(Galadriel in “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” series)
SERIES – Speak friend and enter. Almost five years ago, in November 2017, Jeff Bezos, from the top of his Amazon Prime tower, announced to people that a series about The Lord of the Rings would be developed. This, thanks to the rights he had dearly acquired ($ 250 million) from the Tolkien Estate. A news that leaves fans between joy and fear, because whoever dares to attack a monument like the work of JRR Tolkien runs the risk of disappointing an entire community. Not that of the Ring, but that of the fans I belong to. And we are a legion around the world.
The last essay, the triptych of Hobbit, it was still fresh in the memories. It certainly wasn’t unpleasant to watch, but it was a long way from approaching the most epic of trilogies, The Lord of the Rings. So what to expect from a series that, after all, can only be seen on the small screen? “Certain death. Little chance of success. But what are we waiting for?”Gimli would respond.
Fear slowly gave way to hope in 2019, when it was announced that Amazon would allocate $ 1 billion for the series, spread over five seasons. Stop attacking Silmarillion, you might as well do it with the right weapons. So one last question remained: will the directors know how to skillfully manage them to triumph?
To this question, The HuffPost can provide the start of an answer today. As we approach the launch of the series this Friday, September 2 on Amazon Prime Video, we were able to preview the first two episodes of the Power rings. It’s true that it’s only a quarter of the season to have eight episodes, but that’s still enough to get a taste of it. A very promising taste.
“In the first light of the fifth day, at dawn, look east”
This experience begins with apprehension. In front of the black screen, before the projection begins, the fear of being disappointed arises. Because we know, after all, that it is very difficult to find the sensations that another has given us in a work. For me, The Lord of the Rings by Peter Jackson is the wonder, the courage, the brotherhood, the swollen heart from the absolutely great music of Howard Shore, the epic scenes and the colossal battles. But it is also the poetry of the softer scenes, to the sound of enchanting elven ballads. So many expectations.
The canvas lights up, the first images flow, the first notes ring out and the hair stands on end. Sitting in the shadow of the projection room, I feel like dawn on the fifth day, looking east.
As a reminder, The rings of power occurs 4000 years before The Fellowship of the Ringin a ” Second Age “, a period about which Tolkien gave relatively little detail. An era that sees young Galadriel grow up in Valinor, the Eternal Lands where Frodo, Galadriel, Elrond and Gandalf went at the end of the trilogy.
These promising lands, which until then have remained so mysterious, do not disappoint once revealed by John D. Payne and Patrick McKay. And this is certainly the great strength of this series: it is magnificent. What can I say, astounding. The special effects are extraordinary, the images taken care of, the sets sublime, the costumes majestic. Just that.
“The money is really on the screen”
And the merit of the creators is all the greater when we know that most of the places where the series takes place were only described in the works of Tolkien, without any real representation. One can imagine the colossal work it must have been to create as faithfully as possible the elven capital of Lindon with its fabulous forests, the great dwarf city of Khazad-dûm in the middle of the golden age or even the elven city of Eregion.
Faced with so much wonder, I remembered the words of producer Lindsey Weber. She had estimated that the billion dollar budget was “a very catchy title that people like to talk about”, while promising that viewers would see “that the money is really on the screen”.
And it is true. At $ 200 million per season, an episode alone is worth $ 25 million. Each shot reminds us of it. ” A large chunk of the show’s budget was spent on building sets and costumes out of the ordinary. said Patrick McKay, the co-creator. ” An entire city with a pier and several blocks it was built in particular. So far be it from me to praise the global e-commerce giant, but it has promised us a lot and the promise has been kept.
All this without counting the brilliant soundtrack offered by Bear McCreary … and Howard Shore, whose paw is well recognizable. The latter also returns for a fulcrum: the credits. Promises of fantastic travels and dark drawings, this composition even manages to breathe in our hearts some familiar and dear notes, which refer to Rivendell and Fellowship of the Ring.
Can I live with the Elves, please?
Aside from the sheer visual aspect, my fan was delighted to finally be able to discover the famous golden age of elves and dwarves mentioned in the trilogy of Lord of the Rings. Seeing Moria throbbing with life, bright and welcoming, far from the dark destiny that she reserved for her a few millennia later, is heartbreaking. As much as she may dream of immersing herself in the intimacy of the delicate elven cities.
In these sumptuous decorations four characters evolve in parallel, of which we recognize some familiar names. We follow the brave and vengeful Galadriel who offers us some very compelling fight scenes. We also find the diplomatic and affectionate Elrond, long before he became Lord of Rivendell (Fondcombe in French). We also discover the young hobbit Nori whose intrepid curiosity is reminiscent of that of Bilbo Baggins. And finally, the Wood Elf Arrondir on a mission to a village in Men.
Amazon Prime Video screenshot
An image from the “The Rings of Power” series trailer.
Immersed in their world, we rediscover the extent of Tolkien’s universe, its wealth (where Amazon still allowed itself a certain number of freedoms, but that’s another topic). We invite ourselves there, we are surprised to dream of living there despite the dangers and the threat that lurks in the East. The two hours pass in a flash, between glare, tension, enchantment, shivers of pleasure and sometimes of fear. The chemistry is there.
In the words of Boromir: “It’s not that easy to get into Mordor”… nor in the hearts of the fans. Once it is not customary, it is necessary to believe that if. At least mine remained wide open during the two-hour screening.
However, it remains impossible to say today whether Power rings it will be up to the Lord of the Rings. Two episodes can’t reflect an entire series, to begin with. On the other hand, nothing can equal the fact of having grown up with a work, of having been inspired by it, of having made it an element of one’s culture, sometimes a moral model. Not even a billion dollars.
That said, nothing is immutable. The proof: Once the last note was played and the screen went black again, two words came to mind: “Wow, again”.
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