By - Aeneas1976
Nice post. All the issues you describe are what I've come to recognize as the Bad Robot formula. It mimics/teases these other types of story archetypes, but it doesn't actually intend to deliver on any of them. Which is why you see people describing RoP as bland or boring because the formula pretty much falls apart without JJ Abram's frantic pace and action in order to distract the audience from the fact that many of the basic story ingredients are missing.
Even with JJ's frantic pace, the formula still falls apart if you've experienced enough good stories to know a bad one although you might not be able put into words what the issues are. Take The Force Awakens for example. I made it 2/3 of the way through and was asking myself, "This is it? It's so bland." Then Rey gets kidnapped, and it drops down from bland to aggravating after that.
Yes! The Star Wars sequels suffered from a lot of the same issues as RoP, but it boils down to there being no payoffs, things not adding up. What it had going for it was more simplicity, more action, more fun.
RoP’s appeal for me was as an immersive and detailed representation of a beloved fantasy world, and how all the decisions from its residents would intersect and firm compelling stories.
Instead, we have a collection of random events and conflicting characterizations and gaping plot gaps and I’m hanging on just by the merit of the world, which, outside of numenor, is still very intriguing, despite its events and characters not making a lot of sense.
The Force Awakens, as far as I could tell, was a retelling of A New Hope, sometimes blow-by-blow.
Problem was, the second movie was handed to a director with a different vision who butchered the story arcs set up for a trilogy and TLJ finished the massacre.
While the prequels certainly had their issues and it's possible the story arcs were hastily changed again after the first movie if the Darth Jar Jar theory is true but nonetheless it had a good story arc, that of Anakin Skywalker.
Indeed, if the sequels wanted to be good, they would've emphasized the "ripples of what Darth Vader did" so all the movies are a single arc: Anakin Skywalker. His rise, his acts and the consequences. There were hints of this in TFA but disappointingly little.
You know something? That recapitulated - to excess - the problem with the original Star Wars trilogy. Yes the second and third movies (episodes 5 and 6, now) had the same director, but the writing team changed and the story went off at right angles to where it had seemed to be headed. And *Return* went almost literally to the bow-wows (er, Ewoks).
… episodes 5 and 6 did not have the same director.
Oh. You're right. (For that matter no two of the first three movies to be made had the same director - but I had to look that up.)
Maybe that explains it.
> and the story went off at right angles to where it had seemed to be headed.
Wait, ANH was heading anywhere :P ?
It *looked* like a pure "Hero's Journey" archetype. *The Empire Strikes Back* subverted those expectations, though the story remained worth following.
I remember from Lost he used a lot of hooks to pull people in, RoP is failing pretty badly at doing that
I read the whole thing. Very sharp analysis.
Great piece, thank you for putting this down.
This is the kind of constructive criticism I'm looking for in the public discourse: "this does/doesn't work, *and here's why* "
I'm an academic so our rules for writing are different. In academia we are always focused on structure and conciseness. Does this sentence move the argument (story) forward? If so, how? If not - why is it here? However interesting a point being made is, if it is not relevant remove it.
There is so much in Rings of Power that seems unnecessary or contradictory. I am asking my television all the time "what is the point being made? Why is this here? How is it relevant?" Sadly the television has failed to say anything useful back to me so far.
Great write up.
What really struck me with the feeling that they don’t know what story they are telling was the “moral lesson” presented in the very first episode.
*The stone sinks because it looks down, the boat floats because it looks up.*
I don’t know what moral lesson they are trying to convey. I can come up with several problematic explanations, but none of them are satisfying. If you are optimistic you will succeed? Except we just watched a rock sink a boat as the lead in to the “wisdom” itself. Are some people rocks and others boats? So we should give up on those that are naturally destined to fail? That I’m unclear is bad enough, but that the conclusions it points to seem problematic at best is even worse.
Compare that to:
*Even the smallest person can change the course of the future*
It’s simple and understandable, but meaningful. Obviously, this is just one example, but the ability to distill the story (or even part of the story) into coherent statements (basically a moral thesis), or the failure to do so, is always a telltale sign for me.
I think the actual moral purpose of the story is to explore the question "How do I know true light from light reflected off of darkness?"
