The stars of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy are showing their support for the Rings of Power cast after the Amazon series came under fire for casting Black actors as elves, dwarves and Hobbits. Ismael Cruz Córdova revealed that he’d been receiving “pure and vicious hate speech” over the past two years after being cast as the Silvan elf Arondir, and Amazon turned off ratings for the show after being review-bombed.
Elijah Wood, who played Frodo in the films, posted a photo of himself and former costars Dominic Monaghan (Merry) and Billy Boyd (Pippin) wearing shirts featuring ears of the different Middle-earth races in varying skin tones, along with the phrase “You Are All Welcome Here” written in Elvish.
You Are All Welcome Here @LOTRonPrime @DonMarshall72 #RingsOfPower https://t.co/8txOhlHa2f pic.twitter.com/nWytILT0zG
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) September 7, 2022
Sean Astin, who played Frodo’s best friend Sam, also posted a selfie of himself wearing a hat with the same phrase.
You are all welcome here.#RingsOfPower @LOTRonPrime #MiddleEarth #Samwise @ElijahWood @BillyBoydActor @DomsWildThings @DonMarshall72 https://t.co/w2tdZ4nFwN pic.twitter.com/f4RsBKE9an
— Sean Astin (@SeanAstin) September 7, 2022
Córdova received the message loud and clear, responding with “Much love.”
His Rings of Power costar Benjamin Walker (High King Gil-galad) added, “Thank you, guys.”
In a tweet from the official Rings of Power account, the cast also released a message of solidarity. “We, the cast of Rings of Power, stand together in absolute solidarity against the relentless racism, threats, harassment, and abuse some of our castmates of color are being subjected to on a daily basis,” the statement read. “We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it.”
“J.R.R. Tolkien created a world which, by definition, is multi-cultural. A world in which free peoples from different races and cultures join together, in fellowship, to defeat the forces of evil. Rings of Power reflects that. Our world has never been all white, fantasy has never been all white, Middle-earth is not all white. BIPOC belong in Middle-earth and they are here to stay.” Read the full statement here.
Set during the Second Age, thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings, Rings of Power spans many different locations, from “the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor” as old and new characters etch out legacies that will last long after they are dead.
Episodes 1 and 2, which are currently streaming on Prime Video, found Galadriel — spoiler alert — turning down an opportunity to return to Valinor and encountering the Southlander Halbrand on the Sundering Seas. Meanwhile, Harfoots Nori and Poppy found a mysterious being they’ve nicknamed the Stranger, who fell from the sky.
“They end up in a lot of mischief, a little bit of trouble and a lot of adventure. It’s very exciting,” Megan Richards, who plays Poppy, previously told TVLine.
God Bless them! Love the show. Looking forward to the next episode.
The Hobbits are described as brown-skinned in the books and there was no outcry of so-called lore purists when those roles were fulfilled by White actors in six films, and yet, now, you have a Black elf or Dwarf and, suddenly, there’s an accuracy problem? We all know what the problem is: racism.
The people that complained don’t read books.
This show serves as a great launching point for people that haven’t read the book s or seen the movies. For anyone that loves fantasy, give this a try. The visuals are stunning, the acting, writing, directing & set pieces are all top notch. Looking forward to the rest of the season. I hope you are too.
I think it’s also a little funny that the most prominent dark-skinned Harfoot is played by Sir Lenny Henry – the most well-known and most experienced member of the cast, who would probably have rejected the role if he thought he was offered it just for the sake of diversity.
Tolkien does describe the Harfoots as “browner of skin” whatever that means, like some of the men are described as ‘slightly tanner skin’ other terms like swarthy are used.
I think its probably fair to assume Tolkien based things off the world he lived in so mostly white with some ‘swarthy men’ further off.
Tolkein based the world off his experiences during WW1, where he fought alongside “imperials” -meaning citizens of the British Empire such as Indians, Africans and Arabs.
and there it is.
You clearly haven’t read the books if you think what you are saying is accurate.
At the time the series is set there are three distinct types of hobbit and the Harfoots are described as being browser skinned but the other types aren’t. By the time of the hobbit and Lord of the Rings we are largely at a point where there isn’t 3 distinct types as they had largely all migrate east to what is the Shire and had mixed, all but a smallish group of Stoors that Sméagol was from.
