‘The Rings of Power’ ends where it should have begun?

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by | Oct 27, 2022 | Film & TV

With The Rings of Power season one finally over, fans have picked apart the events of the final episode which really should have occurred much sooner.

‘The Rings of Power’ wrapped up its first season just under two weeks ago and its safe to say fans of Tolkiens expansive lore are largely underwhelmed with Amazon’s adaptation of his works. While there is far too many things to unpack in a single article, the ending in particular has perplexed fans in more ways than one. 

While the majority of Tolkien fans assumed the series would follow Sauron’s manipulative machinations in his pursuit to control Middle Earth, it has instead followed Galadriel in her pursuit of vengeance as well as the origins of Mithril and Mordor. With a title of ‘The Rings of Power’ it came as no surprise as to why fans were confused by the fact only three of the 20 rings appeared in the show, for five minutes, in the final episode. 

THE ORIGINAL STORY ACCORDING TO TOLKIEN

J.R.R Tolkien wrote a vast collection of lore and stories about the history of Middle Earth, covering the creation of the world itself right up to the years following the end of The Lord of the Rings. In what he describes as The Second Age, Sauron has fled into hiding after the defeat of his master Morgoth. Initially he intended to heal the world, having somewhat reformed from his dark days as Melkor’s (Morgoth) lieutenant. However in true Sauron fashion his lust for control drove him to slowly return to his evil ways through way of the ends justify the means, much like how we see him represented through Halbrand in the show. 

The Rings of Power

However in the books Sauron does not take on the form of a man but instead of the beautiful elf named Annatar, The Lord of Gifts. Through this guise he is able to manipulate the elven smith Celebrimbor into crafting the rings of power, secretly determined to use these rings to subjugate the wearers and in so doing, dominating all the leaders of Middle Earth. Of these rings the three crafted for the elves were the only ones untainted by Sauron’s influence due to the elves eventual mistrust of Annatar, having them crafted after Saurons departure from Eregion. This of course begs the question…

WHERE ARE THE OTHER RINGS?

With Sauron being found out by Galadriel in the finale it confirms what many already suspected in that Halbrand was the Dark Lord, however because of this he is forced to flee back to Mordor. If Sauron is expected, according to lore, to help forge the other rings with Celebrimbor, how will the show tackle this? Surely his identity of Halbrand has been compromised and can therefore no longer be used in order to trick the elves, which would have worked had the other rings already been created, but they haven’t. 

Do they intend for Sauron to forge these rings alone or will he return to Celebrimbor in a new form, possibly Annatar? However to tread old ground and essentially repeat the events of the final episode would surely not go over well with fans, let alone how foolish it would make Celebrimbor  and Galadriel look for mistrusting yet another stranger. It’s possibly one of the biggest breaks from lore the show has done and has brought more questions than answers surrounding how the show will proceed.

The Rings of Power

WHAT THE WRITERS HAVE SAID ABOUT THE RINGS

The Rings of Power was written by Gennifer Hutchinson who co-wrote the final episode alongside showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. She explained in a recent interview that the decision to feature only the three elven rings was made in consideration for the story being told in the show, that being the focus on Galadriel. Hutchinson said the following in regard to the big change from Tolkien lore:

“So much of the season was about the elves and their journey, and Galadriel’s journey, and the fading. So we wanted to tie those rings into that story. It was about narrowing our focus down on them and having those rings cap off the season. Because we had to make rings. It felt like the climax of that arc, as opposed to trying to manage the timeline in a different way.”

From this it sounds as though the writers were more focused on telling their own crafted tale of Galadriel than in the story of the making of the rings, the very thing the show is named for. Her words could also be interpreted in a far more negative light for she makes the rings sound as an inconvenience to the story she wanted to tell despite them being integral to the overarching narrative of Tolkien’s Second Age. Why name the show The Rings of Power if the focus will be placed elsewhere and with different characters? 

THE FUTURE FOR THE RINGS OF POWER

The Rings of Power ended where it should have begun, or at least, should have focused on. From a misleading title to the way the show has handled Tolkien’s lore and characters, it is no wonder the show has drawn so much criticism worldwide. With the millions upon millions of dollars spent on the show its mind boggling to imagine how the writers and producers could have got this so wrong. In saying all this the show has some redeeming qualities, Elrond and Durin’s friendship showed a genuine light heartedness that made any scene they were in a joy to watch. Though again the necessity of their storyline is called into question when talking about what should have been made priority in the show, the rings of power. 

Its possible season two will have its chance to prove us all wrong and while I’m sure the concerns of the fans will likely go unnoticed by the figureheads in charge of the show, one can only hope they take heed. The focus should be on the shows namesake rather than their own adaptations of characters not relevant to the wider story we expected them to tell. ‘Galadriel’s Adventures’ would be a far more fitting title to season one of a series which had so much potential and promise, though in the end failed to live up to the hype. 

For a review on the first season of The Rings of Power click here.

The Rings of Power

Written by George Cooper

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