VIDEO: The Most Relevant Villain in the Lord of the Rings


John breaks down one of the most nuanced characters in the Lord of the Rings, and explores how the demise of Saruman mirrors the modern-day ‘Woke’ movement.


Listen to the Audio Version


Special thanks to Matthew Stewart for allowing the use of ‘Forty-Two’ for this project. You can check out the rest of his work at matthew-stewart.com

Extracts read from the following literature:

The Lord of the Rings; J. R. R. Tolkien; first published by George Allen and Unwin in three parts, 1954, 1954, 1955; first published in one edition 1968.

Stills and clips have been used from the following movies:

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; 2001; Directed by Peter Jackson; Produced by Osborne, Jackson, Walsh, and Sanders; Distributed by New Line Cinema

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; 2002; Directed by Peter Jackson; Produced by Osborne, Jackson, Walsh, and Sanders; Distributed by New Line Cinema

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; 2003; Directed by Peter Jackson; Produced by Osborne, Jackson, Walsh, and Sanders; Distributed by New Line Cinema

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; 2012; Directed by Peter Jackson; Produced by Cunningham, Wiener, Walsh, and Jackson; Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; 2013; Directed by Peter Jackson; Produced by Cunningham, Wiener, Walsh, and Jackson; Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies; 2014; Directed by Peter Jackson; Produced by Cunningham, Wiener, Walsh, and Jackson; Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures

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