How ‘Lord of the Rings’ Became ‘Star Wars’ to Women of the Millennium

Shortly after his release from the last part of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, film critic Caryn James meditated on the same pages whether women were “tired” when it came to Peter Jackson’s blockbuster films.

James wrote: “Every popular movie has its appeal to people of all ages and sexes. “But demographic evidence and evidence show that the trilogy is still a puppet for boys.”

Whether women at the time were interested or tired of the films, which started 20 years ago this month. “Ring Fellowship,” it is not for me to say. But I do know that I, a 13-year-old girl, and my 12-year-old sister, love the story of Sam and Frodo and their willingness to break the same ring. And we were not alone.

“I loved DVDs,” said Karen Han, 29, a Los Angeles-based TV and film writer. “I think it was a great vacation. I watch all three movies a day and do competitions, and I do this every year.”

For a group of Millennial women, the “Lord of the Rings” video trilogy features a role that “Star Wars” can play for those who grew up in the late 70’s and 80’s: It has become a very important part. of comfort. -Look at the type of women in their 20s and 30s.

A few years after the films were released, watching them again seemed like a ritual that my sister and I had just witnessed. (My parents saw them with us in the theaters, and then they never saw them again.) Through college, I met the occasional “Lord of the Rings” girl — several friends in a graduate school, and guests on a drunken night out. And, of course, there were memes and memes accompanying them.

And then a few years ago, I started seeing articles on The Cut and elsewhere. “What about Boromir’s wife?” “I always love Sauron.” “The Best Christmas Movie Is ‘Lord of the Rings.’

“We all loved ‘Lord of the Rings,'” said Gabriella Paiella, 32, a GQ culture writer and former writer working for The Cut. “This heightened my curiosity that there is an interest in women in these films that I have never considered before because I think the world of ‘Lord of the Rings’ is also considered as a male interest.”

Jokes and memes remained a fun way for fans to connect, but Paiella and other women who reached adulthood in the era of “Lord of the Rings,” say their passion for movies is deeply rooted in emotion. It’s a relationship that grew alongside Howard Shore’s most intriguing film: “Don’t you know your Sam?” “I know your face” and “I would follow you my brother, my captain, my king.”

“The whole message of this story is that as long as you have love and hope for each other, success or success is possible,” Han said, explaining, “Technically this is a fantasy journey, but I don’t think it takes the same kind of manhood and power. what many of these myths do. ”

The main relationship of the trilogy could be between Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Arwen (Liv Tyler), the caretaker successor to the Middle-earth throne and his half-hearted interest in Elven. But both Paiella and Han argue that the connection between the two is no less than the tragic death of Boromir (Sean Bean) – whose desire to save the Middle-earth makes him try to steal the ring – with Aragorn by his side. , at the end of the first film.

It is a time that is rarely found in men’s films, and on other internet corners, such as LiveJournal and Tumblr, that love – between Frodo and Sam, Legolas and Gimli, Merry and Pippin, Gandalf and Bilbo’s fictional story “Lord of the Rings “fiction.

Chelsea McCurdy, 35, a non-profit worker in Conway, Ark, said: “I really enjoyed reading about gay hobbit erotica. These movies.”

McCurdy, who is married to a gay man and pretends to watch one movie every two or three weeks, said his interest continued to be “young,” adding, “Nothing feels safe because good guys are all. Really good. And there is no rape, nothing makes you feel as free as a woman in the whole trilogy. “

In fact, the most dangerous men in films often have satisfying goals. He is shot in the back and hanged (Saruman), shot with arrows (Grima Wormtongue), or falls to his death after being burned (Denethor).

Twenty years later, McCurdy was heavily influenced by women – Arwen, Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) and Eowyn (Miranda Otto) – whose roles were. encouragement in the play by Fran Walsh, a former colleague of Peter Jackson, and co-author Philippa Boyens.

“My favorite show of all time is ‘I’m not a man,'” McCurdy said, referring to the momentous event in which Eowyn kills the most dangerous Sauron employee, the magic king of Angmar. “All of this incident just makes me have a nosebleed, and Chelsea’s daughter just ate it.”

Han, a television presenter, agreed, although he did not want to use the term “strong woman.” He explained, “Every time people try to do that in modern movies, it always sounds like a deep, easy-to-understand concept, but the ‘Lord of the Rings’ removes it from the park.”

That these female characters and their many male and white males (as are the majority in the film) did not diminish the residual power of the trilogy, even for those who now hold Hollywood at a very high level. “It’s just a bit of a challenge because I think I ate it as a child and because I see it, even though movies have happened recently, like an old, steady work,” said Sara David, 32, editor in Vice. Media is an organization. “I didn’t realize there was no difference between men and women or race because this story is very old and good and bad, you know?”

For Han, it ‘s not just what filmmakers do with visual effects but how they relate to relationships “and the beauty and elegance they showed to the world, which I think doesn’t mean it’s not fun.

Whether pregnant girls can enjoy these movies today or have any kind of love affair like I did with the interview. (Amazing videos, these are not.) But the four women I spoke to agreed that if you wanted to embrace the full nine hours of “Lord of the Rings,” it would be easier to do so while you are still young.

“It’s one of the things you need to get into at the right time in your life,” said Paiella, adding, “Meeting an adult, I don’t think this will have the same effect.

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