Media previews

For discussion of Amazon's new television show "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power"
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Eldy
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Re: Media previews

Post by Eldy »

Hey, there's some evidence for the Second Age being "thousands of years" long! (Unless he was speaking offhand, since he also refers to the elapsed time as "generations.") That quote seems to narrow down the identity of Bronwyn and Theo's people as descendants of the First Age Easterlings. The idea of them being deliberately settled in slums and then kept there by armed Elves is certainly an original direction to take things in, but not one I'm inherently opposed to. It'll depend on execution.
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Re: Media previews

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Good points, particularly about the evidence of the Second age being thousands of years. I agree that it'll depend upon execution, but I'm really intrigued at this aspect of what they are doing.
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Re: Media previews

Post by Eldy »

A small, intriguing tidbit in an otherwise not that interesting article.

https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/t ... -epic.html
Largo and his family are harfoots, prehistoric hobbits: “people who’ve been displaced from the last great war … refugees whose only goal in life is to survive. And we do that by constantly being on the move in set migratory patterns and making sure nobody knows we even exist,” said Smith.
Given that the SDCC trailer emphasizes how the world is still living in the shadow of the Wars of Beleriand (and that appears to be the defining element of Bronwyn's people's history), my first thought is that this is "the last great war" that displaced the Harfoots, though that would be a very significant rewriting of Hobbit history to put them in Beleriand. But, as I've said recently in other discussions, I'm just sort of rolling with the assumption that there's very little that isn't on the table to potentially be altered.

It's also possible this war is something else, but since the War of the Elves and Sauron has not yet happened at the start of ROP, it would have to be something invented by the show's writers.
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Re: Media previews

Post by Stranger Wings »

Agreed, Eldy. Though I think it’s the War of Wrath for sure. My feeling is that they won’t be inventing major war events.
Last edited by Stranger Wings on Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Media previews

Post by Eldy »

Honestly, I'd rate inventing a major war as comparatively mild compared to some of what we know will happen, but I agree and don't think it's the case in this instance.
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Re: Media previews

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Eldy wrote: Sun Jul 31, 2022 8:49 am Honestly, I'd rate inventing a major war as comparatively mild compared to some of what we know will happen, but I agree and don't think it's the case in this instance.
Right. In this case, I just think there’s so much “major warfare” in canon, that I think it would be a little silly for them to invent it.
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Re: Media previews

Post by Eldy »

That makes sense, and also adding another war to the backstory would seem to go against the whole idea of the world being at peace since the defeat of Morgoth. So, assuming the statement quoted above is accurate, I think were left with the prospect of Hobbits in Beleriand, even though I would've laughed in the face of anyone who tried to convince me of that six months ago. :help: In the most generous interpretation, maybe it's just Hobbits near Beleriand, but if so why bother to make the change? So I don't expect that to be the case.
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Re: Media previews

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Eldy wrote: Sun Jul 31, 2022 8:49 am Honestly, I'd rate inventing a major war as comparatively mild compared to some of what we know will happen, but I agree and don't think it's the case in this instance.
What things that we know will happen do you think would make inventing a major war comparatively mild?

I would not, for instance consider including hobbits in the show to make inventing a major war comparatively mild. Do you disagree?
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Re: Media previews

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Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 1:01 amWhat things that we know will happen do you think would make inventing a major war comparatively mild?

I would not, for instance consider including hobbits in the show to make inventing a major war comparatively mild. Do you disagree?
I mean, yeah, I think coming up with a major war which appears only in the backstory of an out-of-the way corner of Middle-earth (which Rhovanion is in the First Age, unless you're a freak like me who spends way too much time rereading Of Dwarves and Men) to be milder than putting Hobbits in Beleriand (by far the region of Middle-earth about which we know the most First Age history).* If McPayne were like, "there was this major war in Rhovanion hundreds of years ago that caused a lot of destruction and displaced the Harfoots from their previously sedentary way of life," that would not necessarily have an appreciable impact on anything else. They could, hypothetically, have said the Harfoots' displacement was due to spillover of the conflict between Orcish refugees of the War of Wrath and the Longbeard/Proto-Northmen alliance, but even if they completely invented some other scenario, it's likely the only viewers to know anything about it would be those who care enough to consume the show's ancillary material. Beleriandic Hobbits, on the other hand, would interact with and have some degree of impact on the lands, peoples, characters, and events we know and care about from that era. Unless McPayne say the Hobbits remained in hiding in Beleriand and never interacted with anyone, but why make the change if you're not going to do anything with it?

