This is one of the many, many books I own related to JRR Tolkien and his writings. Those who know me well know that I’ve been a fan since long before Peter Jackson began exploring the idea of making movies. The title of this particular book (published in 1968) seems especially apropos right now.

I’ve never been more disappointed in a fan base in my life than I am in the Tolkien fanbase right now. As I peruse social media, every single post about the Amazon Rings of Power TV show is overflowing with negative comments. Scores of people (or bots, I suppose) are condemning the show, sight unseen, and proclaiming themselves the true arbiters of “what Tolkien would have wanted.”

On one end, we have the outright racists who are furious about the hiring of non-white actors to portray various characters. While Tolkien did endeavor to create a mythology for England and the North, that doesn’t mean he’d be upset by this. Tolkien condemned racism, apartheid, “race-doctrine,” and anything associated with those topics.

Then there are a seeming multitude of other critics who don’t seem to say much at all except that this is a travesty and an attack on the spirit of Tolkien. They provide almost no evidence for this, seize on off-hand comments by anyone associated with the production, and blatantly ignore anything that contradicts their viewpoint.

I don’t know if the show is going to be good. I sincerely hope it is, and I’m very much looking forward to the premiere next week. I’m cautiously excited. And I say this, again, as a lifelong Tolkien fan with a shelf full of ridiculously nerdy books on all things Middle-Earth. I think I have room to talk here.