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"Anti-diversity against LOTR elves" Topic

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981 hits since 16 Mar 2023
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
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Indiana Jones16 Mar 2023 4:54 a.m. PST

Anyone else think being charged with racism and anti-diversity(what does this even mean) for saying I didn't like the black elf in the Rings Of Power, is kind of stupid?

HMS Exeter16 Mar 2023 5:14 a.m. PST

Stupid, possibly.

Surprising, no.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2023 5:30 a.m. PST

In tune with the times. Which means not surprising and very dumb.

nickinsomerset16 Mar 2023 5:31 a.m. PST

Just give them a good kick,

Tally Ho!

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian16 Mar 2023 5:42 a.m. PST

I think it is mildly problematic that Tolkien's Elves seem to be uniformly white when his humans aren't, without any explanation.

But randomly inserting non-white Elves into the new series seems more problematic.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2023 5:46 a.m. PST

Not up on all my fantasy peoples, but aren't Dark Elves evil… well except for Drizzt? 😉

On a serious note, if true, almost predictable with some out there today.

torokchar Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2023 6:59 a.m. PST

that was the least of what was bad with the series – I cannot think of anything good from what I saw – do not plan to watch anymore.

Indiana Jones16 Mar 2023 8:22 a.m. PST

I got banned from BoardGameGeek for saying it, and I didn't even think I was saying anything racist, but judging from these comments this seems like a much better place to be! No it definitely not surprising in they slightest, they even have a special forum for women, and a rainbow forum!

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Mar 2023 9:47 a.m. PST

"As for Rings of Power, I don't like bossy blonde know-it-alls."

I was in a relationship with one of those for a while, and almost married her.
"Almost" being the key word.
But in her case also through in, "alcoholic, with a mid-life crisis"…

So yeah, I am there with you on what you don't like.

Grattan54 Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2023 10:20 a.m. PST

Given that Tolkien himself said that LOTR was based off of Norse/Northern Europe mythology, yes, it is silly to have that much diversity. Not everything is better just because of diversity.

Garand16 Mar 2023 10:51 a.m. PST

I think context matters. Did you not like the character because he was a bad character, or the actor was bad, or he had bad dialogue_ Or did you not like him because he was black? The former is a valid position to take, the latter constitutes racism.

That being said, this nuance can be lost on some people. I would never deny that knee-jerk reactions exist on both sides of the political argument.


Indiana Jones16 Mar 2023 11:27 a.m. PST

Its not about the characters colour its that they changed the lore, thats what I dont like.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2023 11:46 a.m. PST

I can understand that. I do not like deviation from the originals to make diversity points. I would have the same issue with Tom Cruise playing Barrack Obama, or the 54th Mass. played by all white enlisted men. I hated John Wayne as Genghis Khan.

0ldYeller16 Mar 2023 12:41 p.m. PST

35thOVI – I think John Wayne hated John Wayne as Genghis Khan.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2023 1:07 p.m. PST

And he should have hated himself as GK. 😔

Legionarius16 Mar 2023 5:56 p.m. PST

I am all for diversity. But casting should be in character. I don't know much about fantasy races, but casting historical characters should be in keeping with what they were historically.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2023 6:05 p.m. PST

+1Indiana Jones.

Archon6416 Mar 2023 7:13 p.m. PST

The black (actually South American) elf was the only male character that knew what he was doing. This is itself a problem but he was a pretty cool character.
The real issue is that they changed the lore for the sake of modern messaging. No respect for Tolkien or the fanbase.
Are we going to see a biopic on Nelson Mandela starring Liam Neeson anytime soon?

Zephyr116 Mar 2023 9:34 p.m. PST

"The real issue is that they changed the lore for the sake of modern messaging."

As I recall, the Tolkien estate didn't give them permission to use the original lore (which they probably would have corrupted anyway), so …they made up the stuff that has been presented. ;-)

Indiana Jones16 Mar 2023 10:36 p.m. PST

I'm glad you can all think straight! The other thing that annoyed me was the dwarf queen, it wasn't that she was black that I didn't mind, since Tolkien never really described all of the dwarves, it was that she didn't have a beard!

14Bore17 Mar 2023 2:02 a.m. PST

I always thought in Tolkien world elves were kind of like Scandinavians. Dwarves I don't think we're giving different races either.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2023 3:17 a.m. PST

Wait til you see black Aragorn from Magic: The Gathering.

Mr Elmo17 Mar 2023 4:19 a.m. PST

I guess if the Elves and Humans lived in sunny climates they could evolve to be black.

Except Elves were created so I guess you could create them multi colored. Men and Dwarves were also created so why not also make them multi "racial"

For the Ents, I guess you'd make an Oak, Maple, Cedar, or Birch. 😝

Dagwood17 Mar 2023 7:53 a.m. PST

Ents were described by Tolkien as being like different types of trees, so elm, oak, rowan, hornbeam are all valid. Don't know about cedar and maple, though.

Elves are always pale, even the ones with black hair. (Elrond, half human, doesn't count.)

The darker skinned humans are present but they all come from the south. Mostly baddies, but many white people are baddies as well.

Orcs are also darker skinned, certainly not the green that seems to prevail these days. But at least green avoids another black/white scenario.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2023 9:57 a.m. PST

Dagewood that is as I remember from reading the books as well.

I did some searches on Tolkien's descriptions:

"Elves are pale skinned. Most Elves have dark hair and grey or blue-grey eyes. The Vanyar, the least numerous of the three Kindreds of the Eldar, have blond hair and blue eyes. These traits occur in several characters who are part-Vanya, notably Galadriel, her brothers, and her father Finarfin; Idril Celebrindal and her son Eńrendil; and (probably) Glorfindel. There's no in-universe explanation for where Thranduil, a Sinda, got his golden tresses. Presumably he has a distant Vanya ancestor. Reddish hair occurs rarely. Maedhros, Amrod, and Amras, sons of FŰanor, have red or red-brown hair that they inherited from their maternal grandfather Mahtan. Silver hair is also described as rare. It occurs mostly in one family, the royal house of the Teleri. Elu Thingol has silver-gray hair, and his brother OlwŰ has white hair. Other Elves with silver hair include Celeborn, Cirdan (a.k.a NowŰ, a kinsman of Thingol), ╦arwen daughter of OlwŰ, and probably CelebrÝan. The only non-relative noted to have silver hair is Miriel mother of Feanor. Hair is a big deal to Elves. Tolkien notes that all the Eldar have beautiful hair, and that hair of exceptional loveliness is prized. Men as well as women, or at least some of them, wear their hair long; e.g., Celeborn's hair is "silver long and bright," Glorfindel's hair is long enough to flow "in the wind of his speed" when he rides his horse, and Fingon wears his hair in "great plaits" bound with gold. (Side note: although Legolas is portrayed by Peter Jackson and by many artists as blond, his hair color is nowhere noted in LotR. It's just as likely that he has dark hair.)"


"Skin color Pale, occasionally ruddy"

From Websters

"Most often, ruddy is applied to the face when it has the red glow of good health or is red from a suffusion of blood from exercise or excitement. "

Garand17 Mar 2023 11:54 a.m. PST

ISTR that dwarves were based conceptually on the Jews, so depicting them with olive or tanned skin, with black or dark brown hair, curly and wavy as often as straight, would seem to fit. Also makes for a good, classic dwarf archetype (beyond the short Scotsman trope that they seem to have picked up over the decades).


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