Fake Tolkien

The Rings of Power isn't just bad Tolkien, it's Fake Tolkien

Damien Walter
2 min readMay 15, 2024

We’re doing just fine without myth, right?

Except even as the modern world has become more and more rational, reasoned, logical and scientific

we’ve simultaneously invented an ever proliferating array of fantastical beliefs, New Age religions and pseudoscience hogwash.

Humans need big grand stories to frame our reality. We need myths.

And that’s what Tolkien gave us. A myth for the modern world. An intensely conservative myth about the Return of the King, granted. But looking at LotRs popularity, that’s what many of us want.

Love it or grudgingly admire it, whatever you think of LotR, it’s a story that matters. And a great work of art, by a great artist.

Which makes The Rings of Power twice the travesty. Because Amazon’s Tolkien streaming show isn’t just bad Tolkien

it’s FAKE Tolkien

LINK in the comments

PS — this video was shot in part at Mount Batur, a live volcano an hour from my abode in Bali, that last erupted in 1963, leaving vast swathes of black lava on its slopes. What I hadn’t known about volcanic rock is that it is home to FLIES. Thousands upon thousands of FLIES. What you don’t see on screen is me swearing and swatting at the little bast**ds. The lengths I go to for authenticity…



Damien Walter

I tell stories about the future, technology and culture. Published by The Guardian, WIRED, BBC etc.