Eight years after visiting Middle-earth for the last time (with the closing of the ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy), we return to Tolkien’s universe with, without a doubt, the most powerful premiere of September and one of the biggest this year: ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’. At least in terms of size.
Thus, we already have the first two episodes on Prime Video, ‘A shadow from the past’ and ‘Adrift’. A grandiose beginning that takes us, whether we like it or not, because of the width and length of the continent and Tolkienian lore. Of course, from here, spoilers.
prelude to the dark
Preserving the tradition, it is Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) the one that introduces us to this new fiction audiovisual in an amazing prologue, in which they tell us the events that put an end to the First Age (the defeat of Morgoth) and the exodus of the Elves to Middle-earth from their paradisiacal Valinor.
It didn’t take long for us to hear Sauron’s name for the first time, as the one that ended his brother’s life. Since then, the elf has fought tirelessly to find any hint of evil. What has led her to travel the entire continent in a somewhat unsuccessful search despite finding some other clue that the capital EVIL is still hidden.
This theoretical return of evil (with the orcs being its “heralds”) is the omnipresent trunk that forms the backbone of these first two episodes, in which JA Bayona takes us majestically through Middle-earthjumping from place to place as we get to know the main characters of the series.
Thus, in Rhovanion, east of Anduin, we meet the hairy ones (ancestors of the hobbits) and the curious Nori (Markella Kavenagh); in the Southlands, we see wander (Ismael Cruz Córdova), a Silvan elf in love with a human (Nazanin Bonadi) and you will see how a cow has become ill from grazing to the east of the place. These plots join the Elrond (Robert Aramayo) and his place among his peers, or Galadriel who is seen leaving for Valinor as a reward.
A salad of characters
‘The Rings of Power’ isn’t shy about expanding his story and insights in these first two hours. Which contrasts quite a lot both with its predecessors and with its great competitor of the moment, ‘The house of the dragon’. pity is that JD Payne and Patrick McKay They fail in the opening episode to get us too interested in them with a festival of talking characters with rock-bottom charisma.
The second episode, scripted by Jennifer Hutchison, has the advantage of not having to introduce a million characters, except for Durin IV played by Owain Arthur, who gives comic relief to the series when Elrond pays him a visit in Khazad-dûm. All this while Galadriel finds a group of castaways besieged by a dragon and Arondir goes into the depths.
Among so many redundant scenes about the rise of darkness, perhaps the most interesting and enigmatic thing we have in this second episode (well, both), is the meteoric landing of the Stranger (Daniel Weyman), a mysterious being who ends up being cared for by Nori.
The Serie has not yet given us the real identity of this character, but his apparent abilities seem to make it clear that he is a maia, beings created by Ilúvatar and that from time to time they are sent to Earth, where they are usually taken by magicians. Some notable maiar are Gandalf, Saruman, and of course Sauron. We cannot rule out that the latter is this Stranger. At the moment the only clue is the symbol he draws.
This intrigue, not so much if it is someone we know but what he paints here, is powerful enough to so you want to see the third episode. Because, we have to admit, the series is pretty good but it leaves you wanting more emotion, more entertainment and, it must be said, a better story.
It may also be a matter of expectations, but I have the feeling that this double episode of presentation, even having its virtues, It has a very nice packaging but the content is a bit lacking strong enough to convince more.