The much-awaited American drama The Lord of The Rings: Rings of Power is finally here and fans can’t stop talking about it. The fantasy television series is set thousands of years before The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Based on the fantasy novels by J. R. R. Tolkien, the series depicts the second age of Middle-earth.
The showrunners J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay have done a fabulous job with the fantasy series. As per a report by Prime, a whopping 25 million viewers have watched The Lord of The Rings: Rings of Power’s first two episodes. However, the most expensive television series has also invited some criticism due to its casting. Amidst the negative reviews, The Sandman creator Neil Gaiman has come in support of the fantasy fiction.
Neil Gaiman gives it back to the trollers in style
The Lord of The Rings: Rings of Power depicts the world of Harfoots who are ancestors of the Lord of The Rings’ Hobbits. Harfoots are a little different from Hobbits in terms of their lifestyle and appearance. The characters are more nomadic in the fantasy series, with the likes of Lenny Henry, Sara Zwangobani, Thusita Jayasundera, and Markella Kavenagh playing the lead roles. However, the lesser white representation hasn’t gone down well with a particular section of fans.
Tolkien described the Harfoots as "browner of skin" than the other hobbits. So I think anyone grumbling is either racist or hasn't read their Tolkien. Your mileage may vary.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) September 2, 2022
Some fans of Twitter called out the diverse casting saying that the color of the Harfoots doesn’t match with the characters described in Tolkien’s world. Neil Gaiman, who is a great fan of Tolkien’s novels, defended the fantasy series by recalling the author’s description of Harfoots. The Sandman writer revealed that Tolkien defined Harfoots as “browner of skin” and thus their diverse casting is justified.
Tolkien didn't say "The Harfoots spent longer in the sun than any of the other hobbits and were a lot more tanned". He said they were "browner of skin". https://t.co/ay7XDyjySr
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) September 4, 2022
A Twitter user didn’t seem happy with Neil Gaiman’s explanation. He called out the famous author for deceiving the fans. As the user mentioned that “browner of skin” means white people being tanned, Gaiman came up with a direct reply of how J. R. R. Tolkien never said anything about the Harfoots spending more time under the sun.
What do you think about the diverging casting controversy surrounding The Lord of The Rings: Rings of Power series? Do let us know in the comments.