Hollywood actor Viggo Mortensen has written a letter to Spain’s El Pais newspaper criticizing the far-right party Vox over its use of the character he played in “Lord of the Rings.”
On April 28, Vox posted a tweet showing the party as Aragorn, played by Mortensen in Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of the JRR Tolkien novel, fighting off a horde of enemies represented by the logos of LGBT rights groups, Catalonian separatists and anarchists.
The image was posted on the day of general elections alongside the caption: “Let the battle begin!”
Now the actor has written an excoriating letter to El Pais, the country’s paper of record, criticizing the “ignorant” and “absurd” use of the character.
Mortensen describes himself as a “person interested in the rich variety of cultures and languages that exist in Spain and the world,” and decries any implied connection with what he says is an “ultra-nationalist and neo-fascist political party.”
“It’s even more ridiculous to use the character of Aragorn, a polyglot statesman that advocates for the awareness and inclusion of the various races, customs and languages of Middle Earth, to legitimize an anti-immigration, anti-feminist and Islamophobic political group,” he writes.
The election was won by the center-left Socialist Workers’ Party, but Vox will become the first far-right party to enter the country’s parliament since dictator General Franco’s rule ended in 1975.
“I would laugh at its clumsiness,” writes Mortensen of the image, “but Vox has entered parliament with 24 seats; it’s no joke and we will have to be alert and proactive just like Aragorn is in Tolkien’s story.”
Vox won fewer seats than some had predicted at an election which saw the third-highest voter turnout in the history of Spanish democracy, according to official figures.