❧ Tolkien is often referred to as the father of fantasy, his staggering work in creating the world of Middle Earth being the blueprint used by countless authors,writers, and world builders after him. Not only was his method and the depth of his work inspirational for those who came after, but what he created became so iconic it is now burned into the core identity of fantasy with a hot iron. Elves, dwarves, wizards, orcs, and evil sorcerers are staples of the genre because of Tolkien and especially his most famed work, the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
❧ You can hardly find a fantasy game that doesn't borrow immensely from Tolkien's work, may it be Dungeons and Dragons and its many settings like Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms, or more recent creations like World of Warcraft or Elder Scrolls.
❧ If you were born in the late 80s and early 90s, you probably grew up through the cultural phenomenon that were the movie adaptations of Lord of the Rings. Peter Jackson's impressive masterpieces put Tolkien's lifework into reality, using stunning visuals, expertly written music, and great performances to bring the medieval fantasy genre to a height never reached before.
❧ This live action adaptation pulled the fantasy genre out of the libraries and the dark corners of tabletop gaming stores to bring it into the mainstream, popularizing magic, swords, and fantastical worlds like nothing before it. For many people in our team at Les Artisans d'Azure, this was one of, if not the main reason why we got into LARP, or at least got caught into the passion for medieval fantasy.
❧ With the Fellowship of the Ring, then the Two Towers and The Return of the King, the original movie trilogy launched fantasy in our daily lives with Middle Earth inspiring games, toys, and tabletops to nurture a generation of fantasy lovers.
Return to Middle Earth
❧ Decades later, the world of Middle Earth is coming back into our lives in the form of a long anticipated streaming series, The Rings of Power, which has the potential to do what Lord of the Rings did for a new generation of fantasy fans. While the Hobbit trilogy was indeed a prequel to the original trilogy, this series commits to show us a completely different age of Middle Earth, only known from the Silmarillion and appendixes.
❧ With Howard Shore returning at the reins of the soundtrack, this new adaption has the means of its ambitions. Released on Amazon Prime beginning in September, you can already watch some episodes and make a mind for yourself.
❧ Despite the ambitious nature of the Ring of Powers and the creative liberties taken by the show-runners, many of us cannot help but feel enthusiasm building up. We are living through a renaissance in the genre with many shows and movies returning to our screens, but the world created by Tolkien has a special place in our hearths.