The Lord of the Rings, an Amazon joint (The Rings of Power)

Historically, or at least in the source material, in one season he should come back with golden-orange skin, wearing a dumb red hat and long red necktie. “We’re gonna kill all the elves, folks, all the elves living in heaven. Because they need to go. I’ve got a plan, a big beautiful plan, and Invasion of Valinor Week is gonna start real soon.” And then he convinces most of the formerly wise people of a great nation to stop using vaccines and to use the blood of their children as rocket fuel so they can invade heaven.

“But SauronZigûr, what about your alleged connection to the orcs of the Southlands?”
“I’d tell them to stand back and stand by.”

Nice.

It’s frustrating because it actually did have a couple of vignettes that have really stuck with me, and that were part of something better than it was. Like someone took the “looks foul and feels fair”, inverted it, and made the heralds of Sauron, which looked great as corrupted, once-good things.

It’s like they had the storyboard version of a great series, and the moment-to-moment dialog and pacing of network TV. The sword as a key thing is the laziest, most network TV sort of plot device possible. Maybe the writers sucked, but the art design people were inspired?

It is very weird that they’d do “he was Sauron the whole time!” twice in two seasons. Maybe the second season will make more sense if audiences pretend the first season didn’t happen.

I mean it doesn’t read like the audience is intended to be surprised by it. Be more fun to see his machinations in full, knowing who he is. I can dig the idea.

You know, I think it’s very indicative of modern tv series writing. I think over the years they have noticed the patterns, and understood people love mysteries and get hooked to it.

So everything has mystery elements that tease the audience over episodes, and plot twists and surprises now. It isn’t only on proper mystery series like Severance. Now it’s The Lord of the Rings too.
And Fallout, which I found leaned a lot on the mystery of VaulTec, the protagonist parents, what happened, etc.
And Foundation, which I watched some weeks ago.
And 3 Body Problem. And etc.

J.J. Abrams is simultaneously one of the worst and best things to happen to TV.

Done well I think the mystery setup can be satisfying. But that requires it to make sense and for the payoff to be there. So many writers can’t pull that off. It’s all about the hook to keep you watching to the end, but the conclusion sucks.

I also don’t think it’s a fit for something like Lord of the Rings.

I do think it worked for something like Fallout where you’re following a naive vault dweller who is learning about the wasteland at the same time as they also learn the truth about the vaults(and specifically their own). It fits very well with the games too.

I would rather say J.J. Abrams is a cancer and plight on all major genre cinema.

Yeah, he pretty much is the face of the phenomenon, I can imagine he regrets giving that Ted Talk these days. However I don’t think he’s really the core inspiration for this trend.

“Clickbait” / “Hook” / “Macguffin” type storytelling has been around forever and blame for it shouldn’t really be laid at his doorstep if we’re being honest. (he just neatly explained and packaged the term “mystery box”, so audiences sensibility to that structure has grown because of him)

So the biggest complaint about Season 1 was that Sauron wasn’t Annatar even though everybody knows Sauron is supposed to be Annatar!

And the biggest complaint about Season 2 is going to be that Sauron is Annatar.

Who was Annatar again, in this series anyway? I watched the whole first season and I can’t even remember.

Was the Gandalf- looking dude actually Gandalf? I know he ended up saving the day toward the end.

I don’t believe it was EXPLICITLY said (no name was given) but it was HEAVILY implied that yes, he is.

I don’t believe Annatar appeared in Season 1.

The success of LOST was incredibly influential to television writing in a way that has still not faded. I listen to a podcast that is literally just about the dozens of LOST clones that have been produced. Mystery box shit is just what the networks kept asking for, no matter if it worked of made sense. They wanted week after week of online discussion and speculation about their shows like LOST inspired. The big problem is this is hard to do well. Not even LOST did it well and disappointed people in the end. It worked better in Alias because the show never stopped being about the characters, but in LOST they crawled too far up their own butts and made the show basically about the Island.

And in the case of Rings of Power, the writers are literally J.J. acolytes who came up in his writers rooms. The major problem is they’re making a show about a known history, but think they need to construct it like a mystery. You could make a LOTR-themed show that was a mystery. There’s room in the setting for a Hobbit Columbo, or an Elf Hellblazer, but that’s not what Amazon ordered. So instead they’re cramming nonsensical secret identities into a story that does not need them at all.

Order of operations my friend.

It’s funny because they made Sauron chose to be human first, then come back as Annatar the elf, same guy just with movie Legolas hair, and people aren’t supposed to suspect a thing? The hilarity.

As an aside I so so so wanted this show to be good. So much so I watched every episode of season 1 until like episode 7 TWICE (with and without subtitles). Listened to podcasts about it. Flamed this thread with a passion of course. The charm spell had ended. Should have happened sooner to be honest. I curse J.J. Abrams and all his pupils.

I will still watch season 2 because I have to. Hopefully these amateurs learned something.

P.S. Galadriel is too short. She is tiny!

Annatar is the guise Sauron took to infiltrate the elven realm in Eregion, the once greatest in Eriador, during which he taught Celebrimbor ring-craft.

Think now of Rivendell as but a mere refuge from it’s destruction. Last homely house indeed.

Then shouldn’t that have happened Pre-Season 1?

Or maybe in Season 2 it is all a flashback?