Is Tolkien Too Popular For His Own Good?

“JR Tolkien’s staying power is unprecedented. That a spotlight-shunning Oxford professor, dead for three decades, who specialized in the rather mundane field of philology still casts such an enchanting spell over contemporary culture is a remarkable achievement. But amid this unharmonious convergence of forces clambering for some acreage of the Tolkien empire, there is also a literary reputation at stake. Can the words of Tolkien, the serious author, be heard above the din of Middle-earth’s ravenous strip development? Should Tolkien’s heirs safeguard the family name? Will the movies bring critical acclaim to the books, or will the combination of fan devotion and marketing savvy prove lethal and taint Rings as mere ‘adolescent fantasy’ forever?”