Though Elon Musk may not be the end-all be all of pop culture, having more than 100 million followers on his Twitter account tends to draw more attention to one’s social commentary. So when the billionaire chimed in Monday with a quick review of Amazon’s series “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” the scathing remarks spread quickly.
Boasting 25 million global viewers in the first 24 hours of its premiere, the action prequel show to J.R.R Tolkien’s timeless classic series set in Middle-earth may be stunning fans with over $700 million worth of production value, but with audience scores in the toilet, it would appear little of the budget was dedicated to the story and character development.
At least that was the widespread opinion of many including the Tesla CEO who posted his disapproval Monday with a couple of succinct tweets.
“Tolkien is turning in his grave,” Musk wrote before adding, “Almost every male character so far is a coward, a jerk or both. Only Galadriel is brave, smart and nice.”
Almost every male character so far is a coward, a jerk or both. Only Galadriel is brave, smart and nice.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 5, 2022
Played by Morfydd Clark in the new show, royal elf Galadriel appeared in Tolkien’s “The Lord of The Rings,” “The Silmarillion” and “Unfinished Tales” and was portrayed by Cate Blanchett in Peter Jackson’s blockbuster trilogy.
Musk’s criticism seemed to highlight the concerns that many housed that the series would be a woke disaster after learning Amazon had spent $250 million to acquire the rights to produce it. The entrepreneur wasn’t alone in his assessment as others chimed in to bolster his take.
No he is right. The undertone is that the important male characters are mostly morally weak – or not trustworthy. Especially when their skin colour is white. If a male charakter is a hero he is usually poc.
— WolfGHD76 (@WGhd76) September 5, 2022
He actually nailed it. The writers and creatives made it their goal to rewrite Tolkien. Limited rights don’t explain my characters act different or aren’t featured where they should be. There’s a difference between the liberties in The LOTR films and what’s happening in the show.
— Krimson (@krimsonknight02) September 5, 2022
Nothing about the criticism is political. It’s a matter of defiling the original creator’s vision.
Canon or not, and this sure as heck is not, it is a travesty. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I ask that you read the books.
That or give Alex the lead for this review.
— B.K. Orner (@TheOrnerCorner) September 5, 2022
Its Wokien, not Tolkien
— Igor Kaplun (@IggyKap) September 5, 2022
Of course, because anything that fulfills the narrative of progressives must be protected and not looked at objectively, criticism of the show was treated as racism on the part of audiences.
For instance, Richard Newby of The Hollywood Reporter wrote “Miserable little trolls left stewing in their own ugly ignorance and hatred, who sought regression, but proved too incompetent to succeed, even when emboldened by the lies from their weakened leader,” argued that he had been “bombarded with messages of hate, called the N-word, told to back to Africa, and called on to be executed,” over his endorsement of Amazon series.
Such allegations by the woke intelligentsia are often lazy and without merit, and Musk was sure to call attention to that as well. “Those who claim any criticism of Rings of Power means you’re racist are outing themselves as closet racists,” he stated matter-of-factly.
Those who claim any criticism of Rings of Power means you’re racist are outing themselves as closet racists
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 6, 2022
As stated earlier, the negative reviews had little to do with casting decisions and mostly panned the writing.
“Complete disaster of a show, boring story, horrible characters (especially Galadriel), poorly written dialogs [sic], and it’s just two first episodes of the show,” one critic wrote. “Above else, no respect for Tolkien and his work.”
Another chimed in of the series that, at the time of this posting, had a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 39 percent, “The first episode was painful to watch. Not even the gorgeous CG backgrounds could save this mess. The dialogue was baffling. It sounded like they asked an AI to write it. The acting was uninspired and the protagonist was unsympathetic and unlikeable.”
Several conservative figures also spoke out on the lack of caring that casting decisions played into any reviews of “The Rings of Power” after previous adaptations had successfully stayed true to the spirit of Tolkien’s work with far less funding to do so.
Tolkien's books include hobbits, dwarves, orcs, etc. So no LOTR fan gives a runny turd with corns in it what those portraying the characters look like on the outside. What we care about is preserving the inner soul and integrity of Tolkien's work/message. #RingsOfPower
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) September 3, 2022
Musk also managed to incorporate a shot at Twitter itself as he deftly ripped into the show calling attention to the disputed number of fake accounts that has been holding up his purchase of the social media company noting, “And 90% of my comments are bots” with a screenshot of one alleged bot posting multiple replies within a matter of seconds.
And 90% of my comments are bots 🤖 pic.twitter.com/A7RKyNJZoR
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 5, 2022
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