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The Rings of Power - The Film Cut [Act I -> Act II -> Act III]

Numenor through End

  • You made a series of good cuts to remove the rock-breaking. It works well.

  • There’s an abrupt transition when Poppy approaches the Stranger as he’s eating snails. I understand the cut but it’s noticeable.

  • You kept slow-mo Galadriel and her horse?

  • I’m not completely sold on the sequencing with Adar and Theo but you intercut those scenes very well.

  • Is it important for Adar to spell out that the people are in the old watchtower? That’s a very recent development and in this compressed version, I’m not sure that he should know that yet. Could he just say that he wants Arondir to deliver a message for him? If you can make that change, you have more options for how you order these Southlands scenes.

  • I miss the conversation between Elendil and the Queen about his name.

  • Since we saw Elendil with Galadriel’s dagger on the ship, it’s strange to have lost the rather awkward scene where it is returned by Halbrand. Could we lose the shot where Elendil has it to start with?

  • I love what you did changing the Plea to the Rocks into resonating and intercutting it with the reveal of the Mithril. It’s a very nice way to tighten that plotline.

  • I miss the Harfoots’ “We wait for you” call and response.

  • By cutting so many of the Harfoot scenes we again are losing some plot information. Where did the Stranger get that paper with the constellation?

  • I like how you kept the Harfoot question of what to do about Nori and the Stranger but trimmed the whole thing about being deliberately put at the back of the train.

  • It’s an interesting move to have Halbrand get in a fight and be jailed almost entirely offscreen. It feels rushed, but I also understand why you didn’t like that sequence.

  • So why does Galadriel ride that far to the Hall of Lore in this edit? I know that she needs to discover Halbrand’s crest, but that’s incidental. It almost would make more sense to assume that the Hall of Lore is right there in the city and that Elendil stopped by there with her.

  • I’m very interested to see your further revision of the Numenor plotline with the palantir revealing the danger to the Southlands. Alternatively, I’ve been running all sorts of other ideas in my head, like maybe throwing Galadriel and Halbrand straight into jail before she breaks out, runs away, and is recaptured by Elendil. The issue there, of course would be why she leaves Halbrand in jail by himself. I suppose that in this version, he would be released for the expedition.

  • Alternatively, you could try never having either in jail, but that would mean automatically losing some good/important dialogue (like about the Halbrand crest) that would need to be overlaid somewhere else.

  • I like what you have done to cut Galadriel’s arrest snd bridge directly to Tar Palantir, though I wonder how this might change in your new version.

  • The cut from Miriel to Galadriel boarding the ship alone is good, but it might be more smooth if “I’m sorry” was heard over the start of the new scene.

  • The Harfoot migration scene where the Stranger helps pull the cart is extremely short and feels disjointed; some type of transition into the migration is needed. Maybe a montage at the end of the prior Harfoot part of the start of the next?

  • I like the cut of Bronwyn’s rousing speech. I don’t hate her being in charge, but like you, I don’t understand how that came to be or why people would just accept her authority at this point.

  • I think the scene break between Galadriel boarding the boat and Miriel turning back with the petals hurts the pacing and emotion of the sequence. It’s weird to come back moments after we left, with the boat barely away from the dock.

  • I really like the Numenor montage. It flows well and skips all the distractions. That said, I miss the conversation between Pharazon and his son about helping the Elves in order to advance their nation’s power overseas. I understand that the son isn’t part of your edit at all though.

  • I do like the transition from departing Numenor to the establishing shot for the dinner in Lindon. It’s a change from one seat of power and politics to another and they pair well.

  • Regarding the Mithril origin myth, it’s clear in rewatching the scene that you could easily remove the Silmaril connection. Go from “but over a tree” to “On one side…” The assumption would be that the elf simply poured his immortal essence into the tree, similar to Arwen for Frodo in the Fellowship film. The combination of events crystallized snd captured that essence so that it can be given back to the Elves as needed. This would also make their claim on the Mithril stronger, because it is essentially part of them that they want returned. Note that you’d also need to cut GilGalad’s later line after “They found it,” removing “the ore containing the light of the Silmaril.”

  • I miss the scenes with Durin and his dad.

