Amazon’s “Rings of Power” ~ The Imaginative Conservative

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The whole point of “The Lord of the Rings” is that true heroism is inseparable from true humility, and true humility is inseparable from true love. The spirit of Amazon’s “Rings of Power” is the opposite of this. Heroism is inseparable from pride, and pride is inseparable from empowerment.

What if the store-to-rule-them-all-and-in-darkness-bind-them got their hands on the ring-to-rule-them-all-and-in-the- does the darkness bind them? In other words, what if Amazon got their hands on the Ring of Power? It may have once been just a scary thought, but now it’s a sickening reality.

Having purchased the rights to The Lord of the Rings, Amazon premiered its “prequel” to Tolkien’s epic earlier this month. It’s apparently as bad as expected. I say “in appearance” because personally, I don’t intend to mess myself with his presence in my mind. I have better things to do with my time than letting myself lose weight.

I do, however, have friends who braved the first episode. Here is a friend’s immediate impression of the underlying agenda:

It was very subtle and disguised as distractions, but eventually I realized they were presenting their idealized waking world – as it would be if the waking ascendant managed to completely swap the roles of men and women in society, as they seem to want to do. . They tried to feminize men and empower women, and that’s the world we see here. All the men are rather androgynous in their speech, weak and cowardly, while Galadriel displays all the machismo. When the group she leads is attacked by a troll, the men flee, leaving Galadriel to kill him herself with swordplay worthy of a Japanese steak house.

The series also practices what its producers would call “positive” or “affirmative” racial discrimination. The roles of strong and wise are disproportionately played by non-white actors.

That’s perfectly normal but it’s just a sideshow that shouldn’t distract us from the real darkness at the heart of this twisting and desecration of the spirit of Tolkien’s work. All the interest of The Lord of the Rings it is that true heroism is inseparable from true humility, and that true humility is inseparable from true love. The Spirit of Amazon rings of power is the complete opposite of that. Heroism is inseparable from pride, and pride is inseparable from empowerment.

Let us remember, for it is perilous to forget, that Tolkien described The Lord of the Rings as “a fundamentally religious and Catholic work”. The spirit of the work is therefore rooted in a Christian understanding of love, or caritas, which is the very opposite of the secular understanding of what is also called “love”. At the heart of Christian love is the paradoxical truth that “the first shall be last.” To love is to give our life in a sacrificial way for the loved one. This true love is truly heroic and is only possible if we have the humility to put ourselves second or last. Christian love is therefore a rational choice.

The secular understanding of love is entirely different. It is, in fact, the demonic diametric opposite of true love. For the worldly, love is a feeling, an emotion, a desire. So it’s irrational. If I can find someone who has similar feelings for me as I have for them, we can satisfy and gratify each other’s feelings and emotions. It feels good. If it no longer feels good to us, we no longer “like” that person and start looking for someone else to gratify and satisfy our emotional needs and cravings. This kind of “love” is essentially egocentric. It is rooted in pride. He does not give his life for the beloved, he gives the life of the beloved for himself. It is this pride that leads to claims of ’empowerment’. It’s the kind of “empowerment” that yearns for the power the Ring has to offer.

Tolkien said that the The Lord of the Rings is an allegory of power, especially power usurped for domination. Those who seek the empowerment that the Ring offers always end up dominating others. The more autonomy we are able to acquire, the more we use this power to serve our own selfish desires at the expense of those who are weaker than us.

But there is also another aspect of the Ring’s power. Its power corrupts those who seek emancipation by using it. Empowerment is the gollumization of the self until the self becomes a slave to the pride it has chosen. The possessor becomes the possessed.

This is the real reason why Amazon rings of power is the very negation of true love and the humility that animates The Lord of the Rings. Those who advocate pride and empowerment gollumize themselves and seek to gollumize others. power rings is the gollumization of The Lord of the Rings.

