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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: TV Discussion: The Rings of Power:
New McPayne interview with THR
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Hopefull Harfoot
Rivendell


Oct 6, 10:24pm

Post #26 of 57 (513 views)
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Glad you had the reference [In reply to] Can't Post

My book of letters is buried somewhere but I remembered Tolkien himself spoke about how Nazism would taint germanic history.


50th year anniversary since I first read The Lord of the Rings


jpospich1
The Shire

Oct 6, 10:38pm

Post #27 of 57 (514 views)
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more hippies and hobbits [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I don't find it strange. Tolkien had a great many interests and beliefs, not all of which are commonly found in a single person, so it makes sense to me that his work resonates with different readers in different ways (sometimes radically different ways). That's part of what makes him so popular.


The article suggested that the proportion of "agenda-driven" negative reviews could be greater for ROP than House of the Dragons due to the subterranean "fascist" element of the Tolkien fanbase. I just wonder where the subterranean hippie element of his fandom fits into this picture. Perhaps they are part of the positive review brigade?


(This post was edited by jpospich1 on Oct 6, 10:38pm)


Eldy
Tol Eressea


Oct 6, 10:52pm

Post #28 of 57 (505 views)
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I can't speak for anyone... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and I'm not exactly a hippie myself, but I know there's a fair number of Tolkien fans (in online spaces that aren't message boards and thus have a different aggregate political makeup) who are vocally refusing to watch the show because they think Amazon is immoral and don't want to give them money, or even indirectly support the company.


(This post was edited by Eldy on Oct 6, 10:55pm)


Hopefull Harfoot
Rivendell


Oct 6, 10:52pm

Post #29 of 57 (503 views)
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Just a clarification [In reply to] Can't Post

What do you mean by 'subterranean hippie element' ?

What comes to mind is an underground commune of pale hippies tending vast chambers of mushrooms. And I don't think it's that. ;)

Do you mean hippies that still exist today or ex-hippies, etc?


50th year anniversary since I first read The Lord of the Rings

(This post was edited by Hopefull Harfoot on Oct 6, 10:53pm)


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Oct 6, 11:27pm

Post #30 of 57 (495 views)
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Surprisingly, I agree! [In reply to] Can't Post

When I first read your post, my initial thought was you of all people know that Tolkien's legendarium is too large, too full of contradictions, and too subject to varying interpretations by different people to be able to identify "the overarching theme." However, in giving it more thought I simply cannot dispute the accuracy of the statement that "in Tolkien's legendarium as a whole, the overarching theme is the inherent evil of wishing to coerce the will or otherwise dominate the minds and actions of others, even for what might seem like good purposes." That statement is itself applicable in many different ways.

I've never heard it put quite like that. Thank you for sharing it.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Aelfwine
Rivendell

Oct 6, 11:34pm

Post #31 of 57 (496 views)
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Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

/eom

--
Carl F. Hostetter


Narvi
Lorien

Oct 7, 12:48am

Post #32 of 57 (488 views)
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Intel [In reply to] Can't Post

Where is this subterranean commune of mycologists and how can I join? Laugh


DGHCaretaker
Lorien

Oct 7, 2:03am

Post #33 of 57 (476 views)
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Religion & Industrialization [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...Tolkien's legendarium is too large, too full of contradictions, and too subject to varying interpretations by different people to be able to identify "the overarching theme." However, in giving it more thought I simply cannot dispute the accuracy of the statement that "in Tolkien's legendarium as a whole, the overarching theme is the inherent evil of wishing to coerce the will or otherwise dominate the minds and actions of others, even for what might seem like good purposes." That statement is itself applicable in many different ways.


Kinda backs up my thought about the Book(s) becoming a religious source to back any convenient contemporary claim to support any purpose at all.

I thought also that a heavy influence on theme was the evils of industrialization personified by Saruman and his "devices" in the service of Sauron, which hasn't been mentioned here.


Hopefull Harfoot
Rivendell


Oct 7, 2:51am

Post #34 of 57 (460 views)
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Well if I had my choice [In reply to] Can't Post

it would be in the catacombs under Paris. But it's probably in Colorado.

