The Lord Of The Rings Cast Stand In Solidarity Amid Racist Backlash To Rings Of Power: 'You Are All Welcome Here'

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but a fictional fantasy show released in the year 2022 had the audacity to include a few non-white actors in the sprawling, glaringly majority-white cast and a lot of mouth-breathing racists still got really mad about it.

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is only the latest IP craze to find itself caught up in such "controversies" — much of which is fueled by grifter social media accounts that pan for views and stoke outrage from the absolute lowest common denominator target audiences. These have come predictable enough to set your watch by such cycles and yet, every time, the rest of us grownups somehow find ourselves forced to bend the entirety of the discourse around these bad-faith actors as they resort to review-bombing and other troll-like acts of petulance.

We've seen this happen recently with Moses Ingram in "Obi-Wan Kenobi" and John Boyega before her, and now the worst members of the J.R.R. Tolkien fandom have set their sights on the people of color cast in "The Rings of Power." The vitriol, abuse, and hate speech reached such a fever pitch that actor Ismael Cruz Córdova, who portrays the elf Arondir, has resorted to boldly speaking out against these attacks on social media to raise awareness of what he and his fellow castmates have been experiencing.

Thankfully, some much-needed reinforcements have arrived. Original "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy actors Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, and Billy Boyd have taken to Twitter to lend their unwavering support to their "The Rings of Power" counterparts and, along with a strong statement of solidarity from Amazon Studios, denounced the ongoing bigotry in no uncertain terms.

You bow to no one

"The Rings of Power" was always going to inspire outcry from purist Tolkien aficionados who can't fathom any change whatsoever from the source material, but you know things have taken a turn for the surreal when such complaints target the mere existence of people of color in a make-believe universe. Fortunately, a much-welcome dose of common sense has arrived through the highest authority in the land: the cast of original Hobbits from Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Elijah Wood and Sean Astin both voiced their support through Twitter posts showing both actors (along with Monaghan and Boyd) wearing paraphernalia emblazoned in Elvish script announcing one simple message: "You are all welcome here."

'BIPOC belong in Middle-earth and they are here to stay'

Later in the day, the official "The Rings of Power" Twitter account joined in, releasing a joint statement to state that they "stand in solidarity with our cast." The message, in full, can be read below:

We, the cast of 'Rings of Power,' stand together in absolute solidarity and against the relentless racism, threats, harassment, and abuse some of our castmates of color are being subjected to on a daily basis. We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it.JRR Tolkien created a world which, by definition, is multi-cultural. A world in which free peoples from, different races and cultures join together, in fellowship, to defeat the forces of evil. 'Rings of Power' reflects that. Our world has never been all white, fantasy has never been all white, Middle-earth is not all white. BIPOC belong in Middle-earth and they are here to stay. Finally, all our love and fellowship go out to the fans supporting us, especially fans of colour who are themselves being attacked simply for existing in this fandom. We see you, your bravery, and endless creativity. Your cosplays, fancams, fan art, and insights make this community a richer place and remind us of our purpose. You are valid, you are loved, and you belong. You are an integral part of the LOTR family — thanks for having our backs.

Someday we may reach the point when the most toxic members of a given fandom can be safely ignored completely, but it is sadly not this day. Hopefully, such controversies will eventually become a thing of the past.

"The Rings of Power" airs new episodes on Prime Video every Friday.