What was great about Shadow of Mordor?
Cinematics of course. Haha, kidding. I have finished the game two hours ago yet I still have goosebumps. Although gameplay and graphics are really good, you won’t find a word about them on this post. Because the thing amazed me was the plot. Warning, major spoilers ahead.
Game takes place in between The Hobbit and LOTR. Because we don’t know much about that era from the books, this gives writers more freedom on plot of the game without screwing up Tolkien’s saga.
One of the protagonists of the game, Celebrimbor is the most badass craftsman ever known after his grandfather Fëanor – who created the Silmarilli – and maybe Sauron himself. As we know from The Silmarillion, Sauron comes into Eregion in the disguise of Annatar – Lord of the Gifts – telling he has great knowledge from Valar to share with them. Sauron tricks Celebrimbor and his guild of craftmen to learn their secrets. Together they crafted 16 rings of power. After Sauron left Eregion and secretly forged One Ring to rule them all. Elves realize they are betrayed when they put their rings, but it’s too late. The Dark Lord attacks Eregion, gets the rings, captures and tortures Celebrimbor, eventually he dies.
But Shadow of Mordor awesomely extends that story. According to game, after the attack to Eregion, Sauron takes Celebrimbor to Mordor. But not as a prisoner – Celebrimbor agrees to work with Sauron to make the One Ring perfect. It turns out he learned one or two things from Sauron as well: Celebrimbor, being a great craftsman, makes the ring works for himself, steals it right under Sauron’s nose and escapes from Mordor! He builds an orc army to fight for him using the power of One Ring and stands aganist Sauron to defeat him and get his family back. But even if Celebrimbor mastered power of it, the ring has a change of heart and returns to his Lord in the middle of war. Celebrimbor loses the battle, falls captive again, but this time Sauron is ruthless. With the hammer forged all the rings of power, kills Celebrimbor’s family, tortures him and takes his life.
This plot explains being Celebrimbor not really dead and his powers, kinda. Maybe for a short time but still, similar to Sauron, he is worked on the ring and he has bound to it. After he lost his corporeal form again, like Sauron, he regained his power years later and he appears in third age again. But he needs a host to exist physically. So he chooses Talion, who have the similar faith like Celebrimbor.
As the story moves forward, we witness with Talion that Celebrimbor is not just a poor elf whose family slained by Sauron, he is also seeks power and revenge. I really liked noticing growing divergency between Talion and Celebrimbor, as another Ring-bearer Gollum knowing his Bright Master, similarities of Saruman and Celebrimbor. Picking of Celebrimbor – a character from Silmarillion who never mentioned before on any games or movies – as one of the main characters and giving a second round with the Dark Lord is certainly a bold and awesome decision.
Even the ending was a little confusing (It’s time for a new ring?) I had so much fun playing Shadow of Mordor. I hope they won’t screw it in next games.
Ash nazg thrakatulûk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.