Wink


50th year anniversary since I first read The Lord of the Rings


Junesong
Lorien


Oct 7, 11:11am

Post #35 of 57 (411 views)
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As a hippie, I can confirm this. [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"So which story do you prefer?"
"The one with the tiger. That's the better story."
"Thank you. And so it goes with God."


Annael
Immortal


Oct 7, 5:00pm

Post #36 of 57 (368 views)
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this is what I've always argued [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Tolkien had a great many interests and beliefs, not all of which are commonly found in a single person, so it makes sense to me that his work resonates with different readers in different ways (sometimes radically different ways). That's part of what makes him so popular.


I think this is one marker of a great writer: that many different people can find something of value in the work. As opposed to C.S. Lewis, who couldn't keep from proselytizing and so turned off some people, like me, because the message was too heavy-handed at times. (I don't like heavy-handed messaging even when I agree with the sentiment!) Tolkien was also a Christian and I know his work resonates deeply with many Christians, but he didn't clobber you over the head with it; he let the reader pick up on it or not, as they chose.

As I recall, reading LOTR in the 60s myself, it was the "back to the land" environmental types who embraced Tolkien most fervently, sharing his hatred of industrialization destroying the wild places of the earth. Most political types despised the book as escapist; likewise its fans were seen as out of touch with reality.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words.
-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


(This post was edited by Annael on Oct 7, 5:05pm)


Annael
Immortal


Oct 7, 5:31pm

Post #37 of 57 (356 views)
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that's exactly the message I got at 15 [In reply to] Can't Post

Just what I needed at an age when I wanted, more than anything, to be part of a Fellowship where people were true to their word and true to each other no matter what.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words.
-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


(This post was edited by Annael on Oct 7, 5:37pm)


jpospich1
The Shire

Oct 7, 6:23pm

Post #38 of 57 (346 views)
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A fellowship of fascists [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Hopefull,

I was just joking about the hippies. It was an attempt to point out the absurdity of attributing the negative reaction to Rings of Power to some kind of fascist underground, or (even more absurdly) the "fascist-adjacent". What does it mean to be "fascist-adjacent"? Am I "fascist-adjacent" because I have books by Ezra Pound and Heidegger on my shelf? Who knows.

I find the constant use of this word ("fascism") in popular discourse laughably dumb. Where are all these "fascists"? I suppose they're on the Internet somewhere. But where is their organization? Where are their headquarters? Where are their candidates, their paramilitary forces crawling the streets? I don't see any outside my window. Where are all the serious fascists?

The article refers to Giorgia Meloni as a "fascist-adjacent admirer" of Tolkien, but Meloni has insisted she is not a fascist. I suppose that's just what a fascist would say, however.

In reality, "fascist" seems to mean anyone who's not one hundred percent on board with the latest social justice craze. Just as "white supremacist" now means anyne who's not "anti-racist" in the fullest sense of the term as used by activists. It's all quite stupid.

However, I don't mean to focus on politics here. We should keep things on topic. I am just expressing my annoyance with this article, and with the mentality of showrunner interviewed there.


Junesong
Lorien


Oct 7, 6:41pm

Post #39 of 57 (338 views)
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Let's be careful. [In reply to] Can't Post

"It was an attempt to point out the absurdity of attributing the negative reaction to Rings of Power to some kind of fascist underground,"

No one is doing this. Let's stop making this assumption. This is not what the article is saying.


"So which story do you prefer?"
"The one with the tiger. That's the better story."
"Thank you. And so it goes with God."


Narvi
Lorien

Oct 7, 6:59pm

Post #40 of 57 (333 views)
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unfortunately [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not sure if you've had you've buried your head in the earth lately (understandable, given current events), but fascists and their organizations, including paramilitary "militias", are alive and well in many countries these days. It's already been observed how this overlaps (very narrowly) with a subset of the Tolkien fandom.


jpospich1
The Shire

Oct 7, 7:25pm

Post #41 of 57 (323 views)
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Cannot agree [In reply to] Can't Post

Junesong, with all due respect, the implication is there, and it's not particularly subtle.