We end with a lesson of The Lord of the Rings himself that will serve as a metaphor for what the Amazon-Mordor alliance has done with the goodness, truth, and beauty of Tolkien’s work.

At one of the darkest times in history, Frodo and Sam come to a crossroads on the way in Mordor. In the light of the setting sun, they see the statue of an ancient king, “a huge seated figure, motionless and solemn like the great stone kings of Argonath”. To their horror, they see that the violent, vandalizing hands of the orcs have mutilated and defaced it, smearing it with filthy graffiti, “useless scribbles mixed with the filthy symbols that the maggots of Mordor used”. The ancient statue had been decapitated, “and in its place was derisively placed a roughly hewn round stone, crudely painted by savage hands in the likeness of a smiling face with a large red eye in the middle of its forehead”.

The symbolism of this scene is both powerful and palpable. The statue, lovingly sculpted by an ancient artist in the likeness of the king, can be compared to the beauty and majesty of Tolkien’s work. The statue is a living and uplifting symbol of civilization, as much as The Lord of the Rings is a symbol of civilization.

In contrast, the defilement of the statue by the forces of darkness is a reflection of the inversion and perversion of the spirit of goodness, truth and beauty that the statue represents. The beheading of the king and his replacement with a grossly ugly and obscene stone, smeared with paint and crowned with the symbol of Sauron, signifies the triumph of the Usurper over the Creator, the overthrow of the order of the cosmos. .

And yet, in the midst of this apparent triumph of darkness over light, the light itself dispels the darkness:

Suddenly grabbed by the level beams [of the setting sun], Frodo saw the old king’s head: it lay rolled up by the wayside. “Look, Sam! he exclaimed, surprised by the words. “See! The king still has a crown!

The eyes were sunken and the trimmed beard was broken, but around the severe high forehead was a crown of silver and gold. A trailing plant with flowers like little white stars had attached itself to the eyebrows as if in reverence for the fallen king, and in the crevices of his stony hair a yellow stonecrop shone.

“They can’t conquer forever!” said Frodo. And then, suddenly, the brief glimpse disappeared. The sun sank and disappeared, and like the extinguishing of a lamp, black night fell.

In these few lines, as if by a miracle of grace, the hobbits had a microcosmic glimpse of the order of the cosmos. As on several other occasions in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the light of the Sun (with a significant capital) is the finger of Providence, that is, the Presence of the Creator Himself. By His light the power of darkness is removed so that the hobbits may be encouraged with a vision of the restoration of the true hierarchy. Thus the Creator reveals his Creation, in the form of stonecrop and creeper, crowning the king and the work of art with flowers of silver and gold, restoring the glory of civilization with the promise of the resurrection. It is God blessing the Art; it is Creation crowning Sub-Creation; it is Life crowning the Good, the True and the Beautiful!

Although the “brief glimpse” soon fades, it was, as Frodo clearly understands, the “sudden and miraculous grace” of which Tolkien writes in his essay “On Fairy-Stories”, a joyous epiphany which “denies…the universal final defeat and in so far is evangelization, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world”. It shows, as Sam would sing in another dark moment shortly afterwards, that “above all shadows rides the Sun”, therefore we can be sure, as Frodo proclaims, that the powers of darkness cannot conquer forever.

The Amazon-Mordor alliance has done its best to disfigure the beauty of The Lord of the Rings. His rationally loving Christian heart was replaced with a roughly hewn heart of stone. It has been decapitated by the suppression of reason which animates it and of rational love which is the triumph of reason itself. He was coated with the pride of Sauron. Its goodness, truth and beauty have been removed and all that remains is the ugliness of reality seen with the eye of Sauron.

Lovers of Tolkien’s masterpiece should react to such an act of desecration the way all true hobbits should react. We should lift our eyes to the heavens, to the light beyond all darkness. “Above all, the shadows ride the sun,” says Sam. And, as Frodo proclaims, “They cannot conquer forever!”

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Featured image courtesy of IMDb.

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