One of the most well-known uses of transmedia storytelling is in J.R.R. Tolkens’, “The Lord of The Rings”. The story portrays peoples such as Hobbits, Elves, Men, Dwarves, Wizards and Goblins and centers on the Ring of Power made by the Dark Lord Sauron. It starts in the quiet beginnings in the Shire and ranges across Middle-earth taking the path to the War of the Ring.
The world of “Mordor” Tolkens fictional Universe of Middle Earth, and the storyline of the Lord of the Rings, has expanded into various genres and media platforms. These include video games, comics, songs and online Wiki’s.
The transmedia extension of “Wiki, One Wiki To Rule Them All” is a comprehensive media platform exploring every media option available to delight the millions of fans of The Lord of The Rings. With 4965 pages of information, movies, games and photo’s it has something for every audience. The Wiki site takes a literal approach in connecting to the primary movie but it allows a narrative throughout the site with blogs and interactive games. The Lord of The Rings Wiki site prompts the readers to experience adventures of their choice by using hypertext fiction on every page. “Hypertext is a set of documents of any kind connected to one another by links” (Murray). For example, the image below links to the word “Elf” in the following sentence:
Legolas is an Elf who was part of the Fellowship of the Ring in the Third Age. He is the son of the Elf-king Thranduil of Mirkwood (Wiki,One Wiki To rule them all). (Linked page below)
Redirected from Elf
Dominions Eldamar, Lindon, Eregion, Lórien, Rivendell, Mirkwood, Valinor, Tol Eressëa
Languages Quenya, Telerin, Westron, Sindarin, Nandorin
Average height 5’6″-6’4″ for Teleri/Sindar, 6’5″-7′ for Noldor
The hypertext used as an example, educates the reader and creates a transition to a new place to explore adding the element of interactive fiction.
Another concept used in the Wiki site is the concept of World building. According to Henry
Jenkins in Transmedia Storytelling 101, Stories are not just based on individual characters and plots but complex fictional worlds which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories. The epic tale of The Lord of The Rings is a perfect example of World building. Each storyline allows the viewer to instantly engage while expanding the world beyond their grasp.(Jenkins) The complexity of the characters in the story opens a whole new world and opportunity for transmedia storytelling. From webisodes to character twitter accounts, the original movie has evolved as a media sensation. Wiki creates different points of entry for different audiences which expand the markets. (Jenkins)
The Lord of the Rings has become a great phenomenon which will forever be one of the greatest epic tales ever created. This could have only occurred through the use of transmedia and the vast opportunities it has created.
Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. Genesis Framework, 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 02 Mar. 2014.
Murray, Janet H. “Chapter 2: Harbingers of the Holodeck.” Hamlet on the Holodeck. New York: Free, A Division of Simon and Schuster, 1997. 27-64.