SIX is a long time on television now, but that’s what happened before the million-dollar one-minute prequel to The Lord of the Rings (Amazon Prime) finally exploded into success. .
And I mean exploded. It culminated with the eruption of a volcano – the creation of Mount Doom, within which Sauron would later create a Ring – that rained fireballs of lava down all and sundry, turned the surrounding countryside into a wasteland that would be called Mordor. This is the most impressive bit of CGI I think I’ve ever seen.
Overall, it was a great episode that delivered everything we hoped the series would achieve in the first place, but which it largely failed to do.
It also removes a single element that is trying the patience of even those of us who are well-intentioned with the series and really want it to be something special: Harfoots, the ancestors hobbit horror.
No hairy feet to be seen or a false Irish accent to be heard. This makes for a great hour with nothing out of the ordinary. No offensive songs nor.
Unfortunately, that also means we’ll have to wait much longer before finding out who the Stranger (Daniel Weyman) who’s tagging along with Harfoots really is.
If he doesn’t turn out to be Gandalf himself (and the power he used last week to banish some terrifying wolf-like creatures suggests he is) then I’ll eat my wizard’s hat.
It’s also been a week of sabbatical for the elf Elrond (Robert Aramayo) and his dwarf friend Prince Durin (Owain Arthur), whose banter gives the series warmth and humor to brighten up. shows the cuter tendencies of the fantasy genre.
But there’s little time to take a breath, let alone make a few jokes, in this wonderfully engaging installment two-thirds of which are breathtaking action sequences.
The intimidating-looking Adar (Joseph Mawle), with the help of the treacherous Waldreg (Geoff Morrell), launches an attack on the Watchtower.
They walk, or rather storm, into a trap devised by leprechaun archers Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova) and Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi) and thoroughly routed. If victory seems to come too easily, that’s why.
Lifting the mask over one of the dead, Arondir was horrified to discover that they had fought – and killed – humans disguised as Orcs. Adar used the Southlanders that Waldreg persuaded to join him last week as sacrificial lambs to lull his enemies into a false sense of security.
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The real wave, this time with real Orcs, came after that. It’s thrilling content with brilliantly choreographed fight scenes, cleanly shot, and crisply edited so you never doubt who it is. The violence is more visual than we’ve seen so far in the series, which tends to lean in the PG direction.
There are really stressful moments. It seems unlikely that Arondir will survive a fight with a giant orc – a particularly brutal, bloody slug. Bronwyn also looks like she’s about to die after being hit by an arrow.
When an ax-wieled orc is about to tear Bronwyn from her head, her son Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) saves her by handing over the coveted hilt of the sword Adar is looking for, and which the heavyweight Waldreg will later wield to activate the volcano.
This is a rather unfortunate moment. Just then, an army of Númenóreans, led by Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Halbrand (Charlie Vickers), arrives to rescue and drive away Adar’s dark forces.
This is the time when Rings of Power has finally woken up and unleashed its full potential. It’s an epic battle with all the spectacular sweeps and scale of Peter Jackson LOTR film.
But with only two episodes left in this first season, is it coming too late? Build a fantasy world using the few materials in the appendix of Lord of the Rings and its inclusion mainly with brand new characters takes time and requires the patience of the viewer.
But Rings of Power made it go very slow and heavy. There are long periods when little or nothing happens.
This episode was enough to capture wavering viewers. But the other two need to keep the momentum going.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/tv-reviews/the-rings-of-power-finally-delivers-real-thrills-but-has-amazons-tolkien-prequel-left-it-too-late-to-shine-42035938.html The Rings of Power are finally offering real thrills, but is Amazon’s Tolkien prequel too late to shine?