Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

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Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by tuttle » Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:05 pm

It's been two years since this idea of dubious merit was announced, and for the most part there's only been a lot of speculation. But things are beginning to ramp up and we're beginning to see a little of what this is going to be.

What we know (or think we know) so far:

1) It's going to be filmed in New Zealand

2) It's not actually going to be "The Lord of the Rings" in the sense that it'll be based on the "Second Age", which is basically a couple thousand years before the events in The Lord of the Rings. Basically the age of Numenor and Sauron's rise, deception, and defeat.

Part of the reason it's set in the Second Age (at least according to Tom Shippey) is that apparently when Amazon purchased the rights, the Tolkien Estate explicitly disallowed any re-telling of the LOTR, and strictly limited any new adaptation to the Second Age. Apparently the thought behind this is that the Estate did not want Amazon to jigger with any plots Tolkien had already created or established. Essentially it's their way of making sure Tolkien's work is kept pure. Because what we know of the Second Age is only the highlights, they are more comfortable with Amazon telling new stories based in Middle-earth, so long as the structure of the Second Age is maintained. So whatever history is already spelled out, it must remain the same, so Amazon has their hands simultaneously tied and yet are free to fully flesh out anything Tolkien did not specifically flesh out.

3) As of now there is a 5 season commitment. It's said the first season is 20 episodes long. It'll be in production for like two years and the thought is it'll be out in 2021.

4) A few actors are reported to have been cast though it seems, due to secrecy, no one is confirming anything.
-Markella Kavenagh (reportedly cast for a character named Tyra)
-Will Poulter (notable for playing Eustace Scrubb, reported to be playing a hero named Beldor)
-Joseph Mawle (reportedly playing a villain named Oren)
-Maxim Baldry (all I can find is that his role is 'significant')

5) Amazon released a map bit by bit before the Second Age stuff was confirmed. It's assumed Numenor will be heavily featured. Nothing earth shattering but it's a pretty map.

Image




========================

The biggest takeaway for me is how restrictive the Tolkien Estate is in this process. It's crazy to me that Amazon bought the rights to Lord of the Rings only to be able to use material for the Second Age. 1st & 3rd ages off limits. They can't use Silmarillion source material. It can only come from the info found in LOTR. If they have that much control over what is limited, I hope they also have been able to limit certain themes/agendas/content consistency, etc. A woke Middle-earth isn't Middle-earth.

Creatively I think it would be a very fun sandbox to play in. And as a quasi-purist, I think I'll have more fun watching a show like this. It sort of frees you up to not worry about all the changes to the originals.
"The Evangelium has not abrogated legends; it has hallowed them" -JRR Tolkien

"Better to die cheerfully with the aid of a little tobacco, than to live disagreeably and remorseful without." -CS Lewis

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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by Del » Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:24 pm

tuttle wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:05 pm
The biggest takeaway for me is how restrictive the Tolkien Estate is in this process. It's crazy to me that Amazon bought the rights to Lord of the Rings only to be able to use material for the Second Age. 1st & 3rd ages off limits. They can't use Silmarillion source material. It can only come from the info found in LOTR. If they have that much control over what is limited, I hope they also have been able to limit certain themes/agendas/content consistency, etc. A woke Middle-earth isn't Middle-earth.

Creatively I think it would be a very fun sandbox to play in. And as a quasi-purist, I think I'll have more fun watching a show like this. It sort of frees you up to not worry about all the changes to the originals.
I hope that the Tolkien estate holds enough creative reins to ensure that the story remains subtly Catholic.

Sauron must be charismatic and attractive, with just a subtle perversion of evil.

Ar-Pharazôn the Golden should be a complex king, mostly good but tempted to excessive glory. At every moment, it should feel like he could almost choose the good. (As Peter Jackson should have done with Denethor.)

With so many episodes planned, it should take quite a while for Sauron to tempt the good king to his fate. Elendil the Tall will be a trusted advisor and close friend, slowly turned away for his failure to assent to Sauron's temptations.

This could be done very well!
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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by arank87 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:12 pm

tuttle wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:05 pm
It's been two years since this idea of dubious merit was announced, and for the most part there's only been a lot of speculation. But things are beginning to ramp up and we're beginning to see a little of what this is going to be.

What we know (or think we know) so far:

1) It's going to be filmed in New Zealand

2) It's not actually going to be "The Lord of the Rings" in the sense that it'll be based on the "Second Age", which is basically a couple thousand years before the events in The Lord of the Rings. Basically the age of Numenor and Sauron's rise, deception, and defeat.

