Amazon tramples Tolkien in Rings of Power

When adapting books for the screen, it's always necessary to make edits to transmit a book into a visual medium.  Leftists have a nasty habit of perverting a book's essence.  That's the case with Amazon's new Rings of Power, based upon JRR Tolkien's beloved books.

Tolkien wore many hats.  He was a writer, poet, and academic who studied languages.  On March 28, 1972, Queen Elizabeth II appointed him a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, an order of chivalry rewarding contributions to the arts.  Tolkien is most famous for his epic fantasy world of Middle Earth and the many stories that took place there.  The HobbitThe Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion are widely read and deeply loved.

Tolkien spoke about his work in a letter to publisher Milton Waldman.  It was his dream to create a "body of more or less connected legend ... of which the cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama."  He never meant for his personal work to be the end of Middle Earth.  He envisioned other people adding to the legends of Middle Earth.

Image: Galadriel and her mirror by Tessa Boronski.  CC BY-SA 4.0.

It's worth noting that Tolkien spoke of a body of connected legend.  It does not seem that he wanted new works based on his writings to be at odds with what he created.  However, that is precisely what Amazon chose to do with its new series, The Rings of Power.

Let me say at once I am not speaking about the casting of black actors in a world in which practically all the people were explicitly described as white.  It's a fantasy world, and I see no reason why actors of any color should be excluded.  That is a non-issue compared to what the first two episodes of the show have portrayed.

The character of Galadriel is shown as a warrior with a sword.  Tolkien never wrote her in this way.  He portrayed Galadriel as a warrior on a different plane, one who fought with wisdom and magic.  Even worse, her brother, Finrod, is portrayed as having been killed off, cutting out the part of his story that created a link with the family of the future king Aragorn in Lord of the Rings.

In other words, Amazon bought the rights to some slender appendices of the Lord of the Rings and proceeded to create something that is completely at odds with the body of the legend of Middle Earth.  Fans are not happy.  They are also unable to express their discontent at Amazon, or its subsidiary, IMDB, because Amazon has suspended reviews of Rings of Power, and IMDB is deleting any reviews that rate the show as less than six.

The true audience reactions can be seen on websites over which Amazon has no control.  Rotten Tomatoes shows the audience rating at 39%, and Metacritic assigns the show a rating of 2.5 out of 10.  It would appear that Amazon's attempt at silencing viewers is backfiring, and the audience is not happy with a show set in Middle Earth that retcons what Tolkien created.

Pandra Selivanov is the author of Future Slave, a story about a 21st-century black teenager who goes back in time and becomes a slave in the Old South. 

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