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George RR Martin’s source material was so obviously missing that the entire final season of GoT was a total waste.
My problem with GoT was all the seasons before the final one hooked me, so like a drug addict I watched the entire final season despite being aware of how bad it was going to get.
Couldn’t get into it at all. It just came over as mediocre fantasy fiction.
I started watching it because my parents were always eager to discuss it, and kept nagging me.
I read Tolkien's stuff when I was a child, not yet made cynical by the ways of the world. So I'll probably never find another fantasy work that will capture me like that again, unless I'm injected with an age regression drug that removed my adult memories.
A few years ago I found a book called Worm of Ouroboros, authored by E.R. Eddison, a contemporary of Tolkien. It was gawdawful. But if I read it when I was 9-10 years old I'd have eaten it all up.
It was so brutal to sit through
@Fingolfinzzz Why should it be a non issue? A fantasy still has its own internal logic. This is a fictional mythology about inhabitants from different regions of its world. In the real world, this affects how we look. But because we've moved everywhere, people from most countries are familiar with people who look different from them.
In the fantasy world it also affects how people look. I can think of only one reason how it would make logical sense why the people of 4 'races' as they are called in the story (though they are rather like different species in a way, especially the elves) could all have quite different skin colours within their own groups. Which is, in that world skin colour is a random attribute, like hair colour often is. And maybe I'll think of it that way to reduce the cognitive dissonance.
Also if it's diverse casting, where are the Asian or Indian etc faces? I haven't seen any yet.
Anyway I looked up some YouTube channels of black reviewers. Theres a guy I watched a lot before Dune came out, the channel's Called Quinns Ideas. In a Q&A video he said he hadn't watched it yet as he feared it will be terrible. But he said the online criticism is not racism automatically.
I found 3 others.
The 2nd (Dark Side Reviews) liked the diversity because he thought it was done well, but in the comments clearly had no problem with people who thought like me.
The 3rd (Just My Opinion Reviews) one loved everything about the show, and had some interesting views on when the appropriateness or not of these casting issues.
The 4th (Fatal Jay) hated the diverse casting, and wanted the show to remain more faithful to the original.
So going from that survey, I'm quite comfortable that my viewpoint is not abhorrent, and that it's OK to think it's an 'issue', at least for a real fan. There are nerdy black people who think about these aspects, and have varying viewpoints on them. So I'm in good company!
It’s a very common mistake to extrapolate to full population from a very small sample. Statistically this is not significant, so probably not going to tell you anything at all about the broader diverse population.
I don't think being bothered by the casting is correlated with the "real"-ness of one's fandom.
(Edit: I apologise in retrospect for the angry and shall we say butt-hurt tone of this post. It will be gone soon)
So @michael_m and @espiegel123 @Fingolfinzzz, all piling in, I understand here that there is only one acceptable view (to rule them all), but people seem very willing to misunderstand me, I suppose I need to be put in my place by the morally superior.
@espiegel123 I also also don't think being bothered by the casting is evidence of one's real fandom-ness. I didn't say that. What I mean is that, unless you're an in-depth fan, there is no reason to be bothered by the casting. If you were, it would probably seem racist. If you are an in-depth there MIGHT be reasonable grounds to feel that way. Some will, some won't.
@michael_m Why assume I'm claiming statistical significance? We are always being told to amplify minority voices. So if a minority of black fans feel this way, which is quite possible, that is still a voice that can be heard. But minority voices must always be in agreement with the majority of that minority. That's evident everywhere.
If I have a disagreement with the currently accepted moral position that has been delivered unto me from the conglomerate of inept fools in charge of things, it is my habit to see if I can find voices in the communities concerned that are on a similar wavelength to mine. If I can, it's a reasonable to assume I have a chance my opinion is at least not anathema.
I can accept that it's ok for some not to find the casting an issue, but I can't be granted the same concession, as I am engaging in wrongthink. Except for Gavinski. Not saying he agreed, but I think he thought it was OK to think this way. The rest? So tiresome. As I am basically a coward, I CBF anymore. Express your Correct Opinions and slap each other on the back.
Thankfully there's some people capable of more nuanced and un-idealogical thinking.
You might as well stop writing so much cos I’m not going to read it
Having POC in ROP doesn't bother me. The black elf looks cool and the guy playing the part is doing a great job and I've always been a fan of Lenny Hendry so It's nice to see him in something these days.
Not sure about the woman dwarf though. Nothing wrong with the casting but I thought that they were meant to have beards as well. I'm sure there are multiple lines in the book where Gimli states only dwarfs can tell the sexes apart.
We have another episode today. Let's hope it gets better. Also, when do the rings start turning up?
