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Sunday, September 04, 2022

Why some say diverse casting ruins the new 'Lord of the Rings' series

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This one is a tough one for me. I will need to think about. Casting actors of racially diverse background obviously is an attempt to 'wokify' Tolkien's universe. The Lord of the Rings was based on Northern European Norse and Germanic legend and myth. Tolkien had no qualms about acknowledging that. In short, Middle Earth is about as 'white' a place among humans, dwarves and elves as you are likely ever to find. Making characters racially diverse for reasons of political correctness and generating greater popular appeal among diverse segments of our society is kind of an extreme example. I realize that at the end of the day for the producers and Amazon it is all about making as much money as they possibly can. And that of course is the ultimate basis on which these decisions are made. But let's just be clear, Middle Earth as envisioned by Tolkien was a white Northern European realm and anyone who claims otherwise is lying. Even the bad guys, the creatures in Mordor, were supposed to be knock-offs of the evil Nazis who were actively destroying the world at the time the books were written.

At the end of the day though, who cares what Tolkien's vision originally was? Kind of like the 'original intent' of America's founding fathers. Time passes. Times change. What was normal and okay at one period becomes far less so. And it is hard to see anyone but an ------- getting upset about it.

#1 | Posted by moder8 at 2022-09-03 06:04 PM | Reply

I've been watching the stupidity the Tolkien fanatics have been saying about this new series.

Months before its release there were no shortage of people crapping all over it, over analyzing every single still and trailer to nitpick things to bitch about.

Are there things about the first two episodes I wasn't a fan of? Sure. But it wasn't going to be Peter Jackson LoTR II and it's all mythology that's largely piecemeal, incomplete and early versions of Tolkien's work. It was going to be filled in in a lot of places.

#2 | Posted by jpw at 2022-09-03 06:47 PM | Reply

" Casting actors of racially diverse background obviously is way overdue"

Fixed that for ya', "counselor".

#3 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2022-09-03 06:49 PM | Reply

No LYD, you just changed what I said. The two statements are not the least bit inconsistent imho. It is 'wokification' and it is also overdue.

#4 | Posted by moder8 at 2022-09-03 07:03 PM | Reply

It was beautiful to watch, as opposed to GoT bad wig series.

We'll see how both of these shows go from here.

Neither seemed like recent Dr Who and Star Trek Woke to the Max productions.

#5 | Posted by Corky at 2022-09-03 08:14 PM | Reply

House of Dragons has so far been a sad imitation of GoT.

GRRM should just finish his books.

But, who am I kidding. They've made him rich beyond his wildest dreams.

#6 | Posted by ClownShack at 2022-09-03 08:20 PM | Reply

Smart money is that they will be published posthumously.

#7 | Posted by moder8 at 2022-09-03 08:31 PM | Reply

Nothing in LOTR or the Silmarillion precludes other races. I actually thought it was a breath of fresh air.

As far as the episodes, I was far from impressed. Hopefully this was just foundation building.

#8 | Posted by willowby at 2022-09-03 08:52 PM | Reply

Just like theater goers used to suspend disbelief when men played women's roles so should people here. The actor is black but the character is white. Who cares?

#9 | Posted by Hagbard_celine at 2022-09-03 09:21 PM | Reply

Were these folks whining when Laurence Olivier played a Moor?

#10 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2022-09-03 09:24 PM | Reply

Sean Connery had a funny accent for a Lithuanian submarine commander.

#11 | Posted by REDIAL at 2022-09-03 09:39 PM | Reply

Ever see John Wayne as Genghis Khan?

www.youtube.com

#12 | Posted by Corky at 2022-09-03 09:47 PM | Reply

"Star Trek Woke to the Max productions."

I have zero issues with the new Star Trek. Apparently characters and stories that can't as easily be told from the perspective of straight white men is completely unacceptable for some people. So they complain about it being woke. Folks need their safe spaces from reality I suppose.

#13 | Posted by Hagbard_celine at 2022-09-04 04:23 AM | Reply

Young people don't know their own American history or how the government works.

You think they'll catch the race discrepancy for the culture the story is supposed to be representing.

You could work a Velociraptor into the story and people would love it.

#14 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2022-09-04 08:55 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

It will be very hard to ruin it as badly as they did with the Hobbit. They basically forced that thing into a three movie set by adding so much garbage and changing the story for no other reason than to turn it into a three movie set.

