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lotr supports rop, rop racism

These hobbits know a thing or two about handling trolls.

The Fellowship of the Ring has banded together once again in the name of solidarity and standing up for what’s right.

In response to racially centered backlash for the diverse casting choices in the new Amazon series “Rings of Power” (a situation disappointingly common for many modern fantasy franchises) the trilogy’s original Hobbits Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan took to social media—about as treacherous as Mordor, some might say—to show their support.


Each actor wore a clothing item displaying a row of elf ears in different skin tones along with a message in Elvish that translates to “You Are All Welcome Here.” The coolest, most LOTR way to rebel possibly ever.



The design was created by LOTR aficionado Don Marshall, otherwise known as “Obscure LotR Facts Guy” on TikTok. On the merchandise website, Marshall noted the exact Elvish language used (Sí de maedyl), which paints a pretty clear picture of this guy’s impressive knowledge base. Fifty percent of the proceeds for every “You Are All Welcome Here” T-shirt and hat go to helping charities that benefit the POC community.

His reaction to seeing the hobbit gang wear his merch is a heartfelt delight for nerds everywhere.

@donmarshall72 Replying to @tara_cards_ I am speechless. Thank you all. The translation was done by @WizardWayKris. The merch is available at the link in my bio! #lotr#hobbits#lordoftherings#tolkien♬ original sound - DonMarshall72


Wood, Astin, Boyd and Monaghan have certainly reunited before to give us a nostalgic laugh, like their incredibly silly rap video on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” but this homecoming took on a different tone.

“Rings of Power” features people of color in central roles, including Silvan elf Arondir, played by Afro-Latino actor Ismael Cruz Córdova, and his human lover Bronwyn, played by British-Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi, as well as Princess Disa the dwarf, played by Sophia Nomvete, a Black British actress of African-Iranian heritage.

Since their casting announcement, the actors and the show have received an influx of hateful comments and harassment online. And despite Amazon's claims of streaming records on its debut day of Sept. 2, the Prime Series was the target of “review bombing,” when disgruntled fans inundate the internet with negative reviews based on a social or political reaction rather than to the show’s quality, which distorts and misrepresents how a show is actually being received by audiences.

Members of the current cast have defended each other, calling the claims that a diverse ensemble strays away from Tolkien’s original ideas “nonsense,” but getting support from Frodo, Samwise, Merry and Pippin was next level in terms of denouncing vitriol. For as we know … it takes an army to defeat a horde of trolls.

Tolkien himself, though accused of having racist rhetoric in his novels, was certainly no stranger to defending against bigotry. Back in 1938, Nazis demanded to know if the fantasy author was Jewish (in an attempt to purge anything non-Aryan from German culture). Tolkien clapped back in the classiest way possible, regarding Jewish people as “gifted” and correcting the assumption that Aryans are even of German descent. Tolkien was, after all, a gentleman and a scholar.

With a story that depicts orcs, goblins and other gruesome creatures, it’s tragic to think that something much more monstrous lurks in our everyday life. Though racism is an ugly reality, having a united voice helps overcome that insidious foe. The beauty of fantasy is that it is limitless, going as far as imagination beckons. That is a magic meant for everyone.

Tasty snacks that give back

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Kids watching their parents dance to Taylor Swift is sheer delight.

We all know parenting can be tough, but if there's one thing that makes the roller coaster of emotions totally worth it, it's seeing our children's faces light up with joy.

Children's smiles are infectious, and not in the scary pandemic kind of a way. There's simply nothing better in this world than the face of a bright-eyed little human beaming with happiness, which is why a recent TikTok trend has people grinning from ear to ear themselves.

The premise is simple: The parent asks the kid to record them dancing to Taylor Swift's "Love Story" with the screen facing away from them (under the guise that the parent dancing needs to see themselves). So instead of recording the parent dancing, it's actually recording the kid's face watching them.

And oh, the love and joy on these kids' faces is so, so sweet to witness. Watch:

@thechavezfamilyy

The end 😭😭 why am I bawling at this trend?! He’s SO CUTE #momsoftiktok #momtok #toddlersoftiktok

That face. OMG.