You can see this question at work all through the various plotlines - whether Durin can trust Elrond, Galadriel possibly becoming an agent of Sauron's purpose by being rash and profoundly influenced by negative emotion, the ambiguous nature of the Stranger, the paradox of the Harfoots "Nobody goes off trail, and nobody walks alone" which is simultaneously reassuring and chilling, Adar's assertion that Arondir's beliefs about orcs/evil/the shadow are founded in ancient lies. All of these situations are challenging us/the characters to use moral discernment. At least, that's how I interpret it.
I appreciate your interpretation here, I just think the lesson may be, at best, ill conceived. But, it's fun to discuss!
It seems that you are framing this almost as a twisted aquatic allegory of the cave, where man struggles to distinguish truth (the sun) from falsehood (the shadows cast by fire, or in this case reflections on the water).
*“How do I know which lights to follow?”*
*“Sometimes we cannot know until we have touched the darkness.”*
Plato might claim that once one has seen the light there is no mistaking it for a pale imitation, but good luck convincing others, who have only ever fumbled in darkness, to believe you. Clearly that's not the point being made here.
Rather, Finrod seems to be saying, in the parlance of our times, yolo. Sometimes the only way to learn is by failing, so chase the lights and you'll know when you messed up. Get out there and make some mistakes.
Except, by this logic, doesn't it mean the rock should learn to float at some point through trial and error?
Or maybe we are back to some people being rocks, not even trying to see the light, and it's not worth trying to help them. Like the Harfoots who go off trail or twist an ankle.
Other people are boats, and they should be allowed to do whatever they think is right because if they mess up they will know it? Like Durin who should just keep digging for his dreams, he'll know if he delves too deep.
Yes, this seems exactly it to me.
I agree with this and feel like it's going to make more sense when Sauron shows up looking pretty, helping team good achieve great things, while turning their actions towards evil.
Wow! Great write-up and well said! Very interesting and very helpful in outlining the problems with the writing in this show. I also thought Celebrimbor should have been the main character, it makes the most sense for this story. And everything you said about the dialogue and characterization is on point. And the nonsensical way they butchered to lore! Agree that some changes make sense, but they basically changed EVERYTHING and for seemingly no reason other than they just wanted to! Mind boggling.
It's very cool to get a perspective from someone who actually works in the tv industry. Thank you for writing this very in depth and thoughtful piece! Not only is it a great review of the RoP show, its also super educational for anyone interested in writing. I'm going to save this for reference for my own writing (not professional but I do like to write as a hobby).
Incredible post. Thanks for sharing
The pleasure was mine.
From my layperson point of view. The weakness is that the core Galadriel arc is too weak to support the other stories. I enjoy her badass warrior characterization, however, she's not actually resolving any of her own conflicts.
So far Galadriel has...
* Jumps off a boat, finds a raft.
* Raft gets eaten by a worm, but she get's picked up by a ship.
* Can't find Evil, but bumps into a guy on the raft who knows where to look.
* Gets banished from Númenor, the tree weeps petals.
These are all things that happen to her, rather than the results of her actions. The fact that she is operating almost entirely on hearsay or a dude she met on a boat, sap the audience of any real sympathy for her conviction. It's like they wanted a strong female lead, but couldn't be bothered to have her actually achieve anything.
If she jumped off the boat, found some Orks, choose rally the people of Middle-Earth (starting with Númenor), convinced the, Númenorians to sign up once again to stop evil... It would have at least anchored the core conflict for the first season or two, and let the plot advanced through the actions of the characters and not by chance.
As others have said. Sauron should be a character from early on, maybe not this early, but soon. First because, villains are interesting. Second, because having him show up on Númenor without being somewhat sympathetic, is going to make his corruption of the kingdom feel flat.
Ah, this criticism of Galadriel's plot actually makes sense. Thank you. I'm willing to go with the show to see where it ends up, but there had better be a good payoff.
This is an incredibly detailed breakdown, and from someone in the industry to boot! From what I’ve read so far, Amazon might literally have been better off giving the show to you instead of Patrick McKay and JD Payne.
I mean if we’re just giving away billion dollar projects away to people who aren’t big names in the industry, at least give it to someone who’s competent at character work and storytelling.
"A cook would make a better king than Joffrey" :)
Awesome reading. It provided a very interesting insight into what makes a script tick and also made me realize why some aspects of the show feel off.
Thank you for taking the time to put into words what probably many of us have been mulling around in our heads, but either didn't know the conceptual terminology to use or had the willpower to set aside passion and emotion to communicate effectively.
Thanks for the appreciation. It kinda gnawed at me several weeks, and usually I find relief in writing things down.