As for changes we know have been made that I consider more consequential than a hypothetical past war in Rhovanion ... I don't want to keep beating the same dead horse, but smushing together the major characters of the Akallabêth and of the Forging of the Rings / War of the Elves and Sauron story into the same time period is a much bigger deal to me. Primarily because it matters to the characters, cultures, etc that are the focus of the scant Second Age material we have, but I think it also has far greater implications from a more abstract Secondary World history perspective. The Elvish maritime expansionism teased by John Howe may or may not be of greater objective world-historical importance, but neither I nor most other readers/viewers are objective: changes to the Eldar are of disproportionate significance because they're (at worst) the second-most important group in Tolkien's Second Age, after the Númenóreans (one could argue it's a tie).

---

* I'm using a, let's say, "generous" definition of Beleriand that includes Hithlum and Dorthonion. :P
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Re: Media previews

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Do we know that the show will depict Hobbits having lived in Beleriand?

As for whether smushing together the major characters of the Akallabêth and of the Forging of the Rings / War of the Elves and Sauron story into the same time period is a much bigger deal than inventing a major war, I would say, maybe.
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Re: Media previews

Post by Eldy »

Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 2:43 amDo we know that the show will depict Hobbits having lived in Beleriand?
No. I think it's implied by Dylan's Smith's comment—or at least, by the interpretation of it I find most convincing—quoted upthread, but this remains speculative.
Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 2:43 amAs for whether smushing together the major characters of the Akallabêth and of the Forging of the Rings / War of the Elves and Sauron story into the same time period is a much bigger deal than inventing a major war, I would say, maybe.
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Re: Media previews

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

THAT has often been said.
:cannotpass:

Edited to add for the benefit of Stranger Wings:
:pancake:
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Re: Media previews

Post by Stranger Wings »

Eldy wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 2:38 am
Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 1:01 amWhat things that we know will happen do you think would make inventing a major war comparatively mild?

I would not, for instance consider including hobbits in the show to make inventing a major war comparatively mild. Do you disagree?
Beleriandic Hobbits, on the other hand, would interact with and have some degree of impact on the lands, peoples, characters, and events we know and care about from that era. Unless McPayne say the Hobbits remained in hiding in Beleriand and never interacted with anyone, but why make the change if you're not going to do anything with it?
Well, one of the trailers show us a harfoot in a field of dry grain wearing straw camouflage, implying that they went to great lengths to conceal themselves. So it’s possible they were present in Beleriand and simply (generally) went undetected. Or at least undetected by those who would later write or contribute to histories.

That said, I think they’re in the southeast, as the meteor seems to be lowest in the sky as it passes Arondir and obviously the harfoots. And given how cataclysmic the War of Wrath was, I don’t find it out of bounds at all to assume that the war displaced people that far afield. Between the massive geological and potentially climatic changes, and the major human and animal displacements/ migrations that would have likely occurred as a result, it makes sense that harfoots - living a precarious nomadic, pastoral or subsistence existence already - would have been significantly affected by it.
Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 5:05 am THAT has often been said.
:cannotpass:

Edited to add for the benefit of Stranger Wings:
:pancake:
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Re: Media previews

Post by RoseMorninStar »

Stranger Wings wrote:Well, one of the trailers show us a harfoot in a field of dry grain wearing straw camouflage, implying that they went to great lengths to conceal themselves. So it’s possible they were present in Beleriand and simply (generally) went undetected. Or at least undetected by those who would later write or contribute to histories.
I agree. There are a great many people throughout history who have accomplished great things (and many who have lived ordinary lives) who were never recorded nor given their due. Female scientists, people of certain races, inventors of color. Some may look at history as it is recorded/taught and think women or people of color or people from certain cultures haven't contributed much and that's not the case.

