1.06 The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power—Udun

Teresa Edgerton

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Synopsis 1.06

(Well, it’s just my luck that my turn falls this week of all weeks. This may be shorter than my usual synopses, since I am not enthusiastic about extended battle sequences or scenes of catastrophe and mayhem—of which this episode, appropriately titled Udûn, which in Sindarin elvish is loosely translated as "Hell," has plenty—and I really don’t enjoy describing them in detail. I hope that those who do enjoy that kind of action—and I realize that a lot of people are drawn to fantasy by epic battle scenes, and judge a show as good or bad according to how many of those it features— will weigh in with their own descriptions or reviews of those particular scenes, which they are likely to describe more vividly and perhaps in more detail than I will. And also, of course, and as usual, I hope everyone contributes whatever thoughts they have about any or all aspects of the episode.)


Part I

The episode begins, oddly enough, with Adar crouching on a mound somewhere in the vicinity of Tirharad, planting seeds in the soil, and speaking in Quenya, “New life, in defiance of death.” (The meaning of this ritual is something we will learn later in the episode.) As he rises to his feet, we can see, in contrast to this sentiment, his massed army of torch-bearing orcs below.

Descending to meet them, he raises his voice to address them. “My children, we have endured much. We cast off our shackles.” There is enthusiastic agreement from the orcs. “Crossed mountains, fields, frost and fallow, till our feet bloodied the dirt. From Ered Mithrin to the Ethel Arnen, we have endured.” Snarling and growling from the orcs. “Yet tonight, one more trial awaits us. Our enemy may be weak, their numbers meager, before this night is through, some of us will fall. But for the first time, you do so not as unnamed slaves in far-away lands, but as brothers and sisters in our home.”

The orcs react with rough and loud agreement. (Is it because this is what they have been longing to hear, or just because orcs were constructed by Morgoth to believe anything their masters tell them?) One of them starts the chant “Nampat” and others quickly join in. “We reach out with the iron hand of the Uruk,” Adar continues, “and close our fist around these lands.” More growling, more chants of “Nampat (this is Black Speech for “death,” apparently the war cry of the orcs).

And thus, marching, they approach the fortress below the watchtower of Ostirith, where Bronwyn’s band of Southlanders have taken refuge. The orc army is not vast—especially compared to some we saw in LOTR—but it greatly outnumbers the men and women who still resist, and certainly makes for an intimidating sight.

To their surprise, they find the gates of the fortress unbarred, and led by Adar and Waldreg, they easily gain access. All is silent, the courtyard empty. Fires are burning here and there, as if to give the fortress the appearance of being occupied, but the silence and emptiness indicates far otherwise. An order is given to fan out and search. “Find them!”

But the only person left to find, as we soon see, is Arondir, concealed in one of the high places of the fortress, awaiting his moment. Meanwhile, Adar and Waldreg discover the sculpture of the sword that Arondir uncovered when he tore down the vines.

“Meaning no offense, Lord-Father,” says a disappointed Waldreg. “But where is he? What happened to Sauron?”

“Can’t find tooth or tail of him,” reports one of the orcs (“him” meaning Arondir, not Sauron), “must’ve got smart and scarpered.”

“No, the Elf’s here,” Adar replies quietly. Then, in Black Speech, “I can smell him.”

“Up here!” calls one of the other orcs. It's not difficult to spot Arondir now, since he has risen to his feet and is shooting arrows down on them. As usual, his arrows seem to always find their mark, and many of the orcs fall. Then Arondir sets fire to an arrow, and shoots it into some sort of device attached to the highest tower, the immensely tall watchtower of the elves—around which he has built a plan between the last episode and this (though by the look in his eyes at the time we did see the beginnings of it germinating in his mind before.)

Rocks and timbers begin to rain from the watchtower, crushing orcs below. “Get out now!,” Adar shouts to his troops. But Arondir employs another device, which allows him, even as he himself escapes through the gate, to seal it shut against those who would follow behind him. The orcs are trapped, as more and more boulders and stone blocks fall, and the tower itself sways, on the verge of collapsing altogether.

“Lord-Father, you must move now,” pleads Waldreg grasping his arm. “You must move!”

