I couldn’t be more excited about the premier of Amazon’s The Rings of Power this September. I thought I was excited about the Amazon adaptation of Wheel of Time (which I loved—my only disappointment was how short the first season was), but Rings of Power with Galadriel as the central character?
My heart leaps with joy.
You see, I’m a First Age nut. I’ve read the Silmarillion probably twice as often as I’ve read Lord of the Rings (and a lot more recently too). And Galadriel is the one character who was there for everything. She was born in Valinor, witnessed the destruction of the Two Trees, made the Great Journey with her uncle, Feanor (who created the Silmarils—the McGuffins that drive all the action of the First Age), and survived all the wars, betrayals, and sorrows of the era, including the deaths of her father, brothers, and cousins at the hands of Sauron and his boss/mentor, Morgoth. (If you thought Sauron was the biggest bad in Middle Earth, you’d be wrong.)
So during the Second Age when Sauron was hammering out the Rings of Power and chumming around with Ar-Pharazôn, last king of Númenór (who was himself a usurper, having forced his cousin Míriel, the rightful heir the Númenórean throne, to marry him), Galadriel rightly had a few bones to pick with the guy who murdered her brother (after defeating him in, of all things, a sing-off).
Let’s pause a moment to think about how great that is. Sauron (aka Thû, in the Lay of Leithian) out-sang Finrod (aka Felagund), and while he was at it threw the Kinslaying at Alqualondë in Finrod’s face:
Backwards and forwards swayed their song.
Reeling and foundering, as ever more strong
Thû’s chanting swelled, Felagund fought
and all the magic and might he brought
of Elfinesse into his words.
Softly in the gloom they heard the birds
singing afar in Nargothrond
the sighing of the sea beyond,
beyond the western world, on sand,
on sand of pearls in Elvenland.
Then the gloom gathered: darkness growing
in Valinor, the red blood flowing
beside the sea, where the Gnomes slew
the Foamriders, and stealing drew
their white ships with their white sails
from lamplit heavens. The wind wails.
The wolf howls. The ravens flee.
The ice mutters in the mouths of the sea.
The captives sad in Angband mourn.
Thunder rumbles, the fires burn,
a vast smoke gushes out, a roar—
and Felagund swoons upon the floor.from the Lay of Leithian
If that’s not a great set up for an onscreen drama, nothing is.
Since Vanity Fair released its First Look article in February, Tolkien fans have been buzzing about the casting choices and projected story lines. Amazon is legendary for keeping a tight lock on information about this series. Vanity Fair reports that Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey was terminated (from the show’s staff) after his lips got loose.
The Script Excerpts
So, you can only imagine my excitement when a courageous ally on the production team (of which there isn’t one—I’m making this up!) smuggled out some script fragments and gave them to me—me, of all people! Because security is so tight on set, the script mule could bring out only the briefest of excerpts.
Some fans will probably consider it sacrilegious to share these excerpts (ahem, satirical fan fiction) on Tolkien Reading Day, but I’m a maverick. So please, dear reader, enjoy…at least until I receive the C&D (cease and desist letter) from the ’Zon attorneys (which is doubtful, because this is entirely, 100% fake news that I made up).
Galadriel (Morfydd Clarkand) and some dude we’ve never heard of (Halbrand, played by Charlie Vickers) are adrift at sea together.
Halbrand: So, you’re immortal, right?
Galadriel: I cannot be killed by illness or age, only by weapons or great sadness. I have lived under the light of Telperion and Laurelin, endured the Great Journey, learned magic from Melian the Maia, and saw the defeat of Morgoth after six hundred years of strife and death. And now in this Second Age of Middle Earth—
Halbrand: Yeah, whatever. So, you can be killed by weapons. Any special kind? A wooden stake through the heart?
Galadriel: The Valar drove a stake through my heart when they banned me from ever returning home to Valinor. But I foresee a time when a very small person will offer me a very great gift, one that will test me—
Halbrand: Right, got it—a stake through the heart is no good. What about silver bullets, er, arrows? If I shoot you with an arrow, does it have to be silver?
Galadriel: Silver was the light of Telperion, and the stars were made from his dew, the moon from his last flower, and the Silmarils were crafted to capture his light and that of Laurelin.
Halbrand: OK, you like silver. Um, iron—will that kill you?
Galadriel: Art thou an agent of mine ancient enemy Sauron? Why do you seek to know that which can extinguish my life?
Halbrand: We’re stuck on this raft together. May as well get to know one another.
Elrond (Robert Aramayo) finds Galadriel walking in the golden forest of Lórien.
Elrond: Mom, Mom, Mom!
Galadriel: Elrond Half-Elven, you must temper your undignified manner if you wish to be accepted as Eldar, not Edain.
Elrond: I am the older brother to my twin Elros—
Galadriel: I speak of Elves and Men, the Elder and Younger Children of Ilúvatar, and specifically the lines of Elves and Men who fought against Morgoth and all his vile hosts—
Elrond: But Mom, I have urgent news!
Galadriel: For the umpteenth time, Elrond, call me Lady Galadriel. That you have wedded my daughter does not make you my son, even if you have descended from my teacher Melian the Maia, whose power was so great it held Morgoth at bay, and from her daughter, Lúthien, the Greatest of the Children of Ilúvatar, who alone of all the Eldar and Edain vanquished Morgoth—
Elrond: My lady, I am trying to tell you, a stranger has entered Lórien.