  • I miss the rest of the scene where the Southlandsts pledge to Adar, but it’s not a great loss.

  • A far greater loss, I miss Adar planting his seeds. That scene, and its parallel later with Arondir, was excellent world building (though I’d have preferred Bronwyn not somehow magically say the same words that Adar did).

  • It’s not impossible to figure out, but I think the collapse of the tower makes less sense without the prior scene in which Arondir gets the idea of bringing it down.

  • It’s strange to get no explanation of the grove’s destruction, but I understand why it wouldn’t make sense here (no volcano yet). Would it work to just have it be fruitful to begin with, and keep your suggestion that the Stranger is simply being sent on because this is the end of the road for the Harfoots?

  • I miss the Wandering Day song and montage.

  • I appreciate that you never mention the number of ships, troops, or horses.

  • The cold interaction between Isildor and his father is less impactful and slightly odd if you don’t know that Elendil originally denied him a place on the expedition. I suppose that we are supposed to remember their dinner argument, but it’s been a while without any follow up.

  • You again do a very good job trimming down the Mithril negotiations and conflict to a bare minimum that still makes sense. I do miss more Durin though, and I miss Elrond talking about his own father.

  • I wasn’t sold on the appearance of the Balrog in the original, and I’m not sold on it here either. “Seal it up” is enough of a place to end the scene. If you want to go further, let the leaf catch fire, but the Balrog is building up too much action for something with no payoff, possibly for years.

  • The edit still has the issue of the Southlands siege running ahead of the Numenor plotline. The villagers are preparing for the attack that night while the ships are sighting Middle Earth and we are being told that they have roughly two days’ journey still ahead of them.

  • The slightly abbreviated Southlands night battle works well. If anything, I suggest maybe putting back a tiny bit more lead-in for thinking the fight is done and discovering the dead humans among the Orcs.

  • The abbreviated surgery scene works well too, more matter of fact and less melodramatic than the original.

  • I’m not sure that anything is helped by the dramatic cavalry charge across the field. It reminds the viewer of Rohan but falls short if that, while also showing too large a force for what we’ve seen so far, and drawing further attention to the time mismatch between their arrival and the battle.

  • The blade suddenly showing up again and being important feels very sudden. Is there a way to include more lead up with hiding it without restoring too much cheesiness?

  • It feels like connective tissue is missing from the arrival of the Numenoreans, like Arondir being able to get outside again with the tavern occupants safe.

  • Good job cutting the stable boy stuff throughout and just letting Isildor get in there with everyone else.

  • The mystics need their initial introduction and maybe at least one other appearance to build them up as a threat. Here, they come out of absolutely nowhere and it’s confusing. Also, you very suddenly go from one to three of them.

  • We need more of Adar and Halbrand in the woods, just those couple more lines to build up the mystery of their connection. Otherwise Adar’s “Who are you?” In the barn falls flat.

  • I appreciate the effort to make Galadriel more stable, but the full depth of her rage at Adar is paid off in his assessment of her as Sauron’s successor. Without that build up, the line and resolution of her journey comes up flat.

  • Once again, too many missing pieces. Why are the Harfoots looking for the Stranger? Why is he tied up? What in the world is going on?

  • Without the mystics burning the carts, their menace with the fire is significantly lessened.

  • Without the wizard duel, where does the Stranger get the staff? Not a glaring plot hole, but it’s a minor continuity issue.

  • Having cut the mystics paying homage to the Stranger, their dialogue about him not being Sauron makes no sense.

  • Having Galadriel’s vision take place in the aftermath of the eruption is very interesting and could become one of the most unique aspects of this edit long-term. That said, I’m not sure that it will work long term changing the forging that much. More discussion of that later.

  • You may want to remove Halbrand/Sauron’s line about what she told him “after the battle,” since you cut that scene. I would actually suggest maybe restoring the scene, since it helps build Halbrand’s identity and his offer to Galadriel to join him, which is part of your edit. This leads to the next point…

  • You cut so much of the Halbrand content both in Numenor and Eregion that the reveal of him as Sauron comes out of nowhere and at a very random spot.

