In any vibrant fandom, a warm debate is a sign of good health; when a whole fantasy realm is in question, who would expect truly universal opinions? But some of the debates surrounding Prime Video power rings were anything but nuanced—something co-showrunner JD Payne finds frustrating.
In a new interview with The Hollywood ReporterPayne addresses some of the outspoken racists backlash the series has had to contend with since its release. When the series was first released, Amazon suspended notices for 72 hours in an attempt to evade review bombers. Amazon has since claimed there was a coordinated attack against the show due to its diverse cast and strong female lead.
Talk with THR, Payne makes it clear how he thinks the cast’s inclusive critique is a distressing misinterpretation of the text. In fact (unlike a certain the belief of the happy space billionaire), Payne believes that Tolkien’s original tomes are about finding commonalities between diverse communities.
“Tolkien’s spirit is about disparate people who don’t trust each other and look different from each other, finding common ground in friendship and achieving great things,” Payne says. “That’s the spirit we’ve tried to instill in every comma and every dot in the series. That this aspiration is offensive to people and enrages them…it’s very hard for us to understand. What protects I don’t see how people who say these things think they are fighting for good.
Payne goes on to quote a specific moment from the series’ yet-to-air seventh episode that he finds particularly relevant to inter-fandom controversies. What resonates with Payne is one of Galadriel’s lines: “Every war is fought from without and within.”
“Even if you’re fighting for something you think is good, if you do something worse in that fight, then you become bad,” Payne says. “I don’t see how people who say these things think they are fighting for good. It’s obviously evil.