There has been a lot of discussion about the fantasy works of J.R.R. Tolkien recently due to various reasons. For one, the new TV adaptation of Lord of the Rings has received international attention from some fans because of different artistic choices that reportedly deviate from the original vision of Tolkien and the extensive texts that he wrote.
Titled The Rings of Power, the new Amazon show is set in a period that predates the events of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy by thousands of years. While it was a highly anticipated project at first, some members of the fanbase have started protesting against the production because of the show’s diverse casting.
“It felt only natural to us that an adaptation of Tolkien’s work would reflect what the world actually looks like,” Lindsey Weber, executive producer of the series, responded to the protests. “Tolkien is for everyone. His stories are about his fictional races doing their best work when they leave the isolation of their own cultures and come together.”
Another reason why Tolkien has been a major part of the public discourse lately is that there has been a very important discovery. A researcher from Oxford University – Stuart Lee – recently reported that the “lost” scripts for a BBC dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings had been discovered and it is the only official adaptation that was planned during his lifetime.
Tolkien archivist Catherine McIlwaine noted: “Not only did he agree to the adaptation of his book soon after publication, but he was willing to work with the scriptwriters, to abridge the text and adjust the balance of narration and dialogue, so that it fitted the requirements of radio and the limited time available. It’s a very exciting and timely discovery.”
While preparing for the release of the new Amazon show, which is set to be released via Amazon Prime later this year, many have also revisited the original novels as well as the iconic trilogy by Peter Jackson. It’s almost an annual tradition for many Tolkien fans to do so but it has definitely become more important since a new project is right around the corner.
If you’re one of them, you may notice an interesting bit of trivia that might have slipped past you during your first viewing experience. As many have observed before, the interactions between Frodo and Legolas are severely limited in the trilogy even though they are allies. In fact, there’s only one line that Legolas says to Frodo: “And you have my bow.”
Fans have noted that this isn’t the case in the novels since the two characters engage in proper conversations in parts that had not been covered in Jackson’s adaptation. One popular fan theory also says that Frodo had actually forgotten Legolas’ name by the end of The Return of the King because he mouths the names of almost everyone except him.