@lafnlab I mean, I think the trope is applied most vigorously in "monstrous" and especially dark-skinned fantasy races, while Gandalf was put forward as kind of an idealized white man, in sort of an equal and opposite way to how orcs were supposed to epitomize "savage" dark-skinned people threatening white Europe.
Elves were idealized whites, too, so clearly there's some complexity to deal with here.
@lafnlab I'm going to propose a test: If casting a person of color to play a character would make white fandom throw a temper tantrum, that character is not a Tolkien Minority.
@lafnlab (not as originally written, though filmmakers/scriptwriters might choose to make them one in the movie adaptation, à la black Hermione in the Harry Potter play)
@leila @lafnlab I read Tolkien's orcs and goblins as the urban working class, hobbits as Middle England, and his elves as a "natural aristocracy" myself... but the dwarves owe something to the antsemitic stereotypes of the nibelungen and there's the "blood of Numenor" growing thin, so I'm not disagreeing with your basic point.
@ghost_bird Totally, racism wasn't Tolkien's only representational fault, and he also loved creating backstory for his the races so much that even the ones clearly informed by prejudices about human racial and social groups also have a lot of other things going on.
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