On Amazon’s Rings of Power

“My main point about films is that I don’t like the adaptation process, and I particularly don’t like the modern way of comic book-film adaptations, where, essentially, the central characters are just franchises that can be worked endlessly to no apparent point.” – Alan Moore

On the Rings of Power Adaptation.

Initially, I was aghast when I had heard Amazon secured the rights to the Tolkien appendices. Fantasy nerds had all ready experienced an Amazon adaptation, when it had acquired the rights to the Wheel of Time Series, based on the books of Robert Jordan. The fandom had gotten a bit rowdy, and I didn’t understand why. Sure, I had read a few of the books when I was younger, but I couldn’t remember much. Luckily, my wife surprised me with the books for Christmas. After reading them, I understood the position of the fandom, and I agreed. That Amazon had been unfaithful to Jordan’s vision would be an understatement. I have a hard time with any adaptation that doesn’t attempt to stay true to the premise of the original source material.

Back to Rings of Power.

The social media sphere has been abuzz for months about the Rings of Power and now that it’s here we are told it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. In fact, if you don’t like the show, accusations of racism and misogyny zing you from all directions. Although I haven’t watched a minute of the new series, I do hear that chatter and buzz, and I think the biggest complaints I hear are the humanizing of the Elves. 

Elves in fantasy lore, and certainly Tolkien’s lore, are not intended to be human or even human like. Arda or Earth, is the dwelling place for the Children of Ilúvatar. The Elves awoke first and were considered the fairest and wisest of the Earthly races. It is said that Elves were the noblest of the speaking races of Arda. So, it’s certainly understandable that a subset of the fandom, me included, are a little annoyed that the “Noblest” race in Arda is being portrayed as snobs, with bad haircuts. Imagine the hubris needed to add modern conflict and drama to the works of arguably the 20h Century’s greatest writer. They decided that Elves in Middle-earth needed to be the embodiment of “holier than thou.”

A story built on the themes of friendship, love, forgiveness, and fate has been butchered and eviscerated on the altar of identity politics, again. 

Design your own games. Build your own communities. Create your own stories.


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