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The Reception of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Convenors: Michał Palmowski (Jagiellonian University), Krystyna Strzebońska-Cichorz (Jagiellonian University)

Amazon’s recent production The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has generated a flurry of criticism from Tolkien’s fandom, outraged at the liberties that the showrunners took with Tolkien’s work. An animated discussion followed, mostly in the digital world. What some believe to be a necessary modernisation of Tolkien’s vision, others denounce as yet another battle of the culture war that the progressive left is waging on the conservatives. Viewed in the context of transmedia storytelling, The Rings of Power raises important questions regarding the creators’ freedom to alter the original storyworld (as Tolkien himself put it: ‘The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands’).

The panel is addressed both to scholars and fans who would like to engage in a critical debate concerning merits and demerits of Amazon’s production and their implications for the perception of Tolkien in the 21st century, transmedia storytelling, Hollywood/Amazon/Netflix politics, and many other aspects related to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.