Lord of the Rings fan site, The One Ring, recently described Lord of the Rings writer J.R.R. Tolkien as woke in a recent Twitter thread.
The website appears to have some kind of connection Amazon Studios current Lord of the Rings TV series production given they were the first to receive and publish the official synopsis of the show back in January.
Regardless, they took to Twitter where they began a thread condemning “homophobic comments.”
They wrote, “Listen, we’ve been dealing with homophobic comments for decades and it’s still wrong. Whatever toxic arguments are being said now about LOTR fandom & adaptations is the same trash that said Ian McKellen was the worst affront to Tolkien’s legacy ever. #pride.”
They followed that up writing, “Cogent respectful debate on Tolkien is always welcome but homophobic, racist, misogynistic trash is always a case for banning. It’s not what Tolkien fandom is, wants or welcome. We used to be able to ban in the era of message boards and IRC, but in the era of social media…”
Next, they wrote, “The platforms can’t keep toxicity out of our community. We can mute and block but that’s only for this accounts feed. Twitter is not a community simply because it lacks anti-troll tools. Nasty people still show up in replies because their toxic friend subtweeted us.”
The Twitter account then argued that Tolkien was woke. They tweeted, “If you still think Ian McKellen is the worst & that Catholic Tolkien would have never approved, I beg you to read more of Tolkien’s books and letters. He was woke, stood against hate, embraced all cultures in life & fiction. It’s why his books are translated in every language.”
They continued the thread, “If you think Ian McKellen gets a pass but whatever Amazon is doing is a disgrace to Tolkien, please think more on your personal bias before tweeting. Our block button is very active. And if you RT/enable toxic voices in the name of free speech, you not love Tolkien.”
Finally, they concluded the thread writing, “#PRIDE gives us some of the greatest performances, beyond all expectations.”
It’s unclear what The One Ring is specifically taking issue with other than it has something to do with Ian McKellen and the Amazon production and alleged comments made about them.
As you can see above, they don’t actually provide any evidence of these comments.
And as for Tolkien being woke, one has to wonder what kind of definition of woke The One Ring is using because Tolkien is probably the furthest from woke as you can get being a devout Catholic.
To elucidate this point, Bishop Robert Barron of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles describes wokeism as an “intellectual virus.”
While asking if this ideology is the answer to injustice, he provides an excellent definition of what wokeism actually is.
He questions, “But is this Foucaultian “woke” philosophy, which holds to an antagonistic social theory, which deconstructs language, which denies the objectivity of moral norms, and which sees reality simply as an incessant struggle between oppressor and oppressed, the answer?”
Bishop Barron then makes clear that this ideology is not the answer and he actually encourages fighting against it.
He explains, “Of course not. And perhaps we should be encouraged by the French alarm at the emergence of “wokeism” in their midst, for now the very society that produced the intellectual virus might join the fight against it.”
Tolkien would not deny the objectivity of moral norms being a devout Catholic.
Biographer Humphrey Carpenter detailed just how central Tolkien’s Catholic faith was to him as he attended mass daily at St. Aloysius.
Not only that but Carpenter writes, “His commitment to Christianity and in particular to the Catholic Church was total.”
He adds, “This is not to say that the practice of his faith was always a source of consolation to him: he set himself a rigorous code of behaviour, especially in the matter of making his confession before receiving communion, and when (as often happened) he could not bring himself to go to confession he would deny himself communion and live in a pathetic state of spiritual depression.”
Tolkien also wouldn’t deconstruct language being a philologist by trade. That’s the opposite of the profession he chose.
He also wouldn’t view the world as a struggle between oppressor and oppressed.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops clearly states, “‘The Church’s love for the poor . . . is a part of her constant tradition.’ This love is inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes, of the poverty of Jesus, and of his concern for the poor. . . . ‘Those who are oppressed by poverty are the object of a preferential love on the part of the Church which, since her origin and in spite of the failings of many of her members, has not ceased to work for their relief, defense, and liberation.'”
They also add, “Love for others, and in the first place love for the poor, in whom the Church sees Christ himself, is made concrete in the promotion of justice.”
That’s the opposite of viewing the world as a struggle between oppressor and oppressed.
One then has to wonder what in the world the folks over at The One Ring are doing because it looks like they are actively trying to sully J.R.R. Tolkien.