DNF The Rings of Power S1E1

Watched A Shadow of the Past from

Galadriel is disturbed by signs of an ancient evil's return. Arondir makes an unsettling discovery. Elrond is presented with an intriguing new venture. Nori breaks a deeply held community rule.

Husband fell asleep and I was bored and pissed I couldn’t reach the remote 😂 He woke up and we bailed at two-thirds through.

Felt perfunctory and generic. Too many storylines with not enough connection. Weirdly slow storytelling, going for atmosphere I’d guess. They did too much backstory at once yet not enough character development for me to care about anyone. I always roll my eyes at scenes starting with a child version of the character, especially with bullies.

They chose poorly on what lore to include, weighing down the story with worldbuilding we didn’t need. Almost all that shit should have been in backstory flashbacks worked in throughout the season. In storytelling you’re encouraged to start your story as late as you possibly can… and instead the writers were like, but this is Tolkien, he does All The Lore, and the fans will be mad if we don’t too!

Episode specific comments below the fold.




If I were to rewrite this episode I’d start with Galadriel’s hunt for the orcs, show how many years she’s been at this and the gradual frustration of her crew. Then I’d have a flashback to the war / the mark on her brother when she finds the mark in the ice castle. Throw just enough backstory there to let the audience follow along, emphasizing that the current threat is Sauron. Lean in to the lore the audience already knows, let them hook onto who they might remember and care about (Sauron) instead of rambling about old wars in foreign lands. Tell the pertinent backstory through conversation, not snoozefest narration (e.g. Galadriel and Elrond’s conversation about being granted the right to return to the old world would be a perfect place to explain why that’s an honor and their people’s history). I’d drop the hobbits altogether, save em for episode two if it’s actually important.

Something was uncanny valley wrong with Elrond’s face 👀 Hobbits were annoying and with the weird dog thing felt like a rip of Willow.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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