The rings of power

Bored of the Rings: the Tolkien industry has gone far enough

In 1969, Henry Beard and Douglas Kenney, future founders of National Lampoon, published a satirical takedown of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, entitled Bored of the Rings. It holds up remarkably well today as a closely observed parody of Tolkien’s more windy stylistic tics. One critic, David Bratman, remarked: ‘Those parodists wrought better than they knew. I think it is highly significant how close Tolkien came to inadvertently writing the parody version of his own novel – and how completely, in the end, he managed to avoid it.’ Yet recent news that the ‘official’ Lord of the Rings series is to have yet more film adaptations made of it should not only send any right-minded cineaste

My Rings of Power remorse

As the credits rolled on the series finale of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, things got awkward. My partner turned to me to express his excitement for series two – just as I realised with absolute certainty that I couldn’t, in good conscience, watch the show again. My reaction came as a shock – to both of us. Hours earlier, I’d been champing at the bit to see the final instalment. Yes, the Amazon Prime programme has been widely panned by critics for everything from the CGI to the ‘colour-blind’ casting, but we’d loved it. In fact, it’s the first full series we’ve made it through

In defence of Amazon’s The Rings of Power

Why is Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings show taking so much flak? The way I see it, there are two (mostly separate) factors at play: Tolkien fandom and race. First, Tolkien fandom. Despite the best efforts of the Tolkien Society to ‘queer’ Tolkien studies, the Inkling’s biggest admirers tend to be Christians on the cultural and political right. Most of this crowd (aside from those who think hating universally beloved things is a good substitute for a personality) loved Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. His adaptation of The Hobbit, which took plenty of liberties in order to stretch about 300 pages into three feature films, was less