Part of the reason it's set in the Second Age (at least according to Tom Shippey) is that apparently when Amazon purchased the rights, the Tolkien Estate explicitly disallowed any re-telling of the LOTR, and strictly limited any new adaptation to the Second Age. Apparently the thought behind this is that the Estate did not want Amazon to jigger with any plots Tolkien had already created or established. Essentially it's their way of making sure Tolkien's work is kept pure. Because what we know of the Second Age is only the highlights, they are more comfortable with Amazon telling new stories based in Middle-earth, so long as the structure of the Second Age is maintained. So whatever history is already spelled out, it must remain the same, so Amazon has their hands simultaneously tied and yet are free to fully flesh out anything Tolkien did not specifically flesh out.

3) As of now there is a 5 season commitment. It's said the first season is 20 episodes long. It'll be in production for like two years and the thought is it'll be out in 2021.

4) A few actors are reported to have been cast though it seems, due to secrecy, no one is confirming anything.
-Markella Kavenagh (reportedly cast for a character named Tyra)
-Will Poulter (notable for playing Eustace Scrubb, reported to be playing a hero named Beldor)
-Joseph Mawle (reportedly playing a villain named Oren)
-Maxim Baldry (all I can find is that his role is 'significant')

5) Amazon released a map bit by bit before the Second Age stuff was confirmed. It's assumed Numenor will be heavily featured. Nothing earth shattering but it's a pretty map.

Image




========================

The biggest takeaway for me is how restrictive the Tolkien Estate is in this process. It's crazy to me that Amazon bought the rights to Lord of the Rings only to be able to use material for the Second Age. 1st & 3rd ages off limits. They can't use Silmarillion source material. It can only come from the info found in LOTR. If they have that much control over what is limited, I hope they also have been able to limit certain themes/agendas/content consistency, etc. A woke Middle-earth isn't Middle-earth.

Creatively I think it would be a very fun sandbox to play in. And as a quasi-purist, I think I'll have more fun watching a show like this. It sort of frees you up to not worry about all the changes to the originals.
I’m very skeptical that it won’t be “woke.” I can’t think of single show in the last 10 years that wasn’t and Amazon is a very politically active company. The political correctness in entertainment has skyrocketed in 10 years. I hope they are able to keep it in the spirit the author intended.
“A true Lutheran relies on God’s Word and would not worry about it even if the whole world mocked and despised him for it. He does not consider the world an authority in religious matters. He rests his faith on higher authority.” C.F.W. Walther

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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by tuttle » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:00 pm

arank87 wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:12 pm
I’m very skeptical that it won’t be “woke.” I can’t think of single show in the last 10 years that wasn’t and Amazon is a very politically active company. The political correctness in entertainment has skyrocketed in 10 years. I hope they are able to keep it in the spirit the author intended.
It's been a while since I've seen a show not infected with PC in some way. But usually I've noticed, unless it's sort of baked into the premise of the show, it doesn't happen until a few seasons in. They'll introduce a new woke plotline or some character comes out as gay.

The Marvel movies did a pretty good job for a while just making fun superhero movies, but notice the new direction it's taking. The maxim "get woke go broke" is true to some degree, and the best way to avoid it is to build up a good fan base before you inject it.

I'm sure there'll be grrrl power to some degree early on, but my guess is that'll be as much as they push in the first couple of seasons. If they're going to push an agenda it won't reveal itself till a couple seasons in when they've created a dedicated following.

What would be great is that, beyond all seeming hope, this show embraces Tolkien whole-heartedly and acts as a sort of antidote to all the PC crap out there now.
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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by arank87 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:05 pm

tuttle wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:00 pm
What would be great is that, beyond all seeming hope, this show embraces Tolkien whole-heartedly and acts as a sort of antidote to all the PC crap out there now.
I honestly think Amazon won’t let a show be made that is not politically correct, has some social justice/environmentalist bent, or introduces sex, race, and gender politics. Sorry if I derailed the the topic.
“A true Lutheran relies on God’s Word and would not worry about it even if the whole world mocked and despised him for it. He does not consider the world an authority in religious matters. He rests his faith on higher authority.” C.F.W. Walther

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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by tuttle » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:36 pm

arank87 wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:05 pm
tuttle wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:00 pm
What would be great is that, beyond all seeming hope, this show embraces Tolkien whole-heartedly and acts as a sort of antidote to all the PC crap out there now.
I honestly think Amazon won’t let a show be made that is not politically correct, has some social justice/environmentalist bent, or introduces sex, race, and gender politics. Sorry if I derailed the the topic.
Not a derail at all. It's a legitimate concern.

