As Amazon Prime struggles with negative reviews of its new series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – the multimillion-dollar adaptation of the work of writer J. R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, fans continue to rave about the story and characters.
And one very particular fan, who has had a personal rivalry with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in recent years, is eager to add fuel to the fire as well.
The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, who, among other things, is also an avowed fan of the fantasy genre, commented on the two episodes of The Rings of Power released so far.
In a post on his Twitter account, which Musk regularly uses on everything from calls to fight the demographic crisis to complaining about high taxes, he criticized the new Amazon Studios series, saying the portrayal of male characters was downright negative.
“Tolkien is spinning in his grave right now,” he wrote in the first tweet, then added: “Almost every male character so far has been a coward, a fool, or both. Only Galadriel is brave, smart and kind.”
Almost every male character so far is a coward, a jerk or both. Only Galadriel is brave, smart and nice.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 5, 2022
With this, Musk touches on a topic that has been a frequent criticism of the new series – many fans are unhappy with the portrayal of the elven princess Galadriel.
Many of them point to the difference between her portrayal in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy, played by Cate Blanchett as a majestic, calm and powerful ruler and sorceress, and her portrayal in the series, which is radically different.
In The Rings of Power, she is a skilled warrior driven by a thirst for revenge following the death of her brother, who was killed by Sauron. Galadriel here is the warlord and leader of the northern armies of the elven high king Gil-galad.
As we already pointed out in one of our reviews of the series, this image of her as a warrior princess is grossly inaccurate compared to the books and everything written about Galadriel by Tolkien.
At the same time, her performance as almost the most skilled warrior in Middle-earth irritated many fans, including Elon Musk.
The Tesla and SpaceX chief’s comment provoked backlash, including from writer Neil Gaiman, whose The Sandman comics were also recently turned into a Netflix series, where they faced similar backlash from fans for changing the race or gender of certain characters. characters.
Elon Musk doesn’t come to me for advice on how to fail to buy Twitter, and I don’t go to him for film, TV or literature criticism. https://t.co/WpyXhQlqIh
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) September 6, 2022
“Elon Musk doesn’t come to me for advice on how to fail at buying Twitter, and I don’t come to him for film, TV or literary criticism,” he wrote on his Twitter account, responding to a fan’s question about his thoughts about the situation.
Meanwhile, Welsh actress Morfead Clarke, who plays Galadriel in The Rings of Power, defended her portrayal of the character.
“I would say her peace of mind is hard-earned. I don’t think you get to that level of wisdom without going through things,” the actress told Variety.
According to her, Galadriel herself spoke in The Lord of the Rings about how with the gain of wisdom comes the loss of innocence, something Clarke valued highly about herself.
“Because, like, how young can you be when you’re already thousands of years old. So I was thinking about how much innocence she’s lost in that time,” Clarke explains.
The actress gives logic to all this with an explanation of how the elves in the Third Age (the time of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” – n.b.) have evolved and developed.
“The elves in the First Age are really messed up and they screw each other up a lot, and they also fight and make fun of each other. They’re the living history of Middle-earth, and so they’re constantly changing,” explains Clarke.
“It’s been really interesting for all of us playing canon characters to explore how these characters become who we know,” adds the actress.
The first two episodes of “Rings of Power” debuted on September 2 on Amazon Prime, and the platform reported an absolute record for viewership to date – 25 million people who watched the series in the first 24 hours of its release.
A few days before, the first reviews for the show came out, and they were rather positive, but soon after, however, there were quite a few dissatisfied with the way the adaptation of Tolkien’s work was done.
The Rings of Power currently holds a 6.8 out of 10 on IMDB with over 117,000 votes, an 85% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but only a 39% audience rating. On Metascore, the Amazon Prime series scores a 71 out of 100 among critics, but also scores overwhelmingly low among fans.
Elon Musk’s criticism of the show is somewhat expected, however, given the fact that he and Jeff Bezos have had a clear feud for several years.
It arose out of competition for their spaceflight businesses (including competition for major contracts with the US government), but then grew in other directions as well. So when Musk was named the world’s richest man, he joked that he would send Bezos a silver medal and a large statue of the number 2 to show him where he stood.