1. #2721
    Titan Orby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Midnight Bomber View Post
    If you want to get into this...than they should also be extremely sensitive to sunlight and probably near blind.
    Basically anthropomorphic moles :P
    "People fear, not death, but having life taken from them. Many waste the life given to them, occupying themselves with things that do not matter. When the end comes, they say they did not have time enough to spend with loved ones, to fulfill dreams, to go on adventures they only talked about... But why should you fear death if you are happy with the life you have led, if you can look back on everything and say, 'Yes, I am content. It is enough.'" - Wynne ( Dragon Age: Origins.)

  2. #2722
    Quote Originally Posted by cyberglum View Post
    Genuine question; If race/gender swapping doesn't matter in adaptations of stories from one media to another then why do it?
    It doesn't matter in terms of the story. .
    Isms bore me. I think they are only brought by people who seek to marginalize the potential of each ism to provide something meaningful. Name it, Capitalism, Socialism, even Communism-- all contain something of merit towards structuring a society. The biggest flaw in human history has been the need to take the worst of a system along with the best. It doesn't have to be all of one and none of another.

  3. #2723
    Quote Originally Posted by Triceron View Post
    Middle Earth is purely fictional. Doesn't mean he didn't base certain things on real life peoples and cultures. Sure Tolkien left things blank. Doesn't mean it's anyone's job to fill them in.

    Any blanks left unfilled are meant to be left unfilled. If there is any mandate to fill in the blanks, then we can all agree that we're diving into speculation and creative liberties beyond what we know of from the narrative (and related works).

    At no point do creative liberties get retroactively applied as being part of Tolkien's original vision. If he did not clarify, then it remains unclarified, simple as that.

    If he did not clarify the skintone of the Dwarves, it does not give leeway to make the Dwarves blue on the basis of a technicality. There are certain rules to the world and that Tolkien outlined himself which his world operates in. If there is no mention of Blue skinned Dwarves, then there should be no assumption or argument that they should exist because 'this is a work of fiction'. Anything beyond the original narrative is speculation or a creative liberty. There is no wiggle room to retroactively insert what does not exist in the original narrative for the sake of defending creatively liberal adaptations of the mythos.
    By trying to equate the peoples of Middle-earth to actual historical peoples you're making an effort to fill in the blanks. That's the issue. The blanks are there, there's no denying that, but they have to be filled in somehow because PEOPLE have to be cast in the roles for the screen. Basing the casting of fantasy characters on white Europeans might have been how it was done historically, but that doesn’t mean it HAS to be done that way.

    Though no descriptions of dwarven skin tone is given in the text, when you cast a person to play the role of a dwarf you're obviously going to be making a decision on how their skin tone is represented. It doesn't amend the text, but it's a necessity for visual adaptation. In terms of dwarves we're already making the assumption that they are of at least one tone of human skin color. The next assumption YOU'RE making is that they're only ONE tone of human skin color. I'm saying that it's perfectly reasonable in these instances (where there is no specificity in the text) to not make that assumption and instead allow for a variety in skin tones that all at least reside within the human spectrum.
    Last edited by Adamas102; 2022-08-12 at 05:51 PM.

  4. #2724
    Quote Originally Posted by UnifiedDivide View Post
    "Disgusting"? Why is that?
    well lets just say its just how i feel about it. all and all its not something that concerns you. as stated previously im all good with people having different taste in movies and tv show. have a great weekend
    There is a void in my heart. Have you come to fill it?

  5. #2725
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    By trying to equate the peoples of Middle-earth to actual historical peoples you're making an effort to fill in the blanks.
    Er, I was literally addressing your example.

    You posed a question of why a mutation of hair color would not randomly also affect skin color. I made a point that, based on our own evidence of human cultures, that is not how genetic mutations work. Black skin does not randomly manifest itself into various monoethnic cultures that are not predisposed to having black skin. It does not randomly appear because they happen to have more melanin in their hair than in their skin. It's not some random happenstance that generations of white skinned people would randomly give birth to a black skinned child.

    Our real life monoethnic cultures do not exhibit random skin tones the way we see them on TV when people of many different cultures and races are playing a role depicting what should be a monoethnic culture.