In a previous thread I listed my own personal restrictions, although on account of this being Second Age, some of this won't apply (and I've added some updated comments)
tuttle wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:05 am
Absolute Nots* (feel free to add yer own)

-No Peter Jackson so far so good, Jackson isn't involved

-No extraneous love stories or romantic plot lines. Absolutely no love triangles. Extraneous is the word here. I thought we were dealing with LOTR. I'm cool with romantic plot lines and love triangles for newly created characters. Though it'd be nice to avoid anything Tolkien avoided. No elf/dwarf/orc lovin.

-No Frodo/Sam homosexual "what ifs". Glorify friendship. There'll be no Frodo or Sam, but this is still a concern.

-No sex. Not even insinuated. I stand by this.

-No Arwen/Xena Warrior Princess Since Arwen won't be in this, I'll amend it. Female fighters should look more like Eowyn and less like Tauriel

-No females in the fellowship Again, there'll be no Fellowship, so no huge beef with including females, but I'll echo my statement above. Leave the bulk of fighting to the men (this is practically a fools hope, I know)

-No real world ethnic diversity for the sake of ethnic diversity in realms where there was no ethnic diversity. Ethnic diversity is different in Middle-Earth. There are elves and dwarves. No need for African-American elves and Asian Dwarves. If you want different tones of skin color, Tolkien only gives you very minimal options, the men of Harad, for instance. And they weren't ethnically diverse either. Middle-earth is not America. I stand by this.

-No social commentary driven episodes...let Tolkien's love of trees and nature shine, not the eco-commie climate change screeching. No contemporary shoe-horned view points on war or illegal immigration or Trump or racism, etc. Any commentary to be derived should spring from the story naturally. Let people bring their views to the story, don't allow the story to be a vehicle for any pet political propaganda. This is pretty much what we've been talking about

-No non-smoking of pipes or downplay of Hobbit revelry and glowing admiration of pipe-weed There's likely no hobbits, so no pipe-weed so this is kind of moot. Although, I can't recall if the Battle of the North Kingdom (at Fornost) happens in the Second Age. If so, we might see some hobbit archers! Come to think of it, there are no wizards in the second age! No Gandalf.

-No empathy for orcs/evil. We need that for Gollum. No Gollum, but still, there ought to be no empathy for evil. Or those who are empathetic with evil should rightly be condemned. I actually think this could be an issue. I can see a storyline following an orc who defects to the good side or something. Please none of that.

-No sullying already pure heroes, that is, don't stain a character just because he's "too wholesome". Faramir doesn't need to be a slightly better Boromir. This may not be an issue since there'll be mostly new characters. But point stands, good guys should be good.

-No video game Legolas No longer really an issue

-No making dwarves frat boy fart jokes Not really an issue I think, other than perhaps a right understanding of the tone of humor. Fart joke Dwarves are more a Jackson thing.

-No skipping Tom Bombadil/Goldberry, Glorfindel, Fatty Bolger, Ghân-buri-Ghân, Quickbeam, Halbard and the Dúnedain, Imrahil, Bill Ferny, Farmer Maggot or the Scouring of the Shire Moot point






--------------------------------------------------------------
*I've got a feeling that no sex, no racial diversity, and no females in the fellowship and/or the no romantic triangles will be the major hurdles. You know there are people just dying to include all of this, and it seems those people are the ones who usually call the shots. "This is what the audience want's, baby!" Do they say "baby" in Hollywood still? They do in my head.

The good thing is that lots of specific concerns are swept away by placing this in a sandbox Second Age. Which is why the biggest concerns that remain are the general ones: wokeness, worldly sexuality, anti-heroism, anti-masculinity, etc.
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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by Fainn » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:44 pm

I am broke, so if it costs money, I don't care what happens.
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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by wosbald » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:01 pm

+JMJ+
tuttle wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:36 pm
[…]

-No empathy for orcs/evil. We need that for Gollum. No Gollum, but still, there ought to be no empathy for evil. Or those who are empathetic with evil should rightly be condemned. I actually think this could be an issue. I can see a storyline following an orc who defects to the good side or something. Please none of that.