I don't find it inconceivable that there isn't anything recorded about a 'small' reclusive people who some would have considered of little consequence. Nor would I find it that some histories are not entirely accurate/the whole story. History is written by the powerful and victors. I believe Tolkien intentionally wrote his mythology as if it were written and compiled by various persons and is not necessarily unbiased or without gaps, just as real history has it's gaps, shortcomings, and mysteries. Tolkien's writings are extensive and the Silmarillion is written much like the bible, which isn't an exhaustive or complete recounting of world history.
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Re: Media previews

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I also agree. So far as I can recall, Tolkien never states anywhere that Hobbits didn't exist in the First Age (or the Second Age) only that their activities were not recorded in the relevant histories until a certain point in the Third Age. It really depends on what is shown. If they are shown as playing a significant role that would certainly have been recorded in history, that would contradict what Tolkien wrote. But it is far more likely that if that is the case it will be what happens during the main Second Age time period that the show depicts, not in Beleriand in the First Age.
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Re: Media previews

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Stranger Wings wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:40 amWell, one of the trailers show us a harfoot in a field of dry grain wearing straw camouflage, implying that they went to great lengths to conceal themselves. So it’s possible they were present in Beleriand and simply (generally) went undetected. Or at least undetected by those who would later write or contribute to histories.
The comment from Dylan Smith (Largo Brandyfoot) suggests that the Harfoot's practice of "constantly being on the move in set migratory patterns and making sure nobody knows we even exist" is because they are refugees displaced by a past war. I don't see any reason to assume they were migratory before that war. This would also allow ROP to retain some concepts from the Hobbits' "canonical" history: that they originally lived settled lives in the upper Vales of Anduin, and only later began their "Wandering Days" when the Vales became dangerous due to the presence of Sauron in Dol Guldur (LOTR, Prologue). Presumably, Dol Guldur does not exist yet except possibly as a Wood-elven settlement, and the show!Harfoots may or may not have ever lived in the Anduin valley, but I could see the showrunners taking the chance to at least use some of the same basic ideas. But maybe that's wishful thinking.
RoseMorninStar wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 6:53 pmI don't find it inconceivable that there isn't anything recorded about a 'small' reclusive people who some would have considered of little consequence. Nor would I find it that some histories are not entirely accurate/the whole story. History is written by the powerful and victors. I believe Tolkien intentionally wrote his mythology as if it were written and compiled by various persons and is not necessarily unbiased or without gaps, just as real history has it's gaps, shortcomings, and mysteries. Tolkien's writings are extensive and the Silmarillion is written much like the bible, which isn't an exhaustive or complete recounting of world history.
I find that perfectly conceivable, yeah. :) Indeed, it's what Tolkien wrote about Hobbits in the Prologue: "it is clear that Hobbits had, in fact, lived quietly in Middle-earth for many long years before other folk became even aware of them." However, I question why the showrunners would alter the history of Hobbits (as I think the Smith interview suggests they have, though I could, of course, be wrong) if they didn't intend for this to be relevant. On the other hand, maybe they envision (as Stranger Wings suggests) the War of Wrath being so destructive that the Harfoots were displaced despite being separated from Beleriand by multiple mountain ranges and hundreds if not thousands of miles.
Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 8:27 pmI also agree. So far as I can recall, Tolkien never states anywhere that Hobbits didn't exist in the First Age (or the Second Age)
Is that something people argue, that Hobbits didn't exist in the First or Second Ages? Do they envision a fourth awakening of the Children of Ilúvatar (after Elves, Dwarves, and Men/Big Folk) sometime in the Third? That would be very odd, IMO.
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Re: Media previews

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

So your issue is not that they existed in the First Age, but simply that they might have been located in Beleriand? Or am I confused?
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Re: Media previews

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Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 10:56 pmSo your issue is not that they existed in the First Age, but simply that they might have been located in Beleriand?
Basically? My original point was merely to note that Hobbits in Beleriand was one way to interpret the Smith quote, and that I thought it more likely than some of the other possibilities I've mentioned in this thread. I would rather that not be the case, for reasons I have tried, and possibly failed, to convey in my intervening posts. At no point have I tried to argue that Hobbits did not exist anywhere in the First Age, which I think is preposterous. I haven't even argued that it's impossible Hobbits were hiding in Beleriand undetected by others, merely that it would be a pointless change to make if these hypothetically transplanted Hobbits didn't do anything.
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Re: Media previews

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Okay, fair enough!
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Re: Media previews

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:toast:
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