#15 | Posted by Sycophant at 2022-09-04 09:04 AM | Reply

"You could work a Velociraptor into the story and people would love it."

I was at Universal in Orlando this past spring, taking a break, sitting under the shade of a tree, and couldn't help listening to a pair of dads rattling on about whatever.

One told the other, almost as an aside while waving towards nothing in particular, "They've got a live one over there."

"A velociraptor?" his buddy replied, eyes wide with surprise. "For real?"

"Yeah," the fisher of fools replied languidly. "But it's just a small one."

"Oh ... " came the disappointed response.

#16 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2022-09-04 09:11 AM | Reply

"You think they'll catch the race discrepancy for the culture the story is supposed to be representing."

Don't be ridiculous. What race/culture lives in a world with elves, dwarves, and orcs? It's a fantasy FFS. Arguments against diversifying the cast make zero sense taken at face value. Unless you are saying that a lot of what many people loved about LOTR is that Tolkien created an idealized white world. That would be a completely different argument, but at least it would be coherent.

#17 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2022-09-04 09:24 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Racists haven't outed themselves this eagerly over an adaptation of a work of fiction since they added a Black Vulcan to Star Trek.

#18 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-09-04 09:57 AM | Reply

In LOTR "race" was always Elves, Dwarfs, Men, Hobbits etc. rarely was skin tone included in descriptions of characters. So I don't really see the issue unless they took a character specifically described as white and made them a POC.

Usually I don't get too bent about characters not looking exactly like I picture them in books unless they are described by some defining characteristic and the actor/actress is completely missing it. Like in True Blood Sookie is described repeatedly as having large breasts and they cast Anna Paquin who is a B. It would have been like casting Tom Cruise as Eric Northman a tall blond viking.

Anyway as an avid reader you pretty much get used to license in the casting department.

#19 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2022-09-04 10:21 AM | Reply

It would have been like casting Tom Cruise as Eric Northman a tall blond viking.

Or Jack Reacher.

#20 | Posted by REDIAL at 2022-09-04 10:28 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

The Amazon series is the WNBA of fantasy.

It is unappealing, not as good as the real thing, and going to lose a lot of money, but no one will say anything because it wouldn't be politically correct.

#21 | Posted by Tor at 2022-09-04 10:30 AM | Reply

Anyway as an avid reader you pretty much get used to license in the casting department.
#19 | POSTED BY TAOWARRIOR

If you're an avid reader, and you still expect movies to be faithful to the book, you're also an avid fan of setting yourself up for disappointment!

#22 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-09-04 10:35 AM | Reply

#20

Ouch, but yeah. That one was best left in the forgotten dustbin of my memory.

#22

Too true. That was actually what first got me watching the OG GOT, the first season was nearly perfect "A Game of Thrones" season two was close enough to "A Clash of Kings" to keep me interested. Sadly by season three it was clear those were the exception not the rule.

I go into shows and movies about books with the knowledge that things will be different and the hope that the core elements that made me love the book will be the same. Sometimes I like the result, sometimes I hate it and on a very rare occasion I like the adaptation more than the book.

#23 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2022-09-04 10:47 AM | Reply

Hag,

"Tolkien created an idealized white world."

Until mankind learned to travel and navigate the earth, cultures were primarily "white", "black" and so on.

It's not an idealized white world.

It is THE world of that time and place.

btw...hardly idealized.

#24 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2022-09-04 12:15 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

#13

beau-of-the-fifth-column.creator-spring.com

There's always the possibility of too much of a good thing.

#25 | Posted by Corky at 2022-09-04 12:34 PM | Reply

Hag,

I see absolutely nothing wrong with movies that are more geared to blacks with black main characters or tv shows that are white.

So what?

Don't like the show, don't watch it.

In this case the producers are seeking to pull in another demographic of viewers hopefully without turning it into a different show and losing the core fan base.

I don't watch any tv shows with regularity.

I used to watch Judge Judy a lot but over time I grew to see her as a judgmental greedy shrew.

#26 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2022-09-04 12:36 PM | Reply

I used to watch Judge Judy...
#26 | Posted by BillJohnson

This makes a lot of sense.

#27 | Posted by horstngraben at 2022-09-04 12:46 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

Its really sad that some (white) people are so offended by a black elf.

Its also embarrassing.