[…]
"You think, as is your wont, my lord, of Gondor only," said Gandalf. "Yet there are other men and other lives, and time still to be. And for me, I pity even his slaves."
— TROTK, "The Siege of Gondor"

... and the slaves of Mordor he [Aragorn] released and gave to them all the lands about Lake Nurnen to be their own.
— TROTK, "The Steward and the King"

ImageImage

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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by arank87 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:14 pm

tuttle wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:36 pm
arank87 wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:05 pm
tuttle wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:00 pm
What would be great is that, beyond all seeming hope, this show embraces Tolkien whole-heartedly and acts as a sort of antidote to all the PC crap out there now.
I honestly think Amazon won’t let a show be made that is not politically correct, has some social justice/environmentalist bent, or introduces sex, race, and gender politics. Sorry if I derailed the the topic.
Not a derail at all. It's a legitimate concern.

In a previous thread I listed my own personal restrictions, although on account of this being Second Age, some of this won't apply (and I've added some updated comments)
tuttle wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:05 am
Absolute Nots* (feel free to add yer own)

-No Peter Jackson so far so good, Jackson isn't involved

-No extraneous love stories or romantic plot lines. Absolutely no love triangles. Extraneous is the word here. I thought we were dealing with LOTR. I'm cool with romantic plot lines and love triangles for newly created characters. Though it'd be nice to avoid anything Tolkien avoided. No elf/dwarf/orc lovin.

-No Frodo/Sam homosexual "what ifs". Glorify friendship. There'll be no Frodo or Sam, but this is still a concern.

-No sex. Not even insinuated. I stand by this.

-No Arwen/Xena Warrior Princess Since Arwen won't be in this, I'll amend it. Female fighters should look more like Eowyn and less like Tauriel

-No females in the fellowship Again, there'll be no Fellowship, so no huge beef with including females, but I'll echo my statement above. Leave the bulk of fighting to the men (this is practically a fools hope, I know)

-No real world ethnic diversity for the sake of ethnic diversity in realms where there was no ethnic diversity. Ethnic diversity is different in Middle-Earth. There are elves and dwarves. No need for African-American elves and Asian Dwarves. If you want different tones of skin color, Tolkien only gives you very minimal options, the men of Harad, for instance. And they weren't ethnically diverse either. Middle-earth is not America. I stand by this.

-No social commentary driven episodes...let Tolkien's love of trees and nature shine, not the eco-commie climate change screeching. No contemporary shoe-horned view points on war or illegal immigration or Trump or racism, etc. Any commentary to be derived should spring from the story naturally. Let people bring their views to the story, don't allow the story to be a vehicle for any pet political propaganda. This is pretty much what we've been talking about

-No non-smoking of pipes or downplay of Hobbit revelry and glowing admiration of pipe-weed There's likely no hobbits, so no pipe-weed so this is kind of moot. Although, I can't recall if the Battle of the North Kingdom (at Fornost) happens in the Second Age. If so, we might see some hobbit archers! Come to think of it, there are no wizards in the second age! No Gandalf.

-No empathy for orcs/evil. We need that for Gollum. No Gollum, but still, there ought to be no empathy for evil. Or those who are empathetic with evil should rightly be condemned. I actually think this could be an issue. I can see a storyline following an orc who defects to the good side or something. Please none of that.

-No sullying already pure heroes, that is, don't stain a character just because he's "too wholesome". Faramir doesn't need to be a slightly better Boromir. This may not be an issue since there'll be mostly new characters. But point stands, good guys should be good.

-No video game Legolas No longer really an issue

-No making dwarves frat boy fart jokes Not really an issue I think, other than perhaps a right understanding of the tone of humor. Fart joke Dwarves are more a Jackson thing.

-No skipping Tom Bombadil/Goldberry, Glorfindel, Fatty Bolger, Ghân-buri-Ghân, Quickbeam, Halbard and the Dúnedain, Imrahil, Bill Ferny, Farmer Maggot or the Scouring of the Shire Moot point






--------------------------------------------------------------
*I've got a feeling that no sex, no racial diversity, and no females in the fellowship and/or the no romantic triangles will be the major hurdles. You know there are people just dying to include all of this, and it seems those people are the ones who usually call the shots. "This is what the audience want's, baby!" Do they say "baby" in Hollywood still? They do in my head.

The good thing is that lots of specific concerns are swept away by placing this in a sandbox Second Age. Which is why the biggest concerns that remain are the general ones: wokeness, worldly sexuality, anti-heroism, anti-masculinity, etc.
Could not agree more. I was reading that thinking ‘I don’t remember writing these words...’. I feel that way about EVERYTHING though, not just LOTR. I read somewhere that making books and movies and TV shows all revolve around our modern times, or the need to have characters who “look like me” is just narcissism gone wild.
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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by wosbald » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:17 am

+JMJ+

So, what we're looking for is a Eurocentric, Androcentric story about characters that don't look like CPSers being used as a nonpolitical "antidote" to Politically-Correct stories about characters "that look like narcissists".

