much more important than the ability to reel off factoids, or to adhere to every scrap of lore in Tolkien's writings, which would often be impossible anyways as so many changed over time.
May 17
2022/5/17 18:10:53 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

I am not at all offended, and don't think you are being curmudgeonly.
Thanks for that!

Urulókë wrote:

Flipping it around for a moment as an exercise - if the attendees had reported "they are not fans of Tolkien" and "they have no grasp of the lore", those would be huge red flags for me.
Now there's an interesting idea!

In some ways, it could have been refreshing, though I suppose I'd be far more positive if such an assessment was followed by “but they definitely understand what Tolkien was trying to achieve and how he viewed the world!”

Urulókë wrote:

In other words, from my perspective, those are minimum requirements to still have hope for the show.
I (obviously) agree – what got at me was the tone of some of these statements, which, in my reading, suggested that just meeting the minimum requirements was worth being enthusiastic about, and something that ought to make me squeal with joyous excitement ...

I do not know many of those who attendees personally, and those I do know and trust on these matters belong to the more reserved crowd, so at this point, I still find it rather hard to have my expectations affected very much either way.
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