The highly anticipated fantasy series, The Rings of Power, debuted on September 1. It opened to a slew of positive reviews, with many praising the cast, storyline, music, and cinematography. The Rings of Power has already been renewed for a second season, which will begin filming in October.
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The Rings of Power will take place thousands of years before The Lord of the Rings and will cover the events of the Middle-Second Earth’s age. The series includes well-known characters like Galadriel and Elrond, as well as newcomers to Middle-Earth mythology. While this is an exciting time for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, the aforementioned racist backlash has overshadowed The Rings of Power.
So-called Tolkien fans have objected to the casting of people of color, a reaction that has become all too common when it comes to beloved properties. Many people, including Neil Gaiman and several Lord of the Rings actors, have spoken out against these attacks.
The Rings of Power strongly condemns Racist Backlash
In a new statement shared on social media, The Rings of Power strongly condemns cowardly harassment. It claims that Tolkein‘s work is about bringing people from diverse cultures together for the greater good. And that fantasy has never been solely about white men. The series expresses gratitude to all the fans of color who have been targeted by racist insults, describing how their support enriches and strengthens the community.
There was always going to be opposition to The Rings of Power because it aimed to innovate within Tolkien’s canon. Threats and harassment directed at actors, however, are outdated and disrespectful of Tolkien’s legacy. It doesn’t matter what the original script says or how other adaptations have handled it in the past.
It would be absurd and insulting to suggest that women and BIPOCs have no place in Middle-earth, a fantastical world where anything is possible. The Rings of Power‘s statement in response to this backlash may have been delayed a bit. But it is nonetheless forceful and encouraging.