That about sum it up?

ImageImage

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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by tuttle » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:29 am

wosbald wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:01 pm
+JMJ+
tuttle wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:36 pm
[…]

-No empathy for orcs/evil. We need that for Gollum. No Gollum, but still, there ought to be no empathy for evil. Or those who are empathetic with evil should rightly be condemned. I actually think this could be an issue. I can see a storyline following an orc who defects to the good side or something. Please none of that.

[…]
"You think, as is your wont, my lord, of Gondor only," said Gandalf. "Yet there are other men and other lives, and time still to be. And for me, I pity even his slaves."
— TROTK, "The Siege of Gondor"

... and the slaves of Mordor he [Aragorn] released and gave to them all the lands about Lake Nurnen to be their own.
— TROTK, "The Steward and the King"
Not all the slaves of the Dark Lord were orcs.

"As when death smites the swollen brooding thing that inhabits their crawling hill and holds them all in sway, ants will wander witless and purposeless and then feebly die, so the creatures of Sauron, orc or troll or beast spell-enslaved, ran hither and thither mindless; and some slew themselves, or cast themselves in pits, or fled wailing back to hide in holes and dark lightless places far from hope.” --TROTK, "The Field of Cormallen"
"The Evangelium has not abrogated legends; it has hallowed them" -JRR Tolkien

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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by tuttle » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:46 am

wosbald wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:17 am
+JMJ+

So, what we're looking for is a Eurocentric, Androcentric story about characters that don't look like CPSers being used as a nonpolitical "antidote" to Politically-Correct stories about characters "that look like narcissists".

That about sum it up?
Tolkien envisioned his work as Eurocentric, or more specifically Anglocentric. So yeah, we're looking for that.

Insofar as they are centered around war and adventure, Tolkien used men dominantly in his tales. An argument could be made that this ensures that all the women shine like jewels. So, yeah we're looking for that too.

Should one battle Political Correctness with the political or nonpolitical? Of course, because politics bleeds into everything, there will be some overlap. (ie. Showing a good king is political). So motives are at play. But art for story's sake rather than for a political agenda, and art which glorifies truth, goodness, and beauty, does indeed serve as an antidote to Politically Correct stories.

So, to sum it up, what we're looking for is what Tolkien envisioned.

I am not unaware that modern society believes what Tolkien envisioned was racist, sexist, and whatever else-ist. Orcs hate beautiful things.
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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by wosbald » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:32 am

tuttle wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:29 am
wosbald wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:01 pm
+JMJ+
tuttle wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:36 pm
[…]

-No empathy for orcs/evil. We need that for Gollum. No Gollum, but still, there ought to be no empathy for evil. Or those who are empathetic with evil should rightly be condemned. I actually think this could be an issue. I can see a storyline following an orc who defects to the good side or something. Please none of that.

[…]
"You think, as is your wont, my lord, of Gondor only," said Gandalf. "Yet there are other men and other lives, and time still to be. And for me, I pity even his slaves."
— TROTK, "The Siege of Gondor"

... and the slaves of Mordor he [Aragorn] released and gave to them all the lands about Lake Nurnen to be their own.
— TROTK, "The Steward and the King"
Not all the slaves of the Dark Lord were orcs.

"As when death smites the swollen brooding thing that inhabits their crawling hill and holds them all in sway, ants will wander witless and purposeless and then feebly die, so the creatures of Sauron, orc or troll or beast spell-enslaved, ran hither and thither mindless; and some slew themselves, or cast themselves in pits, or fled wailing back to hide in holes and dark lightless places far from hope.” --TROTK, "The Field of Cormallen"
Gandalf didn't say that he pitied merely "some" of Sauron's slaves. Aragorn gave the lands to "the slaves", full stop.

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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by tuttle » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:58 am

wosbald wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:32 am
tuttle wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:29 am
wosbald wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:01 pm
+JMJ+
tuttle wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:36 pm
[…]

-No empathy for orcs/evil. We need that for Gollum. No Gollum, but still, there ought to be no empathy for evil. Or those who are empathetic with evil should rightly be condemned. I actually think this could be an issue. I can see a storyline following an orc who defects to the good side or something. Please none of that.

