The makers of The Rings of Power series, which premiered on Friday, promises plenty of epic battles. However, some of the biggest fights surrounding the Amazon Studios series have erupted offscreen. Middle-earth fans and scholars like Morse have clashed in online forums and competing opinion articles over this question: Does casting non-white actors advance the new series, or is it a betrayal of Tolkien’s original vision?
And since “Lord of the Rings” fans are known for their opinion on all things Middle-earth, the controversy could get heated. Some fans even question whether Tolkien was a racist.
Some say fairy tales reinforce the idea that all heroes are white men
“You’d be my smartest response,” he says, “that’s total bulls**t.”
Corinne says Middle-earth isn’t history – it’s fiction. Corinne says he grew up in the UK in an era when it was common for folk performances to present blatantly racist and anti-Semitic depictions of black people and Jews.
“It’s no longer so awkward to say no, it’s just not acceptable anymore,” Corinne says. “This is simply being sane, polite, and emotional.”
This clash is part of a larger debate about including non-white, LGBTQ and other non-traditional characters in fiction and science fiction. Critics say that the world of fantasy and science fiction has long developed the idea that only white men can be the hero and in charge.
Steve Toussaint, the black actor who plays a wealthy naval captain on the current “House of Dragons” series “Game of Thrones,” took up the debate recently when he revealed that he’s been criticized by white fans for his acting on the HBO series. .
Cordova said he never saw anyone like him in Middle-earth while growing up in Puerto Rico as a fan of Tolkien’s work.
Critics say the cast’s diverse cast betrays Tolkien’s vision
But critics of the casting of non-white actors in the “Rings of Power” say their objections have nothing to do with racism. It is about fulfilling Tolkien’s vision.
He says that choosing a non-white actor to play a dwarf makes it difficult for audiences to keep their faith suspended.
“It’s not a natural thing that comes out of Middle-earth,” Marcus says of the show’s casting of brown and black. This is really an agenda being imposed on it.”
“Diversity is not a bad thing in itself,” Morse, editor of RedState, said in his article, but when it becomes a major focus, the story takes a back seat to the ideological agenda.
“If someone made up a story about a great ancient African kingdom, but one of the royals was white, people would naturally find that out of place,” Morse says. “This would be a particular problem if the story was created earlier because all the characters have black skin.”
There is even disagreement about what it means to be “awake.”
Morse code has a different definition. He sees “Awakening” as a hard-left ideology that focuses on “shallow forms of identity to create victims and oppressors” and elevates a person’s race, gender, or gender identity over other issues such as personality.
Some see racism in Tolkien’s “Landless Legions of Darkness”
Amazon Studios has not made anyone connected to the series available for comment. But the show has a lot of defenders.
Defenders of the series also say Amazon Studios hasn’t woken up — it’s smart. All white casts are no longer acceptable to modern audiences. “Rings of Power” is broadcast in more than 240 countries.
“They want as many people to see as possible,” says Corinne, Tolkien’s biographer. “So, morally, economically and culturally on every level,[selecting diverse representatives]is the right thing to do.”
Others say Amazon Studios has done a public service by erasing some of the racism implicit in Tolkien’s Middle-earth.
“Think about it,” Jameson wrote. “Creatures that look like humans, but aren’t. Kinda people, don’t deserve even the most basic ethical considerations, like the right to exist. The only way to deal with them is to control them completely and not slavery, or to eliminate them all.”
Where does Tolkien stand in the race?
Frayed criticisms such as Jameson have been directed at Tolkien’s work for years. The heroes in his stories tend to be white, while the villains are often depicted as snarling, dark-skinned people. This has naturally led to speculation about the author’s opinions.
“The far right has misread Tolkien as representative of its views of racial superiority for a long time,” Garth says. “They’ve really come out of the closet in the past few years, with the rise of populism and the collapse of taboos about what to say.”
Tolkien spoke out against racial and ethnic hatred, says Garth. He berated a German publisher who asked him if he was Jewish, saying he regretted not having Jewish ancestors. He hated Nazi Germany, which was built on a foundation of racial and ethnic hatred (Tolkien called Hitler “a glowing little ignorant”).
Tolkien was also a Roman Catholic in mid-century Protestant-dominated England who would have known what it felt like to be treated as a persecuted minority, Garth says.
He was born in South Africa and said, ‘I have a hatred of apartheid in my bones,’ says Garth.
Tolkien’s embrace of all humanity can be seen in the prologue to his beloved fantasy series, says Corinne, his biographer.
The plot is driven by the ability of different groups – elves, humans, hobbits, and dwarves – to band together and see beyond their superficial differences. Two of the books’ most beloved characters are Legolas the elf and Gimli the dwarf, who have become dear friends despite the mutual mistrust that has divided their groups for thousands of years, he says.
“Tolkien certainly wrote about good and evil, but he never attributed it to race,” says Corinne.
This debate casts a shadow over the enchanted world of Middle-earth
However, what price would she pay to feature non-white actors in her lead roles? Fan reaction will be one of the most interesting plot twists in the coming months.
No matter what happens, the variety casting controversy is casting a shadow over this highly anticipated series.
People become loyal to fiction books, movies, and TV series in part because they provide an escape from the bitter divisions of our mundane everyday world.
But the reception to the new Amazon series reveals that even the enchanted world of Middle-earth is no longer immune to political divisions.
Elves, dwarves, and humans in the “Rings of Power” may eventually band together to defeat a common enemy. But the fellowship among Tolkien fans is now just as divided as the real world is like many of them Try to leave behind.