  • I like the in and out use of the flaming horse etc in the vision sequence. They add to the surrealism in a greater way than they did in the original.

  • How in the world did Galadriel get found by Elrond? It’s almost as if the entire end sequence has turned into 2001 A Space Odyssey. I have no idea what is real.

  • What if she woke from the vision in the village, met Theo, reunited at the camp, and played out events as normal. Instead of being the culmination, the vision becomes a way to introduce her suspicions about Halbrand. Maybe split it into two visions, the one at the village and another in Eregion?

  • The emotion of the Harfoot goodbyes seems barely earned based on their abbreviated appearances and lessened adventure. Sadoc’s death may have seemed arbitrary, but without it or the burning of the wagons, their adventure is entirely without cost.

  • The link between Mithril and the idea of the rings has been entirely lost in this edit. As a result, we have no idea why they are making rings.

  • Why does Elrond know about Halbrand?

  • Because Halbrand is not in Eregion, there is no clear connection between him and the idea of or forging of the rings. Unless season 2 makes it clear that he was previously there in another form, the entire basis of the story is cut off here.

  • Why is Elrond running during the forging in this edit? We are left with the impression that Halbrand (maybe Sauron but that’s not entirely clear in this edit due to the surrealism of the vision) is actually the king of the Southlands, whatever that means.

  • I enjoyed the incorporation of the LOTR music, but I’m not entirely sure about the pairing of the Nazgûl theme the creation of Mordor (no Nazgûl yet) or the one ring with Sauron who so far has no connection to any rings at all.

  • I know that you said you were reworking the ending, and I’m interested to see what you do. I don’t think it’s there yet. Even knowing the original, I got very confused by the mystics and the Eregion stuff. If you showed this to a new casual viewer, I think that the result really would be like 2001, lots of viewer confusion and talk of drug trips.

In summary, I think that your first act is good but jumps too much (which you’ve been working on). Your second act is the strongest with some excellent transitions and much tighter (but not rushed) pacing. Your third act has a lot of potential, especially the use of a vision at the time of eruption, but in its current form there is far too much left ambiguous or unexplained. We need to feel something about Halbrand and about the resolution of the Stranger. Right now, I don’t think we do.

Once again, I must congratulate you on the ambition of this project and for being the pioneer who first attempted an edit of this content. Even in its current form, there’s a lot to like and to inspire further work. If you continue to refine this, I think that it could indeed become a go-to edit for people wanting the story in a single-movie form.

The Rings of Power - The Film Cut [Act I -> Act II -> Act III]

Feedback for the first 45 minutes:

  • I don’t love the new text introducing the second age. It seems too on-the-nose, especially if the films are viewed chronologically.

  • The transition from the paper boat to Finrod is abrupt. Is that the best line to enter on? Could music smooth the transition more?

  • I still don’t love Finrod’s advice and would like to see the whisper removed so that we instead get his follow-up response of “You must learn to discern for yourself.”

  • Why is Finrod expecting to not always be there? I don’t understand why that line exists and think it undermines the whole no-death paradise vibe of Valinor.

  • Could we trim the line about the symbol being one that “even our wisest couldn’t discern?” Just cut it after she says that Sauron marked his flesh.

  • I had a lot of mixed feelings about the frozen fortress sequence, but I suspect that the important parts will be revisited eventually in season 2. I think your cut and transition is perfect. It keeps ends the prologue with a similar tone to Fellowship and tells us everything we need to know.

  • The Elrond and Galadriel scene is much better without the ice scenes. It now introduces the characters fully and gives us new information about what Galadriel has been doing.

  • The transition to the Southlands feels like an abrupt cutoff of the Lindon sequence. I’d like more time there before moving on. This was a major issue for me with the series too, especially early on, too many skips between plot threads in close proximity. And then this sequence too is over almost as soon as it starts and we’re back to Lindon. It leaves me almost dizzy and not feeling invested in either story.

  • To show the passage of time between the ceremony and the night, would it be better to move up part of Gil Galad and Elrond’s conversation about Galadriel? I realize that this might also require scrapping the initial intro of Celebrimor or using part of this scene later (or as a voiceover?).

  • The jumping back and forth continues to bug me. There seems to be no good point at which to introduce the Southlands story.