    And this pertains to Middle Earth specifically because monoethnic cultures are how Tolkien presents fictional races such as Elves, Dwarves, Men and Hobbits. There is no 'fill in the blanks' here, it's literally the way Tolkien has presented his fiction.

    Though no descriptions of dwarven skin tone is given in the text, when you cast a person to play the role of a dwarf you're obviously going to be making a decision on how their skin tone is represented. It doesn't amend the text, but it's a necessity for visual adaptation. In terms of dwarves we're already making the assumption that they are of at least one tone of human skin color. The next assumption YOU'RE making is that they're only ONE tone of human skin color. I'm saying that it's perfectly reasonable in these instances to not make that assumption and instead allow for a variety in skin tones that all at least reside within the human spectrum.
    Tolkien has been quite elaborate on his history of the Dwarves. At no point does he mention that Dwarf skintone is met with a variety of skin tones in the same as as Humans (of Middle Earth). They are also not based on a diverse ethnic multi-culture in real life; they are based on a very particular monoethnic culture.


    As a secondary point, any visual interpretations in an adaptation are only relevant to the adaptation itself. It does not retroactively apply to the original works.

    Elves appeared at Helms Deep in the Peter Jackson movies. It was hella cool. It does not mean Tolkien originally envisioned Elves in Helms Deep, and that we must find ambiguities in the original work to retrofit the creative liberties that the movies took to make sense of them. Does this make sense?

    We can make an argument that Black Dwarves can exist in Rings of Power, but there's no way to retrofit them back as being explainable in the original work because simply said they do not exist in the original work. They don't even exist in between-the-lines, otherwise we would have been presented clear evidence that they would have been known to exist. Just like I can say about Blue-skinned Dwarves. They don't exist in the narrative even if there is ambiguity that makes such things possible. Just because it's possible doesn't mean their existence in some future adapation would be retroactively true to the original work. It would only be true of the adaptation, and nothing else.

    Shadow of Mordor presented Shelob in sexy human form. This is not representative of the original works. Tolkien never made it clear whether Shelob would have had the ability to present herself in a humanoid form, and that lack of information does not retroactively apply to the original work. It'd be a creative liberty of the adaptation. So what I'm saying is, it's pointless to debate whether Shelob actually has the ability to be a sexy human form in the original works as though Tolkien left room for it to happen. It's merely a product of an adaptation and a creative liberty.
    Last edited by Triceron; 2022-08-12 at 06:09 PM.

  6. #2726
    Quote Originally Posted by Triceron View Post
    Er, I was literally addressing your example.

    You posed a question of why a mutation of hair color would not randomly also affect skin color. I made a point that, based on our own evidence of human cultures, that is not how genetic mutations work. Black people of various cultures do not randomly appear because they happen to have more melanin in their hair than in their skin. It's not some random happenstance that generations of white skinned people would randomly give birth to a black skinned child.

    The answer is because our real life cultures do not exhibit random skin tones the way we see them on TV when people of many different cultures and races are playing a role depicting what should be a monoethnic culture.

    And this pertains to Middle Earth specifically because monoethnic cultures are how Tolkien presents fictional races such as Elves, Dwarves, Men and Hobbits. There is no 'fill in the blanks' here, it's literally the way Tolkien has presented his fiction.
    My example wasn’t that a mutation that allows variation in hair color would necessitate a variation in skin color. The point is that it’s the same mechanism, so if you accept one then it shouldn’t be that hard to accept the other.

    You, like the other poster I’m responding to here, are also conflating skin color variation with ethnicity and culture. The former is merely genetic mutation while the latter (when associated with skin color) are rooted in our real world history which in turn has no bearing on Middle-earth. That means that races in Middle-earth can have variety in skin color while still being monoethnic cultures.

    As for human history, all modern humans began as dark skinned. They didn’t lighten to the point of current white populations just by moving north. We don’t know how exactly how light skinned they became in the tens of thousands of years they resided at northern latitudes, but we do know that the main contributing factor to European white skin was a very specific mutation that occurred 6,000-19,000 years ago. It’s very possible that when that occurred it was a very stark difference (generations of fairly dark skinned people suddenly giving birth to much more light skinned people) that propagated over thousands of years due to positive environmental pressure (light hair and eye color also being mutations that developed similarly but separately).

    Then we're talking about the nature of adapations and how they can never truly translate the vision of the original work, and MUST take creative liberties.

