There is a shadow growing in the East. We gaze down from our tower on high and judge it inferior; unworthy of the resplendence we have known in ages past in the West: shores which seem so very distant now. Our expectations, beliefs, judgments, all warranted by our reckoning. Yet the darkness lurks, grows just beyond our sight. We hunt high and low for it. Find its mark always afar. Yet we cannot shake the dread sense of its approach. Still its True stronghold remains hidden… surely in the one place we have not thought to search for it…where we *dare not* search for it. Airing, Sunday September 4th at 2pm EDT, watch as we SEEK the stronghold of darkness lurking beneath the discourse swirling ’round and ’round The Rings of Power.
caLL TO ADVENTURE
Without question, Tolkien fans are a passionate bunch. Scholars of Middle Earth, too, are deeply committed to their chosen vocation. How could it be otherwise? Each has devoted their lives to this modern-day mythology to some degree or another. And rightly so: for mythology is not to be trifled with. Myth warrants both respect and careful study, if not outright reverence. To that end, even normies, who may or may not have read The Lord of the Rings books, hold a special place in their heart for Peter Jackson’s trilogy. Some go so far as to call it the greatest trilogy ever put to film…and they would not be wrong. In terms of modern mythological movies shrouding profound universal Truths, perhaps only Star Wars is in the same league as LOTR, although in terms of sheer esoteric wisdom, we are duty-bound to include The Matrix Trilogy, with honourable mentions to Marvel’s Avengers Trilogy, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, and many of Ridley Scott’s films, notably Legend, Gladiator, and The Kingdom Heaven. While serving up excitement and fun escapism, these works provide something far more valuable, and well beyond that of most entertainments. They are, in every sense of the word, mythic.
So, when Amazon announced it had acquired limited rights to The Lord of the Rings Appendices, Tolkien fans and scholars alike let out a collective gasp of panic. They wrung their hands in anticipation of what would no-doubt be another case of their beloved franchises being butchered in the boardrooms of corporate greed and sacrificed upon the altar of woke. For months, fans ratcheted-up the intensity of their collective anxiety, egged on by the usual suspects of bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers. Disquiet and disapproval eventually mutated into disdain and derision. The enigmatic trailers, the telltale “woke marketing,” and comments of cast members meant for woke Hollywood elites and ESG investors, did little to assuage the pre-emptive backlash from the so-called Fandom Menace. On the contrary, they spurred on the voices of derision and disdain which finally reached a crescendo this week and hit the level of, in their own words, disaster.
Now that the first two episodes of Rings of Power have aired on Amazon Prime, many of those same voices have begun dying down—amongst YouTubers at least. It seems one of the most scathing criticisms they can muster against the show is that it is “boring.” Of course, there are many still harping on diversity and inclusion, certain liberties taken with the lore, ridiculous characters and costumes, and wooden performances portraying “unlikeable and completely insufferable female characters,” most notably Galadriel. And taken at face value, one can easily see where they are coming from. As an exercise in mere entertainment—like its apparently preferred competitor, Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon—Rings of Power falls somewhat flat. But whereas GoT was little more than a soft porn version of Dynasty/Dallas with dragons (entertaining, to be sure), LOTR is mythology. GoT was never even in the same league, let alone on the same team…books or no books.
Like it or not, Rings of Power is doing justice to *the spirit* of the mythology on which it is based (if not exactly true to the letter). As much as it will pain fans of Tolkien to hear this, the author, were he alive today, might have had his misgivings, but his Immortal Soul, through whom his mythology was born, approves. SPOILER ALERT: We know this because The Logos, the Source of all mythology, including Tolkien’s mythos, approves. How do we know that is the case? Because it hath been given unto us to know it, just as it was regarding The Skywalker Apocalypse (more on that in a moment).
The show is not without its flaws, but what long-running television series ever premiered in a state of perfection? And, understanding the nature of the source material—appendices and backstory, essentially—who really expected a long-form narrative to burst from the starting gate with a hundred thrills and chills per episode? A great many expected just that, it seems. We have said many times how disappointment and suffering arise from our own expectations. In the case of Tolkien fans, it is a perfect trifecta of a lifetime of passion and devotion to the source material, an insanely high bar set by the Jackson films, and years of enduring abuse, deconstruction, and betrayal at the hands of wokeness.
Most mythologies (including our modern myths) have been disrespected by far too many for far too long, and Tolkien’s legacy is no exception. The contempt on display today by those claiming to possess the greatest knowledge of, devotion to, and love for Tolkien’s work has reached a level of insufferable hypocrisy which cannot go unanswered. We speak not for those who are no longer alive to defend their work. Rather, we speak on behalf of the Source which inspired them and *all* such works since the dawn of time. That is the True nature of myth…the nature of Truth, Light, and Love. Every exaltation is preceded by a great humiliation. From Jacob’s Ladder to Dante’s Ladder, from Hanuman and Rama to Sam and Frodo, from Ralph Bakshi’s animation to Peter Jackson’s trilogy…every hero must descend before they can ascend. We are no different. But only if we answer the call to adventure.
Don’t take it from us, take it from another great critic of impeccable taste, whose immortal words found a home in our Skywalker Apocalypse video. You need not watch the whole thing, the link below is cued to the appropriate confessions…first on our part, and then by the infamous critic of uncompromising standards. That said, where our confession, revelation, and appeals to the higher nature of the fandom fell on deaf ears in the case of Star Wars, we are hoping this time it will be different for Tolkien. What follows then, is a short clip which applies as much to Rings of Power as it did The Rise of Skywalker. We will let the clip, and the famous critic, speak for themselves. Let not our words but his serve as your call to adventure…
Will you answer that call? Or will you remain in the Shire, content in your contempt? Comfortable with your complacency. Clever in your cowardice. There, we said it. As assuredly as Sean Connery said it in The Untouchables: “The Lord hates a coward.” Any anger, frustration, disdain, and discord regarding Rings of Power you possess is all just an ingenious front for the great chameleon, con-artist, and terrorist possessing humanity. Do you doubt it is so? What else could have allowed the Covidiocy to utterly neuter this humanity? That which lurks in the shadows yet desires total control. The actual “menace” within fandom:
“That’s what maintains the order of things…fear.”
– (Bill the Butcher, Gangs of New York).
You face the prospect of having new Light cast upon what is most precious to you. A decision to remain in the shadows grasping onto your precious beliefs about myth and mythmaking in general, and Tolkien specifically, can euphemistically and politely be called cognitive dissonance. But as George Carlin said, we bullshit ourselves with such soft language. Avoidance of Truth is full-blown feral, unfettered, fear.
“But Attlas, you pretentious, presumptuous, proselytizer,” we hear you say, “how can you make such an arrogant claim with so much certainty?” Put down your drink, young padawan, and remember your Jedi training: “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” Do you have the humility to let go of that unnecessary suffering? The courage to instead suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? Or will you take up arms against a sea of troubles the facts may bring and by avoiding, end them? WWFD? (What would The Fellowship do?) That is the question. Join us tomorrow, Sunday September 4th at 2pm EDT and answer the call…to be.