  • The reduction of Arondir and Bronwyn at her house works well. It doesn’t remove their relationship, but it implies that he is officially there on business.

  • More jumping back and forth, sort of implying the passage of time and sort of not.

  • I wish that the leaf falling and Gil Galad picking it up was earlier, like at the night of the farewell party. That way we’d get it clearly as part of his thinking that he explains to Elrond.

  • Musically the arrival of the Stranger is linked to Galadriel jumping off the boat, but I’m not sure that it really serves her story to break away like that. In keeping with my prior point, what if we had the ceremony, Gil Galad taking w Elrond, the fireworks, Elrond talking w Galadriel, then Gil Galad and the leaf, followed by the meteor that same night? We could then break away to the Harfoot story while we allow the boat time to cross the sea.

  • The introduction of the Harfoots with Nori seeing the meteor and then she and Poppy approaching the Stranger works surprisingly well. It doesn’t feel like much background is missing.

  • Why is there a location map shot in the transition from Nori to Nori and Poppy wheeling the Stranger away? It breaks the momentum and makes me think that we’re changing story threads again.

  • Consider the number of day night transitions in the Southlands story. Arondir and Bronwyn leave in the day, arrive late in the day at the destroyed village, watch the meteor, scout the village at night, and then she runs back to town in day, while Theo tends a fire indoors (in day?), she arrives at the tavern in day, fights the Orc in day, tells the people at the tavern about it at night, and then packs to leave the next morning? The time passage here is a problem in the original, but it’d be worth trying to smooth out where possible.

  • I’m not sure it works to shorten Arondir’s trip through the tunnels, especially skipping the part where he enters the water.

  • The abbreviated raft sequence works well, though without the racism and disinterest in working with Galadriel, it makes her abandonment of the other people seem pretty cold.

  • I understand the desire to tighten the Orc in house fight, but it seems like parts are clearly missing. People change position too quickly multiple times. It’s very noticeable.

  • The onset of the storm is too sudden. Even though the original had an overly quick transition, this comes out of nowhere and feels like something is missing. I’d say cut the whole storm sequence except that it’s used to very good effect in the finale with her sinking and Halbrand not saving her. Im guessing that there would be issues doing this cohesively, but would it be possible to skip the sea monster and imply that Galadriel is sinking on her own, then is rescued by Halbrand and his raft?

  • Again, I see that you’re trying to cut the fat, but there are too many questions in this edit about why Theo has that sword hilt. You need the earlier scene, maybe even in place of this one, to introduce it.

  • The scene where the Numenorean ship finds Galadriel and Halbrand is very short and seems disconnected from the scenes around it.

Summary of Thoughts So Far

  • Taking this roughly 9 hour season and turning it into a 3 hour movie is an ambitious project. You’ve done a good job weeding through the content to pull out the most important parts. Your decision to skip the ice fortress worked very well, but not every omission was that clean. You’ve lost some of the connective tissue that is needed in order for some moments to make sense.

  • You set out to make Galadriel less antagonistic and more dignified. I think you’ve succeeded this far.

  • One of the biggest challenges in any adaption of this content is the juggling of so many plot threads. Here, as in the series, I find that the story often jumps too frequently snd dramatically for me to follow or fully invest in the characters and events. At the same time, I understand that separating the threads out can lead to awkwardly long amounts of time away. Some of that could be managed if the cutaways were to happen during travel, like while Galadriel is en route to Valinor or while the Numenoreans are sailing to Middle Earth.

  • Bottom line, this is a rough cut of a very complex project. I’m very glad that you are working on this. I’ll finish watching this version and continue to watch the thread to see where this one-film edit ends up. Thank you for sharing your work and for being the first to take up this epic task.

The Rings of Power: 2 movie version (Released)

I finally watched the finale. I knew what was going to go down but, imperfect as the season was, I found myself putting it off because I didn’t want it to end.

I’m now really excited to start seeing these edits.

With yours, I’m particularly intrigued with your movement of the Harfoot story into the first part. How do you handle the damage to the grove when the volcano hasn’t erupted yet.

