Things We Know About American Culture From These 10 'Lord of the Rings' Memes
by Arielle Wolfe Fritz, September 18th, 2020
Americans love to laugh, that much is certain. We make jokes at our own expense and poke fun at all the things. Lord of The Rings memes are particularly adept at bringing humor to just about every arena of life, including interpersonal relationships, politics, physicality, alcohol, and even, well, going to the bathroom. *eye roll*
It's The Simple Things.
One would think that with all of the technological advancements that we have seen in the last decade alone, we would have grown up a bit as a society.
Sometimes you just have to be able to laugh at the simplest things in order to make it through some of the worst times.
Lord of The Rings Memology
Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film adaptations are some of the most loved films in America today. Countless memes have been created by fans of these films and fans of comedy in general. These memes are so easily understood by people who dearly love these films and laughable even to those who have the audacity to dislike them.
They bring a little bit of Middle Earth and a bit of much-needed humor into our hectic American lives.
In hindsight, they give a little bit of insight into what American culture actually is and they make us feel as though we are not alone in our daily fight to just make it through with some semblance of sanity. We all face small, uncomfortable struggles every day and most of us will experience what all or most of these memes portray at some point in our lives.
This is what it means to be an American. Facing our battles with a good meme about it.
1 - Smile, It's just a pandemic.
Oh boy, the lovely Corona. This pandemic has gone on long enough, hasn't it? Well, apparently not. Wearing a face mask is just a part of daily life now as most business owners now have policies in place that state that anyone who enters their establishment must be wearing some sort of covering over their mouth and nostrils in order to protect the other patrons and employees on the premises.
According to the CDC, wearing these masks is the safest course of action at the time in an effort to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus while keeping the economy running, but this precaution does not come without its social disadvantages.
For instance, how do you know if a meme is funny or not if you can't tell if the person who is reading it is smiling or not?!
2 - Grocery Day.
These days, people are becoming aware of the harmful effects of one-time use plastic bags that we precariously load our precious produce in. Large, reusable bags are now available to transport your goods into your home but it still does not make that final and arduous task of hauling in your spoils any more efficient or pleasing.
We all gotta do it, so we might as well have a good laugh about it.
3 - Politically unstable.
We all know that guy. You know the one, the dude who after a couple of drinks just can't help himself. He starts slurring about Trump and Biden and about how Obama was or wasn't the best president of our generation.
It is part of our constitutional rights as Americans to have a voice and an opinion about what is going on in our government and, in fact, it is crucial to be educated on the goings on within our political office. Knowledge compels us to vote effectively and decide for ourselves what candidate will be best suited to run our country.
But some Americans, just take it too far. Do us all a favor Larry, put down the beer, and let's talk about LOTR instead, or anything else as a matter of fact.
4 - Toilet humor.
When you gotta go you gotta go. At no point in the day are Americans without their precious smartphones and when duty calls, this is no exception.
When confined to the porcelain throne, we open up our devices and indulge in social media, pointless, time sucking games, or take these moments of alone time to text our friends and loved ones who would probably be better off not knowing where you are texting from.
If they did, who would they be to judge? They do it too, and apparently Gandalf is guilty of this as well. But, have you ever had to endure these moments without your phone in hand? Well, let's just say that that is how nature intended it. But why then does it feel so unnatural?
5 - Storage is full.
In the past decade alone, a multitude of phones have been released, upgraded, and released again in the states. Each new model, boasting to be the best yet.
The latest models are equipped with an array of special, never before used features, professional quality cameras, groundbreaking touchscreens, facial recognition software and plenty of storage space to fill with all of those precious photos of children, scenic nature photographs and, yep, hundreds of LOTR memes to annoy our friends with.
We know, deep down they smile inside when they open up that text from you with an image from one of the most beloved movie adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkiens Lord of the Rings Trilogy, stamped with a witty comment sure to brighten your day.
6 - Not so casual fan.
There are fans, and then there are super fans. Most Americans casually enjoy a good afternoon of watching the theatrical version of one of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films.
Some, enjoy a good 12-hour binge of the 3 extended editions of the Lord of the Rings films, complete with behind the scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew. Others, read and re-read Tolkien's literary works and dedicate countless hours to learning Quenya and indulge in online forums discussing Tolkien's, to put it lightly, 'difficult to read' collection of mytho-poetic works, The Silmarillion.