As the tower completely crumbles, burying orcs under tons of stone, Adar seems to come out of one of his trances, and finally moves. (Though how and where he and Waldreg escape the fortress is not shown, they will appear in later scenes, so we must assume they find a way.)

Meanwhile, on a facing hillside, we see Bronwyn and her refugees standing in the dark and we hear them cheering loudly.

“How many of ‘em could have survived that?” wonders Tredwill.

“How long do we have?” asks Theo, rather more practically.

“Not long enough,” says Bronwyn—but with determination, not despair. “Come on, we have to make ready the village.”


The next scene brings us to the Númenórean ships, sailing toward Middle-earth—whether this is the same day as the previous scene is uncertain (now that we know the timelines of the various storylines are not necessarily in sync) but the hour seems to be shortly before dawn. It’s a beautiful visual: sailing ships, an azure sea. While his shipmates sleep, a restless Isildur rises early, first to visit his horse and share an apple, and then to go on deck and gaze toward the east.

Standing at the rail, he is met by Galadriel. “Hoping to get the first sight of land?” she asks. “It’’ll be visible to your eyes in a few moments.”

“Is it visible to yours already?” he asks. And when she admits that it has been visible to her for about an hour, he says, “Keen are the eyes of the elves.” (Yes, we've heard this line before, elsewhere.)

“And yet, mine have not before seen you. What is your rank?”

Blushing he admits that he sweeps the stables. Galadriel smiles kindly. “Despise not the labor which humbles the heart. Humility has saved entire kingdoms the proud have all but led to ruin.”

“I did not join this expedition to be humbled, Commander. I was just trying to get away, as far as I could from that place.”

“Númenor?”

“It’s not Númenor. Not the real Númenor, anyway. If it ever existed.”

She smiles. “It existed. It exists still, if only in the heart of the lowliest stable sweep.”

It’s very likely that Galadriel visited Númenor in it’s earliest days, and also a number of times since. If there is anyone still living at the time of this story who knows “the real Númenor”, Galadriel seems a likely candidate. But I don’t think Isildur has a clue. He longs for a time and a place where great deeds were done, where heroic acts were an everyday sort of thing. But Númenor was given to the great Men of the past after they retired from performing their great deeds; it was a reward for their loyalty, and a chance to rebuild all they had lost during the wars, and then to build on top of that a great and glorious civilization. What he wants is something he neither understands nor is able to put into words, and I think Galadriel recognizes that and can sympathize, even though she knows her own deeds have not been inspired by a youthful spirit of adventure—though it was certainly that which brought her to Middle-earth in the first place—but by her deepest pain. However, this softer side of Galadriel that we see in this scene does not crush his enthusiasm by telling him that is the usual way of heroic deeds.

“It’s Isildur,” he says, with a lift of his chin, no doubt wishing to put aside the whole matter of his job in the stables.

Her smile broadens. “I might have known,” she says with a laugh. “You have the look of your father.”

“I was always told I look more like my mother.”

We are getting more and more of these brief references to his mother. I suspect she is going to turn out to have been someone of significance … besides being his mother and Elendil’s wife, that is.

As they speak the sun has risen above the horizon, flooding the scene with light, so that now he gets his first glimpse of Middle-earth ahead. Isildur grins broadly at the sight.

“Soldier,” says a deep voice behind him. Isildur turns and sees his father approaching. The boy bobs his head, and hurries below.

“His mother, what happened to her?” asks Galadriel.

Instead of immediately answering her question (characters in this series love to delay their answers!) Elendil says, “It is strange. Most of my life I’ve looked east to see the Sun rise over the sea and west to see it setting over the land. (Which indicates that for most of his life he has not lived in his family's ancient home on the western arm of the star-shaped island.) We’re sailing into the dawn, and yet, to me, it feels like the coming of night.” (A bit of intuition, here?)

Turning to leave, he adds over his shoulder, “She drowned.”

Well, ouch! That has to have been hard to accept in a culture taught to revere the sea. The sea is always right—but how can a family believe that when the sea has taken someone so dear to them? No wonder they are all feeling shattered! More than ever, I am sensing a story to be told about Elendil’s wife, and especially, perhaps, about her death.