I'm not black, but there's a whole lots a times I wish I could say I'm not white
-Frank Zappa

#28 | Posted by horstngraben at 2022-09-04 12:47 PM | Reply

These are the same White People who have White Jesus in their churches and homes.

Kill Whitey!

#29 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-09-04 01:04 PM | Reply

"In fantasy, medieval life is depicted as all sexual violence and squalor. It's not that simple"

www.cnn.com

Interesting article.

#30 | Posted by Corky at 2022-09-04 01:07 PM | Reply

You know there are drawing from Tolkin's time of what many characters in middle earth are supposed to look like.

The protagonists are all white as are many of the villains.

Black people don't belong in Middle earth for the same reason they don't belong in a Kurosawa samurai film and white people don't belong in a film about Zulu warfare in the 1300's.

#31 | Posted by Tor at 2022-09-04 01:40 PM | Reply

"It is THE world of that time and place."

It's a fantasy world, Bill/Tor. Emphasis on fantasy. Why do you GAF that the cast isn't monochromatic? Why is the color of the skin of the actors so essential to your appreciation of the show?

#32 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2022-09-04 01:52 PM | Reply

I don't see the issue ...

But I am wondering, don't other cultures had "myths" similar? Why not make a movie/series that shows those myths/legends etc?

Like Kishi, or Tikoloshi, jakava, Garuda vs Nagas?

I am not against what is being proposed, but it's just strange to "adapt" it to wokeness; We could really educate people with different cultures mythology, instead of pandering and morphing western mythology, out of a sense of guilt.

#33 | Posted by oneironaut at 2022-09-04 02:03 PM | Reply

Hag,

"It's a fantasy world, Bill"

Nooo..say it isn't so.

I thought Santa's elves lived there during the summer.

#34 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2022-09-04 02:29 PM | Reply

Hag,

I don't watch the show and already have no appreciation of it.

However I take no issue to adding blacks and wouldn't care if they didn't.

There is nothing wrong with purest thinking within certain contexts.

This wokeism obsession treats everything the same. Rather than teach discernment liberals are creating a one size fits all solution for most things.

#35 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2022-09-04 02:41 PM | Reply

Hag,

Back to Santa's elves.

Wokeists have started added black elves to cartoons and drawings but we all know the truth.

They don't exist and never have.

#36 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2022-09-04 02:50 PM | Reply

"Why do you GAF that the cast isn't monochromatic?"

So you wouldn't mind if in Black Panther half the people in the Kingdom where played by white actors?

How about Jim from Hucklberry Finn?

Shaka Zulu has been fictionalized plenty of time why not have him played by a asian lady?

#37 | Posted by Tor at 2022-09-04 03:45 PM | Reply

Hag,

And then this one size fits all solution and viewpoint liberals believe they should make everyone accept is their idea of freedom and democracy.

#38 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2022-09-04 04:04 PM | Reply

Back to Santa's elves.

Wokeists have started added black elves to cartoons and drawings but we all know the truth.

They don't exist and never have.

Well, Santa's elves don't exist and never have.

Did you not figure that out at a child?

#39 | Posted by horstngraben at 2022-09-04 04:10 PM | Reply

Hor,

"Did you not figure that out at a child?"

Yet another side effect of wokeism.

No sense of humor.

#40 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2022-09-04 04:18 PM | Reply

Hor,

"Santa's elves don't exist and never have."

You better hope Santa isn't reading this.

Coal in your stocking this Christmas.

#41 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2022-09-04 04:52 PM | Reply

"It is THE world of that time and place."

Even Shakespeare had Othello.

#42 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-09-04 05:02 PM | Reply

BJ: Liberals don't need everyone to accept their idea of freedom and democracy. But we do need everyone to accept a legitimate, non-hypocritical idea of freedom and democracy. ...Think it through before blurting out a knee-jerk response per usual.

#43 | Posted by moder8 at 2022-09-04 05:03 PM | Reply

Mod,

"But we do need everyone to accept a legitimate, non-hypocritical idea of freedom"

I don't speak for all conservatives but my opinion is I expect people to obey laws and believe what you damn well want.

#44 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2022-09-04 07:00 PM | Reply

Mod,

That's the beauty of being an American.

Being a hypocrite is a right.

I'm sure you're referring to Jan 6 like the obsessives you are desperate to make some point (though I'm not sure what it is).

Those people who broke in only represented a small segment of people who voted Republican and the rest disagree with those actions even if we don't stand on the street wailing about it.

