The Rings of Power - The Lord of the Rings

Never heard of it, but listening to it now during the lunch break in the cricket. Wish I knew of it back in the day …

1 Like

I despise the films. Tolkien’s son and literary executor said the films had ‘‘eviscerated my father’s work’’. I agree. I made the mistake of watching the films but I won’t make the mistake of watching the TV shows.

1 Like

Well they certainly didn’t do his bank account any harm.

I imagine the royalties have softened the blow for the Tolkien family. Like most mainstream films they are loud and full of action.

The riddles in the Exeter book are often translated and are interesting to compare to Bilbo and Gollum’s riddling in The Hobbit. ( Unlike The Hobbit, there are no answers and adults might guess erotic solutions.) I like Seamus Heaney’s version of Beowulf - Tolkien’s own translation was published posthumously. Tolkien also translated Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, I like the version by Bernard O’Donoghue. I found reading the texts which influenced Tolkien rewarding. But if a TV series engages people to read the novels and then some Old English and Middle English then I’m all for it.

1 Like

Literature is for everyone and if some people need films as a gateway or even a final way of consuming any book then why shouldn’t they able to.


Yep, watched the cartoon. Read “Bored…”, and its follow-ups, “The Soddit, or Lets Cash In Again”, and “The Sellamillion”, and got the Bo Hansson LP, then CD. Bought the Complete History etc etc.


Emeritus not Regius I think

So who sold the rights to Amazon for $250m for this latest series? Makes up for the evisceration I suppose

Absolutely! Beowulf was made to be listened to with music, a performance in the mead hall not a translation exercise for linguists to be solved like a crossword puzzle. I see the films as interpretations and it is up to the individual to bring to the work what they wish.

1 Like

Christopher Tolkien, JRR’s son died in January 2020. He was married twice, his second wife helped him edit 'The Father Christmas Letters ', they had two children and Christopher also had a son from his first marriage. The Tolkien estate is valuable, but I don’t know who sold the rights. Film works in images and the script is written and rewritten simply as a vehicle for the narrative. I’m always interested in how film reinterprets the original material. In this case a team of writers have imagined the story from hints in the novels they have the rights to, This gives the film lots of space. I’ve heard there is a black female dwarf, the actor was breast feeding her child, this will wind up literal readers, but I’m cool with the reworking.


Guardian hype:

Rotton Tomatoes:

I’m astonished at how much this has cost. Hope it is good!

What I don’t get is the timescales.

Middle Earth had been an agrarian culture for thousands of years and not got beyond inventing the wheel.

And as for the mighty Elves - they hadn’t even managed that, let alone book printing.


1 Like

Middle Earth is a fantasy world. Tolkien insisted it wasn’t an allegory, but there are certainly allegorical elements. The relation between history and his writings is a complex one. Mordor is at once the Black Country, with its smoke and industry but also Eastern and Central Europe with dictators and marching armies in the 1930s.

Ancient Egypt and New World civilisations in Central America did not possess the wheel.

Printing came to Europe only in 1450s with Gutenberg. Prior to that handwritten manuscripts had to be copied individually if at all. We have one surviving copy of Beowulf which was rescued from a fire. Tolkien is interested in oral cultures, such as the Vikings. They cut words on Runestones, but they did not write books. They had an oral culture which was passed on from generation to generation. Most of human culture has been like that.

I guess your comment was tongue in cheek, but it raises some interesting questions.


I was actually going answer @MikeD post with it’s a fantasy but your answer was so much better.

1 Like

Thanks Bob! It is a fantasy world. But I thought I could open it up. Linear B was only finally decoded in 1956. Tolkien apparently was approached to join Bletchley Park Dilly Knox was a classics scholar who became a codebreaker in both world wars. Tolkien’s interest in cryptic languages and invented languages is part of this broader context.


The first one was good, with that amount of material; there was always going to be pruning .

The third was dreadful

First two episodes now available has anyone watched?

1 Like

Nope, I’ll watch late tonight.

1 Like

May suggest a family viewing tonight - can’t fault it for free on Prime.

Oh, well that got an instant thumbs down.