hear me out: all-female remake of lord of the rings
hear me out: all-female racially diverse remake of lord of the rings
Isn’t 2 humans, an Elf, 4 Hobbits, a Dwarf and a celestial being in a corporeal form already racially diverse?
Well, at least in how most high fantasy uses the word “race.”
If every fantasy race is imagined as entirely white it absolutely does not count as racial diversity. The implications of a world where every race (or every race that matters) is white are quite the opposite, in fact, and point to conscious or unconscious white supremacy.
feel free to re-imagine the characters as any race you want, but please understand that, in context, tolkien’s characters (almost) all being canonically white does not “point to conscious or unconscious white supremacy”
you see, tolkien’s mythology was intentionally written as stories for the english people. they had no mythology of their own – all of “their” stories had originated from other cultures. middle earth originated as an alternate history of europe (especially england) as it may have been told from an ancient english mythological perspective.
as the professor himself wrote:
“I was from early days grieved by the poverty of my own beloved country: it had no stories of its own … Do not laugh! But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story… which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country.”
“I am historically minded. Middle-earth is not an imaginary world… The theatre of my tale is this earth, the one in which we now live, but the historical period is imaginary.”
people from europe, are, of course, mostly white, so it naturally follows that the people living in an alternate history of europe would be white – as well as the fantasy creatures borne out of european mythology. including a lot of non-europeans in it would make no more sense than native american mythologies featuring white people, or japanese mythologies featuring black people, and so on.
basically, middle earth = europe, southern areas = africa, and eastern areas = asia. there are poc in tolkien’s arda but most (not all) come from places outside middle earth, which makes sense when you put it in a real world context.
diversity in fantasy is great, but please do not assume that everything that does not meet your criteria of diversity is automatically racist. thank you
When I die, they’re going to be doing the autopsy and find out that the cause of death is a bleeding stomach ulcer that, upon close inspection, actually is text that reads out the commentary directly above my own here.
“which makes sense when you put it in a real world context”
Dr. Caitlin Green has compiled some documentary and archaeological resources specifically
showing African populations in Bronze Age, Roman, and Medieval Britain.
[The De Brailes Hours: f. 1r. England (c. 1240)]
The degree to which pre-modern Britain included people of African origin within its population continues to be a topic of considerable interest and some controversy. Previous posts on this site have discussed a variety of textual, linguistic, archaeological and isotopic
evidence for people from the Mediterranean and/or Africa in the British
Isles from the Late Bronze Age through to the eleventh century AD.
However, the focus in these posts has been on individual sites, events
or periods, rather than the question of the potential proportion of
people from Africa present in pre-modern Britain per se and how
this may have varied over time. The aim of the following post is thus to
briefly ponder whether an overview of the increasingly substantial
British corpus of oxygen isotope evidence drawn from pre-modern
archaeological human teeth has anything interesting to tell us with
regard to this question.
13th Century: Ipswich Man, one of nine African people buried in that particular medieval cemetery (covered by BBC in 2010)[link to source] [link to source]
The following post offers a map and brief discussion of the Islamic gold
coins of the later eleventh and twelfth centuries that have been found
in England and their context. Whilst clearly rare finds, there are now
ten coins of this period known, all but one of which are thought to most
probably have their origins in Spain. Moreover, these coins are
considered to be the survivals of a potentially substantial body of this
material present in England at that time.
Britain, the Byzantine Empire, and the concept of an Anglo-Saxon
‘Heptarchy’: Harun ibn Yahya’s ninth-century Arabic description of
The aim of the following post is to offer a draft look at an interesting
Arabic account of early medieval Britain that appears to have its
origins in the late ninth century. Despite being rarely mentioned by
British historians concerned with this era, this account has a number of
points of interest, most especially the fact that it may contain the
earliest reference yet encountered to there having been seven kingdoms
(the ‘Heptarchy’) in pre-Viking England and the fact that its text
implies that Britain was still considered to be somehow under Byzantine
lordship at that time.
A great host of captives? A note on Vikings in Morocco and Africans in early medieval Ireland & Britain[3 possible burials of African Women in 9th-11th Century England] [Sub-Saharan African woman aged 18-24 from Fairford, Gloucestershire] [Link to source] [Link to source] [Link to source] [Link to source] [Sir Morien, Black Knight of the Round Table] [The Murthly Hours f. 12r: Magi, or Kings, Before Herod. Scotland/England (c. 1280s) From the National Library of Scotland] [Link to source] [Link to source] [Link to source]
The following short note is based on a narrative preserved in the eleventh-century Fragmentary Annals of Ireland that
tells of a Viking raid on Morocco in the 860s. This raid is said to
have led to the taking of ‘a great host’ of North African captives by
the Vikings, who then carried them back to Ireland, where they
reportedly remained a distinct group—’the black men’—for some
considerable period of time after their arrival.
- John Moore of York and the Black Freedman of the Tudor Era
- Roman Deserters at Hadrian’s Wall
- Afro-Scottish Attendant of the Princess of Zanzibar
- Elizabeth I and Black British Scapegoats
- Edwards, Paul, and James Walvin. “Africans in Britain, 1500-1800.“ The African Diaspora: Interpretive Essays. Edited by Martin L. Kilson and Robert I. Rotberg. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1976: 173-204.
- Dabydeen, David, ed. The Black Presence in English Literature. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1985.
- Africans and Asians: Historiography and the Long View of Global Interaction Maghan Keita. From: Journal of World History Volume 16, Number 1, March 2005
- The Mabinogion. Translated with an Introduction by Gwyn Jones and Thomas Jones. London: Dent, 1957.
- The Meeting of Eastern and Western Art. Michael Sullivan, University of California Press, 1997.
- Morien. Translated from the Medieval Dutch by Jessie L. Weston. London: Nutt, 1901.
- Black Africans in Renaissance Europe. edited by Thomas Foster Earle, K. J. P. Lowe. Cambridge University Press
- Africans in Britain. edited by David Killingray. Routledge University, 2012.
- Shakespeare and Race. Catherine M.S. Alexander and Stanley Wells. University of Cambridge Press, 2000. (link to sample)
- Courtiers and Christians: The First Japanese Emissaries to Europe Judith C. Brown. Renaissance Quarterly Vol. 47, No. 4 (Winter, 1994), pp. 872-906 Published by: The University of Chicago Press.
- Shakespeare’s Colors: Race and Culture in Elizabethan England. James Schultz. Quest January 2002, Vol 5 Issue 1.
So, in conclusion:
Want to share this?