And check out the encouragement from this little fella:

@themarshhfamily

The end did it for me 🥹😭I birthed such a sweet, loving and encouraging little boy!! #momtok #toddlersoftiktok #taylorswiftchallenge #lovestorychallenge #boymom #toddlermom

Seriously, seeing close-ups of kids' joy should be a daily thing.

@makingthemoffitts

#nationaladoptionmonth #adoptionawareness #thisisadoption #thisisfostercare #adoption #fostercare #makingthemoffitts #lovestorychallenge #taylorswift

Some dads have gotten in on the trend as well. Look at the way this little girl beams at her daddy.

@durbanofamily

Had to jump on the trend! Love this beautiful girl!

Of course, part of the beauty of having kids is you simply never know what they're going to do. While some youngsters gaze lovingly at their parents while they dance, others have a … well … different reaction. Check out this girl's facial expressions:

@haleigh.booth

It’s the side eye at the end for me 😆😂😂😂😂

Hilarious. And because this is the internet, naturally someone had to do the TikTok trend with their dog. Gotta admit, Ellie's toothy grin is pretty darn cute as well.

@elliegoldenlife

This is why I don’t dance 😂

TikTok trends can sometimes be strange, annoying or problematic, but once in a while one comes along that brings people together in surprisingly delightful ways. Seeing people's kids' pure enjoyment watching their parents being silly is simply the best.

Pop Culture

Professor becomes a hero after holding his student's spot in line for Taylor Swift tickets

Dr. Austin Shull chose 'not to be the anti-hero' and now has won every heart online.

He is not the "anti-hero" in this story.

When biology professor Dr. Austin Shull received an important email from one of his students, he likely expected it to be about a homework assignment. Instead, the assignment was for him. If he was up to the task, that is.

With her subject line reading “REALLY IMPORTANT,” the student explained how she was currently in the online queue to purchase highly coveted Taylor Swift tickets, but her anatomy practicum class was fast approaching. You can see the conundrum.

The proposal was simple—if Dr. Shull agreed to watch her spot in line on her laptop while she took the class, it would make her “entire year.” Keeping in theme, her email concluded, “please please please don’t be the anti-hero.” For those that live under a rock, “Anti-Hero” is one of Swift’s latest singles. Where have you been?

Anyway, Shull agreed. And not only did he make his student’s entire year, he melted hearts from sharing his story.

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Celebrity

Lizzo took giving someone the clothes off your back literally and brought a woman to tears

'Words don't suffice, and thank you isn't enough. But THANK YOU! I’m speechless.'

Lizzo took giving someone the clothes off your back literally.

Lizzo is probably one of the most nonproblematic celebrities in the world today. She spreads positivity and kindness and encourages others with her openness about her mental health struggles. It's pretty safe to be a Lizzo super fan and for Aurielle Marie, an Atlanta author, being a huge fan of Lizzo's paid off in the most unexpected way.

Marie posted a video to TikTok pleading with Lizzo to wear her dress from the 2022 Emmys. But it turned out the dress was destroyed, according to Lizzo's response, but her dress from the 2019 American Music Awards was intact. The dress was a beautiful muted fuchsia color with a fitted bodice and full tulle skirt complete with a thigh-high slit. Lizzo looked amazing in the dress so obviously fans would love to get their hands on it.

One of the most exciting things about social media is that you get the chance to interact with your favorite celebrities and, as luck would have it, Lizzo saw Marie's video. The flute-playing megastar responded like an absolute queen.

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Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Kids surprise deaf cafeteria worker by learning sign language.

Here at Upworthy, we try to bring you heartwarming stories, so when we came across this story by My Modern Met, we knew we had to share it.

Kids are always surprising adults with questions or new skills they've learned. Young students at Nansemond Parkway Elementary School in Suffolk, Virginia, wanted to be able to communicate with the cafeteria worker who served them breakfast and lunch everyday. So they learned how.

Leisa Duckwall is deaf and had been working at the school for four years serving the students and staff. Because Duckwall cannot hear, she and the students did the best they could to make it work, until a teacher had an idea. Kari Maskelony, who teaches fourth grade, spoke with Duckwall using American Sign Language (ASL) and noticed the cafeteria went silent.

Students watched in awe as the two women used their hands to communicate. Maskelony grew up in a family that was hard of hearing, so sign language was part of her life, according to My Modern Met. After seeing the reaction of students, Maskelony asked the kids if they would like to learn the language.

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