Dragons vs. Rings, the sixth round tells us that (attention) maybe there is a competition

Fun fact: the teaser of Wheel of Time and I like it more, after all this ringing in rings. Like the quiet and kind classmate that you reevaluate after going out for a month with the cool guys who, in the end, have nothing to say. I know it’s just a perspective effect, but meanwhile Wheel will it be hand-to-hand like the first season or will it get better? What is Willow doing? And Honor among thieves, a D&D movie that looks decent? Will they make a series of it? How much fantasy will we have around? Not to mention the animation, which on balance is even more suitable (elves who look like elves and not Elvish Presley’s children). Are we headed for a future where there will be so much fantasy on screen that we won’t have time to see it all? Or Rings will be a Monte Fato that reduces to ashes all future budgets destined forheroic fantasy? For our part, we can only decide what to watch with the time we have been allowed (that is, whether to continue watching even The Wheel of Time or decide that YOLO). And finally: they just couldn’t avoid it, dear one Wheeland have Rosamund Pike do Gil-Galad?

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That said, let’s move on to this week’s episodes. On the one hand, the eighth episode of House of the Dragonentitled “The Lord of the Tides” and on the other the seventh of The Rings of Power: “The Eye”. How did she go? As usual, but if House instead he showed us some vague potential limitations under his flawless enamel Rings it gave us a glimpse of some possibility of improvement in the rubble of the disaster that is.

TO dragons houseto understand it better, for the first part of the episode I began to have the impression that it turns around a bit: Alicent and associates always have good cards but they always get fooled before the end, Daemon and Rhaenyra always seem screwed but then they get away with a bit of brutality that everyone likes at King’s Landing, dynastic crises sprout within other dynastic crises and minors do everything they can to upset the balances laboriously set up by adults. Sure, the overall quality of the series guarantees that every single one showdown is enjoyable in itself, but the impression of watching endless covers of the same song does not go away. To make the difference, in the previous episode, there was the Shakesperian-Tarantinian staging (and dark) which doubled the tension. In this episode, however, there is the appearance of a Viserys who leaves a groove where he walks. From the moment he enters the throne room, it’s his episode of him – but let’s go back.

TO house of the ringsInstead, the scenes acquire a minimum of personality thanks to the reddish smoke that cloaks everything. In this sulfur curtain everyone is looking for everyone but they find people who are just alike and they get confused. You walk a lot, you have time to discuss (who wouldn’t have a chat while escaping from the miasma of the worst volcano ever?) Yet among the usual thousand nonsense Rings it portends a bleaker future and therefore more interesting, in which the landscapes are less idyllic and the choices more meaningful.

Underground, meanwhile, continues the legal mining drama with Elrond and Durin. Here too much blah blah, people who return to the same topics in the hope of convincing themselves and in the end they succeed but then unfortunately it is useless. Ultimately, a great blank lap worthy of the fourth season of Lost, at the end of which Elrond leaves with a sliver of Mithril (perhaps just enough to forge two or three rings). All these millions of budgets and then we have to put up with a lot of talk to reduce spending. What you read around is really true: House is a lesson on how to get the most out of the money you have, Rings instead no.

Let’s move on to direct clashes, which otherwise I won’t finish it anymore.

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Galadriel VS Rhaenyra

A deflated week for both the very blonde protagonists.

After eight episodes, Rhaenyra is clearly tired of starting over each time with fights and tripping and sidelong glances. This episode is done on autopilot, including the relaxing toast, lighting up only when he is confronted with his dying father, an occasion in which he also has the good taste to put Viserys in front of one of the great nuclei of this series: all this mess has it planted him by insisting that the disadvantaged Rhaenyra was the heir, now he took responsibility for it. Well done.

On the other hand, Galadriel is relegated to the role of babysitter of Theo, the least important character in the history of Middle Earth (on an equal footing with the third groom from the right of the Locanda del Puledro Impennato). In the end she gives him the sword and luckily we are not in a video game otherwise Theo would have to advance 58 levels to use it.

Viserys VS Gil-Galad

Armed with a screaming outfit (tunic and mask will remain in history), a very elegant CGI (except when they keep him shirtless and his head seems a bit too glued to his body) and a cane, Paddy Considine is the absolute protagonist. of this episode and by extension of the entire season. Even if he died in the next episode (or if he died at the end of this one), he would already have given us one of the most beautiful rulers in the history of on-screen fantasy (if not the most beautiful): strong and fragile, shrewd and naïve, master and servant of his role: a true king. Just love for him, and maybe an Emmy.

Is Gil-Galad in this episode? Maybe yes, maybe no, who cares. I hate his American face who eats too much red meat and he already has liver problems forty. High Elven Kings shouldn’t have liver problems. The right choice was a beautiful female Gil-Galad (in the face of Elon Musk who says that in Rings there is too much girl power), naturally played by Rosamund Pike.

