Actor Viggo Mortensen said it was “absurd” that Spanish far-right party Vox had used Lord of the Rings hero Aragorn to promote their party days before the elections.
In April, Vox tweeted a meme featuring Mortensen as Aragorn preparing to fight against all that the far-right party stands against, like the media, Catalan separatists, communism, and a rainbow-coloured ghost representing the LGBT community.
“Let the battle begin! #ForSpain” said the tweet.
In a letter to the El Pais editor, Mortensen wrote: “You have to be pretty ignorant to think that the use of the character of Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings trilogy used to promote the electoral campaign of a xenophobic party such as Vox is a good idea.
"Not only is it absurd that I, the actor who played this character in Peter Jackson’s movies and a person interested in the rich cultures and languages of Spain and the world, is linked to a neo-fascist and ultra-nationalist political party.
"It is even more ridiculous that the character of Aragorn — a polyglot statesman who advocates for the knowledge and inclusion of diverse races, customs, and languages from Middle Earth — is being used to legitimise an anti-immigration, anti-feminist, and islamophobe political group. I would laugh at their blunder but Vox has entered Congress with 24 seats.
"It’s not a joke and we must stay attentive and proactive as Aragorn did in the Tolkien saga.”
The British Tolkien Society told Euronews in an email that J.R.R Tolkien never inferred in any of his novels that Aragorn was far-right and added that there was never any mention of the character's political views in the trilogy.
Warner Bros., the studio behind the films, responded to Vox's tweet saying they didn't have permission to use their intellectual property for their electoral campaign.
"We know that the Lord of the Rings has many fans," the studio tweeted in Spanish. "But Warner Bros has not authorised the use of our intellectual property for any political campaign."
In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Aragorn is part of a fellowship that sets out to defend Middle Earth from the evil Sauron. The group includes hobbits, a man, an elf, a dwarf, and a wizard. In the films, Aragorn is also in love with an elf.
Mortensen's letter has triggered a positive fan reaction on social media, with many comparing his response to Aragorn's heroics in the films.