Galadriel: Is it Halbrand?
Galadriel: Never mind. Tell me of this stranger.
Elrond: His name is Arondir, and he says he is a Moriquendi, a dark Elf who bears ill tidings from the East. None have seen his like before, and I do not trust that he is genuine.
Galadriel: Elrond, you are yet young and so may be forgiven that you do not comprehend how Ilúvatar smiles upon all his Children, whom he made in many forms. I would speak with this son of the Avari. I fear he brings news that mine ancient enemy Sauron’s evil has reawakened, and he once more has set about poisoning the minds of Men and Elves against one another.
Elrond: No doubt you are right, my lady. I have happy news as well. Celebrimbor has made for us these wonderful rings—here is yours. A great smith called Annatar helped him with the design.
Galadriel and Princess Disa of the Dwarf realm Khazad-dûm (Sophia Nomvete) mingle at gathering in the palace of the Númenórean kings.
Galadriel: You are the first female child of Aulë whom I have met, though I have trod the fields and forests of Beleriand and Eregion for two millennia.
Disa: How many Dwarves do you know?
Galadriel: I knew many during the First Age, when Dwarves came often into Doriath, within the Girdle of Melian, to work on Menegroth, the palace of Elu Thingol, King of the Sindar, when—
Disa: Ooh, I like your ring! Where did you get it?
Galadriel: My cousin Celebrimbor crafted it upon his forge in Eregion.
Disa: If there’s one thing we Dwarves know, it’s goldsmithery, and that is some very fine work. And I can’t say I’m surprised you haven’t seen a female Dwarf if you only ever met us during the First Age—we women didn’t get out much back then. There aren’t that many Dwarf women, you know. So few, in fact, that a lot of Dwarf men don’t know what we look like!
Galadriel: I confess I had heard you had beards.
Disa: Oh, that rumor! I think Dwarf men spread that around because, well, you know. (Winks) Although maybe my father would listen to me if I had a beard. Do you have a problem with men ignoring you?
Galadriel: With the exception of Halbrand—.
Galadriel: No one of consequence. (Clears throat) Omitting him, Men have ever been respectful in my presence.
Disa: Oh, I don’t mean Men—I mean just men—males, in general.
Galadriel: ’Tis true, they oft listen poorly. I have warned many an Elf and Man against consorting with mine ancient enemy Sauron, and they heed me not. He has lately cloaked himself in beauty, presents himself as wise, and they believe—
Disa: Oh, I know that guy! He showed up at Khazad-dûm looking good, calling himself the ‘Lord of Gifts,’ cozied up to my Dad and offered him a ring—one that looks a lot like yours, come to think of it. You say your cousin made that?
Galadriel: He did.
Disa: Huh. Well, I told Dad that Sauron guy was shady, but did he listen? Nooo.
Galadriel and Sauron (possibly played by Daniel Weyman, although my inside source [who doesn’t exist] could/would not confirm) meet on a veranda overlooking the port of Númenór.
Image from OneRing.Net
Sauron: Hey, baby. It’s been a while.
Galadriel: Step back, fiend, and lay not your hand upon me.
Sauron: Relax, blondie. I’m reformed, remember? I swore to Eönwë I’d never be a bad boy again. Now I just want to help the Children of Ilúvatar live their best lives.
Galadriel: (Raises hand) Be gone, Deceiver.
Sauron: Hey, that ring—don’t tell me Celebrimbor gave you that.
Galadriel: That is no business of thine, foul creature of the dark.
Sauron: Those rings are my design, which Celebrimbor stole, sweetheart. That’s intellectual property theft. So much for the honor of Elves.
Galadriel: You claim to have renounced evil, but I have known thee, Sauron, since before Melkor and the great spider Ungoliant poisoned the Two Trees and drank the Wells of Varda dry, when they robbed the vaults of Formenos and slew my grandsire Finwë—
Sauron: Ancient history, honey—although you have to admire how my old boss pulled off that heist. Ah, so much trouble over three shiny little baubles.
Galadriel: The Silmarils were hallowed jewels that would have burned you to ash had you dared but touch them.
Sauron: Oh, I’m burning, darling, but not for them. Is that dimwit Celeborn really Elf enough for you? I think you need a Maia to light your fire. We could rule the world together, you and me. You would be beautiful and terrible as the sun and the moon, treacherous as the sea, stronger than the foundations of the earth. All would love you, baby, especially me.
Galadriel: All would despair—especially you. You murdered my brother, and I will see thee face justice before the End.
Sauron: Oh, sweetie, I may have bested Finrod in a sing-off, but I didn’t kill him. I can’t help it that he got into a scrap with my dog and died. We both lost someone we loved in that fight. Fido was such a good boy.
(Halbrand wanders onto the veranda.)
Halbrand: Oh hey, Gally. You clean up nice.
Sauron: Who is this Man?
Galadriel and Halbrand together: Nobody you would know.
Juicy stuff, am I right? Unfortunately, that is all my insider could smuggle out. We Tolkien fans will just have to tune in and find out what happens. I for one can’t wait to see how it all plays out.
Meanwhile, for another fun thing to do on Tolkien Reading Day, go vote in the March Madness Brackets on the awesomest Tolkien fan site, OneRing.Net.