The Rings of Power: The Most Expensive Woke Disaster To Date

Written By Daniel Bordman, Posted on October 14, 2022

Amazon’s billion-dollar venture into the world of Middle Earth has concluded its first season, so we can finally evaluate it as a whole and it was terrible. An unredeemable boring slog with terrible action scenes and characters that are so unlikeable that you end up cheering for the orcs.

The only question left about The Rings of Power is just what kind of disaster is it? I am of the opinion that the show was a woke disaster, but the reasons it failed are not the “Wokeness” injected into it. The biggest thing that killed the show was the level of writing. Clunky expositional dialogue, nonsensical metaphors injected into scenes to make them seem more sophisticated, and plots and character decisions that just make no sense.  Probably the next greatest sin was that the main character Galadriel was the most unlikable protagonist in a fantasy series I have ever seen.

All of the problems of the series can be summed up in the Numenor plot. Ok here is the plot of the Numenor episodes: Galadriel wants to get back to Middle Earth to single-handedly kill Sauron, which the show makes clear that she is absolutely capable of doing since she had literally just jumped into the ocean to swim its entirety to do. In contrast, Numenor, a naval powerhouse, wants nothing to do with the elves for some reason that is not really explored. To recap, Galadriel wants to leave Numenor, and Numenor does not want her there and has more than enough ships to deport her. This took three episodes. Because for plot convenience the Queen Regent won’t deport her with motivations that change from scene to scene.

This is also where we see the absolute worst in Galadriel, who by the way is also a ninja. Her solution to this artificial problem is to throw a temper tantrum in front of the queen, get put on house arrest, ninja her way out of it, and plan to steal a boat and sail her way back to middle earth all by herself. This plan makes no sense to anyone with a double-digit IQ and when the man who saved her from her last terrible plan, Elendil, tries to reason with her, her response is to try to murder him and steal the boat anyways. She is only deterred when she is offered a ride on a horse.

This led to a very uncomfortable scene where we had to watch Galadriel ride a horse in slow motion. Now, admittedly I know nothing about cinematography, lens angles, or whatever else you learn in film school, but I do know that whatever that slow-motion horseback ride violated every rule of filmmaking possible.

Now for the issue of artificially injected modern social problems, also known as “woke garbage”. To recap the issue in Numenor, there is an elf in Numenor that does not want to be there and a kingdom that does not want her there. So one episode opens with a Numenorian gathering a crowd and doing a literal “they took our jobs!” speech to the masses about elves coming to take all the jobs away from men. The only surprise in this show is that this tirade did not end in a “Numenor First!”. Again, I must stress that there is only one elf on the island and she is trying to leave.

The main hook of the show was “who is Sauron”? For someone like me, it was rather easy to guess: maybe the one straight white male who has shown any heroic traits that fall under traditional masculinity in a positive way? Spoiler alert, I was right.

Now there were some points where the budget shined through like the first time we see the dwarf kingdom of Kaza Dum, but there are other times when it looks like an amateur production like nearly all the action scenes. The first episode is where the snow troll easily defeats a group of elven warriors that just stand there while they get smacked around, until ultimate warrior Galadriel shows up and single-handedly deals with it in cheesy wire stunts. Again the problem is not a girl warrior, the problem is just how bad it looked.

I won’t go into details about just how stupid the tactics of the giant battle sequence of the 6th episode were, I will just say that it was the second worst fantasy battle of all time only behind the disaster that was Game of Thrones Season 8.

The real interesting question that emerges from the ashes of this abomination is why this failed and how Amazon let this happen. I doubt that the two showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay hate Tolkien and wanted to turn the books into a proxy for an intersectional struggle session, but some of the higher-ups at Amazon had to read the script and know how terrible it was. 

It is possible that the studio knew that the show would be very low quality, and in order to protect itself from criticism, it marketed the show as ultra-diverse and full of social commentary. This allows them to highlight a few crazy racists as the source of the criticism of the show and paint all legitimate criticism as “racist, sexist, something-phobic”. This also activates all the mainstream media critics who are acolytes of the intersectional theory to be loyal defenders of the terrible TV show that has a few Leftist narratives thrown in. 

For me, as both a fan of fantasy and sci-fi as well as an opponent of intersectional theory, I am interested in the fallout of this show. You have a major corporation losing money by jumping onto this bandwagon, will they learn their lesson? Millions of nerds just saw a property they loved ruined by the radical Left, will they rise up? For me, and the very cool people who also read thousand-page-long books, will they finally learn their lesson and focus on quality in an adaptation and not modern social messaging?

Whatever the long-term outcomes of The Rings of Power failure are, it will certainly have an impact on the more “woke” sections of Hollywood. So if you are looking for recommendations for a TV show, stay away from Rings of Power if you want good entertainment. But if you are looking to hate-watch something that provides a good insight into the more detached minds of Hollywood, oh boy do we have a show for you.

Daniel Bordman

Daniel is the host of political satire show Uninterrupted, runs multiple podcasts and has written for a variety of publications. Daniel is also the communications coordinator of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation. You can find him on Twitter here. Uninterrupted on YouTube

One response to “The Rings of Power: The Most Expensive Woke Disaster To Date”

  1. Karenbytherideau says:

    I loved this review, made me laugh out loud. It’s a shame you waited until you watched the entire season, as it would have been entertaining to read an episode by episode review. I haven’t seen a single episode, glad you “took one for the team” like you did with The Worst of the CBC (which I miss by the way). As I read this review I almost thought Wyatt was involved in it somehow (due to his affinity for D&D) but your comic sarcasm gave you away.
    By the way, bring back The Worst of the CBC… pretty please ?