    Yes, it is a necessity of a visual adaptation. And at no point would I ever point at an adaptation as a retroactive vision for the original work.

    Elves appeared at Helms Deep in the Peter Jackson movies. It was hella cool. It does not mean Tolkien originally envisioned Elves in Helms Deep, and that we must find ambiguities in the original work to retrofit the creative liberties that the movies took to make sense of them. Does this make sense?

    We can make an argument that Black Dwarves can exist in Rings of Power, but there's no way to retrofit them back as being explainable in the original work because simply said they do not exist in the original work. They don't even exist in between-the-lines, otherwise we would have been presented clear evidence that they would have been known to exist. Just like I can say about Blue-skinned Dwarves. They don't exist in the narrative even if there is ambiguity that makes such things possible. Just because it's possible doesn't mean their existence in an adapation would be retroactively true to the original work.
    There’s no need to retrofit. Dwarves being white skinned is already an assumption. It’s a very specific assumption based on the assumption that dwarves have skin tones similar to humans. We both agree on the latter assumption, you’re just trying to insert a specificity that isn’t in line with the text. You can do that (Peter Jackson made that assumption as well), but that doesn’t mean it’s more valid than simply sticking with “human skin tone variety”.
    Last edited by Adamas102; 2022-08-12 at 06:22 PM.

  7. #2727
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    My example wasn’t that a mutation that allows variation in hair color would necessitate a variation in skin color. The point is that it’s the same mechanism, so if you accept one then it shouldn’t be that hard to accept the other.
    But that's speculation.

    Sure, you could argue that if you accept one, then you could accept the other. But the fact is, the other doesn't exist in the fiction.

    Just like I could say that the One Ring has magical properties to make one invisible. Therefore it shouldn't be hard to accept if Frodo could also fly. Yes, it's true, magic is magic and there is no limit. But the fact is, there are no magical items that we know of that grants flight. Making the assumption that flight would be perfectly acceptable is nothing more than speculation, because magical items that grant flight do not formally exist in the fiction.

    These are not discussions of the narrative. We're literally talking about breaking the rules of the universe. And any discussion of breaking the rules (which we have no power over) will be met with subjective discussion, and ultimately, controversy.

    You, like the other poster I’m responding to here, are also conflating skin color variation with ethnicity. The former is merely genetic mutation while the latter (when associated with skin color) is rooted in our real world history which in turn has no bearing on Middle-earth. That means that races in Middle-earth can have variety in skin color without being different ethnicities.
    The simple fact is that Tolkien intentionally presented the Elves and Dwarves to be monoethnic cultures. There is no alternative depiction of Elves and Dwarves with other colored skin in the narrative. None.

    So your argument, while valid on a technical level, has no bearing on a discussion of Middle Earth as depicted by Tolkien. At this point, you might as well pose the question of why Jedi and Lightsabers couldn't also exist. There literally is no difference in discussion, because we're talking about pure speculation that does not exist within the existing narrative universe.

    Could they exist in an adapation? Yes, absolutely, because there are no real rules to what an adaptation can or can not do. So in short, I think Black Dwarves in Middle Earth would be as significant a change as Jedi and Lightsabers, because if you can accept one you should be able to accept the other. Whether it is actually deemed acceptable or not, is purely subjective and up to people to decide for themselves.

    If we're talking about Rings of Power, they have the freedom to depict Elves with Jedi-like force powers and swords that literally glow as brightly and vividly as a lightsaber. That is the nature of an adaptation and the limitless freedom of being an adaptation. Suffice to say, if they go this route, expect controversial opinions to come out of the woodwork. There are many people who may not regard these changes as 'insignificant'.

    There’s no need to retrofit. Dwarves being white skinned is already an assumption. It’s a very specific assumption based on the assumption that dwarves have skin tones similar to humans. We both agree on the latter assumption, you’re just trying to insert a specificity that isn’t in line with the text. You can do that (Peter Jackson made that assumption as well), but that doesn’t mean it’s more valid than simply sticking with “human skin tone variety”.
    Of course it's more valid. Tolkien himself explains the Dwarves are based on medieval depictions of Jews. We know this from the horse's mouth, therefore it's not mere assumption, it is proven from the author themselves. They gave a direct line of reference to real life culture that they are based on. "Medieval depictions of Jews" is quite a specific monoethnic culture being referenced here.
    Last edited by Triceron; 2022-08-12 at 07:23 PM.

