OP/ED: Oh No! Black People are Elves!


As a longtime fan of the fantasy genre, I’m hyper-aware of the current wave of fantasy projects coming out right now. Growing up with a mother who is a huge Lord of the Rings fan, I was more than prepared for these projects. And with new creations being made in today’s world, we finally have an influx of black fantasy characters.

The beginning of September opened the gates of the calmly brewing war between Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones fans. With each universe debuting its own shows and showcasing new stories, each side has been eager to prove that one is better than the other.

However, coincidentally, one issue they can both agree on is that the addition of black characters was unnecessary and detrimental to the show.

That’s right. There is a little community hidden somewhere on Earth that argues that the existence of black characters in these make-believe shows completely ruins the show.

To anyone who has paid attention to fantasy culture over the last decade, this reaction is nothing new or surprising. I guess it’s my fault for hoping that maybe perception had changed. It’s gotten so appalling that even the cast members had to speak out. House of the Dragon star Steve Toussaint told Men’s Health about how unbelievable it all is.

“They are happy with a dragon flying,” Toussaint said. “They’re happy with white hair and violet-colored eyes, but a rich Black guy? That’s beyond the pale.” 

In a show about dragons and witches and elves and magic, the most unrealistic aspect is that black people were around.

I mean, after everything black people have gone through since the beginning of the pandemic alone, it’s not really surprising. What they’re showing is what we’ve always known. (Some) white people think black people shouldn’t exist.

Because fantasy is their form of escape and if a black person is included then it is no longer a fantasy anymore. In their world, black people don’t exist. And sure, some people do try to hide it and present “real criticism” but let’s be serious.

I’m tired of the babblings and excuses. No matter what perspective I try to step into, I can’t see what’s wrong with a black person as an elf. A mystical, fictional being. They try to argue about Tolkien’s “original vision” or geographical accuracy but it does not add up. Applying real life to a fantasy world and then complaining about the correctness of fictional guidelines does not make sense. 

Speak up.

Some don’t want black people in fantasy. It ruins the illusion of their perfect little world.

Black people can’t be elves. That’s absurd! Black people can’t exist next to dragons. That’s unrealistic! 

I can’t talk about this without also bringing up the hate Halle Bailey is receiving for playing Ariel in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. It’s unbelievable. Within the first two weeks of the teaser trailer being released, it garnered two million dislikes on youtube, the most any live-action trailer has gotten.

There are people going on a tangent about how they’re ruining the image of their precious redheaded mermaid. I genuinely don’t get it. Why can a crab have a Jamaican accent but a mermaid can’t be black?

Majority of the time when I see a POC make a comment about race in an argument they complain. “Why does race have to be brought up all the time?” Then they go and complain about black people in a show involving dragons. Make it make sense.

If you believe I’m “overreacting” or making it up, just take a look at the comment section of the Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power teaser post

Black people exist. And we want to be included in media. In fantasy. In romance. In action. In any and all genres. And we want to be more than just the horribly treated, traumatized character.

As Whoopi Goldberg said on The View:

“All of y’all who have problems because there are Black hobbits … Get a job. Get a job! Go find yourself, because you are focused on the wrong stuff.”