As Galadriel stands looking toward Middle-earth, we hear Elendil’s voice-over: “Land has been sighted, Your Majesty.”

“How long until we make anchor?” asks Miriel. We enter her cabin and zoom in on a map they are both examining.

“It’s a full day’s sail into the mountains,” he says, as the camera follows the course of a painted river, “and from there, another day’s ride east into the vale.”

“Signal the other ships. Tell them to make all possible haste.”


The next scene takes place back in the Southlands. Arondir is angrily pounding the hilt of the black sword with a heavy hammer, but as hard and as long as he tries to break the hilt into pieces, he cannot damage it all. It is the hammer that breaks. Bronwyn comes up behind him. “It is beyond our skill to destroy,” he growls.

“Where will you hide it?” she asks.

“No one must know,” he says, wrapping it up in a piece of cloth. “Not even you.” (Which is logical; anyone who doesn’t know can't be made to tell.)

Unnoticed by either one of them, Theo is watching from a short distance away. Whether he still wants to keep the hilt or not (and probably at this point it is a bit of both) it still has enough hold on him that he wants to know where it is. So— though we don’t see him follow Arondir or know for certain that he spies on the elf as he hides the hilt—it’s a pretty safe bet that he does.

Meanwhile, villagers are readying for battle, honing blades, setting up traps, pouring lantern-oil on wagons full of hay, preparing for tactics presumably devised by Arondir—as the only person there with the necessary experience.

“Our enemy has been sighted,” Bronwyn proclaims a while later, as she and Arondir address the assembled villagers. “We survived them before. Now we must do it again. Tonight.”

“Our position gives us an advantage,” says Arondir. In the background we see bundles of arrows being raised by pulleys to reach the archers stationed on a roof. “But to use it, we must draw the enemy in close. We must wait until every last orc has crossed that bridge to spring our attack. This will test your nerve. Let it.”

They tell the crowd that any who do not fight will be barricaded inside the tavern. This will be their Keep, their fall-back point. “Take heart, all of you ,” says Arondir. “I have seen smaller armies defeat greater foes. Soon the sun will set. Do your part, and I swear to you, you shall see it rise again.” (A heartening speech, but a reckless promise.)

As those in the crowd disperse to take up their positions, Theo asks his mother,”What about me?”

“Tavern.”

“Tavern’s for wounded and children. I can fight!”

“I know you can.” She places a fond hand on his shoulder, and then provides him with a long spear. “Which is why I need you in there, protecting those who cannot.”

As they head for the tavern door,, husbands and wives embrace, parents say farewell to their children, friends hug or pat each other on the back. For all the brave words spoken, it is obvious that everyone but the smallest child is aware that many of them may never meet again.

And with a tearful smile from Bronwyn and a nervous one from Theo, mother and son go their separate ways.

“Are you ready?” Arondir asks Bronwyn, a little later.

“No. Are you?”

For answer he brings out a pouch containing the alfirin seeds she gave him in an earlier episode. He puts two seeds into her hand. “It is a tradition among elves, before a battle begins. Plant one.” (Yet he gives her two, and Adar planted a handful.)

“New life, in defiance of death?” she asks.

Arondir offers her his hand, which she takes. “It is believed that one of the Valar watches over growing things, and those who tend them.” Leading her aside from the others, he places her palm against the bark of a tree. “The rest, we shall plant after the battle is over. In a new garden. Together.”

“Promise me,” she says, tears in her eyes. He pulls her into his arms and they exchange a long kiss. (Possibly their first?)


Night falls. All is peaceful for a while except for owls hooting in the woods, the crackling of a fire in the tavern. Everyone waits with trembling breath for the enemy to attack. (The long wait must stretch their nerves.) It is Arondir, of course, who first spots the torches of the orcs coming over the hill. The enemy advances steadily, but the villagers prove steady as well, waiting, as instructed, until all have crossed the bridge. As the orcs begin a search of the area around the houses, opening doors and finding no one inside, Bronwyn lights the first of the hay carts and sends it rumbling toward the village square. Other wagons are set in motion, coming in from all directions, imprisoning the orcs within a wall of flame.