More thought was put into this post than by the all the writers of the series.
I don’t know if I agree with Celembrimbor being the hero, but hey if they wanted diversity the could have made him a her. Female elven ring smith seduced by Sexy Undercover Sauron.
Omg! Me and bf read the whole document together. This is fantastic! Super appreciate the time you spent writing all this. I learned so much about storytelling.
Aye, I agree with your criticism, it's pretty much spot on.
I'm really baffled because it's hard to believe that are people liking the show? If they truly are I'm afraid we are going to have really badly written shows in the future.. it already seems that in U.S. scriptwriting has become something I really can't stand but I suppose we haven't seen the lows it can go.
You didn't mention antagonist at all.. But I think that's another point where the show has failed. Obviously they have been keeping Sauron in a mystery-box, but I think it's badly calculated move. It seems like all the artistic (probably not the correct term for TV-industry) choices on this show have been weak.
I agree with your assessment that Celebrimbor would be good xhoice for the main chacater, especially if you combine it with bromance with Sauron.
I would probably personally choose Sauron as the main character since he (is Sauron he or they?) has interesting story with ups and downs, but I also see why it would be problematic as well as not a popular choice. Another good option would be to have a 'small character' but since it would be a repetition of LotR I'm not too keen on that either.
If you would need to main character to be female another option would be Celebrimbor and Galadriel's daughter, who would make an interesting main character..
I'm also glad that you didn't bring out the common point of critique and state that 'feminism is ruining the show'. Because I think yet another point of criticism would be that the writers obviously can't write interesting female characters.
I don't personally agree with script writing theory (I find it boring), although I did sit through script writing courses while in Art University doing my first MA, but I think with show like this it is astonishing that they are not able to use the basic toolkit of script writing.
I feel like reading this was more gripping than ROP. Loved it.
YES! Thank you. You have masterfully summed up exactly what was bothering me about the show.
Now if only the show was written with the same level of detail, analysis and effort put into this piece
Good comments. I don't feel that the RoP is about anything. It doesn't seem to have anything to say. While I understand why it exists in an extra-textual sense (because Amazon bought the rights to make it and wanted to make a big fantasy show), it doesn't feel like it has a reason to exist within the text. It's a show without any clear sense of purpose or reason for being. No ideas, to use your term.
I read the whole thing. It was very well thought out and explained. I agree with pretty much all of it. I appreciate you putting into words what I have tried and failed to.
Excelent article, I will share it everywhere.
Great post! Although I don't feel as negatively towards the show as others here, I do think that this analysis spells out the flaws of ROP even if we view it as an original fantasy series.
Great post! Despite its flaws, I'm overall positive on the show so far, but you've explained a lot of what I've subconsciously disliked about the show and couldn't put into words. Time for a rant:
While it's not the only mistake, I think a lot of the issues you bring up stem from the decision to start the show with five major concurrent storylines, all with their own subplots. We get Lindon/Eregion, Galadriel, Khazad Dum, the Harfoots, and the Southlands in the premiere, with Numenor introduced in episode 3. None of the characters or plotlines get time to breathe, because we have to constantly jump back and forth to keep the story moving. You bring up Game of Thrones, and how much exposition they were able to get across in just a few episodes. I think it's because it starts with just two major storylines: the Starks and the Targaryens. Even two is a lot; most stories that end up as sprawling epics start with just one viewpoint before branching out: Lord of the Rings starts with Frodo and the hobbits, Wheel of Time starts with Emonds Field, Star Wars starts with Luke Skywalker, etc. Characters enter the primary plot and go on to have their own adventures, but these original, smaller-scale story lines help establish ideas and themes, develop characters, and introduce locations so that we're invested in the protagonists before the story becomes a tangled web.
Rings of Power is the equivalent of starting Game of Thrones with Season 4. We're dropped into multiple concurrent stories without having been given a reason to care about the characters, other than nostalgia from the books/movies. And as someone who loves the books, don't get me wrong, they've had some successes. I think this version of Elrond is much closer to the book character than Jackson's, I love Elendil navigating the complicated politics of Numenor before its fall, and though Galadriel gets a lot of hate, I think it's fun to see the self-destructive arrogance of the Noldor depicted on screen. I feel sorry for the writers, because I get the feeling that they know the books better than most of the "book purist" posters ranting about lore inaccuracies, but I'm assuming we started with such a fragmented story because Amazon didn't want to pay millions of dollars to develop all these locations if we're not going to see them in season 1.