For those who have a Masters in Sindarin, conversing with those casual fans about the films and books can be a bit tentative. Let your nerd shine LOTR super fans!
7 - Excuse me, I think I ordered the wrong year.
Ah, 2020. Some year this has been. This meme pretty much sums up the year in a bowl. It pictures that iconic scene from Peter Jackson's film adaptation of the Two Towers where a brooding Aragorn is gifted with a bowl of what appears to be some sort of soup. Eowyn, the niece of the King of Rohan, delicately prepared it for Aragorn, the weary and presumably hungry warrior.
The contents of the bowl look less than desirable to the heir of the throne of Gondor. However, being the gentleman that he is, he politely and gingerly accepts the bowl from the eager and kindhearted woman and gives it a hesitant taste. Aragorn finds her stew to be about as pleasing as it looks.
This is us, spooning in all that 2020 has to throw at us. With displeasure, we ingest the news of the pandemic, hopeless elections, a double hurricane, and make do with paper napkins in place of toilet paper. What else you got 2020?
8 - Dad jokes.
Dad Jokes. Nobody seems to be able to conjure up a horrible, distasteful, albeit hilarious joke the way that dad does.
Looking back at the dramatics of childhood, this meme perfectly encapsulates the sarcasm and hilarity that Dad never failed to deliver. American Fathers are subject to so much stress in the workplace. His days are spent being harassed by customers, drilled by corporate managers, and having to put up with the mediocrity of fellow co-workers just so that he can provide for his family. At the end of the day, he just wants to come home, shovel in dinner, put his feet up, and maybe enjoy an evening free of drama.
When his children come down with any ailment whatsoever that causes the slightest discomfort, the melodrama is excruciating considering the torture he just endured for the sake of these children. Sarcasm is his weapon of choice when faced with the child's ignorance of just how insignificant their pain at the present moment will be seen upon the moment they enter into adulthood.
9 - Were they just talking about me?
We all have that pesky and dark inner voice, the one that tells us at the most inopportune moments that we are unworthy or that we are different somehow from the rest of the world. Maybe this voice isn't quite as potent and manipulative as Gollum was to Smeagol, but it certainly makes the act of finding companionship a difficult task.
Making friends is not always an easy thing and today, more and more cyber friendships are developing in the world of social media. This can be a blessing for those who have certain social anxieties who are just as in need of companionship as those who are lucky enough to be 'social butterflies.' We all need and deserve at least one friend in this world to remind us that we are loved and that we are important.
10 - Nostalgia.
Everyone has at least one or two childhood memories that they can look back on fondly. Thinking back on hot summer days, perhaps riding your bike to a friend's house to play wizards and witches was your thing.
Perhaps you weren't much into fantasy, but I'll bet that at some point in your childhood, you found a really cool stick. I mean, a REALLY cool stick. From there your big, little imagination came up with all sorts of amazing backstories and scenarios surrounding the application of this not so ordinary branch to your character.
With this sword, staff, wand, whatever it was, you could conquer any imaginary monster or foe that came your way.
American LOTR fans can wake up every day and find new memes available pretty much everywhere on the internet.
In this period of uncertainty and difficulty that our country is facing, these memes give us a new sense of unity and togetherness, drawing on the strength and perseverance of the characters in these beloved stories that these memes snapshot.
We can come together and laugh again amid the suffering and hardships that we all are subject to in our individual lives. Facing adversity with a smile in our hearts and a friend in hand, we will continue to grow as a country and as individuals and pave a new future for our children with the gift of laughter and comedy.
"The path that lay before us is one we all must take. The Journey, we make together. As one, the truth awaits us."
About the Author
Arielle Wolfe-Fritz, a creative writing enthusiast, researches anthropology and folklore. Through her captivating mini-docuseries, collaborations, and multi-media projects, she inspires people across the world to open their minds to the sociological, anthropological, and spiritual aspects of legends and folklore. Arielle is a proud affiliate of Divine Frequency, a network of content creators unified by a common mission to deliver empowering perspectives about online media through multi-media projects. Follow Arielle's main project, Labyrinth Perspective on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook