Suppose the first episode of Rings of Power was enough to get people interested in the lives of those who inhabited Middle Earth thousands of years ago. In that case, the second episode is enough to keep them coming back for more since Galadriel’s plight has yet to be resolved, while Nori and Poppy are still attempting to find a way to deal with their unexpected guest. On top of this, the darkness is spreading in the Southlands as the tunnels seen beneath Bronwyn’s reveal a brutish race that is tough to kill and has no regard for anything they consider an enemy. You know, Lord of the Rings-type of creatures that are brutal and apt to kill anything that moves, including each other. Things are already looking pretty bad throughout Middle Earth, but one of the biggest questions of the episodes is what the dwarves of Khazad-dum, a fortress that many LoTR fans know very well, are hiding away within the depths of their home. It would appear that Prince Durin IV is fully ready to trust Elrond when he comes calling, but a few matters must be worked out.
It feels, at this point, that ancient times aren’t all that different from what people are already used to.
This, of course, is largely because the prequel series is going off the legends and the stories that have already shaped the LoTR story. As a result, there isn’t that much deviation apart from the changing of a few things that might have been seen as necessary to differentiate one era from another. But it is rather comfortable to realize that the races that people have grown used to are already prominent and are essentially running the world in their own way. The main arcs of the series so far have managed to keep a great deal of interest since Galadriel’s decision to forsake Valinor and make a perilous trip back to Middle Earth has already run into a giant snag, namely a group of mistrusting humans that are eliminated by the same sea monster that sank their boat. While she does end up surviving the encounter, the end of the episode is going to make a lot of people wonder what will happen next Friday when her rescuer is revealed.
Elrond’s welcome didn’t feel all that warm.
It’s already known that elves and dwarves don’t always get along so well, but the way that Elrond made it sound suggested that Prince Durin IV would welcome him right in. When the door is slammed in his face, however, it’s apparent that something isn’t quite right. When he invokes a challenge that equates to a rock-breaking contest, one can’t help but think that the elves’ future lord will be hard-pressed to match against an individual whose identity is bound up in the very stone he lives in. Imagine walking into a pub in Ireland and stating that you’d like to challenge the best drinker there. It’s no less of a stereotype, but it’s something that people can understand, and as some would admit, it’s accurate in a lot of ways.
Once Princess Disa is introduced, the backlash experienced over the selection of people of color makes even less sense.
The viewers have already met Arondir, an elf with dark skin that might have spurred some of the backlashes, and it’s already silly to think that it would matter since he’s proven to be a decent character at this time. But meeting Princess Disa is a pleasure since not only does she come off as a pleasant and inviting character, but she’s the type that can put her husband, Prince Durin, in his place in a kind and very loving sort of way that softens the blow her admonishment toward both Durin and Elrond. In other words, her acting is great enough that it doesn’t come off as too corny or cheesy and manages to fit with the overall theme of the show. Not only that, but it does feel that if she lasts throughout the first season (hey, things happen), she’ll be a valuable individual to keep around and definitely someone that fans will come to enjoy.
Things are on course to make this show a popular addition to the franchise, and thus far, it’s fun to watch.
There are bound to be plenty of questions as to what’s new, what has come from the book, and what and who else will be introduced when the time comes. But as of now, it feels as though the manner in which the story is being set up is nothing short of amusing and even masterful in a way that will continue to win people over.
Seriously, a dwarven princess lovingly berating her husband that’s epic.