Much too long and full of implausible caricatures
I actually really like the Lord of the Rings. I read it when I was little, in a house which I fervently, secretly and with profound canonical inaccuracy believed was Rivendell. I wanted to be Tom Bombadil.
(True Bombadillos don’t care that he was left out of the movie. We know he’ll get his own franchise one day: Fishing (But Not Catching Anything) With Tom Bombadil is surefire network gold.)
In the meantime I’m stuck with the spectacle of the UK Conservative Party searching for One Ringpiece to rule them all. It’s a bit gory and incomprehensible, and frankly I haven’t been so unhappy since the somewhat unexpected (if textually legitimate) musical number in one of the Hobbit movies. How were there three of those? You’d think that, having that example before them, the Tories might shy away from a trilogy of Prime Ministers, especially as the cast aren’t really up to it. I suppose that’s why they’re flirting with a return for the Uxbridge Sackville-Baggins himself, presumably on the basis that if you refuse to give the people what they want you can at least give them something they don’t want anymore.
Much as I love the world-building and the surprise twists - Nadine Dorries coming out as a believer in democracy was one I didn’t see in advance - there’s just too much plot for this season. Penny Mordaunt leading a tiny contingent of the Men of Wrongdor into battle against the vastly superior forces of her enemies has a sort of pathos; Sir Charles Walker as an awakened Théoden was at least briefly meaningful; the Chief and Deputy Chief Whips throwing down their scourges at the foot of the Irony Throne and declaiming the ancient oath “fuck this, fuck that, and fuck you slowly” before being coaxed back to the ranks just in time for the exit of the Dark Gelfling… well, you couldn’t call it dull. Honestly though, now - when I’m supposed to be excited to find out what happens next week - actually investing in the outcome is too emotionally fatiguing. I just want Gollum Rees-Mogg to freak out and bite someone’s finger off, then fall with manifest destiny into an open shale gas fracture. Roll credits. The eagles arrive, bringing rain.
Gandalf isn’t coming, but I’m here.