I watched the first episode, but that didn’t stop it running onward to the next episode. I’ve nothing against elves or orcs or even Sauron. When I was ten or eleven J.R.R.Tolkien made me so much part of the couch my mum put an ashtray on my head. Movement was eyes only. Harfoots are wee hobbits. Some are black. Some white. No Asians. Cute wee creatures that blend into the landscape and speak with an Irish accent. Lenny Hendry pops up as a harfooter that reads the runes and predicts doom. It’s like that Wet, Wet, Wet meme that was number 1 for eternity, I feel it in my fingers and in my toes. Doom is all around me, and so it grows.
First up, the beautiful people. Galadriel (Morfydd Clark). When she was a wee bit elfish, she made a paper boat. It sprouted sails and sailed along the silver stream. Her companions threw rocks and sunk it. She got her own back by becoming Commander of the Northern Armies. Her (adult) companions follow her to the ends of the earth. Then they take a left and climb up a cliff face. Sauron has been smited. She faces insurrection from the motely elves that sank her paper ship. But she finds evidence of his evil presence in the cave which he once inhabited. The evil wizard is no longer on stage.
Cue snow troll, which is like Snow Patrol, but with an equally limited range. Snow Troll picks up a little elf and bashes him about. Does a lot of grrrrrrrrrrwling. It’s too big and cumbersome to take on. Galadriel cuts it down to size with her trusty sword. Then trepans it.
Lord of the Rings was amazing for those massed armies and flying creatures. Orcs were like Indians in a Western, every sword stroke brought one down dead. Every arrow reached its goal. Tens of thousands of orcs died for every main character.
But in terms of muscle mass, orcs are muscle bound. They wield much the same weapons as the good guys but with serrated and dull edges. Galadriel is the size of a matchstick. In a fair fight she’d get beaten to death by a toothpick but with a shoddy hairnet (and yes, I am jealous, being baldy, I’d be cast as an orc or one of those middle-earth humans that are ready to switch allegiance to the Lord of Doom because he’s offering a two-for-one deal).
Galadriel hadn’t got to fight orcs and Sauron, she’s got to fight against party insiders who promised low-cost heating and tax cuts. But she’s made a pledge of allegiance to the Trumpian High King Gil-Gilad. No Brexit. I won’t spoil it, but she does jump ship (as expected).
Each Middle Earth episode costs around $120 million, ($465 to $715 million) or the price of a decent Premier League defender. I’m not sure if that’s pounds of dollars, but sterling is around 1.16, soon it will be parity. Soon to be below parity. A downward slide based on lie after lie after lie about bigging ourselves up and taking control. False narratives. Or just downright lies.
I’ve not watched Game of Thrones or its prequel. Nor have I read the books. I’ll stick with Tolkien’s classics. One ring to rule them all. You know how it goes. The heating is off. I feel it in my fingers and I feel it in my toes. One ring to bind them.