Daemon VS Isildur

In the stainless category, on the one hand there is Daemon who, although relegated to the role of consort, still manages to carve out his moments (and some skulls). He steps forward by slicing through the things that bother him and bumps into his nephew Aemond, who seems to want to contend with both the title of Best Targaryen Swordsman and Best Psychopath.

On the other hand, however, there is the juggernaut of the plot armor, the man who cannot die because otherwise there is no Third Age. This week Isildur wants us to believe that he died under the fiery beams and in short: pretend that you have fallen for it, otherwise Bezos is crying.

Steel of Valyria VS Mithril

Category somewhat ‘an end in itself, created just to remind us who is the motherfucking king of fantasy (Tolkien) and consequently how much the archetype of all special metals can weigh.

The steel of Valyria it is not even named but certainly implicated in the ease with which the sword of Daemon detaches pieces of people. Detail work. Mithril, on the other hand, has held up the entire elf-dwarf line for weeks. If in its place there were another metal invented for the occasion, what would remain of this infinite theater between Elrond and Durin? Perhaps the pretext to cancel Amazon Prime.

All Targaryen minors VS Nori

In the young troublemaker category House deploys a truly unparalleled band of cabbage heads. And don’t believe those who tell you that i sons of Rhaenyra they have become wise and responsible kids, it’s all pose. In the moral capital of moral dark grays, these little blacks are no better than their blond rivals. Aemond in particular it is an unpublished novel that does not draw on any archetype of GOT (as the older brother does) and that – I am sure – will give us great satisfaction.

On the other side there is Nori, the young protohobbit you can count on when it comes to putting everyone in the mud. She spots the three platinum cultists from behind a bush, creepy as little in this series, and what she plans to do: she raises her hand to send them in the opposite direction, as if they were tourists to keep away from her favorite restaurant. As if Pippin had got up to send the Nazgul in the wrong direction. In short, I understood that we are in the Second Era but a little salt in the pumpkin, as well as apples in the head.

Vaemond VS Halbrand

In the category of bad injuries, we find on the one hand Vaemond with the skull cut so that the tongue sticks out. On the other Halbrandwho has caught a nasty wound that only elves can heal, but which still allows him to gallop to mine to keep up with Galadriel. This cazzatona is likely to become the mouthpiece of the cazzatone di Ringsa bit like the scene of Shia LaBeouf jumping between the vines with the monkeys became the spokesperson for the cazzatone di Indiana Jones 4. She is such a huge bullshit that I want to defend her: the incriminated wound is similar to that inflicted on Frodo by the Nazgul and therefore, although not so debilitating at the moment, it risks being lethal if not treated by technical people. But, in short, if that were the case, they could explain it much better. Have they thought about it? Didn’t they think about it? Were they hoping for a generic Tolkienicity of this kind of wounds?

This kind of somewhat rough approach is one of the things that makes me suffer the most Rings and it is perfectly exemplified by the choice of the title of the episode: “The eye”. The eye is of course theeye of Sauron, but why use this title right now? Because we are witnessing the birth of Mordor? Already last week, however, the episode was called with another generically bad word: “Udûn”. Wasn’t it better, at this point, to call this episode “Udûn” set in an open hell? What does the eye see through all that smoke? Or maybe we’re talking about the platinum cultist’s staff? The art direction of this series seems to be done blindly, or worse by twelve people up Google Meet.

Having said that, considering that the season finale is upon me, I save myself the trouble of going into the details of the comparison between these episodes. As I wrote above, House it is always performing, compelling and cruel. This week, for the last ten minutes I have been seriously suffering from the fear that some kid would give in and kill themselves all over the umpteenth story of pigs.

In the very final, when Viserys mumbles his last wishes to Alicent, I don’t know what to think of the misunderstanding between Aegon the Conqueror and Aegon the Horny in the prophecy zone. It is the second misunderstanding, after the possibly even dirtier one that prompted Criston Canepazzo Cole to confess his an affair with Rhaenyra, and two is really a lot. Yet, now that there are two of them, I am almost tempted to take them out of the drawer of script laziness and move them between the “sadistic games of fate” a la Martin (I don’t know, this is one of those things that can only be solved by talking about it live) .

At the opposite Rings it is always blunt, out of focus and not very meaningful. But perhaps, over time, she will be able to capitalize on a breath that House does not have and does not aspire to have: the characters of House they are constantly crushed against each other, magnetized by mutual hatred and for this reason they have a very narrow horizon. The characters of Rings they have a lot more way to go and it will be (hopefully) a pleasure to follow them as they make their way to pivotal moments in the history of Middle Earth.

Dragons vs. Rings, the sixth round tells us that (attention) maybe there is a competition