WHEN: February 1, 2014, 12:25 pm. (Week 5, Jan 26 – Feb 1.)
WHERE: In the living room of my apartment in Portland, ME.
FORMAT: Blu-ray on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Eating spinach and feta pizza, drinking hard cider, and thinking about sex.
Last week, I talked about how the Hobbits share seemingly intentional similarities with their fanbase (nerds), and I ended on a cliffhanger: does the One Ring represent sex?
Apologies for this graphic image.
Now, I should specify that I’m not talking about what J.R.R. Tolkien intended the ring to represent, though I hear he wasn’t really an allegory type of guy. I haven’t read the books, nor have I watched the other films in Peter Jackson’s hexalogy. Still, presented with just what we see in the Fellowship movie… that thing is totally a stand-in for boning.
Sorry, I meant apologies for this graphic image.
I know, I’m hardly the first person on the Internet to make a “hardy har, the Eye of Sauron looks like a lady crotch” joke, but surprisingly, I haven’t found much web stuff that goes, ahem, deeper with that idea and fully equates the One Ring with sex. So what’s got me thinking dirty thoughts every time I watch Fellowship? The actors’ performances, and how aroused they all appear by the ring.
I could just plop a bunch of O-face screenshots here and call it a day, but this goes beyond the lust in the actors’ eyes; each character reacts to the ring in a different, yet nevertheless sexual, manner. Let’s start with Frodo, who, as I’ve previously established, is a nerd. When he starts succumbing to the temptations of the ring, he pretty much looks like he’s getting his very first beej…
Ugh, we really look like that, don’t we?
When the fever hits again a few scenes later, he appears to be fantasizing about the shiny little hole…
That or he’s ready for the post-beej nap.
So, he’s curious about this sex thing, but once he goes for it, FLAMING VAGINA.
“AGH! Never mind, let’s just play video games!”
Faced with the terror of confronting the mighty orifice, our nerdy hero ultimately chooses the celibate path and takes up the responsibility of resisting the ring/sex, especially after he sees how the rest of the fellowship bickers over it.
Sex: you don’t get why people are obsessed with it until you try it.
So there you have it, nerds. You’re not virgins, you’re heroes! Better to avoid sex for the rest of your life than learn to deal with it like a mature, responsible adult. Not that you’ll find one of those in Middle-earth, of course. It’s no wonder Frodo’s afraid of the sex fiends all around him, like Bilbo the pedophile.
Chill, that ring’s over a thousand years old.
Peter Jackson seems like the kind of guy that would instruct his actors to turn up the horniness, but in Ian Holm’s case, I think he specifically exploited our fear of child molesters. In addition to Bilbo’s general “creepy uncle” demeanor around the ring, take a look at this shot of him watching his nephew undress…
Yes, Bilbo is staring at the ring chained around Frodo’s neck, but from this angle, it looks like he’s enjoying this young Hobbit’s surprisingly hairless chest. The ring is never seen in the shot with Bilbo, which just seems so damn intentional on the part of the director to give us the uneasy feeling that his lust is instead directed at the wearer. And in case the subtle approach wasn’t working, he then grabs at his nephew’s bare flesh and is revealed as a horrible monster.
At least our friend Gandalf isn’t a dirty old man, right? Well, I think you’ll find he’s already banged his way across Middle-earth, and he knows he can’t be trusted with the ring/sex. He keeps passing the little trinket off to Frodo because he fears temptation, and whenever he thinks of it, he seductively rubs his phallic wizard pipe all around his mouth. See for yourself…
Possibly the most erotic thing you’ve seen all day.
Guys, I’ve got plenty more examples. Speed run!
Aragorn knows good sex when he sees it.
Mmm, this pretty little thing’s going home with Isildur.
A WOMAN INTERESTED IN SEX? TERRIFYING!
And finally, we come to Boromir. Boromir absolutely wants a piece of this action…
“Come on, I’m a nice guy.”
When he can’t get some… he takes some. If you thought Bilbo’s creepiness was disturbing out of context, replace “ring” with “sex” as Boromir holds Frodo down and takes what he craves…
All that’s missing is a pinball machine.
Now, do I think that Tolkien specifically sat down and said, “Ha, I’m going to get away with a big book all about sex by disguising it as a little piece of jewelry”? No. I think the One Ring is simply an item of great power that’s desired by all the inhabitants of Middle-earth. To show that desire in a big screen adaptation, however, the actors had to find a way to make it relatable to the audience, and while we don’t have magical rings in our world, we have orgasms. Peter Jackson and the cast and crew exploited our own impulses to help us better understand these characters’ struggles with temptation. Just because Sauron poured his will to dominate all life into the One Ring doesn’t mean it literally represents BDSM.
Alright, that mask is clearly for an Eyes Wide Shut party, though.
ONE THING THAT WOULD HAVE IMPROVED THE MOVIE:
Some actual sex.
Do not take her for some conjurer of cheap tricks.