#FidelityToTolkien now in flux?
Renown Tolkien scholar and author Tom Shippey is off the Lord of the Rings project, according to twitch broadcaster Tolkien Professor, confirming our early reports from March.
In a recent live stream from the Tolkien Professor – who we suggest watching & subscribing – Cory Olsen stumbles for words as he responds to a chat question about the status of his colleague Tom Shippey on Amazon’s LOTR series.
Olsen runs Signum University, the preeminent Tolkien scholar event series that travels the world bringing thoughtful, intelligent dialog to the world & works of J.R.R. Tolkien. His weekly LOTR streams have a dedicated audience that counts Stephen Colbert as an avid fan.
“I have spoken to Shippey… is he still involved? I don’t believe so.”Cory Olsen, the Tolkien Professor
The early rumors of Shippey’s status set the community ablaze, with both reddit threads and YouTube comments becoming hotbeds of debate. On an early March episode of TORn Tuesday, it was revealed that none of the writers were currently engaged on the production and that the latest rumor was Tom Shippey was off the project. See TORn Veteran Quickbeam’s reaction starting 16:00 minutes into the show:
Fans hopes & concerns were calmed in 2019 when Amazon released a video that includes Tom Shippey in the creative team behind its billion-dollar LOTR series. Out of all the extremely talented people involved, Shippey brought a sense of authority and respect for Tolkien alongside artist John Howe. For many fans, Shippey is the iron rock that will ensure Amazon maintains fidelity to Tolkien — keeping the green showrunners in check with a focus on Tolkien’s intent. With his involvement diminished, Amazon risks alienating core fans and losing credibility among the show’s biggest champions.
Neither Amazon nor Shippey has publicly commented on the current status of their relationship. With the Tolkien Professor independently hearing the same things TORn Tuesday is hearing, there must be some truth in the air.