Middle-earth in South Park
The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers as Parody
This paper’s primary aim is to argue that the South Park Season 6 Episode 13 entitled “The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers” fits Linda Hutcheon’s definition of parody as an artform of transgression as well as operating in a way that reinforces the authority of its source material. South Park’s parody will be demonstrated through an exploration of the show’s reliance on and exaggeration of both Tolkien and Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. Evidence to how South Park’s parody fits within the umbrella of postmodernism will be given. I will also argue that South Park’s parody – not merely as an adaptation – of The Lord of the Rings imparts dignity to Tolkien’s magnum opus by treating it in its cultural context. Finally, a case will be made that The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers creates new perspectives pertaining to Tolkien’s work as source material as well as itself, therefore reinforcing The Lord of the Ring’s importance which in turn lures audiences back to Tolkien.
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