Alexa, Play The Lord of The Rings


Demetria Slyt, Opinion Editor

It has been a crazy few weeks for J.J.R Tolkien fans all over the globe as teasers for the new Amazon Prime adaptation of Middle Earth have been released. This original series is operating under the title of, “The Rings of Power,” and takes place well before the already established Peter Jackson Films. We are being introduced to a brand new, untold, story that will contain new characters and establish new settings. This new series will be available to stream on Amazon on September 22nd, 2022. While there has been a quite lot of excitement about this upcoming series, especially as one marketed for everyone rather than just adult audiences, there has also been a large amount of skepticism. In reality it is just die hard gatekeeping spoiling the fun. 

The goal of this new series is to not only tell new stories, but to make these stories more accessible and inclusive. While I think this is a bold new step in the right direction, others criticize the creators. Some are convinced the showrunners are attempting to make Lord of The Rings into, “woke trash”. In part, due to the presence of a more diverse cast, specifically characters of color, compared to the original stories and the Peter Jackson adaptations. Another issue fans take with the announcement of this new series is that it is in fact an original story that cuts off from the source material; Tolkien never wrote it. Therefore anything original is blasphemous in the eyes of these enraged fans. I suppose there will always be people who are not happy with everything in a new adaptation and that is normal; but this is a whole new level of fandom warfare. 

When I was growing up my family would, every so often, have Lord of The Rings marathons. While I never read the books, apart from the Hobbit, I grew to love the lands of Middle Earth and many of the characters. I find myself excited to be able to further explore the world that Tolkien created and seeing this world continue to be built upon. I am not really someone who gets upset by new stories, rather excited that there is more to be told. One thing that many people don’t realize is that these stories, whether by Tolkien or not, are for everybody and no longer belong to any one person anymore. Obviously creative rights and copyrights are a real thing, but that is not what I am getting at here. A story as big as the Lord of The Rings can be told a million times over in a million different ways. No fairytale has ever stuck within the bounds of its original form, and this story is not any different.  

People need to give this series a chance because it sets the precedent that Lord of The Rings really is for everyone, and not just in ratings but within these new characters. I want there to be more diverse characters, this is a fantasy world after all! You can represent any kind of character of any kind of color. It is a new age of storytelling and should not be criticized for trying to connect to more of its audience. 

Demetria Slyt is a Dakota Student Opinion Editor. She can be reached at [email protected]