Get him, Neil!
Neil Gaiman, the creator of The Sandman as well as plenty of other fantasy related stories, apparently does not think Elon Musk is the guy who should be dissing The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. On Monday, Musk tweeted his own low opinion of the series, saying–among other things–that it left J.R.R. Tolkien “turning in his grave.” Gaiman responded to the billionaire, and he wasn’t subtle.
The same day as Musk’s initial tweet, a fan asked Neil Gaiman what he thought of Elon Musk’s opinion of Amazon’s new series. The Sandman creator responded, “Elon Musk doesn’t come to me for advice on how to fail to buy Twitter, and I don’t go to him for film, TV or literature criticism.” Below you can see first Musk’s tweet, followed by Gaiman’s response.
Of course, with his barb Neil Gaiman is referring to probably the biggest news surrounding Elon Musk for the past few months: the Tesla head’s bid to buy Twitter. Immediately after reports began to surface that Musk was making moves to buy the social media site, the discourse revolved around what changes he might bring to it. It wasn’t long before the SpaceX owner made noise about backing out of the deal–supposedly over Twitter not turning over data about bots and other fake users–and soon the discourse changed to focus on the legal battle with the company now trying to force Musk to make good on his offer.
Whether you enjoyed The Rings of Power or not, Neil Gaiman’s response to Elon Musk’s bashing has its merits. After all, what seems to be Musk’s chief complaint about the series–that Morfydd Clark’s characters is the only one who is “brave, smart and nice” makes us wonder if he watched the thing at all. You’re going to call Ismael Cruz Cordova’s Arondir “a coward, a jerk or both?” The guy who risks his standing with his people to be with his secret love, backs down from fighting a human even when provoked, and dives alone into an underground tunnel with no idea what’s down there waiting for him? Which part of that screams “a coward, a jerk or both?” The part that hasn’t put in an order for a Tesla yet? Nor would we use words like “coward” or “jerk” to describe Elrond (Robert Aramayo), Prince Durin IV (Owain Arthur), Saddoc the Harfoot (Lenny Henry), Celebrimbor (Charles Edwards), or the mysterious Stranger (Daniel Weyman).
Not to mention–as Neil Gaiman might say to Elon Musk himself if Twitter offered more characters–while we certainly wouldn’t call Clark’s Galadriel a jerk, being “nice” doesn’t seem to be a big priority for her. She certainly isn’t “nice” to the Elves who don’t want to freeze to death or be eaten by trolls in the frozen wastes of Forodwaith. We don’t know if we’d refer to literally rejecting paradise for the chance at vengeance as “nice.” We suspect Musk likens himself to the warriors of Rohan–after all the Rohirrim practically worship horses and a horse is exactly what Musk allegedly offered to buy a flight attendant if she agreed be more “nice” to him–but we don’t think that makes him a Tolkien expert.