Anyway, thanks for putting so much effort into your analysis. As someone who has read way too much Tolkien, you've helped me articulate some of my gripes with the show. While it's far from perfect, it's still better than a lot of the trash TV shows I guiltily enjoy. I love Tolkien, and I hope the show can recover from some of its early mistakes and become something truly special.
This is a fantastic critical analysis. I am loving the show, but it hasn't felt quite right. I read some books on story writing from the pre-tv "golden age". Some things change, but a lot doesn't. I've watched all the episodes at least twice, and sometimes stop and think "wait... how did we get here again?" Some of the performances are excellent (Galadriel, Arondir) but some of their decisions have been questionable. Your points make sense - to stall.
Gabriel Urbina, Sarah Shachat and Zach Valenti, who are also writers, did a more surface level but accessible version of this, before the show came out on their podcast No Bad Ideas- the episode called The Prequel Problem
This is a very thorough breakdown of why the show isn’t working on so many levels. I’m enjoying the visuals, but the show hasn’t quite sat right with me.
Just finished reading the whole post and google doc. Thanks for the in-depth writing focused look at the tell--I mean show.
Amazing post, takes me back to my essay writing days at university!
Post this to LotR_on_Prime if you don’t value your karma haha…
>But what we clearly see in the show, is the total lack of social dimension. Many times in this subreddit Tolkien fans mentioned how the show omitted the family connections between Galadriel, Elrond, Gil-Galad, and Celebrimbor, and the fact that Galadriel is the eldest of them all. And the defenders of the show said that it is either unimportant or was done deliberately to make a new vision of young and hot-blooded Galadriel.
But it is important. Family ties play a significant role in what we are. And the showrunners didn’t alter Galadriel’s family relationship — they just ignored them. In the show, all four of Tolkien’s characters are nobody to each other, and that impoverishes the drama very much.
Elendil also suffered from this omission, and was downgraded from the royal descendant and one of the possible heirs to the throne of Numenor to “simple captain, of the once noble family”. Again, it diminished the drama, creating such a huge power imbalance between the Quee
>What’s the idea behind the actual show? Beats me. If anyone knows, it’s time to share.
Well you mention the typical pilgrimage central to Tolkien's work indeed (and many others). Inspired by his Catholic background and mythological stories.
But pretty much all the first 4 episodes are mostly about setup and at this point we barely scratched the challenge part of said pilgrimage.
It's fair critiscm to say the show is slow in that regard. But slow can still get the job done.
So isnt too soon judge ? Be sure you are then judging it on wat it isn't while also denying it the chance to become closer to what you want and expect.
So what the show to me is about is the pilmigrage of Galadriel, challenged in her search for evil to root it out. The intrigue beeing in what and where is that evil and how far she has to go.
Of course, we need to wait until the end of the season, no, rather the end of the show to be able to see if the writing is good. Which it isn't. So we must wait quietly, for 5 seasons, to see IF it becomes good.
I'm sure you use this approach with everything else in your life.
Yes I'm not gonna judge plotlines for being incomplete or unfulfilled before said plotlines have even finished. Doing that is an error in judgement.
What an error of judgement is not to be aware of shit writing and trying to shill it.
You literally have a mouthful of shit in your mouth, which you keep on chewing on because you've been told is chocolate. Hey, if you finish the whole tub you'll see it's actually chocolate!
Look, you are just another boring troll with the worst takes.
Everyone can see the writing is not going to be good. It's already bad. It won't magically improve.
The fact that anyone takes you seriously is astonishing, I doubt there is many who do, but I’m sure there’s a small handful of other people who need to make themselves feel larger than they actually are by being pedantic on Reddit all day, your echo chamber must feel nice.
I appreciate you taking the time to write it all out. I won't try to disagree, but I will say that the post feels very "appeal to authority"-ish. Every point could basically be boiled down to "someone said it shouldn't be this way."
Thing is, we know that the writers have planned out the story arcs for all 5 seasons already, so the show isn't directionless. Meaning if I'm investing my time into the show, I'm willing to trust that they have a handle on where it's going more than a random viewer or myself or a guy that said it should be that way because.
FWIW, much of Tolkien's work outside the novels won't fit all your guidelines either, it's a history. The showrunners are bringing that history to screen. Maybe they're trying to do too much at once, or maybe it'll come together brilliantly. The dialog/scene writing hasn't overly impressed me but never know where the story will go.
