The PR war to promote Amazon’s woke Lord of the Rings isn’t going well and it’s causing the leftist media to lash out with wild accusations towards Tolkien fans.
Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings series called “The Rings of Power” met with negative fan reactions from nearly the outset as it was clear that Amazon had no intention of respecting the legendary work of J.R.R. Tolkien, and would instead do what modern Hollywood tends to do with any beloved IP, and that’s woke-ify it for the sake of the “the message.”
It began when actors within the show began putting emphasis on the skin color of their characters and the word “diversity” began being thrown around as if it was a focus of the show. Diversity isn’t a bad thing by itself, but when it becomes a major focus it usually means the story is being shoved further back in terms of importance.
It proceeded to get worse when Amazon released its trailer for the show which proceeded to show various characters doing out-of-character things than Tolkien wrote them as. Galadriel, for instance, could be seen being more of an action hero instead of the peak example of feminine power.
Then, Amazon attempted to release a “super-fan reaction” video showing how excited “real” Tolkien fans are and interviewed them. As YouTuber Disparu exposed, Amazon made “super-fan” videos for four different countries and all of them were scripted without change from country to country.
Moreover, the videos focused a lot on the “super-fans” talking about diversity and representation within the show. It was clear that the “super-fans” in question were just paid actors.
Even worse, the fans were responding to Amazon’s trailer wildly negatively and with a single quote credited to Tolkien: “’Evil cannot create anything new, it can only distort and destroy what was invented or created by the forces of good,’ J.R.R. Tolkien.”
Accusations towards real Tolkien fans who have been highly critical of the upcoming show began flying around relatively early, but now it’s jumping the shark. This ridiculous level of vitriol being thrown at Tolkien fans can be best seen by Den of Geeks writer Andrew Blair who reached into the media’s bag of baseless attacks and began throwing out whatever his hand touched.
As originally reported by Bounding Into Comics, Blair’s rant included accusations of “far-right” co-opting, racism, sexism, and even compared Tolkien fans to mass murderers.
Blair attempted to tie critics of the new woke retelling to the “far-right,” invoking Italian fascists in the 1970s’. He even goes into bringing up Varg Bikernes, a black metal musician who was also a murderer and anti-semite, who he said connected with Tolkien’s works because he held a “sense of traditionalism, of restoring the apparently glorious past.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be a leftist media article attacking the critics of a woke work without invoking “Gamergate” and claiming it was a movement based on racism.
“Given its previous connections with fascism and the response to Peter Jackson’s films, it’s sadly not surprising to see Lord of the Rings fandom engaging in culture war campaigns,” wrote Blair. “Since at least 2014 and Gamergate, there has been momentum that has built through different fandoms.”
From there, Blair attempts to paint the backlash of fans against various woke bastardization of their favorite stories as racist and sexist, be it the anger many had over the failure that was Star Wars: The Last Jedi or the 2016 all-female remake of Ghostbusters. Blair claims all of these things are connected in a desire to keep things the same and unchanging:
Looking back over this potted history of entitled fan reactions, a recurring theme is a desire to keep things the same and avoid breaking new ground: Gamergate didn’t want the perception of fandom to change, for games to change; the Sick Puppies wanted science fiction and fantasy to remain static, and right-wing Tolkien fans are harking back to a mythic version of the past because they don’t like the present. We see this desire to see the same people’s stories in Ghostbusters and Star Wars rather than take the series somewhere different, be it through the eyes of new people or to new planets. That this quote is being used would be a massive self-own if it weren’t for the fact that this requires self-awareness.
The claim of the critics not being self-aware is rich given the position Blair and people like him are in.
The Lord of the Rings is what it is because of how it was written, the feeling of the world, and the rules (or the “logic) it follows. Injecting politics and woke culture into the story breaks the logic of the world and perverts and corrupts the story. Blair and those like him, want to paint the critics to woke works like the ones on the fringe attempting to make the stories worse, but it’s the exact opposite. It’s pretty obvious that they are the ones attempting to change Tolkien’s works into something they aren’t.
Moreover, Blair’s attempts to link those critical of the new woke Lord of the Rings shows to fascists are nakedly desperate. His painting of backlash movements from Gamergate to The Last Jedi is broad-brush strokes of entire movements in an attempt to write off legitimate criticisms. It’s also hilarious that he attempted to make it political by suggesting this backlash is inspired by “far-right” politics when it’s clear that hard-leftist values are being forced into a story where they don’t belong.
They can’t deal with the idea that their leftist political tastes are ruining something and people just aren’t on board with it. In their desperation and anger, they flail wildly, hoping that their accusations of racism and sexism — things that had worked in the past — will somehow turn the narrative in their favor.
But it’s just not working like it used to. They may still control the big stage, but people are increasingly walking away from it.
Join the conversation as a VIP Member