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On September 2, 1973, J.R.R. Tolkien, probably the best-known high fantasy writer of all time thanks to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, died. Also, on September 2, but of this year, the series about The Lord of the Rings will premiere on Amazon, and from what has leaked so far, it’s safe to assume it will mark Tolkien’s second death.
J.R.R. Tolkien devoted more than half his life to creating the Lord of the Rings universe. For some 50 years — since 1917 — he meticulously defined the world where his stories would unfold. Its geography, its history, its wars, its species and races, its religions… He even invented complete languages for its different kinds of inhabitants!
The Lord of the Rings, which was originally intended to be a sequel to The Hobbit as a children’s story, became something much more complex and grandiose. J.R.R. Tolkien became obsessed with the idea of creating his own mythology for England. J.R.R. Tolkien, himself, explained his motivation:
“Besides — and I hope I do not sound absurd —- from a very early age I was afflicted by the poverty of my beloved country: It had no stories of its own connected to its language and soil — not of the quality I sought — and which I found, as an ingredient, in the legends of other lands. There were Greek, Celtic, Romance, Germanic, Scandinavian and Finnish stories which influenced me a lot, but nothing English.”
A fervent Catholic, J.R.R. Tolkien transferred Christian values to his work, which had an enormous cultural impact and influence. Not only in the literary genre of high fantasy, but it also reached a universal audience thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien’s care and attention in depicting archetypes in the struggle between good and evil.
From what Amazon has been gradually saying about its upcoming Lord of the Rings series, Tolkien’s universal legacy could be demolished by the inclusion of woke ideology in the new series, which could be the second death of Tolkien. The killing of his message by the woke shredder.
Amazon’s woke revisionism of Tolkien?
It is now commonplace for the Hollywood film industry to take it upon itself to enhance progressive and left-wing values. Moreover, Netflix seems to be particularly enthusiastic about this work, becoming a speaker for the woke ideology. Now Amazon seems to want to copy its competition and make woke the basis on which they will build their star series.
In June 2021, Amazon assured that its main objective was to expand “its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity for its content and productions.” And that Amazon Studios “continues to seek out stories and storytelling that amplify voices across race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability (including mental health), body size, gender, gender identity and gender expression for the global Prime Video audience.”
While it may all be an advertising campaign by Amazon to stir up a false controversy and generate buzz for the series, the information that has been coming out about the new Lord of the Rings is worryingly woke-centric.
It seems that Amazon’s recipe for the series, the excess of all these ingredients could cause Tolkien’s original values to be diluted. It must be remembered that woke ideology, as much as it boasts of its diversity, inclusiveness, and tolerance, is actually based on division, victimization, and moral superiority.
A woke does not seek to make his new world creations with more diversity and representativeness. What he seeks is to destroy the old, to deconstruct the heterosexual Western white male, and to corrupt the values that have built the world.
This renewal of values, this process of re-education undertaken by the extreme radical left, is sometimes done in a frontal way through the cancel culture, other times — the most — in a subtle and sibylline way through popular culture, in the purest style of Grima Wormtongue.
Since the death in 2020 of Christopher Tolkien, son of J.R.R. Tolkien and the custodian of his father’s literary legacy, it seems as if a coordinated attack has been unleashed by progressive forces to deactivate Tolkien’s message.
As an example, the titles of some of the papers at the 2021 Tolkien Society are “Gondor in Transition: a Brief Introduction to Transgender Reality in The Lord of the Rings,” “The Problem of Pain: Portraying Physical Disability in Tolkien’s Fantasy,” “The Lossoth: Indigeneity, Identity, and Antiracism,” “The Invisible Other: Tolkien’s Dwarf-Women and the Feminine Absence,” “Something Powerfully Queer: Destabilizing Cishetero Amatonormativity in the works of Tolkien.”
Awaiting, for what exactly Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings series will bring, one might think that woke culture already invaded the realm of Middle Earth. An epic cultural battle will have to be fought to prevent – or, if necessary, avenge – Tolkien’s second death.
Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.
Social Networks: @ignaciomgm