  8. #2728
    “You’re racist because you don’t like black characters in this originally white story”

    “You calling me racist shows your ignorance on the subject”

    Summary of 95% of this thread

  9. #2729
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    The appendices IS the source material. The Silmarillion is a supplement and obviously the Tolkien estate didn't deem it necessary for setting the show in the Second Age. If you disagree then that's on you, but the appendices has all the barebones structure for the people, places, and events of this time period, which is what is most important for developing a dramatic adaptation.
    It is part of it. Tolkien had not finished fleshing out the story of the 2nd age until later. The fall of Numenor and other things are not described until the Simarillion and Unfinished Tales.

    The Silmarillion has five parts. The first, Ainulindalë, tells of the creation of Eä, the "world that is." The second part, Valaquenta, gives a description of the Valar and Maiar, supernatural powers of Eä. The next section, Quenta Silmarillion, which forms the bulk of the collection, chronicles the history of the events before and during the First Age, including the wars over three jewels, the Silmarils, that gave the book its title. The fourth part, Akallabêth, relates the history of the Downfall of Númenor and its people, which takes place in the Second Age. The final part, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, is a brief account of the circumstances which led to and were presented in The Lord of the Rings.

    The book shows the influence of many sources, including the Finnish epic Kalevala, Greek mythology in the lost island of Atlantis (as Númenor) and the Olympian gods (in the shape of the Valar, though these also resemble the Norse Æsir).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silmarillion

    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    I'm also going to point out a few things in what you re-quoted that should be addressed:



    A detailed genealogy, huh? It only takes a cursory glance I notice that half of the couples that produced this line of descendants is absent. Who was Tar-Miriel's mother? Who was Al-Pharazon's? Their grandmother was Inzilbeth, but who was their great grandmother? There are A LOT of links missing in this chain, and while the names there are obviously the important ones for following the line of succession, when it comes to genetics it hardly gives the full picture.
    It primarily deals with the line of descent of Kings of Numenor and not all of their children and other family members. I agree. The intent clearly in writing this was to establish a chain of rule from the first King through the last and that this line of rule was important to the race of men. It was also part of Tolkliens outline of how the races of men came to be in Middle Earth and to distinguish between the various clans of these humans.

    The Edain were humans that sailed to the lands of the Elves, had friendly relations with them and learned many things from them. They also were a major part of the war against Morgoth in the first age and as a result were given a piece of land raised from the sea called Numenor. They had good relations with the Elves for a very long time and from the Elves they received the white tree Nimloth which stopped blooming with the fall of Numenor and did not bloom again until the events of Lord Of the Rings. The core narrative of Numenorean Kings, also known as as the House of Elros, is that their fate was prophesied to be tied to the fate of the kingdoms of man as seen in Aragorn returning to the throne and the white tree at Minas Tirith blooming again. Other humans not part of the alliance with Elves were scattered across different parts of Middle Earth. As such humans were divided into 3 main groups, Men of the Light (Gondor), Men of the Twilight or Middle Men and Men of the Darkness all related to how far these people were from the light of the two trees, the Valar and Elves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    We know that the Edain were mixed race, with those of the Houses of Beor and Haleth expressing genetic markers for darker hair and skin than those of House Hador. As descendants of the Edain, Numenoreans would certainly carry all those genetic markers which would lead to a fairly varied group of people (wide variety in hair, eye, and skin color). Without a full knowledge of the fictitious genetic mutations that led to the differences between the Edain, there's no definitive way to say how these traits were passed down through the line of kings or how dark a Numenorean's skin could be depending on their parentage or how those traits were expressed. Without knowing that, or anything about Tar-Miriel's mother, or being beholden to the Silmarillion, there's plenty of room for interpretation.
    The Edain were not a "mixed race", as they were simply a sub group of humans who traveled to the lands of Elves, and were described as being organized into 3 houses. And members of those houses were described as having somewhat different features and yes some of the Beor were described as swarthy, but that doesn't imply these were different races. Not to mention most of the Beor were wiped out even before the founding of Numenor. And ultimately Miriel was described as fair, with silver hair.

