After recently rewatching Peter Jackson's rightfully famous and well-regarded The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, it occurred to me that Jackson's heroes are remarkably less lofty than their counterparts in Tolkien's novel. If Tolkien's heroes seem to exist in a time wherein heroes were larger than life figures that seem to defy the laws of humanity, … Continue reading Through a Glass Darkly: The Diminution of Heroism in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy
It is no secret that we queers have always had an appreciation and an adoration of Tolkien's work. The richness and depth with which he paints the relationships between men--especially that between Sam and Frodo as they make their way to Mount Doom--almost inevitably strike a resonant chord with young queer nerds reading Tolkien's work. … Continue reading The Exquisite Queerness of Jackson’s “The Hobbit”
In the moral universe Tolkien created, good and evil, at least on the surface, appear fairly cut and dry. Races like Hobbits and Men (at least certain types of them) are unequivocally good, while races like Orcs, Trolls, and the lesser types of men are transparently evil. Anyone who has read his work with any … Continue reading Are Tolkien’s Orcs Really THAT Evil?
We Tolkien fans are, not surprisingly, a very diverse group. There are those of us, for example, who are exclusively fans of Tolkien's original works (and even then there are further subdivisions, as there are those who only like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings but not The Silmarillion). There are those who … Continue reading Why I’m Not a Tolkien Purist
Peter Jackson has taken a lot of flack for the alleged butchering of The Hobbit, variously described as bloated, silly, crass, and all of the familiar insults typically hurled at his work, and at fantasy in particular. Most frustrating, and revealing, however, has been the consistent charge that Jackson has caved in to his own fan-boy impulses, … Continue reading In Defense of Peter Jackson, Tolkien Fans, and Nerds Everywhere
Today I finally got around to finishing up a post I started two years ago. For some time now, I've been thinking about how very much we Tolkien fans--laypeople and scholars alike--owe Christopher Tolkien. From The Silmarillion to The History of Middle-earth (12 volumes!) to the upcoming volume on Beren and Luthien, Tolkien has been a masterful and truly … Continue reading In Praise of Christopher Tolkien