Thursday, January 16, 2020

RIP Christopher Tolkien

Christopher Tolkien, the great J.R.R. Tolkien's son and prime architect of the vast Tolkien fictional universe, has died.

Words can't begin to express the gratitude I and millions around the world have for the work he did.  It was he who took the fragments of his dad's unending imagination and labors and put them together in a meaningful way.  He kept the publications churning, and over the later years we were treated to many works and ideals of Tolkien that fans have wanted to see for decades.

In the early 2000s, he came in for some heavy criticism by fanboys, who will always embrace the latest as the bestest, when he failed to give proper deference to Peter Jackson's vision for Middle Earth.   Many felt he was holding back a right proper take on his dad's works that would endear Middle Earth to all new generations.

Perhaps.  But by the time Jackson had mauled and vomited out the appalling Hobbit trilogy, it was mused by some that he had actually hurt the Tolkien franchise.  Many younger people, beyond the woke crusades against Tolkien one could expect, were simply tired of hobbits and dwarves and elves.  More than that, many who knew nothing but Jackson's cinematic dung heap concluded nothing that those movies could come from could possibly be good.

So in hindsight, Christopher was correct in being wary of turning everything over to Jackson, or even modern Hollywood in general.  He wasn't always that way of course.  Under his guidance, the Tolkien estate had given its blessings before, and of course signed deals with other production companies for early attempts to put Tolkien's vast universe into motion.

But it was always Christopher's goal to respect and give proper credit to all that his dad had created.  Watch dog and guardian of his dad's legacy, and passionately loyal to his memory, Christopher took the legendary works and their foundations and kept it in the public eye in his own way.   And it was his work that showed the world that beyond Tolkien's story telling and wit and wisdom, there was a deep and broad creation that we could spend our lives exploring, and still never discover it all.

God bless and may your soul join that father whose legacy you defended, preserved and maintained for the rest of us to enjoy. 

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