[…]
"You think, as is your wont, my lord, of Gondor only," said Gandalf. "Yet there are other men and other lives, and time still to be. And for me, I pity even his slaves."
— TROTK, "The Siege of Gondor"

... and the slaves of Mordor he [Aragorn] released and gave to them all the lands about Lake Nurnen to be their own.
— TROTK, "The Steward and the King"
Not all the slaves of the Dark Lord were orcs.

"As when death smites the swollen brooding thing that inhabits their crawling hill and holds them all in sway, ants will wander witless and purposeless and then feebly die, so the creatures of Sauron, orc or troll or beast spell-enslaved, ran hither and thither mindless; and some slew themselves, or cast themselves in pits, or fled wailing back to hide in holes and dark lightless places far from hope.” --TROTK, "The Field of Cormallen"
Gandalf didn't say that he pitied merely "some" of Sauron's slaves. Aragorn gave the lands to "the slaves", full stop.
That's a slim interpretation. I think there is enough evidence, especially in light of what Tolkien wrote of the orcs and other creatures above--dying or hiding in places far from hope--but the clincher is the connection of Lake Nurnen with the mention of Men who were slaves, when Sam and Frodo in Mordor, looked out over the land between them and the Mountain, watching the armies below:
'I don't like the look of things at all,' said Sam. 'Pretty hopeless, I call it - saving that where there's such a lot of folk there must be wells or water, not to mention food. And these are Men not Orcs, or my eyes are all wrong.'

Neither he nor Frodo knew anything of the great slave-worked fields away south in this wide realm, beyond the fumes of the Mountain by the dark sad waters of Lake Nurnen; nor of the great roads that ran away east and south to tributary lands, from which the soldiers of the Tower brought long wagon-trains of goods and booty and fresh slaves.
So these slaves were Men, from the particular region of Lake Nurnen, and Aragorn gave this land back to the original inhabitants.


At the end of the day, if Gandalf felt pity for the Orcs, it still wasn't empathy. Pity is feeling sorrow for, Empathy is feeling sorrow with. There is no shared perspective or worldview or emotions with the Orcs. In the case of Frodo and Gollum (and Bilbo) there is pity, but there is also empathy, and through them we can be empathetic with Gollum. That's my driving point.

It's one thing to have pity or to be sympathetic towards evil creatures. It's another thing to have empathy, a thing I don't find with the orcs in Tolkien's work, and so shouldn't be a thing when the TV show airs.
"The Evangelium has not abrogated legends; it has hallowed them" -JRR Tolkien

"Better to die cheerfully with the aid of a little tobacco, than to live disagreeably and remorseful without." -CS Lewis

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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by wosbald » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:21 am

+JMJ+

So, 'twould seem that the Orc issue is, ultimately, left studiously ambiguous.

I would say that this is because, as a Catholic, Tolkien was dogmatically-bound to be "not insane". Being Catholically unable to flatly demonize the Orcs, he had to leave an open space for their redemption.

Works for me. Lookin' forward to Amazon's new series. :D

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Re: Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings"

Post by tuttle » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:05 pm

wosbald wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:21 am
+JMJ+

So, 'twould seem that the Orc issue is, ultimately, left studiously ambiguous.

I would say that this is because, as a Catholic, Tolkien was dogmatically-bound to be "not insane". Being Catholically unable to flatly demonize the Orcs, he had to leave an open space for their redemption.

Works for me. Lookin' forward to Amazon's new series. :D
Tolkien himself had made mention that Orcs, though products of evil, could not technically be irredeemable. But that was meta. I'm sure in some theological work residing deep in the bowels of a Gondorian library some such notion is maintained.

I think you're packing more into this than what I had originally stated. We went from empathy with evil to whether or not they are redeemable. Unless the Amazon writers are cooking up some sort of orc redemption story (on the theological level, where Tolkien places it) then I guess they've the right, however, it's still not faithful to Tolkien's depiction of orcs, and would subvert, rather than fulfill it. That is, they'd twist what Tolkien built by leaning on the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law.

So when it comes to their artistic depiction, I'd argue it's not studiously ambiguous at all. While technically allowing redemption on a theological level, beyond the text in order to keep things Christian (by all means a good thing!), Tolkien never depicted orcs that way.

Tis a flimsy branch to cling to in order to defend the depiction of empathy with the orcs. Keep 'em unambiguously evil on screen, like on the page, and we can all fight about it online.
"The Evangelium has not abrogated legends; it has hallowed them" -JRR Tolkien

"Better to die cheerfully with the aid of a little tobacco, than to live disagreeably and remorseful without." -CS Lewis

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