The orcs panic, and Arondir and his archers up on the roof begin a steady barrage. The battle is joined. The villagers, though few, have some slight advantage because they have cover, and the orcs are trapped within range of the archers. Nevetheless, there are heavy losses on both sides.

Then some of the orcs kick a path past the burning barricade, and head for the tavern. They carry a large battering ram to knock down the door. This is when other villagers, waiting unseen until now, come rushing from behind the buildings, armed with spears and other weapons, shouting, “Fight for the Southlands!”

It is a fierce and bloody battle. Orcs assail the roof, and kill some of the archers. A few of the orcs are knocked off, and Arondir tumbles along with them, landing hard on the ground. He rises and joins the battle, but is assailed by an enormous orc, who tosses him around like a rag doll. For all his elven agility and his martial arts moves, Arondir, is repeatedly pummeled, thrown to the ground, and sent crashing heavily into stone walls. For a moment it looks like it is the end for him, but Bronwyn comes up from behind, and runs the giant through with her blade.

There is a pause, during which the battle seems over, and the Southlanders cheer and embrace each other. But Arondir, who is covered in the thick black blood of his gigantic adversary, notices one of the bodies lying in the square. Though he is masked like an orc, his congealing blood is red, like a human or an elf. Arondir kneels by the body and calls to Bronwyn. When Arondir removes the mask, there is a collective gasp, and those around him recognize the corpse as one of their former neighbors.

As they remove the masks or helmets disguising the faces of the fallen, the Southlanders do find orcs among the dead, but also many familiar faces. “We were fighting our own,” whispers Tredwill. The rest of Bronwyn’s surviving band is too busy mourning the deaths of their friends and neighbors, treacherous though they were, to keep up their guard as they should.

A nearby orc, not quite dead yet, chuckles. “Thought we’d take ‘em in for nothinin’? Had to pay the toll. And now, all of you will.“ As the orc sputters and dies, Arondir gazes out into the darkness, just as arrows come flying from the shadows, taking out the archers still on the tavern roof, and Tredwill down in the square.

Bronwyn comes running to tend his wounds, but is pierced by one of the orc archers’ arrows herself. The long shaft goes all the way through her shoulder and out the other side. More and more Southlanders fall. Arondir shouts, “Everyone to the Keep!” He lifts Bronwyn and sends Theo on ahead. The boy helps to support the wounded as he goes.

Those still alive and on their feet reach the tavern, carrying the wounded, then lying them down on tables to be treated (But their healer is lying wounded herself, and who among them, except the elf, knows the first thing about battlefield first aid.) Theo looks out to see that there are more orcs coming, so he slams the door behind him, and others thump a heavy bar into place.

Arondir carefully pulls the arrow out of Bronwyn’s shoulder, but the flow of blood is so great it’s clear that she is bleeding out. “Bring me some burning wood,” shouts Arondir, and between the elf and a nearly hysterical Theo—and despite her screams of agony—they manage to cauterize the wounds on both sides and save her, at least for the moment. Theo may seem like an idle and mischievous youth, but he is the teenage son of the village healer, and whether he has assisted in such procedures or not before, he has probably seen them. Though such things are different when it's your own mother, he does hold it together just enough to competently assist.

Between the giant orc and Bronwyn’s gushing wounds—and I do mean gushing, because the table where she lies is puddled with her blood—this is by far and away the goriest episode in the series so far. It has also been the most violent. At this point, I gave my husband a pathetic look and asked, “Shouldn’t it be morning yet?” He thought so, too. But the horrors were far from over.


Through the wall, the the survivors can hear the enemy’s war chant, “Nampat! Nampat!” The villagers scream and exclaim in horror.

Briefly, we are given a glimpse outside. Orcs run rampant through the village. Adar, meanwhile, strolls on ahead, as calm and confident as though already assured of victory. It looks like he is right, for the people of Tirharad have few defenses left. A party of burly orcs carries the battering ram, and begins pounding on the door. Inside, seeing their barred door buckle, the Southlanders scream some more.


Far away, the sun is rising, turning the sky a pearly pink. A host of Númenórean cavalry races across the land, with Galadriel in the lead, and Halbrand not far behind But can they possibly get there in time?