Here's the relevant text:


Quote
Amazon claims there’s been a coordinated effort to attack the show for daring to diversify Tolkien with strong female characters and people of color. “The hardest part was for people on the cast who have had things related to them privately that are just harmful,” Sanders says.

It’s an explanation that satisfied the media but inflamed some fans who feel the company is dismissive of any criticism and arguably risked escalating what might have been a short-term dust-up into ongoing fandom trench warfare. As one wrote, “I’m tired of the constant media harangues from Amazon that if you don’t love the show, you’re racist.” Many point out HBO’s House of the Dragon faced similar trolling for its diversity moves, yet its audience scores weren’t impacted.

But it’s also possible Rings‘ percentage of agenda-based reviews might be much higher than for Dragon. Tolkien’s world has a long, unfortunate history of attracting fascist-adjacent admirers, something that surely would have repulsed the fantasy world’s anti-totalitarian author, whose Rings trilogy was inspired by the horrors of World War I. Italy’s newly elected far-right nationalist leader, Giorgia Meloni, for example, has been an outspoken Tolkien fan, unhelpfully.


Here's the argument of those paragraphs in different words:

Paragraph 1: Amazon says there's a coordinated attack on Rings of Power by bigots due to the show's diverse casting.

Paragraph 2: But some fans make the counter-argument that House of the Dragon has diverse casting, but is not being "review-bombed" at all. Thus, the negative reaction is not simply due to "bigotry".

Paragraph 3: But Lord of the Rings *unlike Game of Thrones) has a long history of "attracting fascist-adjacent admirers", so it's "possible" that those "fascist-adjacent admirers" are the source of the higher percentage of "agenda-driven" negative reviews for Rings of Power.\

In other words, Amazon was right all along. It's just "bigots" and "fascists" who hate the show!


(This post was edited by jpospich1 on Oct 7, 7:32pm)


jpospich1
The Shire

Oct 7, 7:27pm

Post #42 of 57 (322 views)
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is that the right word? [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I'm not sure if you've had you've buried your head in the earth lately (understandable, given current events), but fascists and their organizations, including paramilitary "militias",


Hi Narvi -- do you mean political groups and parties that are mildly nationalist or populist or something like that?


InTheChair
Rohan


Oct 7, 7:45pm

Post #43 of 57 (307 views)
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No one is doing this. Let's stop making this assumption. This is not what the article is saying. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's certainly one way the article could be read, though perhaps not the only one. Also if that was not the intention I wonder why the article bothered bringing up the many fascist-adjacent admirers of Middle-earth at all?

The mention of Giorgia Meloni is strange though. Presumably made to reenforce their claim, though in the context of review brigading I doubt she would have the time


Junesong
Lorien


Oct 7, 7:50pm

Post #44 of 57 (304 views)
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Nuance [In reply to] Can't Post

I think where we disagree is in the conclusions you're drawing. I'm with you for almost the whole post - but your last line, "In other words, Amazon was right all along. It's just "bigots" and "fascists" who hate the show!" is an extrapolation.

Yes there are racist bigots who hate the show because of diversity.
Yes there are fans who hate the show for its writing and pacing and acting and lore ruining.
Yes there are people who review bomb the show for these reasons.
There's yet another group - who LOOK and SOUND like racists, but they aren't -they're just regular fans pulled into the culture war and pushing back hard against perceived "agendas" and "mandates" - this complicates things even further.
There's still more groups who hate Amazon - with genuine outrage or selective outrage or for whatever other reason and are convinced that Amazon are acting in bad faith.

But to conflate the groups together is nonsensical. I push back every time I see that. No one from Amazon (or even the media) has painted all the above examples with one brush. It's usually the various groups who do that. They seem to need to be victimized in order to feel heard.

But the truth is there's a whole bunch of reasons why the internet has decided to hate this show. Some of those people are racists and they should be condemned (even if they may also be "real" fans or whatever.)

This article, and Amazon's statements in it - are laying out the problem. And it is a problem. I've been following Tolkien message boards for more than 20 years. The hate for rings of power is disproportionate. Disproportionate in any context.

Case in point, a friend who's not engaged in this at all recently started watching ROP and reached out to me after because they liked it but when they went online all they could see was hate. They wanted to know why everyone hates it so much when it was totally fine.

