AI-generated artwork shows what The Lord of the Rings would have looked like if there were guns in Middle Earth.
While The Lord of the Rings is the story of a long and dangerous journey of two unlikely heroes making their way across Middle Earth, it is also an epic war trilogy filled with many battles. Battles that probably would have gone very differently if, in place of swords and arrows, the armies used guns and flame throwers instead. Now, thanks to Artificial intelligence-created artwork, Lord of the Rings fans can visualize that alternative universe where Gandalf traded in his staff for a riffle, and Gimli traded his axe for a mortar.
In The Lord of the Rings trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien went to a great deal of effort to create a world and characters where the weapons were an essential part of the story. In fact, each weapon featured in the books has a name and an extensive history. For instance, Gandalf’s sword, Glamdring, once belonged to the Elven king Turgon, lord of the Elves of Nevrast, and Gimli’s axe, while it doesn’t have a name (it’s often called Baruk Khazad, which means “Dwarf’s axe” in Khuzdul), is an important weapon with a rich history that dates back generations in Gimli’s family history.
But what if we swapped out all of the detailed histories of the medieval weapons that Tolkien painstakingly weaved into his books and replaced all the weapons with various types of guns instead? According to the Midjourney AI artwork, this would give us a world where medieval European fantasy blended seamlessly with tales from the Wild West.
In the first photo, Galdalf no longer looks like a wise wizard from The Lord of the Rings, now resembling a gruff old cowboy or rancher, hardened from his years in the frontier. Although his AI-generated gun doesn’t look like any type of rifle we’ve ever seen before.
Next, Gimli is ready to do some real damage with what looks like a mortar gun, only instead of pointing it toward the sky, Gimli is aiming it straight at his enemies, a look of determination on his face as he is presumably going to take out a whole squadron of Orcs at any moment.
Frodo and Sam (or is that Merry and Pippin?) probably would have had an easier time getting to Mordor, cutting the entire Lord of the Rings series short, if they had brought with them a set of science-fiction-looking riffle/flame thrower combo guns. Don’t look too closely, though, or else you’ll start to notice how the AI made one gun an extension of Sam’s (or is it Pippin?) hand and how Frodo seems to have two arms coming out of one side of his little hobbit body.
Gollum probably would have been taken a lot more seriously as a villain in The Lord of the Rings books and movies if he was carrying around a long-range weapon like this one.
On the other hand, Aragorn looks right at home, holding his rifle, and we’re certain the ranger would have had high proficiency with this weapon, just like he does with his sword, Anduril.
Legolas, as well, looks like he’d be just as good with a gun as the Prince of Mirkwood is with his bow and arrow, no doubt still besting Gimli in their kill count competition, even with Gimli’s new AI-generated mortar.
Meanwhile, all of the heroes in the Lord of the Rings might have been screwed if Middle Earth suddenly had guns. The battle at Helm’s Deep featured about 600 fighters against about 10,000 Uruk-hais, and if the army of Saruman came in with these big guns, the Fellowship and their allies wouldn’t stand a chance.
And let’s not forget the biggest bad himself. If Sauron had a giant freaking flame thrower like this, he probably would have been unstoppable.