Rings of Power: a few thoughts

This is Joseph.


Amazon made a Rings of Power show set in the second age of middle earth. There are some tough decisions to make when doing this sort of show and I think it is useful to think about the options with a prequel. The downside (of both prequels and historical epics) is that we already know what happens and so certain types of suspense are lost. If you watch the Hobbit after watching the Lord of the Rings, there really is no tension in whether or not Bilbo survives. 

I think there are three solutions to this problem:

  1. Focus the story on somebody that we don't know anything about. Arondir is a good example of this in the Rings of Power. Were he and Bronwyn to be the main characters then we'd not know anything about how their story ends. They could end up being secretly quite important to the events of the second age or involved in things that happened far away from the main characters of the third age.
  2. Engage us in the characters and make us feel empathy for the decisions that are made. This is a common focus of historical epics -- we all know that the Great Heathen Army will lose to Alfred the Great in Vikings, but watching it happen is still interesting as we get drawn into the stories. This is especially effective if there are parts that are not part of the popular understanding of the period that really deepen the (Read more...)