Amazon’s Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Gets Worse!
Amazon’s new big budget Lord of the Rings series may be months away from its streaming debut in September, yet a battle is already erupting over Middle-earth.
Coveting the phenomenal success of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Jeff Bezos is investing a fortune to grow Prime Video’s 200 million subscriber base by bringing J.R.R.’s Tolkien’s unparalleled fantasy world-building to life on the small, streaming screen.
However, when the first trailer for Prime’s tentpole LOTR epic, dubbed The Rings of Power, dropped on Super Bowl Sunday, Amazon Studios sparked uproar after the all-white, heavily male casts from previous film depictions made way for a more inclusive Tolkien retelling.
Rather than the image of a slender Galadriel dressed in her ethereal gossamer gown that Peter Jackson chose for his Tolkien trilogies, the Lady of Lothlórien was instead portrayed charging a field atop her steed, clad in full armor. All new characters that never appeared in the author’s works were introduced, including Arondir the elf, and the dwarven princess Disa, both portrayed bya Latinx and Black actor respectively.
Some felt the deliberate attempt to broaden the series’ appeal clashed with the world and its figures as they were described in the books, while others championed the diverse cast and suspected the outcry disguised latent racism and misogyny.
The latest uproar follows a Vanity Fair story published earlier this month in which Amazon executives directly addressed some fans’ opposition to a multicultural cast.
“Tolkien is for everyone,” said executive producer Lindsey Weber. “It felt only natural to us that an adaptation of Tolkien’s work would reflect what the world actually looks like.”