The Harfoots in this actually highlight how poorly done the diversity is done and how much it’s just box ticking. Most of them are white, even the main one we are following when that’s exactly where you can throw in diversity and be consistent with the source material but what we get is some token black Harfoots as well as a solitary token black elf and one prominent black dwarf with a second they lingered the camera on for 15 seconds. Even the Tribes of man where there are a number described in ways to suggest non-white have token diversity.
It’s just so badly done, they don’t commit where they could and when they decide to go against the source material can’t even be arsed to commit to make it seem natural and that just pulls you out of the immersion. Have more black elves and dwarfs being present and on the whole it’s much easier to accept as it then feels natural.. This is Just tokenism at its finest. It would be like casting a single citizen of wakanda as white
Harfoots are not mentioned in The Hobbit. The hobbits in The Hobbit are described as brown.
No, they aren’t though. The closest you get is him describing them as having Clever Brown fingers but it’s not really expanded on and it’s certainly open to interpretation.
In Fellowship Gandalf specifically describes Frodo to Barliman Butterbur as being fairer than most and he wasn’t just talking about fairer than most hobbits.
There are a couple of points in LOTR where he does contrast Frodo and Sam’s hands with Sam’s being described as Dark but again it’s never expanded on so as to be able to draw an actual conclusion
The only place we get any kind of clarification is the LOTR appendices where the 3 types get described and it’s explicitly stated Harfoots are browner skinned and Fallohides are fairer skinned. So we know that at the point of the show Harfoots had brown skin but certainly nothing to support the fact that after the migration and the merging of the types that they were still black
“It’s open interpretation”
“… no, not like that!”
Where did I say ‘no, not like that’ exactly? Why do those of you who are so eager to prove you so enlightened always choosing to make up things people say just so you can imply ism?
The OP made an outright statement that Tolkien described all Hobbits as dark-skinned just so he could throw isms around because people didn’t complain about them being white and then another stated that the Hobbit describes Hobbits as brown and I was just pointing out no he didn’t. The only outright mentioning of them having browner skin comes from the LOTR appendices and that was specifically about Harfoots who by the era of LOTR’s don’t really exist as their own thing anymore. Outside of that there are a couple of references to Sam that could be read to say he was black but equally, there are as many that make it clear how white Frodo is which disproves the premise that all Hobbits are black. And he never says Black, his writings are inspired largely by European Folklore with a bit of European history thrown in so he could be taking about the difference in skin colour between northern Europe and southern Europe.
Again though let’s just be clear, there is enough to suggest Harfoots may have been black so if they had gone with all non-white Harfoots that would have been fine. The problem is the inconsistent way of doing it, commit to having all the Harfoots black rather than 3 token ones, have more varied ‘Men’ as darker skinned Men are in the source rather than a couple of token ones, and if we are going to have a Black Elf and a couple of Black Dwarfs then show us more to highlight that they are multi-cultural races so it feels natural and actually shows an intent to modernise rather than tick some boxes they feel forced into ticking. It’s often worse doing half measures like they did to tick those boxes than if they didn’t have any non-white actors
When I read his work in 1970, the clever brown fingers were covered with very, very long, thick dark brown curly hairs showing a link to their animal like earth den dwellings (to a lot of us reading it, while others were insisting it was about an astral world never minding that Tolkien specifically said he had written the books to create a mythology for the English Isles which didn’t have one.) Take your pick, furry people that are still part animal or various skin colors. It might be that Tolkien had a sense of humor and purposefully left it vague.
I wished they would have finished the sequel to that 1978 animated Lord of the Rings. I watched it a few years ago and it was pretty amazing. Gorgeous art.
