Though Amazon has yet to release any official footage from its much-awaited The Lord of the Rings series, there have been rumors that the high-profile project is going to feature some form of nudity or sex scenes. While such scenes have become much more common in fantasy programs since Game of Thrones launched on HBO in 2011, the inclusion of nudity or sex scenes in Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series doesn’t sit well with some J.R.R. Tolkien fans, so much so that a petition has been launched to keep the upcoming show family-friendly.
Started four months ago by a Change.org user that goes by the name Catholic Memes, the petition calls for Amazon to make its The Lord of the Rings series wholesome, so as not to stain Tolkien’s image as a devout Catholic.
“Amazon Prime has an upcoming Lord of the Rings series set before the trilogy. They have hired ‘intimacy coaches’ and have asked that actors be comfortable with doing nude scenes in the castings,” reads the petition’s description. “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.”
The petition has already acquired over 40,000 signatures as of this writing, but there’s no telling if it could actually lead to changes in the show’s freshman run, which had started to film in Auckland, New Zealand back in February 2020. But since the series is expected to run for five seasons, a vocal push like this from the fandom could actually affect the show’s content in future batches of episodes.
Set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings film series, Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series follows an ensemble cast of characters as they confront the re-emergence of evil in Middle-earth.
Developed by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, the series stars Robert Aramayo, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Joseph Mawle, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Morfydd Clark, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, and Daniel Weyman, among many others.
The first eight-episode season is expected to premiere on Amazon Prime Video later this year. The series was officially renewed for a second season in November 2019.