Adaptation of The Lord of the Rings in War on Terror Era

Zahra Khalilian, Sayyed Rahim Moosavinia


This paper looks at the success and popularity of Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings in light of its context of reception. The Lord of the Rings had to wait for more than forty years since its first publication in 1954 only to enter Hollywood after the 9/11 attacks when a global War on Terror was declared with Bush’s famous statement “you’re either with us, or against us”. During the past few years there has been a growing tendency towards fantasy films mostly adapted from novels and other literary forms. Harry Potter, Twilight, Spiderman, The Hobbit and The Vampire Diaries are only some out of many examples. Knowing this, it is now a concern of scholars of Literature and Cinema alike to study the ins and outs of this newly formed trend. Using the theories of Adaptation hand in hand with media-cultural studies, this paper means to argue that The Lord of the Rings owes much of its fame and success to its context of reception. The film resonates with many contemporary concerns of the post 9/11 era such as the issue of ‘vulnerable boundaries’, ‘faceless “Other” terrorist’, ‘Good vs. Evil’, and the destructive force of war over power in general.


The Lord of the Rings, Adaptation, War on Terror, Post 9/11, Other

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