It's a good question. But so far I'm not hearing any good answers.



"So which story do you prefer?"
"The one with the tiger. That's the better story."
"Thank you. And so it goes with God."


Annael
Immortal


Oct 7, 8:10pm

Post #45 of 57 (293 views)
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laughably dumb indeed [In reply to] Can't Post

A good friend is married to a conservative man who once informed her that all of her women friends are "femi-nazis." We have no idea what that means; I suspect he doesn't either, really, apart from "you don't agree with me so you must hold the most extreme opposite view from me." A sad mistake many make, instead of, you know, asking questions.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words.
-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Narvi
Lorien

Oct 7, 8:13pm

Post #46 of 57 (288 views)
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no [In reply to] Can't Post

My wording was deliberate. However, we had this very conversation months ago and it verged into territory inappropriate to this forum, so I'll desist from commenting further.


Owlyross
Rohan


Oct 8, 10:25am

Post #47 of 57 (225 views)
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This is true [In reply to] Can't Post

On all sided. Especially among those for whom Tolkien's religiosity is tantamount to a point of religion.

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
Benjamin Franklin
The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797)


Owlyross
Rohan


Oct 8, 10:27am

Post #48 of 57 (225 views)
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I agree entirely. [In reply to] Can't Post

A deep reading shoes all those things, which is why it continues to be applicable so long after its writing.

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
Benjamin Franklin
The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797)


jpospich1
The Shire

Oct 8, 5:01pm

Post #49 of 57 (188 views)
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Reply to the first half of your post [In reply to] Can't Post

Junesong --

I always find it profitable to understand exactly where we disagree. I'm afraid I didn't properly explain my reasoning in my last post, leading you to mistake the tenor of my argument. Let me flesh it out a little and see where we end up.

The article makes an insinuation. It doesn't frankly say that "Amazon was right all along, you insufferable bigots!" But it does indeed suggest that, as I showed above.

As for the press conflating the various groups who have criticized Rings of Power -- I believe that they have, and I can easily provide multiple examples of them in the very act of doing so. Here's one from Variety:


Quote
The Lord of the Rings” cast members Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan banded together on social media to support the diverse casting in Amazon’s new series “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” The series, which launched its first two episodes on Sept. 2 to critical acclaim and 25 million global viewers, has come under fire by racist fans upset by the casting of actors of color in prominent roles.


https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/elijah-woods-lord-of-the-rings-cast-racist-trolls-rings-of-power-1235363318/

There is no mention in this article that the backlash to Rings of Power is due to anything but bigotry. In fact, it is all but asserted that such is the case. When you have dozens, even hundreds of these articles, which all suggest and even outright state that the backlash to Rings of Powers is only due to bigotry, a false perception is created -- a perception that it is in Amazon's benefit to encourage and perpetuate.

HOWEVER, we are now entering a time when it is impossible to ignore the valid criticism of the show. Hours of the show have been released, and it is -- as early critics foresaw -- terrible in almost every way. Even the staunchest defender of the show (who are often motivated to some degree by a desire to counter the immoral haters) can no longer deny the show's litany of issues. Thus this false perception that the "critically-acclaimed" Rings of Power is being "review bombed" by "bigots" can no longer be sustained.

However, we can see in the present article that such suggestions are still made. And I, for one, like to push back against such suggestions whenever I see them -- because I want the same thing that you want in this regard.

And that brings me to a question. Have you ever spoken to anyone, Junesong, who said they don't like Rings of Power because they don't like black people?


Narvi
Lorien

Oct 8, 8:02pm

Post #50 of 57 (161 views)
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quote [In reply to] Can't Post

"has come under fire by racist fans" does not mean (or even insinuate) that the show is not being criticized for valid reasons. The shirt was produced in support of actors who did indeed receive (and continue to receive) both personal attacks and public criticism not for their acting chops, but their very appearance.

There are certainly folks out there conflating the racists and bigots with fans who voice valid criticisms. There are also folks who conflate specific statements made in defense of the show against overtly racist attacks versus other criticism (such as inconsistent pacing), which the showrunners have in fact acknowledged and promised to learn from in future seasons.

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