the demise of classic fantasy? / Movies and TV series / iXBT Live

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A little analysis and opinion about the trailer for “The Lord of the Rings” from Amazon.

The fantasy genre is a favorite genre of hundreds of millions of people on the planet. Born around the 15th century, it gained real popularity thanks to the great English writer John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. His “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” are still considered unshakable classics of the genre. By a happy coincidence, both “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” once received excellent adaptations.

Peter Jackson turned Tolkien’s literary classics into cinematic classics. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is considered by many to be one of the best movie trilogies in general. And so, the year 2022 has come. Amazon, which bought the rights to the film for fabulous money, has finally released a trailer for its “Lord of the Rings”. Let’s see what this trailer has become and what is happening with fantasy on screens today.

Trailer overview

Despite all the high cost, the trailer itself was sterile. All we were shown was a cut from different locations and characters. Nevertheless, there is something to cling to. In one of the shots, we are shown a girl from the hobbit family (or their ancestors, the Harfuts). In another frame, you can see something falling to the ground in the form of a meteorite, and this may be the person shown at the very end of the trailer. The one that is on fire. The creators said that this character will not remember anything about himself, and one of the main secrets of the series will revolve around him.

We are also introduced to elves. Where without them. Lady Galadriel climbs the walls in a candid CGI, and then leads the army into battle. A black elf catches an arrow (Legolas has something to learn). Lord Elrond is unhappy with something, and a traveler in a cave is attacked by a monster. Here is a scene with the battle of the elves against the forces of darkness.

Also, we are briefly shown a man on a raft. This is a new character. He is probably one of the surviving Numenoreans. According to Laura, at some point, the Numenoreans angered the gods, who flooded their island, wiping it from the face of the earth. Galadriel is on the raft with him. What she is doing there is unclear. We were also shown gnomes. Only two frames. And most interestingly, one of the shots is very canonical (like a screenshot from Jackson’s movies), and the other on the contrary – very modern. In the second we are shown a gnome princess (queen?). Of course, black.

Trends and reaction

As you can easily guess from the above, the new “Lord of the Rings” is full of all modern trends and tendencies. Amazon’s Mediterranean is inhabited by people of all races and genders. Everything as the progressive society of the 21st century loves. The problem is that the original was created in the 20th century and does not fit well with this vision. I have nothing against black characters. Only two points are important to me: their competent history (justification) and good acting. Unfortunately, of all the precedents for such changes, we do not have a single example where they would be justified by all 100. The reaction of the fans turned out to be extremely unambiguous. Under the materials related to the project, people spam with a quote from Professor Tolkien himself, taken from one of his works: “Evil can not create anything new, it can only spoil and destroy what was invented or created by good forces.” Let this quote be slightly changed, but the essence is true. Well, I look at all this and think: Did someone really expect another in 2022?

Free adaptation?

Based on this, it becomes clear that the plot of the project will be as diverse as possible. The authors will surely fill everything with various assumptions and liberties. In my review of Netflix’s second season of The Witcher, I’ve already spoken out. In general, this is quite common for adaptations. Therefore, you should be prepared for this in advance. Certainly many stories will be changed and adjusted to new views. Including the stories of the main characters for the world. And in the trailer it is noticeable. The atmosphere is just trying to match the original. There is no mystery here. And elves seem like ordinary people with sharp ears, there is nothing magical about them. And there will be many such moments, get ready.

Classic fantasy today

This whole theme, with such controversial adaptations of fantasy novels, has already acquired its own characteristics. The Witcher, the Wheel of Time, and now the Lord of the Rings. Large studios take and remake the very essence of these universes for the sake of it is unclear why. No one would be against new franchises with their worlds and rules, in which everything would be as the studios want. But the new franchises, unfortunately, do not have a big name. The same Witcher, despite all the hatred, has paid off and is waiting to continue. And the Lord of the Rings, no matter how modern and changed it may be, will also pay off. All because the most ordinary viewers do not pay attention to all this hype. They just come home, turn it on and watch. And this approach kills fantasy (and not just fantasy). Why should we think about the world and ENT, why explain all our controversial innovations, if there will still be a profit? Although I don’t cling to the skin color of the actors, I’m still glad that most of my favorite franchises have been screened before all this.

The result

I can’t say that I’m a big fan of the saga of Middle-earth. I did not read books and did not delve much into the ENT. However, from time to time I review Peter Jackson’s films, immersing myself in the atmosphere of classic fantasy. I can’t say that I’m really looking forward to the project from Amazon, but I know that for many, it is the main subject of anticipation in 2022. However, I would not have high hopes for him. Here the tactics of low expectations are best. If you don’t expect anything from the project, you won’t lose anything if it turns out to be bad. If it turns out to be good, you, on the contrary, will get a lot. A win-win situation for me.

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