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How The Lord of the Rings Depicts Positive Masculinity and Queerness

The Lord of the Rings movies promote a positive kind of masculinity with surprisingly intimate and warm relationships between its male characters.In the early 1980s invulnerable alpha males became massive action heroes. These no nonsense testosterone idols remained on the Hollywood pedestal for many years with the action hero seamlessly transitioning from the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger to the glorified ancient heroes of 300 Troy and Gladiator toward Jack secret agents and culminating as superheroes.

Although the characters and gender roles of protagonists in the film industry are gradually changing there is still a prevalent image of a male lead in an action movie as a big brooding asshole lets not forget the negative things Daniel Craig says about James Bond calling him a misogynist .The spectrum of feelings allowed for these tough lone wolves is severely limited and great displays of emotions are used mostly as laughingstock.It is then all the more refreshing to see a departure from machismo when it comes to one of the highest-grossing movie franchises. Peter Jacksons The Lord of the Rings beautifully translates the combination of brutality and sensitivity of Tolkiens work offering unconventional and sustainable representations of masculinity. One of the best movie trilogies this saga portrays valor that is not measured solely by someones ability to kick ass but as foremost the strength of spirit and resolve to do what is necessary even if the outcome is futile.

When Aragorn talks to the mortally wounded Boromir he leans towards him hugs him and even oh horror kisses him on the forehead, whereas toxic masculinity denies even the slightest tactile contact between men. There is no manifestation of passionate attraction between Aragorn and Boromir but rather a gesture of respect for a worthy warrior a desire to soothe him in the last minutes of his life. Aragorn does not become less of a man showing sympathy and care for Boromir.The male characters of The Lord of the Rings display vivid emotions and do not shy away from tears which men have been ashamed of throughout the existence of cinema. On the other hand someone who is indifferent is shown to have his mind dimmed by evil forces like Theoden under Sarumans control or Denethor who dines as his son leaves for a suicide mission. In contrast Pippen unabashedly cries and sings a mournful song. Jackson rejects the boys do not cry edict of toxic masculinity. Tears in The Lord of the Rings are an indicator of mental health.

About Nabeel Haider

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