And lastly, there's def some revisionist history. Breaking bad is much more complex than "the nature of evil," and I certainly wouldn't have called the show that at all in 4 episodes. It easily could've gone any number of directions.
This show is about "good vs evil," there. This show is about "trying to prevent evil from rising," there. This show is about "the aftermath of war," there. This show is about "the history of middle earth", there. A generic blanket statement can be used for this show just as easily as it can for others so early on.
Ehm... maybe the thing is that English is not my native language and not even a second language, so my tone may sound more categorically than I intended. Grammarly helps only so far.
But, as I said in the other comment, I appeal to the common experience of thousands of people in the cinema and TV industry. Were I a construction worker, I could have explained how houses are built. Being a screenwriter I can explain how stories are built. That simple.
>Thing is, we know that the writers have planned out the story arcs for all 5 seasons already
There is a difference between "we know" and "we are told".
The story doesn't look whole to me, no matter how much the showrunners say otherwise. I don't see the integrity I saw in "Stranger Things", "Breaking bad", "Person of Interest", or even "Wheel of Time", so repeatedly condemned here. At least they managed to carry out the main storyline.
>Meaning if I'm investing my time into the show, I'm willing to trust that they have a handle on where it's going more than a random viewer or myself or a guy that said it should be that way because.
So far, no one deprived you of your right to trust they have a handle on where it's going.
> FWIW, much of Tolkien's work outside the novels won't fit all your guidelines either, it's a history.
And making a story out of history is a screenwriter's task.
>This show is about "good vs evil," there.
I cannot see who represents "good" in the show.
> This show is about "trying to prevent evil from rising,"
How exactly? By playing Karen?
(besides, building the show on \_preventing\_ anything puts an author in very disadvantageous position at once)
>This show is about "the history of middle earth", there.
No one except us nerds is interested in the history of the imaginary world per se. And we nerds are mostly annoyed by how this history was warped.
Totally agree with you on all you said tbh.
Thanks for this OP. Now I’m convinced not to watch this any further.
Totally shocked that self described screenwriter on Reddit would have a poor opinion of the writing
First time seeing a person fit for their job?
I think your critiques miss the mark cuz the Amazon is making a show to appeal to the masses who may only be familiar with the Lord of the Rings through the movies. Your criticisms might be valid if Amazon only thought that those with encyclopedic knowledge of Tolkien’s legendarium would be watching. You give all these different criteria that the screen writers miss the mark on, but your examples primarily refer to how they don’t follow the lore the way you would have.
>But anyway, the story of the Rings is Celebrimbor’s story. He would be the best protagonist.
1) What does the hero want? — to stall the death itself, to challenge entropy. To surpass his grandfather in mastery, art and skill. To impress the woman he hopelessly loves.
2) What prevents them from achieving their goal? — both laws of nature and the evil will of Sauron.
3) What do they do to remove the obstacles and achieve the goal? — try, make mistakes, learn from them, create… and fight Sauron.
4) What will happen if they achieve their goal? — The entire Middle Earth will become Lorien.
5) What will happen if they don’t? — a LOT of people die gruesome deaths, Celebrimbor including. Sauron will possess the mightiest artefact and reign in Mordor for the next several thousand years.
Well, that’s a solid story with high stakes and strong motivations.
Then why on Middle-Earth is Celebrimbor put aside as much as possible, up to taking away his friendship with the dwarves and giving it to Elrond?
My answer is the authors’ cowardice. The showrunners were afraid of making Celebrimbor a dying protagonist, a Ned Stark of the first season. They wrote him expendable, so when he dies, the audience would see his death as collateral damage, not a real tragedy.
It caused incurable distortion to the whole plot. The central character’s goals and motives are a cornerstone of the story. If the cornerstone is askew, the entire building is shabby.
I think is your central critique.
They obviously chose Galadriel and Elrond because that’s who everyone knows from the movies, and the books, and basically everything they have the rights to. No one casually familiar with LOTR would have any clue about Celebrimbor or care about him at all.
And because they’re making 4-5 seasons, they need protagonists the audience could connect with who might reasonably be around for that amount of time.
Well, that was a stupid choice and I explained why. You pick a wrong protagonist, you ruin your story.
Here’s a novel idea: use those 5 seasons to make us care about someone who’s not been shown much on screen. Use those rights you’ve bought.
