#32. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Movies offer theatergoers a reprieve from the real world and a glimpse into fantastical lands, the opportunity to escape the doldrums of life and enter the realm where anything is possible.

Black people love movies for this reason and, though they have great difficulty sitting through them and maintaining the required silence, depart from reality as easily as any other race.

In film, people can watch their heroes come to life in full grandeur and they can remove the worry, doubt and disappointment they feel with the triumphant achievements of the actors they view. Black people love film, although some films and directors they find less appealing than others.

One film(s) is firmly at the top of the list of movies that Black people do not like, and to ask any Black person of their least favorite film would invariably give you one answer: The Lord of the Rings and the the two sequels that followed.

J.R.R Tolkien’s masterpiece will never be replicated in its scope, beauty and majestic presentation – in either film or in its book form – and Black people perceived this when watching Peter Jackson’s epic 10+ hour films.

The tale of elves, dwarfs, hobbits and men pitted against the forces of evil in defense of Middle-Earth is the ultimate myth of European Man fighting for the only thing that matters on this planet: your own people. Black people understand the idea of universal solidarity almost better than any other race, and what their eyes saw in The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers and The Return of the King left them universally trembling.

You see, in the movies nary a Black face is to be seen, save for the potential metaphor of the Orcs and the armies of the evil Sauron as non-Europeans attempting to subjugate the combined white people of Middle-Earth.

Each movie stands alone as a glorification of whiteness, an idea that Black people see as but a social concept when used to define white people, but when the idea of racial brotherhood is ever discussed, it can only be synonymous with Black people.

In one of the more moving scenes in cinema history (see The Two Towers), the fortress of Helms Deep is about to be overrun by tens of thousands of Orcs, bent on the utter annihilation of the the Middle-Earth’s main defense, the Rohirrim:

“Despite Aragorn and Gimli’s best efforts, the Uruk-hai manage to penetrate the main door and soon the stronghold is overrun. In the midst of battle, Haldir is slain and the few remaining Elves fall back into the Keep. In the Hornburg, however, the Uruks have also scaled the walls, and have breached the gate, forcing the defenders to retreat into the Keep.”

Aragorn, the epyonmous King in The Return of the King, rallies those still alive to do what few men in history have ever dared; he tells the King of the Rohirrim to ride out and meet the enemy head on:

Theoden: So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?
Aragorn: Ride out with me. Ride out and meet them.
Theoden: For death and glory.
Aragorn: For Rohan. For your people.
Theoden: The Horn of Helm Hammerhand will sound in the deep, one last time!

Black people weren’t buying into the elves, dwarfs and wizards routine, no. What they see is only white people depicted as good and the darkened faces of the Orcs as bad. And then they heard Sam, the loyal bestfriend of Frodo, the hobbit in charge of destroying the one ring, utter these words, in a moment of extreme despair:

Sam: It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.

Black people viewed this movie as the attempted re-birth of some long dead spirit that white people once had, and were shocked such a movie that glorifies whiteness could be made. Black people view the movie as racist.

One writer wrote:

“Dr Stephen Shapiro, an expert in cultural studies, race and slavery, said the author used his novels to present bigotry through a fantasy world… He said: “Put simply, Tolkien’s good guys are white and the bad guys are black, slant-eyed, unattractive, inarticulate and a psychologically undeveloped horde.”In the trilogy, a small group, the fellowship, is pitted against a foreign horde and this reflects long-standing Anglo-European anxieties about being overwhelmed by non-Europeans, he said.”

Perhaps one-line in the entirety of movie history can induce shivers down all Black people’s spine no more than the one Aragorn yells at the footsteps of the Black Gates of Mordor:

Aragorn: Hold your ground, hold your ground. Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day. This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you *stand, Men of the West!*

Black people saw this scene in the theaters, they walked out in droves unconsciously. They had just seen a movie that depicted white people as the good guys – a major faux pas in Hollywood – whiteness as the supreme definition of beauty, and non-whites as the enemy.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy will never be replicated again. It is a movie without diversity, or at least to Black people, the wrong kind. And that is why Stuff Black People Don’t Like will include anything that comes from Tolkien’s pen, or Jackson’s video camera.



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24 Responses to #32. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

  1. Anonymous says:

    I knew there was a reason LOTR was my favorite movie.Gondor = White AmericaRohan = EuropeI just hope we´ll unite in time.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Another film black people don't like: Hoosiers.

  3. Dúnadan says:

    As you say, "The Lord of the Rings" will never be replicated again. It earnt the status of an autentic European myth, and as a myth it will last forever.Tolkien was a great man, one of a kind.Gondor is Dúnedain's homeland, it doesn't represents America.Rohan is a Nordic realm, though Tolkien didn't like to use the word Nordic but Northern. So it's a Northern realm.The Middle Earth as a whole represents Europe, with the surrounding areas, such as the Orientals at the East and the Haradrim at the South representing the arabs and blacks.By the way, your blog is good, keep up the good work 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ah I see, you are trying to like the opposite of stuff, white people don't like. Except not as clever and without humour and you clearly are not using it as a means to understand your white friends better and pass that knowledge onto others who may be in the same predicament as you.Your blog could be good, but its not.

  5. fcvvcb says:

    Exactly how is LOTR an example of white unity when humans banded with…. non-humans?