I agree 100%. Even if they would have cast correctly I heard it was so boring, with bad writing and breaking lore with the characters’ actions and intentions, that it comes across as some lame misinformed fan fiction. Game of Thrones prequel might have changed one of the characters race, which is ridiculous because black and brown races exist in that universe – no need to swap out a distinct race of white skin, white hair people with a bizzare black skin, white hair person. Really ridiculous. Other then that I heard it was pretty good. I’ll probably give House of the Dragon a shot. I was soured on the whole “winter is coming” thing from before though and I despise race and gender swapping, for the most part, when there is no precedent for it. I don’t mind so much when real-life people are played by different races as long as they resemble them and sound like them but when fictional characters likeness or race has been established I think it needs to stay that way because it’s foundational to what fans expect. The new Rings can suck a donkey and I think the original cast mentioned is being very disrespectful to fans and the source material. I think less of them now. They’ve been pretty desperate for roles for a long while. Crapping on fans always comes back to bite you in the end though.
I’m glad that they spoke up about this. People are free to dislike the show, but racism is never, ever, the answer. The actors are just doing their work and they give it their best.
Exactly! I think racist folk lack empathy for others.
I think arrogant folk see racism everywhere and also lack empathy and self awareness.
I agree, put them on tshirts
The bad reviews have nothing to do with racism, this is complete industry wide slander for the sake of damage control for a poorly written script. Disgraceful.
It has everything to do with racism, the writing on the show so far is average -but certainly not “poor”, it has been marked a decent watch by all major Film industry outlets. It’s the Tolkien purist movement that is absolutely destroying the audience rating of this show. All of the coloured casts have also been consistently bullied but sure go and stay silent about that and say “it’s the poorly written script”
Alot mod the abuse the cast get though comes down to the producers though. I’ve said it a few times both in these comments and on other articles about it but the big problem isn’t being diverse but by doing it badly. We see it over and over with shows and movies right now where being diverse isn’t being done for some creative reason but to tick boxes and viewers can tell when that’s the case. And every time a production does this it makes people more and more naturally cynical when they even hear about castings of diverse groups. If we are going to have more diverse casts especially from established works then all productions need to ensure it’s done well so it doesn’t feel jarring and out of place which most including this aren’t doing, they just throw in token diversity and then pay themselves on back as if they have done something good when they are just making things worse by thinking that’s all they need to do
It has NOTHING to do with racism of the fans, and everything to do with racism inherent in the established lore of the films. I LIKE that they had racism in the books and movies. Dwarves against elves, elves against different colors of elves, humans of one region against humans of another region, who most probably were of a different color. It is conflict that drives the plot. The obvious pilling of POC pulls everyone out of the fantasy of the show due to not sticking with the established source material.
If you had things your way, I bet everyone in every show would be nicey nice to each other all the time and nothing violent would ever happen. BORING. You think we should accept Eminem for the roll of the next MLK drama? Lets make him trans too just in case. You see the tokenism going on for the sake of making a dollar, and you prefer to keep your head in the sand instead of calling it what it is….a disrespect for the work of art for the sake of politics. You would think my point of view is juvenile. I think yours is. Either way, neither of us are right or wrong. We just like or don’t like something.
Strange how it’s only a minority that say that, and it’s mostly the same people who were complaining about the races of the actors before there was even a trailer…..Almost like they’re being disingenuous about what their actual problem with it is.
Or maybe you can just get over yourself and stop being arrogant. Just because something doesn’t matter to you doesn’t make you better or superior to others because that is how all of you come across. When people have valid complaints that mean something to them you start calling them -isms and -phobes just to feel like you’re above everyone else without actually having to put in the effort to be a better person. It matters to them, it doesn’t matter to you. End of story. Most complaints are about the bad writing, character and lore breaking. You like it, then good for you. They don’t like it because that stuff means something to them like other stuff means something to you. Does it have to be more then that. That is true diversity.
That show is probably the worse thing I have ever seen but race has nothing to do with it. sure there are a few purists who think it should be no different than the world Tolkien wrote in but that isn’t why its getting voted into the void….
The show has terrible directing that doesn’t know how to emphasize a scene which means you will see framed out shots with no emphasis that is being said, which maybe a blessing because the dialogue is terrible
I blame the inexperienced showrunners and whoever hired them along with the hack writers.
all in all it is a bad product
“Hack writers” – says the guy who types “worse” instead of “worst”.
If it is the “worst thing you have ever seen” then you clearly do not watch much tv
This is honestly just sad. Like, utterly sad. Who actually cares if the characters aren’t white? It doesn’t affect us, so why do people care so much?
