Before you jump down my throat, I read the J.R.R Tolkien books, watched the Peter Jackson series and The Hobbit. I read the books first
My question is why should we care if a fictional show has black characters? Many are complaining that the Rings of Power is too “woke.”
In other words, the show isn’t true Tolkien and all of his written characters have to be white and male. Which, Tolkien is definitely known for being well… religious, but he was inclusive in his stories, believe it or not.
The assumption that Middle-Earth is all-white is not only false, but extremely racist. First and foremost, the Rings of Power has been approved by the Tolkien estate as he mentioned different colors and species in the Silmarillion, which predates The Lord of the Rings events by 3,000 years.
This is placed during the end of the Second Age (Frodo’s adventure was in the Third Age).
The Rings of Power is taking what are, essentially, Tolkien’s world-building ideas and deep lore Middle-Earth books like The Silmarillion, many of which he never intended to flesh out into full stories, and turning them into a tangible narrative for the small screen.
However, the Silmarillion is a broad depiction of life in Middle-Earth and Valinor (the motherland of elves), and does not describe specific characters. It is more of a history than a story book.
So, Amazon is only applying new characters because there was not much to work with.
If that doesn’t convince you, maybe you would remember some “woke” characters that existed in Jackson’s films…
Eowyn, niece of King Theodwyn, stabbed the Witch-King of Angmar in the face after saying, “I am no man.” If that’s not “woke” I don’t know what is.
Oh, and let’s not forget Arwyn cursing the water to take out the Wraiths in the movies.
The problem was not Tolkien. It was Jackson. The movies did not include black characters. This wasn’t because of Tolkien’s writing.
Again though, it is fiction. Who cares?
For me, there are only a few things I care about with the LOTR stories:
- Are the Orcs ugly? If they aren’t disgusting to look at, I don’t want it.
- Is there magic? In a world of Wizards, Elves and Sorcerers, I need some pizazz.
- Is there legendary battle? I mean let’s face it, without battle the stories would be quite boring.
- Are there hobbits or at least ancestors of hobbits? They bring the stories together.
But what it all comes down to for me, is that people are impatient with this series. We are two (now three) episodes in and the judgment is being fired off like a gun still in its holster.