nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

LOTR on Stephen Colbert

One of my relatives is political but not into fantasy, so she wanted footnotes for a recent Colbert Report....

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Republican Ring of Power
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In case you have a need for handy footnotes, here's what I sent her:
"The hobbits return to Middle Earth".

Part of the story is four hobbits (a race of humans who are about 2 feet tall and resemble idealized rural English) who travel a long distance to destroy the One Ring which has the power to control people. The Ring is destroyed (complicated details involved), the hobbits return to their home in the Shire. Colbert got it wrong-- the whole series takes place in Middle Earth. His reference seems to just be to a happy home coming after a long quest.

See above for McCain being corrupted by the Ring of Power. One of the premises of the book is that even if you mean well, the Ring will ruin you. Presumably the Tea Party is saying that you can't trust senior senators, even if they're Republicans.

"John McCain is Sauron". Sauron is the chief bad guy. He wants to rule Middle Earth and ruin it. He created the One Ring and put enough of his power into it that he needs to get it back.

Saruman is a wizard who was corrupted by Sauron.

I don't get his point about the senators being hobbits. I think he's saying that the metaphor is silly.

Gandalf is the good wizard.

At one point, Gandalf says "You shall not pass" to a Balrog (flame monster), blocking a bridge so that the rest of his party can escape. I believe this is just a pun about not letting raising the debt ceiling pass.

The cave troll is a generic and not particularly interesting monster-- a minor feature in the book (if it was there at all) and an excessively long fight in the movie. Colbert is clearly bullshitting at this point.

On the other hand, comparing the American people to a pinball machine is kind of cool-- we're both getting swatted by the ball (political events) and sending the ball off in random directions. Furthermore, the politicians are trying to get points from us. I don't know whether Colbert had any of this in mind, but I really like it.

Vigo Mortensen played Aragorn (the human hero and true king) in the movie. You don't need to care about the names of the swords.

Faramir was a secondary human hero-- competent at fighting, but also well-educated and no lover of war. I don't know why the crowd cheered when Colbert said he was Faramir.

The bit about repelling girls isn't true-- there are plenty of fans of Lord of the Rings of both genders. For that matter, women are interested in the debt crisis-- it was a dumb joke.

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