Except it does effect us as it ruins the immersion when it’s done as badly as it is here. Wheel of Time had its issues but atleast when it came to going against the source material when it came to diversity they committed to it. It didn’t seem like like box ticking by throwing a random non-white person in, it felt like a proper diverse world. What we get here is box ticking, they haven’t gone against the source to represent the real world better as the makers have tried claiming to combat the backlash otherwise they would have done a better job of it. *sorry for the double post. Seems i touched reply on another comment while writing this and it jumped it to that*
Is your argument, “if I see a person who is not White, I can’t follow a story anymore and immersion is lost”? I watched Aquaman and, at no point, I could no longer comprehend the plot because Jason Momoa isn’t White. Most people don’t loose their faculties if the see non-White people.
You are choosing to ignore the point just so you can act all superior and enlightened when you aren’t.
At no point did I say anything about not comprehending the plot. I was talking about how really poorly done diversity pulls you out of the show. They are trying to act like they are being diverse when the diversity we saw was 1 black elf, 2 Black Dwarfs (1 which only existed for the camera to focus on for 15 seconds), a couple of non-white Harfoots and a couple of non-white men. Pretty much all of them are in prominent roles. Where are the other black elves? where are the rest of the black dwarves? Why are most of the harfoods white? Where is the non-white men. By not establishing that the communities are diverse and doing so quickly it’s then jarring especially the elf as it contradicts with the accepted look of elves in European folklaw even before Tolkien wrote the books which he borrowed from this folklore. We shouldn’t question the black elf because there should be lots of them. Atleast with Aquaman they tried to make it feel natural. They perhaps didn’t do great job but was better than most
I’d prefer if Jason Momoa wasn’t Aquaman. I would like Aquaman to stay closer to the legacy character and the Atlantis mythos. Blonde, green or blue eyes, etc. For some reason they have always struggled to find an actor that could pull it off in live action so they seemed to have given up and changed the character and just called it diversity. I don’t care too much for Jason Momoa as a person but he’s a pretty good actor and definitely can pull off the superhero roles. I just wished it was something that was true to character or something new. Seems like there would be lots of characters for his looks. He could play Ares, looks-wise because he could pull off being Greek. You’re loose their faculties comment, is ridiculous, insulting and gaslighting by the way. You can beat that.
Seeing people of color ruins your immersion? Get a grip.
See people like are the problem, you choose not to read what is said so you can be all woke and scream racism.
It’s not having black people that ruin the immersion, it’s when integrating diversity is done badly that ruins the immersion. If you are going against the original source to add diversity then it has to feel natural, you shouldn’t be sitting there noticing that the lead elf you are following is a completely different colour to every other elf because that’s pulling you out of the show. If you are having a black elf then you have to have more black elves, especially when the look of elves is so well established even before Tolkien.
There is too much ‘here are a couple of non-white people in important roles, aren’t we progressive, congratulate us’ going on which in reality is just box ticking. If they really wanted to make it more diverse actually creating diverse communities within the groups is what was needed and to establish that right from the off. And they certainly shouldn’t have been whitewashing the harfoots who should all be non-white
If you have to try this hard to pretend you are not racist then dude, you are racist. How many elves exist in this time frame? How many have you actually seen, wha percentage of the actual population? By saying you must see other black elves are you trying to say that the rest of the elves are related or have blood ties? Most of them are not. One has a brother who died, ok. But is the only reason you accept she is white is because there are other white elves around here? How do you know there aren’t a number of darker skinned elves you just haven’t seen yet? Get a grip! Maybe get out of mamas basement and get a life, why are you so obsessed with this? I guess it at least takes time away from your Incel manifesto.
Reading arrogant comments ruins my immersion Alex. How about you just let people care about what they care about and you can care about what you care about and we can all just get along in a nice peaceful world. How about that.
Somehow people who say “Who actually cares if the characters aren’t white” care a lot, when a PoC character is played by a white actor. It’s called whitewashing. I don’t understand how one thing is good and opposite is racist.
Saw a tweet that said, “wah wah wah i saw an elf who wasn’t white on the tv show” f****** listen to yourself you dweebs,” and that’s really all that needs to be said.