Back in the village, the tavern door falls with a crash. Arondir leaps forward to challenge the first orcs to enter, but one of them grabs Theo and holds a long knife to his throat, while others stand menacingly over the wounded Bronwyn. Arondir does not dare to risk their lives, and all of the fight has seemingly gone out of the Southlanders.

Adar enters. “What I seek,” he says to Arondir in Quenya, “give it to me.”

“I will consider it,” answers Arondir. Adar merely glances toward one of his orcs, who, with no further prompting, sticks his sword through one of the villagers and slowly pulls it out again. (There is no blood shown here, but somehow I found the casual way the orc guts a man who is simply standing there passively more deeply disturbing than anything in the battle.)

“Why risk their lives for such a little thing?” asks Adar. This time a woman is stabbed. Arondir reacts furiously, but he doesn’t speak. So Adar indicates that Bronwyn should be next.

This, of course,is too much for Theo. “Wait! It’s under here.”

Arondir calls out to the boy, but Theo only says, “I’m sorry,” and bends down to pry up a stone from the floor, revealing a hole beneath.

Adar kneels down and picks up the cloth-wrapped bundle. He pulls back the wrapping enough to see that it is indeed the black sword. He takes a deep, satisfied breath.

Would Adar spare the remaining villagers, since he now has what he came for? I wouldn’t bet on it, but we are not to know, because now there is rumbling, growing louder and louder, nearer and nearer, as of many hooves hitting the ground.

(to be continued)
 
I am not enthusiastic about extended battle sequences
I feel the same way, however I felt this episode was probably my favourite so far. I liked the orcs. I was afraid the orcs would just be dumb mindless swords which would be uninteresting. However I was glad to see the orcs actually had a clever battle plan (despite not giving that one big orc any weapon, causing him to just throw Arondir harmlessly around for a couple of minutes). And I liked when Adar mentioned that all the orcs have names. This elevated them to me.
The scene in the tavern was great, when the orcs demanded the sword thing, and then just began ruthlessly stabbing villagers until they got what they wanted. That level of brutality and cruelty shocked me, and I thought it was a great way to send the stakes through the roof and start to actually fear for the villagers.
I thought it a great character beat when Arondir didn't give up the thing despite a sword to Bronwyn's neck. And made sense for Theo's character to give it up.

A few things in the battle made little sense to me. It felt like the orcs had only been fighting for about 20 minutes before dawn came up, did they really choose to start fighting at 4:30am?
I didn't understand how the Numenorians found the fight so easily. But liked when Galadriel showed up and thought her horse skills looked cool, haven't seen that before.
And the scene when Galadriel chased Adar at full tilt, yet somehow Halbrand managed to get far out infront of both of them?
 
I agree about Arondir and Theo. At least, I think we are in agreement. Arondir, at about 200 years old, is not so naive as to believe giving up the sword would save Bronwyn in the end, and he probably knows she wouldn't want him to do it, even if it would save her. On the other hand, Theo is maybe fourteen, and she's his mother. What boy his age, who loves his mother, would stand by and watch her sacrificed? Also, his understanding of what the sword might possibly be able to do in Adar's hands is probably much less than Arondir's.

It did seem like the Númenóreans did find the battle awfully easily. I'm sure the fighting could be heard from a distance, but to hear it through all the noise they were making themselves. Oh ... I just remembered that Galadriel was leading them. Keen are the ears of the elves. (I know that I'm misquoting a line that was actually about their eyes, but their hearing is good, too.) I hadn't figured on them being so keen as that, especially from a distance of many miles, but ... maybe?

I think Hal took a turn somewhere that Adar and Galadriel didn't, and so found a shorter way. (Also, though nobody there seems to know him, perhaps—being whoever he actually is, whoever that is—he is acquainted with the terrain?)
 
I'll have to watch it again to make sure, but it seems Adar said, at some point, that the orcs were fed up with being hired (??) muscle and just wanted to settle down in their own lands.

There was that book that we spoke about some years ago that told the story of the LOTR from the point of view of the URUK HAI and Saruman, as being a group who wanted to give up the feudal society and start an industrial one. I never read it, but we seem to be heading in the same direction. Certainly Adar is making the orcs (sorry. Uruks) a much more sympathetic group.


