In both literature and filmography, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy is considered a monumental gem in entertainment. With its origins in literature back in 1954, the LOTR trilogy was not only a beloved tale, it would make such an impact that a legacy would be established. That legacy would further be cemented through a film trilogy, starting with Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001. However, it is the third movie, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, that would truly be the icon in film history as it is the eighth highest grossing movie at the box office worldwide.
With the popularity of the Lord of the Rings trilogy renewed through the film adaptation of its predecessor, TheHobbit, news reports came in that would bring happiness to Tolkien fans! Russia planned to build an “Eye of Sauron” in honor of the premier of the final movie in The Hobbit trilogy.
According to RT, Russian art-group Svenchenie will recreate a dynamic installation of the Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as a tribute to the literary saga and its film adaption. They have also stated they hope the Eye of Sauron will “let millions of fans visit Middle-earth,” which is the fictional world made as the setting for the trilogy. Svenchenie also gave details for the Eye of Sauron’s location. It would sit atop the roof of the IQ-quarter complex in the Gals-development company in Moscow International Business Center known as “Moscow City.”
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Of course, fans of both Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies are excited to see a visual recreation of one of the most iconic symbols in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world. However, not everyone is on board. According to the Guardian, the Russian Orthodox Chuch has warned of dire consequences for Moscow if plans to proceed for the Eye of Sauron skyscraper light installation go through. Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of public affairs for the Russian Orthodox Church, made a statement on this.
“This is a demonic symbol. Such a symbol of the triumph of evil is rising up over the city, becoming practically the highest object in the city. Is that good or bad? I’m afraid it’s more likely bad. Just don’t be surprised later if something goes wrong with the city.”
Even though the Eye of Sauron is a product of fiction, it is associated with the antagonists in The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. First, the Eye of Sauron is the symbol the orcs (part of the antagonists in the series) display on their military flags, helmets, and shields. However, what Svenchenie was aiming to do was recreate the Eye of Sauron, known as the “Lidless Eye,” an entity shaped like a flaming reptilian eye floating between two spires. The symbol is utilized by Sauron himself as a metaphor that he sees all, thus making it a symbol of fear and oppression.
This fact from the J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictitious world may be why the Russian Orthodox Church is opposing its creation. Orthodox believers even started an online petition, voicing their opposition to said proposal. As a result, the Guardian followed-up with another report stating that Svenchenie quickly announced it was abandoning their plans to recreate the Eye of Sauron, as verified through an official statement.
“We didn’t expect that our fan initiative, which received a lot of attention from the media and millions of Tolkien fans, would get such a reaction in society. The project does not have any religious or political subtext, and as we do not want to offend anyone, we are stopping the project.”
Now that you’ve read the news pertaining to the proposal for Russia to have an Eye of Sauron built, and the Russian Orthodox Church’s opposition which eventually led to the proposal’s abandonment, what do you think? Do you think the recreation of one of the Eye of Sauron was a nod towards fandom? Or do you agree with the Russian Orthodox Church that despite its fictitious origins, it is a demonic symbol?
[Image via Twitter]