I am totally anti-racist, I think blind-casting will be a good thing in the long term, and will come to be seen as normal within the next ten or twenty years. That's good. I also personally think that affirmative action is a good thing. Inequality is a real thing, and blacks in America and in the UK have had such a traumatic backstory that it seems right to redress this. But I also won't dismiss your opinion out of hand, I don't think you should be made to feel bad for stating your view, and I think it is worthy of discussion. I also think that silencing or ridiculing people who go against 'politically correct' thinking basically always backfires. When someone is attacked for expressing a view it generally leads them to be more entrenched in that view. "Cognitive dissonance" - see the book 'Mistakes Were Made But Not By Me'. Hence the need for truly open and respectful discussion. And I think your discussion on this topic has been nuanced and respectful.
I’m not assuming that at all. I’m pointing out a significant flaw in your conclusions.
I’m also unaware that ‘we’ are being told to amplify a tiny minority of minority voices to justify the opinions of white people.
OOT to the max, I'd like to stick up for Eddison here. The Worm Ouroboros is juvenilia (his childhood friend Arthur Ransome remembered them roleplaying the characters as kids), but once he'd got it out of his system, the Zimiamvia books are hands-down the greatest high fantasy before LoTR and still for me the only serious rivals for the throne. Tolkien is way out in front for worldbuilding and narrative genius, but Eddison (who was a mate and influence despite the clash of his radical Nietschean paganism with Tolkien's Catholicism) knocks it out of the park for cosmic imagination tied inextricably to character, language, situation, and political intrigue.
They have different solutions to what an English prose version of epic style should look like - Tolkien a genius at a kind of Eddic understatement, Eddison at a showy Jacobean classicism that has limited his readership while Tolkien's has boomed. But when Eddison's on form (which he isn't in the unfinished The Mezentian Gate, though it has its moments) he's in a stratosphere of his own. The ending of A Fish Dinner in Memison is the most haunting in all of fantasy, and the prologue to Mistress of Mistresses a masterclass. And his female characters are phenomenal. Mercifully unfilmable; the texture is all in the writing and interiors, and his dialogue is literally inimitable.
A really beautifully written post which wants me to check out this author I’ve never even heard of. Thank you for taking the time to write this
@Masanga excellent post. Cheers!
I picked up The Worm Ouroboros at my friend's thrift shop for a dollar or so. I'll keep my eye out for the Eddison works you mention.
@gavinski thank you. This place brings me to tears, literally, and I shall leave it
I'm sorry to hear that. Sometimes silence is more powerful than words though.
@SimonSomeone : my comment was not attacking you or piling on. All that I said was "I don't think being bothered by the casting is correlated with the "real"-ness of one's fandom." I was kind of hoping you might simply agree.
Nobody said that there is only one acceptable view. I think it is unfair to accuse others of misunderstanding you -- when they might simply disagree with some of what you have to say. You may misunderstand what others are saying as well. I don't think anyone is trying to silence you. Someone (not me) telling you that they don't care to read your further thoughts is not silencing you.
You complain about people 'putting you in your place'. I am not sure why you mention me in that context. I was not putting you in your place.
I don't think people are trying to misunderstand you -- they might simply disagree with you. You are entitled to your opinion. They are entitled to theirs. Sometimes there is rich conversation to be had discussing divergent viewpoints.
@espiegel123 Yes, i apologise, I was in the wrong putting things like that. I appreciate your comment.
Well I guess I’ll be watching another one when I get back to the house tonight.
Weird how any criticism has racism levied at it, to fit a narrative
It also gets A LOT of press coverage for said show when the R card is played too.
I have seen very little real "Hidden" racism around this series or the new GOT, in fact house of the dragon is getting a lot of praise.
There were some complaints about the POC elves because Tolkien quite clearly described that race, and they were not POC, and the only complaints about the Harfoots is that a race of POC hobbits has been invented just to be completely wiped out, because they do not exist in later ages.
Neither of those come under the term racism, unless you want to fit a narrative.
Now lets look at the real complaints, which are very pointed and very numerous, Galadriel, she is getting absolutely tanked internet wide, and now even mainstream media is starting to call it "The Galadriel problem"
Way way way more complaints about her than anything else, but wait, she's not POC.
As for any real (and actually rare) racist comments about the POC characters, you will generally find they are made by some racist tossbag that has always been a racist tossbag and isn't hidden at all.
I could care less about the POC characters, if it bothers people they have an off switch, but it is weird in recent times how many R cards are pulled when Hollywood writes another pile of garbage that is portrayed by a POC actor, the same thing was pulled with that horribly written character in Obi Wan, a character by the way that would have been horrible played by anybody of any size shape or color.
Oh,really?Never realized that and i‘m just watching the extended cuts now again to prepare myself for RoP 😆
20 years later and the Jackson movies are still gorgeous 👌
Well it looks like events are somewhat following the appendices, but my guess would be that things will progress in a much more compressed time scale than in Tolkien’s writing.