LOTR: The Rings of Power Spoiler Thread

I agree with pretty well all your point, RogueLeader.

I know that a lot of people seem to think this episode was a let down due to loss of momentum, but that’s kind of how all of Tolkien is, a repeated pattern of events and quiet recharge transitions to the next event. This episode fit that pattern quite well.

The question remains how or if they will land the season. Will we get a Sauron reveal? A Stranger reveal? A Galadriel full-circle resolution with Elrond or GilGalad?

From a fan-editing perspective, this whole thing is pretty tricky. There’s a lot of detail that was seemingly out there very intentionally, but there are also some baffling transitions and particulars. Some of the issues can easily be solved with slight kind trims, but if you cut some controversial things you’re going to also lose the connected parallelism.

With the idea of a movie edit, I’ve been toying with the idea of moving the entire Dwarf and Elrond story out into what would become movie 2. That would reduce the number of plot threads that the audience must track, keep the focus on Galadriel and the Harfoots, maintain Numenor as the big scenic location, and allow us to bring in the Southlands more organically as Galadriel realizes their importance. Another bonus would be holding back the strange Mithril plotline until we can know more fully where it’s going.

Perhaps even more dramatically, I’m thinking that the volcano stuff could be made more palatable in two ways:

  1. Cut out the tunnel digging while Arondir is a prisoner. Instead, have him brought directly to Adar. This would also remove the question about how his army buddies were captured. When the water flows through the tunnels, we will assume that they were pre-existing, part of an ancient system that was designed to do this.

  2. Cut the whole water and tunnel sequence, so that we aren’t sure what exactly happens when the key is turned. Just have the guy turn the key, the ground shake, and the volcano blow.

The Rings of Power - The Film Cut [Act I -> Act II -> Act III]

As much as I love the dwarf stuff, I think bumping it out of this season might be exactly what is needed to make a cohesive movie version. Focus the first installment on Galadriel and the Harfoots, and after Galadriel discovers the map in the sigil, tie in the Southlands.

In the end, maybe introduce the sickness of the tree and Elrond’s assignment to help Celebrimbor. The hope being that it could be the first major thread of the season 2 (or 2a) movie.

Andor Season 1 - Supercuts (3/4 Episodes Released)

I am making my way slowly through this series (planning to watch the third episode tonight). So far, I’m enjoying the world (live the good morning hammer guy) and characters, and the time goes fast while watching, but if I didn’t know that I liked Star Wars, Im not sure that I’d prioritize watching more of this. Nothing concrete really happens in each episode.

In episodic TV, every installment should have a beginning, middle, and end, as well as often some type of theme. In serialized TV, those are often stretched over a much longer group of episodes. I understand that Andor is serialized and it’s still just laying groundwork. But even in serialized storytelling, each episode needs to do two things 1) add an important new piece to the big story and 2) provide enough of a hook to get people to tune in next time. So far, I’ve seen very little of either from Andor.

It’s good, and I trust that it’s going somewhere, but it’s not compelling. Even assuming that episode 3 picks up a lot, Im guessing that there will be other parts of the story that slow down like the first two episodes. I don’t love tons of non-stop action, but I am concerned about the ability of individual episodes to be compelling and generate/feed interest.

Im encouraged by the knowledge that these are exactly the type of issue that can be addressed in hindsight by fan editing.

LOTR: The Rings of Power Spoiler Thread

I’m still enjoying the series. My complaints are still primarily about personal preference with the style of storytelling (too many parallel plot threads). There are lots of things to nitpick, but I also think that very few matter in the grand scheme of the events being depicted. That said, I think that Vladius raises some excellent ideas about different ways that this project could have been approached and is one of the more fully fledged pushbacks I’ve seen.

I’m absolutely loving the amount of breakdowns available each week. The Tolkien Professor’s “Rings and Realms” show on YouTube in particular makes me feel like I’m back in college as an English major studying some of my favorite texts again.

I’d continue to rate it more highly than The Hobbit trilogy but lower than the LOTR trilogy. I’m most interested in seeing what fan-edit versions we get at the end of this season and five years from now, also what a new Fellowship prologue might look like incorporating footage from this series’ portrayal of the forging of the rings and the last alliance.