  6. Anonymous says:

    The Elves represent History and the Past, constantly moving away from us, yet reminding of the all that has come before, brave deeds and failings (They are immortal, as is Time). Rohan, with it's superior military, represents America which saved Europe twice in Tolkiens lifetime in the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Gondor, with its failing Aristocracy, its "line of Kings Broken" and its great Castle city is clearly Europe.Are Black represented by Orcs? Yes.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I don't know that the Orcs represent blacks. Tolkien wrote long before the mass immigration invasion of western societies. Maybe he just wanted them to look ugly and menacing.Not only blacks dislike these films. Shortly after Aragorn said "I bid you *stand, Men of the West!," if I remember right, the movie ended. Then (I was watching cable) a background voice from the cable network immediately came on and started chuckling at that same phrase. He/they wanted to ridicule it, ridicule being a common method of ideological attack.That said, as Dunadan put it, Tolkien's trilogy is an authentic European myth, touching on things very deep in the (northern at least) European peoples. Its relevance will last quite a while. It is a rallying point. Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant chronicles is also mythic, and northern.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is one of the funniest blogs I've ever read.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I agree. This blog is funny. It's even more funny in the fact that apparently Black people are making something of nothing like they usually do. It's not going to be interesting unless a Black person can cry out racism. Imagine this for a moment. If racism stopped tomorrow then Blacks would be very disappointed. They'd have nothing to cry about because no one would care. No one would be afraid of being called racist. Blacks wouldn't know how to react if they had true equality. So to say LoTR as racist. Grow up. It's a fantasy movie. Take it for exactly what it is. Stop trying to make it as something that it's not just for the sake of bitching.

  10. Anonymous says:

    lmao…its funny to read yet its even funnier to pull racisms into the topic and orcs represent blacks? i see highly over rated imaginations…i agree most of the words from anonymous above 🙂

  11. Anonymous says:

    So, Saruman the white is evil, so he really must be… black??

  12. Anonymous says:

    Im Black and LOTR is my favorite movie.Nuffsaid.

  13. Anonymous says:

    i don't know about black people hating this movie or not however i thought it seemed vaguely reminiscent of medieval Europe as they cope and combat the Moorish invasion and later the ottoman turks.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The first timr i watched all 3 movies i wondred why they didn't put not even 1 black person

  15. Anonymous says:

    this is my fav 3 movies

  16. Don Laurin says:

    This blog shows some promise of wit.Hey… I think Tolkien was sort of nominally kidnapped, by his black African housekeeper, while a young child in South Africa for a matter of days. Supposedly, the servant wanted to show off the 'handsome' white child to the village. That episode could definitely have peppered JRRT's opinion of the darker races, or at least fueled his avowed Anglophilia. In addition, anyone who has actually read 'The Lord of the Rings'(-never meant to be a trilogy-> might just recall the Uruk-hai being riders of "Wargs." These darkly evil Norse inspired wolves always sounded to me like "Wogs"(eg. dark featured/black)LOL!. Golliwog(the blackfaced doll) and wog don't have the same level of English vernacular ubiquity they did in days gone by. But, in Aussie the Greeks, Italians and other swarthy mixed-blooded Mediterraneans embrace the term 'wog.' It was orginally a pejorative term used against them by Anglo-Australians. BTW I love The LotR; The Hobbit and The Silmarillion. -And, I'm black. "Yes, I chief much Longbottom leaf, with Mithrandir and his peeps. Istari party, while the rest of ya'll benighted ones sleep. Wake up!"~

  17. Anonymous says:

    None of your references have any racist conotations or material – you are clearly scrambling to find facts in order to back up a theory of your race being "hard done by" rather than looking at the material and pulling an actual theory from it. Furthermore, you seem to misunderstand the entire notion of the representation of "evil" in Tolkien's works. The orks, uruks, uru-kai are a nature hating species who care for nothing but industrial progress – this is the main source of "evil" in tolkien's books – NOT the colour of their skin (which is BLUE by the way), if you were truely trying to find a racist conotation from the stories, you could say that tolkien discriminates against the chinese, as they also care for nothing but industrialization at the cost of their air, water and land (however at the time that tolkien wrote his books, it was the white man who cared for nothing but progress and had developped a "mind made of metal wheels" as Sauron the WHITE is described when he turns to the dark side). Lastly, if you're going to discriminate a book, you should also recognize that there are plenty of other "racist" materials out there that even black people adore – Consider The Bible. This dark and twisted fairytale, not unlike the fictional stories writen by tolkien at the turn of the the 20th cetury, is WAY more racist than Lord of the Rings, and yet there are millions of people of all races who are willing to submit to this folklore and the idea of a white god… My advice for the rest of your blog would be to try being a little more objecive and a little less "hard done by", It's the 21st Century, the world isn't against you anymore, stop segregatting yourself and join us.

  18. Fantasy should not be viewed as race relations. Although in my work I include black characters. The Land of Grimney may appeal to you.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I like this film everyone I know likes this film (people from all corners)Why find an excuse to divide people up somemore. This seems like a very American thing to do.So silly that this website even exist

  20. Last anon,I didn't know you liked this film! Now I do. There isn't an excuse to divide people with this post.An American thing to do? The world has been divided since the dawn of time. One caveman got a better Wooly Mammoth and the other tribe attacked them for it and for the food it offered. India, China, Dafur all have ethnic strife. There is no racial nirvana on earth… sorry to burst your Pandora dwelling bubble.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I smoke a ton of marijuana.

  22. Anonymous says:

    "There isn't an excuse to divide people with this post"ok. so you find something to divide people. its his post…i wish all ye black people luck in finding thing that all black Don't like , us white have'nt found any

  23. Anonymous says:

    Black people are orks…Finest herb in the shire!~

  24. Anonymous says:

    i'm white and i think you're totally right. and was, in fact, just writing about the same thing. i think that what is even worse to me than shit like this in movies, is that every single youtube video or blog entry with a person of color in it or writing it is followed by racist comments. it doesn't matter who it is, what it's about, some white person (whether they be a troll just trying to say something shocking or a real kkk member) feels a need to go on some rant about people of color. thanks for writing this article, your perspective is really interesting, informative and not voiced enough outside of this website.

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