There are certain things you never expect to read, and a Change.org petition against Amazon including nudity and sex in its upcoming Lord of the Rings series is one of them. Even though the production is being kept mostly under wraps and not so much as a single second of footage has been seen, the live-action series based on Tolkien's work has been a hot trending topic for a while now, with numerous fan theories of how the series will pan out littering the internet as Amazon continue to give meager updates of the scale of what is coming.
One rumor that first began circulating last year was that the Amazon Prime series would feature nudity or sex scenes in some form. While this is just a rumor, seeming to stem mainly from whispers that Amazon had hired "intimacy coaches" and casting interviews had included the question of whether actors were comfortable with nude scenes, the possibility of this kind of thing going on the world of Tolkien's Middle Earth brought a mixed reaction from fans of the source material. Now a petition by Cathoholic Memes has reached 35,000 signatures on Change.org, demanding the series to abandon any plans along these lines.
"Amazon Prime has an upcoming Lord of the Rings series set before the Hobbit trilogy," the petition reads. "They have hired "intimacy coaches" and have asked that actors be comfortable with doing nude scenes in the castings. Tolkien's work is truly wholesome and packed with incredible Christian symbolism. He was a devout Catholic, and his memory does not need to be stained with gratuitous nudity or even nudity in the slightest. Tolkien's creations have always been mostly FAMILY friendly...KEEP IT THAT WAY."
Considering shooting on the series is already underway, and scripting was completed months ago, it is unlikely that such a petition would lead to any change in Amazon's plans. However, if the petition gathers enough momentum, then they will be aware of the negative impact it could have on their biggest financial gamble to date. With a plan for a potential five seasons to come, the question is would Amazon want to alienate the J.R.R. Tolkien fans who could make or break the series?
While there has been a tendency to use sex and nudity in many recent fantasy dramas, with Game of Thrones being a prime example, the source material has always been the direct reason for the more adult themes of these shows. Anyone who had read Tolkien knows that there are no naked elves to be found, and no dwarfs pole dancing for orcs, so anything remotely of this nature has been added by the scripting team. With this in mind, it was always likely that many of Tolkien's most avid fans would take umbrage at any change in tone or content that seems to have been done to cause sensation and not for the good of the story.
With the series still a long way from wrapping filming, there is a long way to go before we see what Amazon's take on the sagas of Middle Earth look like. Would you take offense at Tolkien's creations shedding clothes in the name of entertainment, or are there some people just making a mountain out of a Hobbit hole? This story originated at change.org.