I also noticed that at some point it was marked that Galadriel lend down and spoke Sindarin to encourage her horse. Why Sindarin from a Noldo. Maybe it was fairly unsophisticated horse.
 
In The Silmarillion and associated early tales, Galadriel spent many years living with the Sindar when she first came to Middle-Earth. They were her relatives on her mother's side, because the Teleri and the Sindar (or grey elves) were originally one tribe. It made sense that she could speak Sindarin (and fans of the movies would want to hear it—there was no way that the screenwriters were going to resist in that particular instance, either). I did have doubts, however, that the horse would comprehend either of the elvish languages.

But if the producers had the rights to some of the early works, all the elves in Middle-Earth would be speaking Sindarin (the scenes before they left Valinor would be Quenya, of course) because King Elu Thingol, king of the grey elves, and for a long time the most powerful elf in Middle-Earth, forbade the use of Quenya, because he was very, very, very angry with the Noldor (as well he might be), after he learned everything that Fëanor and his lot had done. Elu Thingol was no longer around by the Second Age to tell anyone what language they could speak, but Quenya was no longer the common tongue for elves in Middle-Earth. I believe Tolkien sometimes humorous called it "elf latin."

For that reason, it was sort of a shock to me when some of the characters in this series started speaking Quenya to each other (no, I don't know Quenya, and only a few words of Sindarin, but the subtitles told which of the elf languages the characters were speaking) before I remembered that this ban probably wouldn't apply because the producers probably wouldn't have the rights to that part of the overall story. (I'd need to reread the appendices to check on whether it mentions that Quenya was no longer spoken.)
 
I cannot say I liked this episode but it was marginally better than the last two (less Numenor seems to do the trick for me). And since a lot of the things I had to say have already been said by others, I'll just point out the little things that really soured the experience for me, in no particular order:

- "Keen are the eyes of an Elf." So keen in fact, they seem to be able to spot things hidden by the curvature of the Earth. Was Tolkien a flat-earther?
- Fire arrows. It was just the one but this is such an overused cliché in Fantasy I just never want to see it again. Please make it stop.
- Adar the Orc. I like the character a lot, and maybe it's because I don't know enough about the lore to understand the ins and outs of orc creation, but why is he portrayed as a first-generation orc when he's actually their better, more refined form? So basically whoever created him (Morgoth if I heard right) started with a batch of immortal, loyal, intelligent and strong servants, yet decided that wasn't good enough and went on to create armies of degenerate orcs instead, little more than dumb and physically-challenged canon fodder who have to dig their way around Middle Earth because they can't stand the Sun. Way to go, Morgoth! No wonder you were defeated.
- Abusive Viewer Manipulation to Introduce a Twist: The first attack on the human settlement is clearly performed by orcs and orcs only. They have the distinct orc waddle in their step and only orcs can be seen when humans ambush them at the bridge or during the battle. Yet once the battle is over our heroes start removing the helmets of their dead enemies and discover one human after another, as if the bulk of that vanguard had been their former friends. Cheap.
- Battle scenes. The tactics employed by both sides are stupid and inefficient, and they would spell disaster for any real-world army. No, you won't change my mind.
 
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Not the best the episode. I thought the battle scenes were poor. Neither the assault on tower or the village made sense and I felt the scale was off. We are are supposed to think that there are hundreds of orcs, yet you would only fit a few dozen into the village. Looked off.

Enjoyed the formation of Morder and the birth of Mount Doom.

My theory for this week is that Hal is actually Sauron and not the future Witch King of Angmar. Those exchanges with Adar were mysterious.
 
Actually, the world is flat in this. (It was made a globe after the destruction of Numenor.)
Well that doesn't make any sense (=that's not what a flat world would look like)! But at least it makes her line less annoying. Thanks for the explanation.

svalbard said:
Enjoyed the formation of Morder and the birth of Mount Doom.
Ah, so that's what that was...
 
Three questions (after reading and watching reviews), 1) how can one single arrow can bring down a tower? 2) Knowing the scale of the Middle-Earth and how long it took to travel, how did the Numenorians managed to travel a few thousand kilometres in a couple of days by using 3 boats that carried no horses, cross almost impossible mountain lane, run across Mordor plain and find the village just in time? 3) How can an immortal elf survive a pyroclastic surge?
 
