More Details on Lord of the Rings in Shadow of War
There’s been plenty of hype and controversy surrounding Middle-Earth Shadow of War, the Lord of the Rings title developed by Monolith Studios and published by Warner Bros. But, there’s been very little talk in regards to the source material. Well, that completely changed thanks to a new interview with Monolith’s Andy Salisbury.
Speaking with GameWatcher, Salisbury spoke at length about the creative decisions in Shadow of War. Specifically, he talked about the game’s lore and how the studio pulled from Tolkien’s Universe. In so doing, he addressed some controversy surrounding the game; namely, he talked about the backlash from turning Shelob the Spider into a beautiful woman, as well as the idea of a Balrog and Dragons being summoned by Mordor minions. Lore-wise, these decisions don’t fit, especially considering the impact these figures had in the movies. But, Salisbury had a reasonable explanation. Listen to this:
“We’re very beholden to the Tolkien universe and the standards. We have a Tolkien scholar on staff who vets everything! People can be defensive about the subject matter – and we agree, they should be! While we want to make the best video game we can we’re still beholden to the Professor’s universe.
“A big source of inspiration for us wasn’t just the books but also Tolkien’s letters. He wrote the universe in great detail but also left little ellipses where other people could come and pick it up. We’re making sure we’re not taking that for granted, though. We try to adhere to the universe and its themes, which are very strong.”
When it comes to Shelob, Salisbury explains her transformation by saying, “Being one of the Maiar she totally has that power. She can decide to interact with the people of the world on her own terms.”
No doubt, even many Tolkien fans not aware that Shelob was a Maiar. But with a “Tolkien scholar” on staff, it seems Monolith would know more about the universe than many of us by this point. What are your thoughts?