I was recently reading the CBR article titled 10 Harsh Realities of Rewatching the Lord of the Rings. If you haven’t read it, it is a solid read and very appropriate for today, when so many excellent shows and movies are getting negative reviews because they happen to be slightly different from works created years ago or cast members are of a different skin tone or the work features *gasp* a woman. Annalyssa Fincher rightly points out several harsh truths about this beloved trilogy. However, I do have some things I’d like to say where we differ. I am definitely not saying she’s wrong at all, but that my opinion differs from the author of the article.
1) It Was Right to Show the Ents as Taking as Needing to be Shown Why They Need to Go to War
In a world where a power-obsessed man sends an army to overthrow the government, there are many more who will sit in the side lines and not get involved because it does not concern them. Those on the sidelines need to understand that said power-obsessed person will never have any issue crushing those in the sidelines if it gets the power-obsessed person what they want. They will act as fast as trees run. They will watch and talk and never understood how the actions of the power-obsessed person will affect them. Those on the sidelines need to be shown how such a power-obsessed person will hurt them.
And before anyone says anything, I am commenting on an article about a movie only and not making any comparisons to the current political situation. None whatsoever. “The closer we are to danger, the farther we are from harm.”
2) Frodo was Never the Hero. Sam Was.
Frodo was brave and constant. He carried the burden that are at his soul and was slowly wasting his body. However, those qualities does not necessarily make one a hero. Sam was the true hero of the story. Sam always had Frodo’s best interests at heart. Frodo sent him away, but Sam came back because he knew that Frodo would need him. When he thought Frodo was dead, he carried the Ring. When he discovered that he had erred in his assessment of Frodo being dead, Sam went after him. And then there’s the unforgettable line, “I may not be able to carry the Ring, but I can carry you.” Sam is the true hero of the story.
Frodo is the person slowly dying of cancer. Sam is the spouse that stays by their side until death.
3) There Should Have Been More Women and a Variety of Skin tones
This last one needs to be said by as many white guys as possible. Well, here’s one. The Lord of the Rings has an excessive number of men with a skin tones from European descent in the trilogy. There is absolutely no reason why it could not have had a larger diversity of actors. Heck, the trilogy used local talent from New Zealand and there are actors of indigenous descent there as well as Pacific Islanders who call the island nation their home. Women playing male elves may even work better than men playing those roles.
As much as I love Sean Bean and David Wenham in their respective roles, imagine Boromir and Faramir being played by Samuel L. Jackson and Lawrence Fishburne. “Give me the Ring, motherf***er,” “Frodo is the One.”S
Seriously though, the trilogy needed more diversity and I am glad the new series is correcting.
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