MORDOR–While the Black Gate in Tolkien’s lore led into the dark land of Mordor, Lord of the Rings enthusiasts nationwide are now guarding a new gate: the one leading into Tolkien fandom itself. With the advent of Amazon’s Rings of Power series and enemy forces allegedly trying to sneak in, Tolkien fans, calling themselves “the Watchers,” have begun gatekeeping with renewed vigilance.
“You shall not pass!” said longtime fan Ellen McKian. “At least, that’s what I’m saying to anyone who tries to come in without being a true fan–like us.”
“The gate we set up says ‘Speak, fan, and enter,'” explained another Tolkien purist, Dave Rhys-Johnnies. “So, to be allowed into the true fandom, you have to say the elvish word for ‘fan.’ Which, as best as linguistic scholars can tell, comes out to something like ‘Rings of Power is trash, and I won’t be watching it.'”
“We guard the Black Gate because that’s true to the original lore,” added Mel Korr. “But, so we’re all clear, that’s just about the only thing in Tolkien’s world that should be black.”
The group’s name “The Watchers” is derived from the watchers in Tolkien’s lore, a term which has referred to multiple different entities guarding various gates or cities. Sadly, despite claiming to want to preserve the accuracy of Tolkien’s lore, this vocal group has not been following the example set by the Silent Watchers.
“Ultimately, the threats to the fandom are just too great to deal with on our own,” said Lee Christopher. “We need to use the Ring’s power to eliminate all those who stand in our way–for the good of the fandom, of course!” At publishing time, Gandalf had inquired about when the Lord of the Rings fandom abandoned reason for madness.