Original hobbits come out to defend Rings of Power after backlash to new Lord of the Rings series
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Featured Image Credit: @elijiahwood/Instagram
The original hobbits from the Lord of the Rings movies have stepped in to defend The Rings of Power stars against a racist backlash.
The show has been review bombed to the point that Amazon has suspended user reviews, and some of the hate directed towards the show has been for the casting of black actors.
While people are always free to criticise a show based on quality, it would be impossible to pretend that at least some of the negative response towards the show is based in racism.
The cast of Rings of Power released a statement saying they 'stand together in absolute solidarity against the relentless racism' some actors were being subjected to.
Lenny Henry, who stars as a proto-hobbit known as a Harfoot in The Rings of Power, previously hit out at the racist backlash.
He pointed out that some fans 'have no trouble believing in a dragon' but somehow can't accept 'that a black person could be a hobbit or an elf'.
You Are All Welcome Here @LOTRonPrime @DonMarshall72 #RingsOfPower https://t.co/8txOhlHa2f pic.twitter.com/nWytILT0zG— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) September 7, 2022
Stepping in to defend the diverse cast of The Rings of Power are the original hobbits from Lord of the Rings, who have posed together with t-shirts bearing the message 'you are all welcome here' in Elvish.
Elijah Wood posted a picture to Twitter of himself flanked by Merry and Pippin actors Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd wearing the t-shirts.
The shirts also display a set of ears of all different shapes and colours, hammering home the message that everyone is welcome in Middle Earth and nobody should feel excluded because of their skin colour.
Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee, later posted a picture of himself wearing a hat bearing the same message, making it clear that all four of the original hobbits reckoned JRR Tolkien's world was a place where everyone should feel at home.
You are all welcome here.#RingsOfPower @LOTRonPrime #MiddleEarth #Samwise @ElijahWood @BillyBoydActor @DomsWildThings @DonMarshall72 https://t.co/w2tdZ4nFwN pic.twitter.com/f4RsBKE9an— Sean Astin (@SeanAstin) September 7, 2022
There are actually three types of hobbit in Middle Earth, though by the time of The Lord of the Rings they had joined together and settled down in The Shire.
The hobbits we see in The Rings of Power are Harfoots, who Tolkien described as being 'browner of skin' than other types of hobbit.
The backlash against the hobbits in The Rings of Power is therefore not only racist, it's also flat out wrong from a lore perspective.
Heroes of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Bilbo and Frodo Baggins are descended from another group of hobbits known as the Fallohides, though by that point in Middle Earth's history the three groups have essentially merged.
Stoor hobbits make up the third group, and the most famous example of one of these we've seen on the screen is Smeagol, who later became Gollum after being corrupted by the One Ring.
Since The Rings of Power is set in the Second Age, these three groups have yet to migrate and converge together and it's entirely lore-friendly for there to be black actors playing roles in Tolkien's wonderful world.
In other words, shut up racists.
New episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power release on Amazon Prime Video each Friday.
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Topics: Film & TV, Lord of the Rings, Amazon Prime, Racism, Film and TV, Entertainment