    Edain is normally the Sindarin word for Men (sing. adan "Man") and thus applied to all Men, though it became associated with only those who came into Beleriand during the Long Peace, the noble Three Houses who became close allies with the Elves and fought beside them against Morgoth. Other groups of Men who stayed in Eriador or the East; or entered Beleriand later in the First Age, such as the Easterlings, are not counted among the Edain.

    The Edain were the ancestors of the Númenóreans or Dúnedain, the High Men of the Second and Third Age.

    Of the Edain, the only "mixture" that was identified was that of the Numenorean Kings who were all descended from Elros, a half elf, and known as the House of Elros. The significance of this mixture is that the Numenorean Kings all had traits derived from the Elves such as being taller and having longer life spans. And also all men of Numenor received the gift of longer life, but not as long as the kings, while also being taller than normal humans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    You could also argue that it's likely that further mixing of Numenoreans with darker skinned people might have occurred during the time of Aldarion and his travels setting up havens in places like Umbar. Not enough mixing to dilute the Numenorean lineage as what happened later on, but for a good 1,000 years there were friendly relations between Numenor and the peoples of Harad. Would it have been completely inconceivable?
    Could be, but the Numenoreans saw themselves as above other men, due to their larger stature and lifespan, so it would likely not be something they would dilute by having children with non Numenoreans. The whole theme of the second age revolves around conflicts related to the gift of immorality only being granted to the Elves, rejection of the Valar by some factions of Elves wanting to rule Middle Earth, such as galadriel, and so forth. Not having the Numenoreans see themselves above the other humans would be taking away from the original narrative, which is they fell partly due to Sauron but also due to their own ego and pride.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    And lastly, Cynthia Addai-Robinson is (like the Numenoreans) of mixed heritage, and thought it doesn't need to be I'd say her skin tone falls well within the range for someone who strongly inherited the genetic markers of House Beor. And without knowing anything at all about who her mother was, who knows what other inherited genes might have played a role in how she looked.
    It could but again, the House was all but destroyed and beyond that the biggest problem is that most Numenoreans in this show that have been shown and in the ruling family are white. She is the only one so far that has been shown as black. It stands out really and shows they really weren't trying to make Numenor a "truly diverse" society like modern London or NYC, etc. Also, if some of these Edain did have dark skin they would have been straight haired, as in "black with European like features". And all of these black female characters have straighter hair to imply this, but we haven't seen any black Numenorean males yet, which could potentially introduce tight curly hair, which would also look out of place. It just really doesn't look like they took the time to think this through the way Tolkien took the time to create these genealogies. As in, lets see if we can just throw some black people into this show as opposed to lets see how we include diversity in a way that fits what Tolkien wrote. Note we have see no Asian elves, no Asian dwarves or Asian Harfoots. Not to mention no Native American Elves, Dwarves or humans, nor any Pacific Islanders, Eskimos and Australian Aborigines either. So why does diversity only mean black people?
    Last edited by InfiniteCharger; 2022-08-12 at 07:24 PM.

  10. #2730
    Quote Originally Posted by Veggie50 View Post
    “You’re racist because you don’t like black characters in this originally white story”

    “You calling me racist shows your ignorance on the subject”

    Summary of 95% of this thread
    I love how you just call it "white" story instead of fantasy or anything else, really telling.

  11. #2731
    Quote Originally Posted by Lorgar Aurelian View Post
    Easy answer is to cast the best actor they have trying out for the role given that there race or gender doesn’t actually take any thing away from the performance.
    And this is where you hit the nail on the head but miss the mark....

    Race/gender/whatever swapping characters to slot in the best actor for the part IS an absolutely reasonable idea that generally ends up with fan appreciation and acceptance (easiest example, Nick Fury). Nobody suspects that they cast Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury to show off that they put a black guy in Avengers. They see it and go "its because they could get Samuel MFing Jackson to play the part".

    However the fact that so many of the shows and movies that have done it recently end up casting actors who DO NOT do a good job, even a remotely good job, indicates that this factor has slid away from casting decisions (as has releases of casting calls that literally say what they are doing...) and have instead went with "cast a black guy for this role". They are no longer attempting to cast the best actor for a role, regardless of their race/gender/etc, but are now casting BECAUSE of it.