Mod...done with you.

#45 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2022-09-04 07:06 PM | Reply

Mod,

I do not disagree with their right to assemble and protest at the Capitol.

Just they shouldn't have broke anything just like I would say toward any mob who protests and breaks or burns stuff.

#46 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2022-09-04 07:12 PM | Reply

That's the beauty of being an American.

Being a hypocrite is a right.

Still find it weird to see how Trumpers have embraced being complete pieces of shht.

Trump really helped people open up and embrace their worst qualities.

#47 | Posted by ClownShack at 2022-09-04 07:13 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Clown,

Do you see any good qualities in conservatives?

#48 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2022-09-04 08:22 PM | Reply

Do you see any good qualities in conservatives?

#48 | POSTED BY BILLJOHNSON

I will answer that.

With a Maybe. When there were actual conservatives.

Find one and then maybe we could find some good qualities in him or her. Is Liz Cheney a conservative? Because if she is then the current party of Trumpy has rejected her. So apparently your own part doesn't think she has any good conservative qualities.

#49 | Posted by donnerboy at 2022-09-04 09:40 PM | Reply

Do you see any good qualities in conservatives?

#48 | Posted by BillJohnson

The good qualities they claim to have - patriotism, loving america, fiscal responsibility, promoting freedom, following christs teachings - almost always turn out to be the total opposite of what they actually fight for.

I guess they're good doomsday preppers. That's one. They're great at preparing to wage war against people who are currently their neighbors.

#50 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2022-09-05 01:14 AM | Reply

Those people who broke in only represented a small segment of people who voted Republican and the rest disagree with those actions even if we don't stand on the street wailing about it.

Mod...done with you.

#45 | Posted by BillJohnson

The people who broke in did it on behalf of a lie that nearly your entire party decided to tell together. 1/6 is the fault of REPUBLICANS - your media, your leaders, your donors, and your voters.

#51 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2022-09-05 01:16 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Good looking series that so far is boring AF.

#52 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2022-09-05 07:54 AM | Reply

As long as they don't go full Mary Sue characters and destroy the lore to "subvert expectations" like TLJ it will be fine. Fans don't want to be subverted.

#53 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2022-09-05 08:16 AM | Reply

#37

Race is a critical component in all those examples you gave. In LOTR it is not. You're smart enough to see that obvious fact so I'm still confused by your issue, taking you as having made the case for the central point in your argument and not using it as cover for something else.

#54 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2022-09-05 09:34 AM | Reply

#54

This whole thread has me a bit weirded out.

BillJohnson, Tor and Mod8 on the same side while Willowby is siding with the woke set?

#55 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2022-09-05 09:59 AM | Reply

House of Dragon and Lord of the Rings are fantasy. I see no issue with putting all types of people of color in the shows. However, I do not long to see the Chinese Shaka Zulu king, or White Pancho Villa...Japanese MLK. I myself like logic in my historical shows and not silliness based upon political correctness. If I dress in black face as a white man or wear Native American garb I get called out for it but last I check the Wyman Brothers had a movie with two black men pretending to be white girls. Where was the outrage over this BS? You cannot have it both ways. White people cannot pretend to be black, brown or Asian but black brown and Asians can be white people?

#56 | Posted by Wildman62 at 2022-09-05 12:45 PM | Reply

Wild,

Double standards are about as American as apple pie.

Works both ways. Sometimes you win...sometimes you lose.

#57 | Posted by BillJohnson at 2022-09-05 01:33 PM | Reply

This wokeism obsession treats everything the same. Rather than teach discernment liberals are creating a one size fits all solution for most things.
#35 | POSTED BY BILLJOHNSON

Sooooo some rightwing-------- gets pissed that there's black elves in a fantasy series and Bill here turns it into a libruls thing.

C'mon dude.

#58 | Posted by jpw at 2022-09-05 01:43 PM | Reply

Yet another side effect of wokeism.
No sense of humor.

#40 | POSTED BY BILLJOHNSON

A main symptom of "c-c-conservatism," think wholly unfunny things are "humor."

#59 | Posted by jpw at 2022-09-05 01:45 PM | Reply

Feels less like people are really upset about a black hobbit and more like this is constructed outrage to bring attention to a billion dollar show that like many expensive flops has solid critic ratings but terrible audience scores.

#60 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2022-09-05 02:40 PM | Reply

- terrible audience scores.