Why desert a perfectly defensible keep and go hide in an unprotected village, undermined with tunnels?
How did Arondir managed to booby-trap the tower in such a short period of time. How did the villagers leave the keep and go downhill to their village unnoticed?
How did Adar and Waldreg escape the collapsing keep? How did Waldreg manage to retrieve the key from the villages tavern unnoticed and replace it with an axe? Once he had it, why was it necessary to attack the village?
How did the Numûmorean force know exactly where they were needed to be and fast? How could horse and rider do battle after such a race against time, especially through the night?
I could go on. The list of implausible events is ever growing.
 
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1) how can one single arrow can bring down a tower?
The tower had been weakened (but how?) so that this single, well-placed (fire :-[ ) arrow would bring the whole thing down.

2) Knowing the scale of the Middle-Earth and how long it took to travel, how did the Numenorians managed to travel a few thousand kilometres in a couple of days by using 3 boats that carried no horses, cross almost impossible mountain lane, run across Mordor plain and find the village just in time?
I don't know enough about Middle Earth's geography to address all of your points, but the boats did carry horses. Hence why Isildur was brought on as a "stable hand".

3) How can an immortal elf survive a pyroclastic surge?
I see you haven't met my friend, Plot Armor.
 
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Three questions (after reading and watching reviews), 1) how can one single arrow can bring down a tower? 2) Knowing the scale of the Middle-Earth and how long it took to travel, how did the Numenorians managed to travel a few thousand kilometres in a couple of days by using 3 boats that carried no horses, cross almost impossible mountain lane, run across Mordor plain and find the village just in time? 3) How can an immortal elf survive a pyroclastic surge?

Not too sure about question 1.

2. GOTs style teleporters.

3. They horses on the ships. Isildur was looking after them.

A question on my own. Has Isildur's brother being cut from the series.
 
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Well that doesn't make any sense (=that's not what a flat world would look like)!

I haven't seen it, but it's shame if they've spent all that money but not made the effort to show that it is a flat world, as that would be one of the most fantastical things about it.

(Incidentally, maybe Tolkien was a flat-earther. At the end of The Hobbit, Bilbo is able to see the Lonely Mountain from the Misty Mountains, when they're 300 miles apart. I can't be bothered to work out the maths, but I'm pretty sure that's not credible given planetary curvature.)
 
(Incidentally, maybe Tolkien was a flat-earther. At the end of The Hobbit, Bilbo is able to see the Lonely Mountain from the Misty Mountains, when they're 300 miles apart. I can't be bothered to work out the maths, but I'm pretty sure that's not credible given planetary curvature.)
I didn't know that. I think anything farther than 3 miles from an observer (at sea level) falls below the horizon and can no longer be seen. I don't know how big those mountains are supposed to be but probably not enough to make a noticeable difference!

Now I wish they had made the effort to depict a huge, flat world on screen...
 
A question on my own. Has Isildur's brother being cut from the series.
Not entirely. He was mentioned in episode 2. But apparently lives at odds with the rest of the family or at least his father, (because of him siding with the Faithful?)
 
At the end of The Hobbit, Bilbo is able to see the Lonely Mountain from the Misty Mountains, when they're 300 miles apart. I can't be bothered to work out the maths, but I'm pretty sure that's not credible given planetary curvature.
It turned out I could be bothered to work out the maths. At 300 miles, both the viewer and the viewed object would have to be approx six miles higher than the terrain in the middle. This is clearly impossible. My faith in Tolkien is shattered.

(Obviously this has nothing to do with the Rings of Power series, apologies.)
 
I have some responses to some of the comments up above (comments ranging from "yes, it's weird and implausible" through "blame Tolkien not the producers" to some that are just my guesses), but I want to finish editing and posting the the second half of my synopsis sometime today, but I have little time for that because I have an appointment in a few hours, and when I get back I might be too tired to get much of anything done.

So if you are interested in discussing some of those points, I'd really enjoy talking about them, too, but probably not today, so if you would be so kind as to include me, please come back in a day or two and see if I have posted.
 

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