Tolkien Answers Amazon

In a 1958 letter, J.R.R. Tolkien explained his disapproval of an ultimately unmade film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. About the filmmakers, he wrote,

they may be irritated or aggrieved by the tone of many of my criticisms. If so, I am sorry (though not surprised).

But I would ask them to make an effort of imagination sufficient to understand the irritation (and on occasion the resentment) of an author, who finds, increasingly as he proceeds, his work treated as it would seem carelessly in general, in places recklessly, and with no evident signs of any appreciation of what it is all about.

The canons of narrative in any medium cannot be wholly different; and the failure of poor films is often precisely in exaggeration, and in the intrusion of unwarranted matter owing to not perceiving where the core of the original lies.

Emphasis added.

As the Amazon corporation prepares to release its new Lord of the Rings prequel series, these words seem especially relevant. From the trailer and the marketing, this series seems to be built upon the intrusion of unwarranted matter, incompatible with Tolkien’s meticulous lore.


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