The Lord of the Rings movie breaks through Marvel’s otaku culture barrier


In December 2002, I knew one thing. What I liked wasn’t cool and almost no one wanted to hear about it. Star Trek isn’t cool. Batman, for babies. That’s why a girl — an ordinary girl with deliberately chosen clothes, hair, and make-up — thrust her head around the locker in the changing room after the gym and said to me, “Hey! That new road of・ Will the Ring movie be released this week? “

2021 marked the 20th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings film, and it was hard to imagine a trilogy in one story. So every Wednesday of the year, we find out how and why the film has endured as a modern classic and go back and forth there. It’s the Polygon Ring Year.

It must be emphasized that she and I had never spoken to and that my high school had thousands of students. She just looked at me and thought:It Girl who knows the release date of Two towers From above her head. When I gave up a positive reaction, she disappeared around the locker, leaving me alone and shirtless, leaving me in the wreckage of a momentary accurate and devastating reading. did. The whole transaction as a person..

I haven’t really overcome it, but how deeply Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy permeated mainstream consciousness, and how fast – everything else in the world at the end of 2001. Despite what was happening, it’s fully encapsulated. The movie’s $ 3 billion box office revenue (early 2000s amount) could dominate mass entertainment with “nitch” interest. Served as the first and ignored warning.

The Lord of the Rings movie was ten years too early to be the last nail in the casket, not because of something wrong, but because of the lack of cultural infrastructure. Middle-earth is great. I was ready for the time, but no one else was. Not a nerd, especially not normal.

An era when the Lord of the Rings was indistinguishable from Pokemon

Sing pudding in Pokemon anime

Image: Pokemon Company

It can be difficult to remember how obscure JRR Tolkien was. Lord of the Ring It was before the Peter Jackson trilogy, but here’s an example.

on November 1999 episode Who wants to be a millionaire?Contestant Toby Moore was asked which of the four options to choose for $ 500,000. Absent Pokémon. After pondering, using a 50/50 lifeline, he chose “pudding” as the final answer and finished the run. The correct answer was “B: Frodo”. Three years later, a completely stranger casually yelled at me Two towers..

Even during the rollout in the early 2000s, the poor Toby Pokemon question was worth at most $ 2,000. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was surprisingly out of reach compared to today’s nerdy blockbuster, because the cultural infrastructure to support the blockbuster didn’t yet exist. Movie fans a little more about Gandalf. Whether you want to know, or even know how many and when the movies are showing, you don’t always see the answer pop up in Google News.

When the trilogy was produced in New Zealand, it was still in the age of webring, and Google, Inc got the free search engine that supports advertising on track.when Ring Fellowship The blockbuster theater, Wikipedia, was less than a year old. YouTube didn’t exist. If I wanted to see the trailer again, I went to Apple.com/trailers/ and waited for the Flash-based Quicktime movie to be buffered.

In many ways, I couldn’t step into Mordor. The interest of today’s mainstream nerds isn’t more appealing than the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it’s all about them more accessible. Jackson’s films are It’s just as it was when the Internet and mobile technology arrived. start up This is so that you can immerse yourself in things more than ever. However, in an era of panic when you accidentally pressed a button, flipphones use the term “Internet browser” loosely.

In fact, the “nerd” can hardly escape now, as the internet has become the gateway to answering the questions of girls in the locker room. Google has a myriad of enthusiastically managed fan wikis.Entertainment media outlet Play with that algorithm To strengthen your audience. The fan community is no longer an isolated pocket to find, but social media trends are surfaced whether you’re looking for them or not. The “niche” now dominates the mainstream completely, so Netflix’s Prepaid for Geeked Week It feels old-fashioned and cramped.

And it’s good this way

Together with Frodo, Sam takes the first step out of Shire with a ring fellowship.

Image: New Line Cinema

When I first read Tolkien’s work, I had no Wiki, no meme culture to participate in, and no community other than myself. Much I can’t get involved with too shy. As far as I know, what I like isn’t cool and no one wants to hear about it.

Fandom through social media has many problems, but accessibility is not one of them. With easier access to the fan community, a much more diverse group of people can speak in discussions with their fans, more people can discover art that really impresses them, and genre fiction. Love for is standardized.

Its accessibility has led to a unique rise in gatekeeping. The accusations of “fake nerdy girls” and “casual” are a way to look down on those who have just been in fashion or who have taken a path that is closer to their interests than those who have come before. ..People should be able to read Silmarion And soon, visit Tumblr to discover a thriving community of fan artists who like to draw kisses from Mogos and Sauron. That’s a better way.

When collecting cultural points from the influence of storytelling in the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the past decade, it’s that “nerd” stories are actually universal stories, and the drive to niche entertainment is a form. Rooted, fantastic focus and ridiculous outfits. The story of Spider-Man is the story of Spider-Man, and if you tell it well and seriously, you can find an audience.

Ten years before the MCU explosion, Jackson’s ring trilogy accepted that premise as given. He and his collaborators did not wink, shrug, or joke at the expense of their theatrical performance. Despite their dedication to Tolkien’s work spirit, they cost most of the work. Saga was simply deployed in front of an unprepared audience, and while running, Jackson was JRR Tolkien’s. I was convinced that the opera romance of the series would be engrossed in itself. Production refused to hold the viewer’s hand, what a wizard is, and how elf immortality works Without explanation, I left a wide open “plot hall”.

If you weren’t aware of that reality, the theater exit was right there. But if so, if you weren’t in your existing fan space, there were few options available. After all, the easiest way to buy a movie ticket is Call the robot on the phoneYelling at a nerdy-looking kid across the room seems like a pretty efficient option.

When a “niche” culture becomes mainstream, you don’t have to find anyone to talk about it. You areThe Lord of the Rings trilogy was ready for the new accessible fandom of the new mainstream nerds. It was just not ready.

The death of the “nerd” has been around for many years, but it wasn’t fast enough for the girl in the high school locker room. I hope she sees it. Two towers In the starting week. I hope she still likes the Lord of the Rings movie. But cool girls no longer need to use my nerdy ass as their personal Siri. You can search on Google and find one of my articles instead.