The Obvious Reason Why LotR Will Stand the Test of Time While MCU Won't

The Obvious Reason Why LotR Will Stand the Test of Time While MCU Won't
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As one of the best-selling book series and highest-grossing movie franchises, Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings remains a consistently popular story that has amassed a large fandom.

Although many movie franchises have come and gone since Peter Jackson's film trilogy, it still remains a fan favourite.

It is one of the few trilogies to have won countless awards, received consistent critical reception, and is just as popular over two decades after its first release. So why does LotR stand the test of time? What makes it different from the MCU, which has released movies consistently but won very few awards? According to a theory by the fans, it's all to do with how LotR represents its heroes.

As part of a thread on the r/AskScienceFiction Subreddit, fans discussed if hobbits really were heroes for saving Middle-Earth? Considering, in the end, the destruction of the Ring was not entirely intentional. The most popular opinion by far suggested not only that they were indeed heroes, but they represented an ideal type of hero – one who is not an exceptional individual, but a hero who relies on others to save the world together.

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What's more, fans went on to analyse Tolkien's depiction of heroism comparing all of the characters in his stories.

Each suffers from their own weaknesses and dependencies, which they must overcome throughout the plot. Only through acts of kindness, bravery, and friendship, do they ever succeed in defeating Sauron.

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Compared to current hero franchises such as the MCU, there are some similar elements. Many of the superhero characters often rely on the assistance of others to save the day. However, the similarities mostly end there, as each hero is still exceptional in their own way. Whether it be through natural ability, a high level of intelligence, or a physical superpower of some kind.

The heroic hobbits of Tolkien's creation were never any of those things. Instead, they are the meekest race of Middle-Earth. But by overcoming their failings, working together, and rising to what has to be done, they become the greatest heroes of the whole story.

Objectively, comparing LotR to the MCU may seem a little imbalanced. To deny that characters of the MCU do not often suffer their own burdens or weaknesses would be untrue. And both of the universes are hardly alike in any way at all. However, the Marvel Universe is fantasy at its most exaggerated. It demonstrates few long-term consequences for its characters and does not seem all too relatable to the real world.

Alternatively, LotR does offer insight into the damages of real-world war. It represents the struggles of lesser and imperfect people.

The effects of loss and struggle. And that true heroism can be doing your part with the help of others. That is why it will always be relatable to its audience. And why it will stand the test of time forever.