Surprise! It’s a weekend episode featuring Craig being interviewed by Jack Butler for Jack’s Young Americans podcast. The two of them break down their thoughts on the entirety of season 1 of The Rings of Power, especially how it all wrapped up in the end. Was the show ultimately worth making? Or watching?

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  1. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank

    Glad to hear this review, and for the record the stupid mithril tree story is where I, uh, “fell behind”. But I think you’ve blocked the full horror of it out of your mind. It wasn’t just lightning driving the mithrilly goodness into the mountain, the legend explicitly mentioned that it combined the power of the elf lord with the power of the Balrog, and imbued the ore with both their strengths. 

    No. That doesn’t work, not in a Tolkien story. It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the author. It reads like Jon Snow preventing Daneyris from torching King’s Landing by giving her an impassioned speech about the Magic of Friendship. That would work in My Little Pony, but doing it in Game of Thrones would be a fundamental misinterpretation of the world and story George R. R. Martin was crafting. You could make that sort of “mixing good and evil gives you more power” thing in  a different story (See: Rhythm of War, which to be fair spent a lot of time setting up that Honor and Odium aren’t actually straight up Good and Evil), but mixing good and evil and deriving anything other than a corruption of the good is incompatible with telling a Tolkien story. 

    Having heard that legend, the Elves should have laughed in the teller’s face. Imagine if, in the midst of WWII, I went to the Manhattan project and said “You guys are wasting time trying to separate out isotopes of uranium. I can show you where to mine for element #88.5, which is twice as effective!” They would have locked me up. It’s not even that the claim is wrong; it’s that it’s absurd on the face of it. Okay, but suppose they believed it anyway. Suppose even that, seeking the material, they opted against offering to pay for it in favor of some king of subterfuge about a tower. They could have told an interesting story about the Elves’ desperation to cling to their kingdom driving them to clutch at straws, all the way up until the mithril magically cures the corruption on the leaf. Nope, stupid apocryphal was all true all along.

    Sorry, wanted to get that off my chest.

    • #1
  2. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank

    With a nod to Jack Butler, I was sort of expecting him to mention the nonsense line about why there are three rings. Two can be divided, but with three there is balance? I’m going to misquote this, but “the tripod is the strongest of structures, but politically it’s the weakest.” That’s from Dune. If one has forgotten the ancient triumvirates of Rome, then one need only look the eternal struggles between the Spacing Guild, the Lansraad, and the Padishah Emperor to know that three power centers does not imply balance.

    That’s an extremely minor criticism I know, but it’s one that Butler was uniquely positioned to make, and I’m a little disappointed that he didn’t. 

    • #2
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