Is these day most likely a sign of an intelligent, quality production, if not financial bliss for the makers.

#61 | Posted by Corky at 2022-09-05 02:43 PM | Reply

"Scholars such as Fimi note that Tolkien was in some ways clearly anti-racist, as he actively opposed "racialist" theories, refused to declare that he had an "Aryan" origin so as to be published in Nazi Germany, spoke out against Nazism,[4] called Hitler a "ruddy little ignoramus",[22][T 7] and opposed anti-German propaganda in wartime."

en.wikipedia.org

#62 | Posted by Corky at 2022-09-05 02:50 PM | Reply

The "wokeism is only in your head.

As fan fiction it goes beyond the myths of the Lord of the Rings. It is "thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' books."

Like the article says "even the enchanted world of Middle-earth is no longer immune to political divisions."

Thanks Trumpy.

#63 | Posted by donnerboy at 2022-09-05 02:57 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Is these day most likely a sign of an intelligent, quality production, if not financial bliss for the makers.

#61 | POSTED BY CORKY AT 2022-09-05 02:43 PM | FLAG:

Financial bliss was spending a billion dollars to make this series. The costuming and detail work is second to none. The writing, pacing, and character development so far is bad.

#64 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2022-09-05 03:39 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

We learn in Season 2 that Sauron is transgender. And back in the day Treebeard had a fling with Gandalf.

#65 | Posted by moder8 at 2022-09-05 04:28 PM | Reply

I'm going to hold reservation on the show, so far it's holding my interest.

But you want to know what show has been ruined by wokeness?

Try looking at that mess called "She-Hulk"..

Absolutely aweful...

#66 | Posted by boaz at 2022-09-05 04:32 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

We learn in Season 2 that Sauron is transgender. And back in the day Treebeard had a fling with Gandalf.
#65 | POSTED BY MODER8

No no, Sauron is a shapeshifter, ergo gender fluid, from the mind of Eru Ilvatar; it's in the eyes, the eyes give it away.

#67 | Posted by oneironaut at 2022-09-05 04:34 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Dragons and elves but not a black people? What a bunch of knuckle heads. Don't ask to be taken seriously. Grow the f up.

#68 | Posted by purplesage at 2022-09-05 05:09 PM | Reply

Sauron ... it's in the eyes, well played sir.

#69 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2022-09-05 07:50 PM | Reply

We learn in Season 2 that Sauron is transgender. And back in the day Treebeard had a fling with Gandalf.

#65 | POSTED BY MODER8 AT 2022-09-05 04:28 PM | FLAG:

Haha remember Solo? Probably not even though it was just 4 years ago.

A bad movie that runs too long, kills the most interesting character at the end of the first act, had 3 or 4 directors, clearly far too many writers and people that can't write involved in the script, and many, many re-shoots and complete new act filmed.

We didn't get news articles about how it was just badly designed. We got articles about the Pansexuality of Lando Calrissian and his revolutionist navigation sex robot.

#70 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2022-09-06 07:37 AM | Reply

"But you want to know what show has been ruined by wokeness? Try looking at that mess called "She-Hulk"... Absolutely aweful...
#66 | POSTED BY BOAZ

C'mon, dude, you need to lighten up. Seriously. That show might be cringe from time to time like most shows but mostly it's fun.

#71 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2022-09-06 09:24 AM | Reply

#66 | POSTED BY BOAZ

It ain't easy being green.

#72 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2022-09-06 11:28 AM | Reply

That show might be cringe from time to time like most shows

Nah, most well written shows are not cringe, She-hulk had me winching almost the whole show.

Did you see her twerking?

#73 | Posted by boaz at 2022-09-06 12:14 PM | Reply

Did you see her twerking?

#73 | POSTED BY BOAZ

Can't wait!

It's not easy being green (AND a woman, too)!

#74 | Posted by donnerboy at 2022-09-06 12:23 PM | Reply

"Did you see her twerking?"

Yep. And it appears you missed the point of the scene.

#75 | Posted by Hagbard_Celine at 2022-09-06 01:05 PM | Reply

So...not a lot of shots of big green feet then.

#76 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2022-09-06 02:21 PM | Reply

She Hulk's writing that doesn't work for everybody. The main character's development that let them master their power happened off screen with the reason being she's a girl. I like the show, but the 50% audience score should not surprise anybody.

#77 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2022-09-06 02:34 PM | Reply

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