When we last left off with Amazon’s Lawd Dem’ Rangz we had just finished Galadriel’s introduction story. In it we learned that Galadriel is a huge biatch, and Sauron is probably back. But now we switch gears, because it’s time to be introduced to the first melanated face in Middle Earth that we’ve seen, excluding the orcs.
We’ve got two human hunters moving through a grassy field. After some truly execrable dialogue and acting, we learn that they fear they’re being tailed by some
White Hunter: Keep walking.
Black Hunter: Why? Looked like a badger, maybe a fox.
You could be forgiven for thinking that this is the hunter’s reaction upon learning that his friend is afraid of a *check notes* fox. But no, he’s the one that said this, and then he threw this look on his face. No, it doesn’t make sense, it’s just a reminder that there is not one minute of this show that I can’t bitch about.
WH: More likely a harfoot.
WH: Eh. Don’t care to be seen none. But if you do, watch yourself. Dangerous creatures they are.
BH: You’re making it up.
WH: *Cringey laughter* Come on, right with your dags(?). Let’s just get to *inaudible* before sundown.
It turns out their suspicions were correct, and we find out that there was a huge pack of
hobbits harfoots who had nothing to do on a random weekday and were spending their time watching two obviously harmless hunters. They then blow a whistle for no real reason which is not heard by the hunters who are right next to them, but is heard by everyone in the town. We are then treated to some entirely uncharming shots of the ostensibly cute little hobbits harfoots scurrying out of their holes, apparently lead by this one.
It doesn’t get any more charming from here on out. Chief DriveBy plops down some dusty tome which he probably can’t read anyway, before seeing some symbols that indicate something something prophesy involving antlers, which the hunters were carrying. He then starts up a conversation with these three mystery meats.
Chief DriveBy: Travelers at this time of year?
Crone 1: It’s an omen I warrant ye. As bad as they come.
CDB: Easy, Malva.
Crone 1 (Malva): The last time we had travelers this early was the great frost. And there’s no misremembering how bleak a season that was.
CDB: More’n likely they just got lost. That’s it, has to be the reason.
So… why did you ask?
If you read the first part in this series you know this is a big step up in terms of dialogue, and it’s still basically unworkable. Chief LowRider starts off by asking about the travelers, gets no new information, and then concludes that they got lost. The show plays up him maybe only pretending to believe this so as to not cause panic, but it doesn’t make sense that way either.
We’re then introduced to this
hobbit harfoot from the trailer and his wife. Jaime, do you think we could zoom in on her please?
I think now is as good a time as any to finally figure out why Amazon wants us to refer to these mystery meat weirdos as “harfoots,” and not “hobbits.”
In a behind-the-scenes report from Vanity Fair, showrunner Patrick McKay explained that, “One of the very specific things the texts say is that hobbits never did anything historic or noteworthy before the Third Age. But really, does it feel like Middle-earth if you don’t have hobbits or something like hobbits in it?”This desire to connect the content to “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” through the relatable eyes of the Little People has led the production crew to focus on a different group of Halflings or “proto-Hobbits” called Harfoots.
So let me get this straight. Amazon is saying that originally there were hobbits that looked like this.
But then by the time the events of the Lord of the Rings comes around, those kinds of hobbits just… disappeared. Does anyone have any sort of explanation for this?
Well the real explanation is that Amazon wanted to shit up the Shire, but the funnier explanation is that they all got genocided at some point in time by the Aryan Hobbits, which is why they don’t exist any longer. Knowing that these mystery meat hobbits are going to be wiped off the face of Middle Earth makes Amazon’s saccharine presentation of them darkly hilarious. It also makes the Fellowship of the Ring a whole lot more based. So if you’re ever looking for an excuse to rewatch the LOTR trilogy, just understand that the Hobbits at some point in their past made it a personal mission of their to rid Middle Earth of the Basketball-Hobbits, if you know what I mean.
We’re then introduced to this dumb broad named Norry. She, like the rest of the hobbits has this annoying stage Irish accent put on, which she uses to explain to us that she and her friend are sneaking out of town and taking a group of delicious children with them to steal some berries.
I’ll explain why I refer to the children as “delicious,” in a second, but before that we are “treated,” to some surprisingly gross scenes of everyone guzzling down these berries. They really shove the microphones down the kids throats as we hear the moist sounds of eating. I can’t really convey how annoying this is through text, just know that it’s stuck in my mind since I first watched this show a week earlier.
Seriously, they added these weird and very moist sound effects every time a berry goes into one of the little monsters mouths and it’s just gross.
The whole thing descends into this weird orgy-like behaviour as the greedy children start devouring this poor farmers entire crop of berries.
Only to be stopped when one of the children notices a giant claw like footprint. This mercifully ends the berry eating orgy as they all run back to the safety of the Ghetto Shire while we get a glimpse of the “Wolf.”
Personally I am very disappointed that none of them were eaten. Not just because I am thoroughly disgusted with these knockoff hobbits, but because the in your face Brownness and horribly noisy food orgy may have distracted you from another recurring dramatic failure of this show, which is that nothing actually happened. You might have thought I just didn’t hit all the plot notes, but no. Six minutes of runtime and we’ve learned that the Shire used to be Brown before it was purified by Hobbit Hitler, and there’s a wolf-like creature on some farmers property.
We then switch POVs again as we’re introduced to Young Elrond. No, I’m not pleased about this either, but we have to stop somewhere so it might as well be here.