Keep known characters similar to how they were in Jackson’s LotR as anchor points for returning fans? Idk what the actual term for that would be.
Alternatively, don’t bother making a show if you don’t have the rights to adequately tell the story. They could have made a hell of a show about early Arnor/Gondor. Witch King’s rise, Fall of Arnor, etc. They could have even included hobbits if they so desired.
Condescending rubbish, no wonder you aren't writing screenplays that sell
Hahaha is this sarcastic?
Lemme guess, they are one of those people who think that beyond USA borders there is no civilization that could make movies.
Hahah yes, the phrase “screenplay that sells” is so cliche
I am writing screnlays that sell. Any other questions?
> Condescending rubbish, no wonder you aren't writing screenplays that sell
**(1)** - **What’s “selling” 💰at the moment is garbage, 💩 that’s the problem (IMO).**
**(2)** - Also, **what is condescending about sharing information or presenting an analysis?**
**(3)** - The internet and social media doesn’t have to be this way.
- Just because somebody has gone to the effort to present new information or a different perspective based on their analysis - that **doesn’t meant that they think people who disagree are stupid.**
> no wonder you aren't writing screenplays that sell
Who knows whether the OP is “writing screenplays that sell”? But when I check the OPs comment history, they seem to be at the very least a fan of screenwriting. So even if you’re right, there’s nothing condescending about a fan sharing their analysis IMO.
I’m going to **give the OP the benefit of the doubt and assume they’re a freelance screenwriter**- perhaps in their native country? Regardless of their occupation, there’s nothing condescending about sharing one’s analysis or perspective IMO.
**TLDR:** The internet and social media doesn’t have to be this way. **A new perspective based on analysis is rarely a personal attack, it’s just a different perspective.** If that sounds condescending and patronising, it’s rarely intended that way. IMO **this is not a controversial “click-bait” meme post intended to push “emotional buttons”;** rather it’s analysis presented for discussion. That’s why, IMO very **few people are attacking the OP on a personal level.**
**EDIT:** I also checked your account (u/Schmilsson1) to get some idea as to why you might have taken offence to this post, but **unfortunately your account is only 13 days old?** Maybe the OP’s post is condescending/offensive because you are new to Reddit? If so, you might be in for a shock.
If only, if only, if only! The dye is cast. We now can but watch the drama unfold....or implode, as it may. I will say, it has given hours of relieved boredom, be it through watching, theorizing or just plain trashing.
To the OP, if you want to critique the work of others, is this sub the best place? Seems biased and a rather small pond.
179 people disagree so far.
Wow, lmao. I commented that your post was full of "appeal to authority," and this comment absolutely blows that out of the water.
The fact that reddit upvotes are your measure of whether you are somehow "correct" or not, with no hint of actual response, **when you literally post it in a place that you already know agrees**, is hilarious.
My guy. Smh.
My post appeals to practice in the first place. To the common experience of thousands people in the cinema and TV industry. Were I a construction worker, I could have explained how houses are built. Being a screenwriter I can explain how stories are built. That simple.
OP posted this in other forums but they were removed. I’m not sure why though. Their analysis, at least to me, seemed like it was done in good faith and with far more detail than the usual posts criticizing the show. I wonder if the moderators even bothered reading the whole thing. It would be interesting to see their rationale for removing it.
>Were I a showrunner, my idea would be exactly Tolkien’s: this is about how good people with good intentions challenged Death itself and played on the hand of the Devil. This is just a great idea, I don’t want to abandon it.
I don't think that's an accurate summation of the Second Age. Most, if not all, of Tolkien's work is about the long, slow decline of good things. It's about the constant fight, the noble resistance of good against evil, the watchful peace. That's what the whole legendarium is about.
I think that the show is capturing that idea well so far, though I admit at the moment it's mainly just setting the stage to display that idea. It's showing us where everything is and what state everything is in at the beginning of another cycle of this fight against evil.
We've already seen hints about this idea of slow decline and fight against evil. We see that in the Southlands storyline, the attitude of the Numenoreans, the leaf that Gil-Galad sees, all that.
Setting the stage must be quick and through out not in one sitting and slow, because is the “boring” part. We are mid season already, at this point we should be bitting our nails. People think the show runners have a master plan but there is no sign of it. There is just none, I really hope they had but no.
The problem is that "long, slow decline of good things" could hardly make a good show.
I mean, Rings of Power is pretty good so far....