What’s the point of writing a comment just to call someone vulgar names about something they care about that you don’t care about. If you don’t care about any of it then why are you wasting your time just to try to feel superior to someone else. People care about all kinds of things that other people don’t care about. It’s a little psychotic to put this much effort, time and vitriol in something you don’t care about unless you think it makes you look like you’re better then someone else. It doesn’t. You just come off as hateful and arrogant. If you don’t care about then just let it be.
Saw a tweet that said, “ wah wah i saw an elf who wasn’t white on the tv show” f’n listen to yourself you dweebs,” and that’s really all that needs to be said.
Except it does effect us as it ruins the immersion when it’s done as badly as it is here. Wheel of Time had its issues but atleast when it came to going against the source material when it came to diversity they committed to it. It didn’t seem like like box ticking by throwing a random non-white person in, it felt like a proper diverse world. What we get here is box ticking, they haven’t gone against the source to represent the real world better as the makers have tried claiming to combat the backlash otherwise they would have done a better job of it
“The immersion” ok champ, good luck out there.
You really need a life, your constant commenting here looks obsessive and sad. Get a grip
Same could be said right back at you.
People need to take a breath and simply enjoy the show. I love the diverseness of the cast. Galadriel is a bad ass.
Exactly.. Why can’t we just enjoy this? My Mom & I watched the first two episodes & loved it! Why are so many people determined to see this show fail?! I just don’t get it. Anyway, I hope you are looking forward to the next episode as much I am
I’m not sure how other people not liking this show or having valid issues with it according to themselves is hurting your enjoyment? If you like the show I’m sure most people or happy for you but other fans that are upset about it also have a right to voice their opinions about things that matter to them even if it doesn’t matter to you. You have the right to do the same on other shows that you have issues with but other people like. I’m glad you’re liking it. Amazon is going to take a giant loss and maybe you’ll get lucky and they’ll decide to go-in even more and take and even more giant loss and do a couple of more seasons.
The Harfoots (a type of Hobbit) were described in the book as being…. browner of skin than other hobbits, had no beards, and did not wear any footwear.
So the whiners are just showing their true colors, racism.
Yes, everyone in the world is racist except you, you very, very special little arrogant boy. Did you get your thrill of the day feelings superior to others. If it doesn’t matter to you great. If it matters to other people then you have no right to diminish what matters to them just to make yourself feel like you’re above them. There’s probably stuff that ruins things for you that others don’t care about. Do you want to be called names for it. It’s getting extremely old reading what some of you write. I mean the arrogance is stomach turning. I don’t even know how some of can even stand to be around yourself. I just really can’t stand arrogant people anymore. Life is too short. You can beat being someone like that. There are better ways to feel better about yourself then stepping on other people.
Looking forward to seeing the third episode. I hear it’s the best one yet.
Amazon put tons of money in this show and it is going to fail. Not just because of all the things fans are complaining about but because having some of the original cast come out and try to shame and attack fans; because of reading some of the comments of certain people trying to shame fans into what? Shaming them into watching and liking the show? Shame them into not giving their valid opinions of the show? If it matters to them then it is valid to them. You can’t shame people into bending to your will or going away. Especially when most people don’t have that same collective mind or childish brain of a post-grad that got brainwashed at a woke University or was shamed by other students to go along to get along. Most of us are free thinkers with minds of our own and will not tolerate someone trying to shame them just so they can feel superior and forget about their miserable lives for two seconds. This show was going to struggle because of the valid complaints but attacking and Shaming fans is always the nail in the coffin. End of story.
You have to give Amazon Prime credit for taking a big gamble like this & pouring a billion dollars into it. Not very many networks or streaming services are willing to put up that kind of money for one show & from what I’ve seen so far, it’s worth every dollar. My Mom & I are enjoying & will watch the new episode tomorrow at her house since she has Amazon Prime on her firestick. It has become Must-See TV for us. Speaking of episode 3, does anyone have any thoughts on it?
Saw the third episode today. Best episode of the season so far. Loved the Orc make-up & all the practical effects as well as the cinematography, the visuals, the sets, the costumes. Everything is top-notch.