    And while maybe this show is different, and they literally did it purely because of the amazing actors who they selected are going to kill those roles so hard...... the problem lies in that the same types of projects, for years now, have shown that not to be the case. Its much more likely they cast a subpar actor purely due to their desire to fill a "we need this many black guys, or gay women, or whatever rediculous requirement they came up with" and cast based on that, rather than ability.

    And it shows.

    And people have started to catch on.

    And casting people like they have been, where their ability is secondary to their immutable characteristics isn't leading to good products.

  12. #2732
    The Unstoppable Force Lorgar Aurelian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triceron View Post
    Of course it's more valid. Tolkien himself explains the Dwarves are based on medieval depictions of Jews. We know this from the horse's mouth, therefore it's not mere assumption, it is proven from the author themselves. They gave a direct line of reference to real life culture that they are based on. "Medieval depictions of Jews" is quite a specific monoethnic culture being referenced here.
    If the dwarfs are suppose to adhere to medieval depictions of Jews while they wouldn’t be black you could very well argue for them being various shades of brown along with white depending on what Tolkien actually had on hand/in mind when making them as there is plenty of medieval Jewish art which has them questionable brown and some pieces that has obvious different skin tones.



    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Gumble View Post
    And while maybe this show is different, and they literally did it purely because of the amazing actors who they selected are going to kill those roles so hard...... the problem lies in that the same types of projects, for years now, have shown that not to be the case. Its much more likely they cast a subpar actor purely due to their desire to fill a "we need this many black guys, or gay women, or whatever rediculous requirement they came up with" and cast based on that, rather than ability
    There have been plenty of movie's which have done poorly with a race swapped character who's actor is obviously good but has been given a poorly written role in a poorly written movie, FF4 with Michael B. Jordan as an exmple. Hell I can't think of a single example where there has been a well written role that has been dragged down by a bad minority actor.

    It almost always all comes down to the writing.
    All I ever wanted was the truth. Remember those words as you read the ones that follow. I never set out to topple my father's kingdom of lies from a sense of misplaced pride. I never wanted to bleed the species to its marrow, reaving half the galaxy clean of human life in this bitter crusade. I never desired any of this, though I know the reasons for which it must be done. But all I ever wanted was the truth.

  13. #2733
    Quote Originally Posted by Lorgar Aurelian View Post
    I’d the dwarfs are suppose to adhere to medieval depictions of Jews while they wouldn’t be black you could very well argue for them being various shades of brown along with white depending on what Tolkien actually had on hand/in mind when making them as there is plenty of medieval Jewish art which has them questionable brown and some pieces that has obvious different skin tones.

    Well a good question would be if Tolkien based any of his writings and depictions of Dwarves on this particular reference image then.

    What say your research?

  14. #2734
    Quote Originally Posted by Veggie50 View Post
    “You’re racist because you don’t like black characters in this originally white story”

    “You calling me racist shows your ignorance on the subject”

    Summary of 95% of this thread
    "Black characters can't exist in Middle-Earth"

    "Why not?"

    "Cuz it ruins everything!!!!"

    "How?"

    "Cuz Tolkien never wrote black characters"

    "But how does the existence of black characters ruin everything?"

    "Cuz it's a white story"

    Summary of 95% of this thread

    once again:

    Isms bore me. I think they are only brought by people who seek to marginalize the potential of each ism to provide something meaningful. Name it, Capitalism, Socialism, even Communism-- all contain something of merit towards structuring a society. The biggest flaw in human history has been the need to take the worst of a system along with the best. It doesn't have to be all of one and none of another.

  15. #2735
    Quote Originally Posted by Triceron View Post
    But that's speculation.

    Sure, you could argue that if you accept one, then you could accept the other. But the fact is, the other doesn't exist in the fiction.
    Except it does. Humans and hobbits are both explicitly described as having varying skin tones so the mutations for such exist in Middle-earth. After that it's about using that interpretation to fill in the gaps that need to be filled in order to adapt to the screen (namely, hiring actors). This isn't a world breaking, reality bending thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Triceron View Post
    Just like I could say that the One Ring has magical properties to make one invisible. Therefore it shouldn't be hard to accept if Frodo could also fly. Yes, it's true, magic is magic and there is no limit. But the fact is, there are no magical items that we know of that grants flight. Making the assumption that flight would be perfectly acceptable is nothing more than speculation, because magical items that grant flight do not formally exist in the fiction.

