The longstanding feud between the Tesla CEO (and would-be Twitter owner) and the Amazon CEO forged a new path, with Musk criticizing the Prime Video series “The Rings of Power,” which is costing Amazon hundreds of millions of dollars and already has a five-season order.
“Tolkien is turning in his grave,” Musk tweeted. “Almost every male character so far is a coward, a jerk, or both. Only Galadriel is brave, smart, and nice.”
Galadriel is played by Morfydd Clark in the series; the character was first brought to screen in Peter Jackson’s trilogy and was portrayed by Cate Blanchett. Clark’s take on Galadriel positions the elven leader as an action hero.
“The Rings of Power” pummeled other Amazon show premieres to make history on the streamer. The first two episodes, which premiered September 2, were streamed more than 25 million times in their first 24 hours on the site. However, Amazon suspended audience reviews due in part to racist casting backlash.
“The Rings of Power” was adapted by co-showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay from J.R.R. Tolkien’s appendices. Musk, who frequently quotes “The Lord of the Rings” and Tolkien’s work on Twitter, called out the inconsistencies between the Prime Video series and the original works, namely with the interpretation of Galadriel.
Bezos also gave notes to showrunners Payne and McKay, saying at the U.K. premiere of the show (via Variety), “I need to thank you both for listening whenever it helped, but mostly I need to thank you for ignoring me at exactly the right times.”
Bezos continued, “My grandfather’s the one who introduced me to Tolkien. I fell in love immediately, I was probably 13 or 14 years old. I fell in love with the adventure of course, with the detailed universe, with the feelings of hope and optimism, with the idea that everybody has a role to play. And I’m happy to report that that cycle continues today. My kids have become Tolkien fans as well. In fact, one of my boys I think approaches the level of a Tolkien scholar he knows so much about this universe. And after Amazon got involved in this project, my son came up to me one day, he looked me in the eyes, very sincerely, and he said: ‘Dad, please don’t eff this up.’ And he was right. We know that this world is important to so many people, we know it’s a privilege to work inside this world, and we know it’s a big responsibility.”
Tolkien is turning in his grave
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 5, 2022