Fantasy is accessible to all.
Fans of Tolkien’s original books and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power have engaged in heated debate. In contrast to several of Tolkein’s original works, the showrunners of the new Amazon Original programme have embraced characters of colour who are also portrayed by actors of colour. Unfortunately, internet trolls who assert that the casting of the show violates Tolkien’s lore have made sexist and racist comments in response to the act.
Although specific characters’ race or colour may not have been explicitly stated in the book, elves were known to be pale, white, and godlike creatures in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. For a more diversified portrayal, the programme has invented several new characters and casts a wide spectrum of diverse performers. Some JRR Tolkien enthusiasts, who consider the English author to be the originator of fantasy literature, did not take kindly to this.
For the uninitiated, Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy also departed from its original script and exercised some creative licence while creating the first LOTR adaptation for the big screen. The majority-white cast movies hardly ever faced criticism.
In case you missed it, The Rings of Power introduces several new characters, such as Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi), Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova), and Disa (Sophia Nomvete), who follow the stories of female characters like Galadriel and Bronwyn (Morfydd Clark). Middle-earth now has more diversity because to the showrunners’ deliberate efforts. It is not the first series to attempt this; in recent months, a number of science-fiction and fantasy programmes, including The Wheel of Time, Foundation, and The Sandman, have featured diverse casts as the main characters.
Many viewers have shown up in favour of the show’s inclusiveness. Some even said it wasn’t the author’s choice, but rather what the fans find offensive. The Sandman, a recent Netflix release, was one of the other shows that received comparable criticism.
Some of the sexist remarks made about the show said that Galadriel, the main character, shouldn’t have been transformed into a warrior. Others referred to her as the LOTR series’ Mary Sue. A “kind of female character that is depicted as unrealistically lacking in defects or shortcomings” is known as a “Mary Sue trope.” Fans quickly pointed out to the trolls that she was known to be a warrior even in LOTR; not only did she carry a frail Gandalf in her arms, but she also claimed it would have been a terrible decision to give her one of the power rings.
Despite all the criticism, the show’s creators have clarified the situation with a formal statement. On the show’s Twitter account, the whole cast released the following statement: “The “Rings of Power” cast stands in complete solidarity against the unrelenting racism, intimidation, harassment, and abuse that some of our castmates of colour endure on a daily basis. We won’t put up with it or tolerate it.”
Due to passages in his writings where all the rulers of Middle Earth were depicted as white, essentially Elves, the books are known to draw white nationalists. The book’s message is that, in spite of these beings that resemble gods, it was only small, brown-skinned humans who were able to live in peace and quiet while playing in their lush surroundings that could ever restore Middle Earth.
Tolkien was a guy of a different era, therefore he might have had some preconceptions. But he was regarded as progressive and outspoken in his opposition to the Nazis. He was once required to show documentation of his non-Jewishness before working with a German publisher. If I understand correctly, you are asking if I am Jewish. In response, Tolkien said, “I can only remark that I regret that I appear to have no forebears of that gifted people.”
In sum, the criticism of the black performers in the adaptations is contrary to the spirit of these tales, in which people of various races banded together to combat a common foe. Diversity in Middle Earth is a result of the fact that at the time LOTR was written, there was no other method to depict race in fantasy but through diverse species. Simply put, the prequel series accurately depicts it in the actual world. Sindarian Elvish text on the shirts reads, “You are all welcome here.” It is said to have been made by Don Marshall, also known as “Obscure Lord of the Rings Facts Guy,” a well-known TikTok creator.
In particular, supporters of colour were appreciated for standing up for the cast in the message. “The fans who are supporting us, especially those of colour who are also being persecuted for their participation in our fandom, deserve all of our love and support. You are valuable, loved, and have a place in this world. You are a vital member of the LOTR family since you always have our backs “It was ad.
The original film’s cast also spoke out in favour of the prequel. Elijah Wood, who played Frodo Baggins, uploaded a picture of himself alongside Billy Boyd, who played Peregrin “Pippin” Took, and Dominic Monaghan, who played Merry Brandybuck and Meeriadoc Brandybuck, respectively. Sean Astin, who portrayed Samwise Gamgee in the trilogy, also posted a picture of himself wearing a hat with the same emblem.
Everyone should like fantasy since it is for everyone.