    So your argument, while valid on a technical level, has no bearing on a discussion of Middle Earth as depicted by Tolkien. At this point, you might as well pose the question of why Jedi and Lightsabers couldn't also exist. There literally is no difference in discussion, because we're talking about pure speculation that does not exist within the existing narrative universe.
    It always comes to the most absurd examples, huh? That in a world that does have examples of varying skin tones having a character whose skin tone isn't specified be anything other than white is on the same level as blue skin, lightsabers, and magical flight... You do see how seeing so much push back against something so natural in a setting where it already exists can become so fucking frustrating, right? I mean, this is the epitome of bad faith argument.

    No rules are being broken. Humans (such as the first men of House Beor from whom the Numenoreans decended) and hobbits (Harfoots, who are the most common type of hobbit) exhibit darker skin than others of their race without massive deviations in culture or ethnicity. These rules are already in the setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Triceron View Post
    Of course it's more valid. Tolkien himself explains the Dwarves are based on medieval depictions of Jews. We know this from the horse's mouth, therefore it's not mere assumption, it is proven from the author themselves. They gave a direct line of reference to real life culture that they are based on. "Medieval depictions of Jews" is quite a specific monoethnic culture being referenced here.
    Tolkien made an effort to distance himself from his early depiction of dwarves after the Hobbit (around the time when certain people in Germany were looking for any way to dehumanize Jews). The connections were more in language and the diaspora that guided the quest of Thorin and his band. Again, drawing the connection all the way to skin color is purely assumption on your part. Not to mention that being black and being Jewish aren't mutually exclusive. Are they more rare? Sure. But so were/are Jewish people with red hair, and I imagine until now you were perfectly fine with red haired dwarves.

  16. #2736
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Midnight Bomber View Post
    "Black characters can't exist in Middle-Earth"

    "Why not?"

    "Cuz it ruins everything!!!!"

    "How?"

    "Cuz Tolkien never wrote black characters"

    "But how does the existence of black characters ruin everything?"

    "Cuz it's a white story"

    Summary of 95% of this thread

    once again:

    Or because it's contrary to what Tolkien wrote. There are a ton of changes beyond skin color that go directly against what Tolkien wrote and that's just what is known. There's also a direct example from the same studio of going full death of the author on a fantasy property with a decidedly negative outcome. Not having access to Sil doesn't give free license to directly contradict it.

  17. #2737
    The Unstoppable Force Lorgar Aurelian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triceron View Post
    Well a good question would be if Tolkien based any of his writings and depictions of Dwarves on this particular reference image then.

    What say your research?
    I can't say I know any where near enough about Tolkien to even began searching info of that degree. If I had to make a wild guess though id say there are no records of what he was actually using as a direct reference as Id expect it to have come up before this point and be rather wide spread.
    All I ever wanted was the truth. Remember those words as you read the ones that follow. I never set out to topple my father's kingdom of lies from a sense of misplaced pride. I never wanted to bleed the species to its marrow, reaving half the galaxy clean of human life in this bitter crusade. I never desired any of this, though I know the reasons for which it must be done. But all I ever wanted was the truth.

  18. #2738
    Quote Originally Posted by Xath View Post
    Or because it's contrary to what Tolkien wrote. There are a ton of changes beyond skin color that go directly against what Tolkien wrote and that's just what is known. There's also a direct example from the same studio of going full death of the author on a fantasy property with a decidedly negative outcome. Not having access to Sil doesn't give free license to directly contradict it.
    There's tons of changes to what tolkien wrote in Peter Jackson's films as well...I don't see you rallying against them...



    but we're specifically talking about the changes to skin colour here. What exactly makes those changes so terrible other than an extremely dogmatic view of Tolkien's works?
    Isms bore me. I think they are only brought by people who seek to marginalize the potential of each ism to provide something meaningful. Name it, Capitalism, Socialism, even Communism-- all contain something of merit towards structuring a society. The biggest flaw in human history has been the need to take the worst of a system along with the best. It doesn't have to be all of one and none of another.

  19. #2739
    Quote Originally Posted by Xath View Post
    Or because it's contrary to what Tolkien wrote.
    So is using a brown horse when Tolkien wrote piebald horse, and I'd like to see where anyone is seriously complaining about THAT.

