It’s 2017. Donald Trump is president. The Emoji Movie is a thing that exists. And Shelob, the giant spider from Lord of the Rings, is a sexy lady because some game developers just like to watch the world burn. From Middle-Earth: Shadow of War:
I mean, okay, it doesn’t actually look that bad. I guess I could look on the bright side here and say that Monolith is just trying to add some female representation? Shelob looks like a fairly cliché femme fatale villain, but cliché storylines were pretty standard in Shadow of Mordor (see: Talion, the grizzled anti-hero dude with the fridged family) and that was still an enjoyable enough game.
But that’s the rational part of my brain talking. A nagging, irrational part of my brain believes that this is how the world ends. This is it. The apocalypse is nigh. Monolith must take responsibility for the terror that they have unleashed upon humanity.
This is 2017. I assume the folks over at Monolith have been on the internet once or twice before and so they understand what the consequences of their actions could be.
When Tolkien Purists start publishing their Hot Takes on internet message boards detailing how Shadow of War is “raping” Tolkien canon with hot lady Shelob, I will blame you, Monolith.
When people “cleverly” reply that Tolkien Purists should stop criticizing the Peter Jackson movies because hey, Jackson could have made Shelob into a hot lady, I will blame you, Monolith.
When sexist men declare war on feminist pop culture critics over the inevitable think pieces that this game will spawn, I will blame you, Monolith.
When warring feminists get into heated internet debates over whether the new Shelob is a Strong Female Character or a Sexist Trope, I will blame you, Monolith.
Five years from now, when someone ambushes Elijah Wood and tries to make him read some sexy Frodo/Shelob fanfic that they found on Ao3 (BECAUSE THIS IS A THING THAT WILL EXIST NOW), I will blame you, Monolith.
Ten years from now, when sexy lady Shelob is a part of the inevitable Lord of the Rings reboot film, I will blame you, Monolith.
Maybe none of these things will come to pass. Maybe all of them will. The fact remains that sexy lady Shelob is a power too great and deadly to safely wield.
Is it too late to cast it into the fire?
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