Change Meets LoTRs and WoT Fandoms

I am an avid reader of Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres and love the “Lord of the Rings” and “Wheel of Time”. They both offer an epic series full of complex themes and characters. Each has millions of fans. You would think that those stories being brought to a TV series by Amazon would excite fans. I thought this and am sad to report that I was wrong. TV adaptations brought about a civil war within each fandom that would be worthy of the Star Wars fandom. You might wonder what in the world could cause so much dissension. Change in the form of diversity walked in and some people can’t handle it. I understand that this is a trivial matter, but how LoTRs and WoT fandoms handle this change sends signals that they may not be aware of. This is not what I’m supposed to be writing tonight. But this is what is on my heart, and my brain isn’t going to focus on anything else until I get this out.
Visions of the Last Battle

Visions of the Last Battle by Drusylver

Conventions (cons) 

Most fandoms have their conventions, also known as “cons”. Fans from around the world gather for these events and many of them attend in costume (cosplay). As you can imagine for someone that is really into a particular story, this is a major treat. 


 Several years ago, I wanted to go to a Tolkien convention. Such an exciting prospect to go hang out with other “Lord of the Rings” fans. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right. The research began on finding all the components I’d need to attend as a dwarf. One of my favorite scenes in the movies is when Gimli tells us that people think there are no dwarven women because they all have beards. Perfect! I don’t do girly, anyway. 


 I didn’t go because I allowed someone to sway me. Their basic premise was that “Lord of the Rings” and fantasy genre books were not written for me. They went as far as to say I’d stick out like a sore thumb and wouldn’t be accepted. Would I?

The Paladin

The Paladin by Drusylver

Not For Me?

 Frankly I didn’t understand. How can such a wonderful epic tale not be for me?!? I got angry. How dare they tell me what I could and couldn’t enjoy! I’m pretty introverted so to do this would be stepping way outside of my comfort zone. That little shy voice said “but what if he’s right?” I have allowed that shy voice to talk me out of so many things. At that time, I had never met anyone that looked like me (other than family) that enjoyed fantasy. So I thought about it and once again I allowed that shy voice to make the decision. 


 With all the anger that I see and down right ugliness from some folks within the fandoms; I have again questioned “what if he’s right?” 


Of course he’s not! I enjoy what I enjoy and I will not allow anyone else to sway me from those stories. But then, I wonder how would these same people, upset about diversity in an acting cast, treat me at an event? Would they be welcoming to those of us that are not of European descent? 


 It’s more than that, though. It’s also about the way fandoms treat members of the community. Creatives work so hard to bring us something entertaining and some fans trash not only their work, but them personally. How many other shy people want to cosplay but are terrified at the rejection of people that should cheer them on (other cosplayers and members of the fandom)? 


Yes, change is coming to fandoms. Hopefully, these winds of inclusion will truly help hold space for people that look like me to fully enjoy our fandoms and the comradery. 


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Like you, life has thrown me some major curves. While working through those challenges, I realized that too often, we feel alone during our transformation. Helping others feel supported by a community of fellow travelers on their path.

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