    This is the ultimate red herring, because it's trying to appeal to a kind of purity that isn't just completely unrealistic, but that's also blatantly ignored by the very same people as long as it's about any cosmetic detail BUT skin color.

    Either adherence to the source matters for EVERY detail - in which case you'll never accept any kind of adaptation whatsoever, so why are you here arguing about something you'll never accept and never were going to accept as a matter of definition.

    Or it matters for SOME details but not others - in which case you'll have to provide a GOOD REASON for every detail that you claim should not be changed. And "because Tolkien wrote it!" is not one, since that's tautological, circular logic.

  20. #2740
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamas102 View Post
    Except it does. Humans and hobbits are both explicitly described as having varying skin tones so the mutations for such exist in Middle-earth. After that it's about using that interpretation to fill in the gaps that need to be filled in order to adapt to the screen (namely, hiring actors). This isn't a world breaking, reality bending thing.
    Humans and Hobbits do not have the same lineage or creation myth as the Dwarves. So no, just because certain things exist in one race does not somehow magically apply to all other races. Otherwise we'd be talking about Orcs and Goblins with fair complexions because they share lineage with the Elves.

    To say there are no depictions of fair skinned Orcs is not some controversial talking point against Orcs. It's literally pointing out how it doesn't exist, and if someone chose to adapt a Fair skinned beautiful Orc into Middle Earth, we could literally point at it as being a change or creative liberty taken that diverges from the original material.

    It always comes to the most absurd examples, huh? That in a world that does have examples of varying skin tones having a character whose skin tone isn't specified be anything other than white is on the same level as blue skin, lightsabers, and magical flight... You do see how seeing so much push back against something so natural in a setting where it already exists can become so fucking frustrating, right? I mean, this is the epitome of bad faith argument.
    It's no less absurd than arguing that Black skinned Dwarves would have existed when they never did exist in the narrative.

    It's literally no different in argument because both changes can be deemed acceptable or absurd. It's all a matter of suspension of disbelief. I'm using an extreme example to illustrate the absurdity, but if you understand why I chose these examples, it really isn't as absurd as it sounds. Jedi force powers are equivalent to some of the Magic we've seen Gandalf and Galadriel use in the movies. Force pushing. Mind tricks and telepathy. Lightsabers aren't a far cry from the literal glowing swords we've already known about through Elven blades. Sting, Orcrist, both which glow bright colors.

    What you call absurd has already become acceptable through the Peter Jackson movies. The Wizard fight is literally two Jedis using Force powers against each other. Depictions of Gandalf using Orcrist to slice through goblins like butter is much more graphically shown than ever depicted in the books. I'm illustrating that you could easily call something like Jedi and Lightsabers as absurd even though I can literally point out examples of similar things already existing in the mythology. Just the same way as you can point out similar things to Black Dwarves existing in the mythology even though others may deem it to be absurd.

    You talk about how these would have major pushback, but they already are in full display in the movies, and the pushback isn't even anywhere close to what we're seeing with the existence of a Black Dwarf. That is why I literally made the comparison, because the absurdity and acceptability is literally subjective. PJ made Jedi powers and Lightsabers seamlessly fit into the world of Middle Earth in a way that makes sense. We have yet to see whether Rings of Power will be able to do the same with their racial diversity.

    Tolkien made an effort to distance himself from his early depiction of dwarves after the Hobbit (around the time when certain people in Germany were looking for any way to dehumanize Jews). The connections were more in language and the diaspora that guided the quest of Thorin and his band. Again, drawing the connection all the way to skin color is purely assumption on your part. Not to mention that being black and being Jewish aren't mutually exclusive. Are they more rare? Sure. But so were/are Jewish people with red hair, and I imagine until now you were perfectly fine with red haired dwarves.
    And regardless, unless he retroactively changed his depictions officially, my point remains that the original intent and vision of the works was representing Dwarves in a certain way, and it remains factually true.

    If Tolkien revised his works to reflect his latest thoughts and feelings, then we would be talking about a different Middle Earth. And yes, creators can and have changed their own canon - Lucas officially and canonically has Greedo shoot first, and outright states that this is how he always intended it to play out. If we regard Star Wars canon, then this is the canon we collectively regard and talk about (though not necessarily have to agree with).
    Last edited by Triceron; 2022-08-12 at 08:44 PM.

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