Well that’s quite the thing.
They couldn’t/didn’t get the rights to the third age, so instead we get much older stories. Stories after the fall of Morgoth but still during the end of the era of Elves and Númenor. Before the rise of the kingdoms of Men.
There’s a lot crammed into eight episodes. One might argue too much. Leaves some stories a bit thin. But really, having seen them, I don’t know what I’d cut.
Worth a watch. Looking forward to season two!
Episode by episode (minor spoilers, especially as the seasons go by):
1. A Shadow of the Past
Now, we learn many words for death.
Man. So old and yet so young. A very different story in a very different time period. Epic in the sense of a world larger than life.
Galadriel: Not quite Cate Blanchett but she’s got a certain younger oomph to her.
Moose antler backpacks: impractical. But cool looking!
Harfoots: delightfully good at hiding.
The west: glowing!
So. The Stranger. Makes rocks float. Good times.
Not sure who or what he is, but my guess? One of the Maiar. Like Sauron. Or perhaps… Gandalf?
Lord Celebrimbor: I admire all who can see into the mystery of things, who can divine from the plainness of what is, the beauty of what could be.
Elrond and Durin. 20 years is a blink of an eye for an elf… and the first time I think we’ve seen a dwarven woman. Disa. I like her.
Oh Elrond and his silver tongue.
Númenor! Looks like they haven’t seen many Elves.
Isildur! Are they trying to fit everything and everyone into one season?
Harfoots: “We wait for you.” Uh oh.
4. The Great Wave
Quite a thing there. A twisted Elf and a mysterious broken sword.
Dwarves. Elves. Friendship. For now. I do love their storyline. The same and different all at once.
Galadriel: Cease comparing me to a horse.
I like her.
Bit weird to completely skip the Harfoots for an episode.
Yay Harfoots. Journey yo.
Bronwyn having the only outfit with any color in pretty much the entire world… and no sleeves is kind of weird.
Well. It’s not quite Helm’s Deep. Still pretty epic. But… why was the tower designed to do that in the first place?
Also, Bronwyn HAS SLEEVES!
There’s even a coming of the dawn moment. I thought these orcs couldn’t do the sun thing?
Fascinating to see Galadriel painted as the evil one.
No Harfoots. No Elrond or Durin. Still an exciting episode.
7. The Eye
We know who has to survive, which is a bit weird. And everyone seems either fine or dead. Barely in between. Weird.
Elrond and Durin is my favorite storyline. Oh the hubris of dwarves.
So… who are the random people in all white? They’re weird and creepy. A sign of packing too much into eight episodes…
The off hand mention of Galadriel’s husband (Celeborn) is dead is … strange. We see him in the Lord of the Rings in Lothlórien, no?
We’re Harfoots. … We stay true to each other.
… what? They literally left you and your family behind.
Reunions! Gifts! Misdirection!
And finally… Rings. Of Power.
Only you can show what you are. You choose by what you do.
In some cases, evil seems evil. Morgoth. But we’ve seen other choices before. Frodo and Bilbo most clearly. Gandolf (it’s totally him…) here. Saruman turning to power and darkness.
And of course, many of the Dwarves (digging too deep) and men (desiring power for themselves).
And so it ends. Now such a wait for season 2.