The Tolkien Road

A podcast about Middle-earth and all things Tolkien.

0310 » The Rings of Power Episode 7: The Eye » Reviewed!

In “The Eye”, Elrond is denied access to Mithril, Galadriel and the Númenoreans search for survivors, and The Stranger departs for Greenwood the Great. Join us as we discuss it all!


– Kaitlyn of Tea with Tolkien
– John R
– Jacob Lockham
– John H
– Scotchy Bobo


“What really happens is that the storymaker proves a successful ‘sub-creator’. He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is ‘true’: it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside. The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or rather art, has failed.” – On Fairy-stories


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Special thanks to the following patrons:

  • John R
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  • John H
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  • Redhawk
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2 Responses

  1. I’ve been a listener for a while, but this is the first time I’ve decided to comment on an episode. Now, obviously I’m not going to say anything that you haven’t heard already, regarding complaints about your opinion of the Rings of Power. I’m one of those people who is relatively enjoying the show. But I’m not here to enforce my opinion onto someone who has different views than me. Especially someone who is much more knowledgable than me.
    That’s something I respect about this podcast. Your extensive knowledge of all things Tolkien is impressive and I hope to achieve such a level one day myself. Your loyalty to the professor is also commendable and I appreciate that you always try to ground everything by pointing things back to Tolkien and what he would have done. It’s why I keep coming back to this podcast as it’s good for all of us to be reminded of that.
    Now, here’s where the criticism comes in. I’m with you that I wish they would have been more faithful to the lore by not adding things or compressing the timeline. I wish that the executives at Amazon had a bit more respect for Tolkien and tried to manage things the way he would have. Sadly, they haven’t for the most part. But that doesn’t mean I hate the show. Despite its mediocre writing that doesn’t match up with Tolkien or even other fantasy works, we need to remember that Tolkien’s writing is a very high bar for them to reach. Even if they did put more time and effort into improving the writing, it is still a very high standard.
    I think that most of the actors on this show are doing a pretty good job for what they have been given. I’ve also seen some of them in interviews answering fan questions and you can really tell that a lot of them had done the research and know the source material. J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay are all also huge nerds themselves. I’ve listened to other Tolkien experts who actually got to speak with them personally. They learned that the show runners did not want to make the show “peak bleak” and wanted it to feel like Tolkien. Now, executing this vision is another thing entirely and we all certainly have opinions on that. But at least this proves that the show runners certainly have good intentions. They would even begin each day in the writers room with a direct quote from Tolkien’s text. So, Tolkien was never truly isolated from their discussions. The cinematography is absolutely stunning and while the music isn’t from Howard Shore, I think Bear McCreary has done a great job with his own musical score.
    Now let me share some of my criticisms about your comments on Episode 7 “The Eye”. First off, regarding the whole Celeborn controversy. Him being mentioned in this episode proves that he wasn’t forgotten by the writers. I didn’t appreciate your guy’s comment about the show runners receiving so much “flack” for not mentioning Celeborn sooner that they had to go back and edit that scene. There’s no way they would have gone back and shot that same scene with the same actors in a country that is still closed off due to the pandemic. Unless, it had already been shot during principal photography. Which means, contrary to what you said, this was always their plan. Also, I was disappointed that you didn’t give the creators any sort of credit for finally mentioning Celeborn. This was something that many of us, myself included, were waiting for them to finally acknowledge. And I know John that you’ve been asking for it. You even did a whole episode on that point. So, I was a bit disappointed that you didn’t give them any sort of credit.
    Real quick, I don’t believe Celeborn is dead. I theorize that Galadriel only thinks he’s dead. Instead, he’s currently imprisoned by Sauron and it won’t be until Season 2 that we discover where he is.
    Here are my other thoughts. Yes, I believe the Balrog is Durin’s Bane. No, I don’t think we’ll see it fully wake up until later in the show. I agree the Elendil’s 180 degree shift on despising Galadriel may have been sudden and I hope that he changes his mind before the season ends as he the “Elf-Friend”. But I’m willing to look past that. The man lost his wife, is estranged from one son, and now he believes that he lost his other son. It makes sense for him to question is loyalties and beliefs during this terrible moment. Any one of us would be just as angry and conflicted and easily doubt our faith during such trials. Also, Lloyd Owen’s performance when Elendil realizes what happed to Isildur was truly heartbreaking. Bravo to Owen.
    I also want to tip my hat off to both Robert Aramayo (Elrond) and Owain Arthur (Durin IV). Their chemistry is the thing everyone is talking about when it comes to this show. Owain Arthur’s performance also deserves much praise. You can see and feel the utter anguish on Durin’s face when he briefly says goodbye to Elrond. The scene where he almost reveals his secret Dwarf name to Elrond was also very touching. Really emphasizes how close they are. I do however, have to point out the Elrond was not being weak when asking help from Durin III. The dwarf king asks why he should trust the elf and Elrond replies that he should’n’t. He acknowledges that his people have their flaws, but he still counts himself among them despite him being half-elven. Gil-Galad used that trait to undermine Elrond in a previous episode. But here, Elrond uses it as a strength to appeal to Durin III to aid the very people who sometimes may look upon him differently. He is committed to the race he chose to be a part of. Robert Aramayo has done a fine job as Elrond Peredhel and am looking forward to his growth as a character as the series progresses.
    In conclusion, does the Rings of Power live up to Tolkien’s Legendarium? So far, not really. Is it the best fantasy show ever created? No. But one should could argue if it ever was suppose to be. With all that said, I’m grateful that we are at least getting any sort of tv show on Tolkien’s work. There is so much in the world of Middle-Earth that most people have no idea about. I commend J.D. Payne, Patrick McKay, and the rest of the show’s crew for working so hard in attempting to give Tolkien’s work new life and hopefully bring in a new generation of Tolkien fans. Is the show perfect? Not by any stretch. And it can do better. But we must remember that this is only the first season and they have made it clear that they are simply laying the groundwork for what’s to come. Even now, I think it is too early to fully condemn the show before it really gets the chance to stretch its legs.
    If you guys were able to make it through and read this long and exhausting comment, then I thank you very much for taking the time to hear me out. I would encourage the both of you to not jump to unnecessary conclusions so quickly and to just assume that the creators will make every stupid decision imaginable. They have proven more than once that they know the lore and are doing their best. I haven’t agreed with everything the’ve done and they mays still in the end do a poor job of executing Tolkien’s vision. But in my opinion, we should let this show play out and give them a chance to hopefully do a better job a representing the professor and his incredible world. In the meantime, you guys keep doing what your doing by giving us in depth discussions about Middle-Earth and celebrating the creative and intellectual mind behind it.


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