One of the biggest criticisms of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series is that it lacks emotional resonance.
Especially when compared to Peter Jackson's film trilogies.
Many feel that the series struggles to make its characters connect with the audience. Maybe because they don't connect with each other all that well.
Most of the screen time is taken up by characters who are either objectively loners – and with abrasive personalities, as in the case of Galadriel – or who simply act as if they are, failing to show any truly convincing bonds, be they friendship, love, or family, and acting together because the plot requires it.
Jackson's films, on the other hand, are about character bonds, such as love, loyalty, and friendship, and the ways in which characters can triumph over evil if they stay true to each other.
Now, sure, The Rings of Power contains some scenes that contradict this observation. Or, in some cases, seem to contradict it.
For example, the whole story of Elrond and Prince Durin is a great, heartfelt example of friendship... but it amounts to little plot-wise, and indeed it is quite possible that the consequences of their actions would be disastrous.
But one scene in the series certainly lived up to the sentimentality and warmth of the movies, and it was the scene depicting the Harfoots' travels with the Stranger to distant lands in Episode 5.
As the Harfoots travel to Poppy's walking song, they encounter desolate wastelands without a single tree on the horizon, as well as difficult bogs with the remains of abandoned Harfoots wagons, swarms of giant insects, and terrible weather.
But by helping each other, they persevere and push forward to see the beauty of Middle-earth's picturesque landscapes.
This scene is not only well-shot and touching on its own – it foreshadows the rest of the arc for the Harfoots and the Stranger in Season 1.
When the Sauron cultists mistake the memory-lost Stranger for their master, he ultimately rejects their claims because of the bond he has formed with Nori, and Nori is there to help him because other Harfoots ultimately reject their ruthless customs to help her free the Stranger.
At least in this single plotline, simple kindness and bravery born of loyalty to one's friends wins the day, as it did in the books and in Jackson's films.