A surprising The Lord of the Rings fan edit points out a pretty major flaw with Peter Jackson’s trilogy. Based on the beloved fantasy novels by author J.R.R. Tolkien, the first of Jackson’s three The Lord of the Rings films was released in 2001. The acclaimed trilogy concluded in 2003 with The Return of the King, which earned a record-breaking number of Academy Award wins and capped off what many consider to be the pinnacle of fantasy storytelling.
Now, a new edit shared by Lord of the rings on Instagram highlights a flaw in The Lord of the Rings trilogy involving its handling of female characters.
The edit, featured above, includes only the times in the trilogy when two female characters speak to one another and, surprisingly, only comprises one very short scene.
Does Lord Of The Rings Have A Female Character Problem?
While Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy remains beloved to this day, it’s probably fair to say that its depiction of female three-dimensional characters leaves something to be desired. Arwen (Liv Tyler), the Lady of Rivendell, is a force to be reckoned with when she first appears in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, rescuing Frodo (Elijah Wood) from certain death at the hands of the Nazgûl. She is also, however, almost exclusively defined in the trilogy by her love of Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen).
Éowyn (Miranda Otto) is arguably the most complex and interesting female character in Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. While she is relegated to a caregiver role (and is also romantically interested in Aragorn) when she is introduced in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, she eventually becomes frustrated with her station and poses as a man to take up arms against the enemy. She even ends up slaying the Witch King during a climactic battle sequence in The Return of the King.
In order to pass the Bechdel test, which is designed to test for sexist or stereotypical portrayals of women in film and TV, a work must feature two female characters who have a conversation about something other than a man. The scene featured in the edit hardly counts as a conversation, meaning the entire trilogy fails this test miserably. While The Lord of the Rings trilogy remains beloved to this day, the latest edit affirms that at least some aspects of the three films are now quite outdated.