A new Middle-Earth: Shadow of War trailer debuted at the geek mecca of San Diego Comic-Con today with a big reveal. Literally. Shelob, the giant spider of pure nightmare fuel is back, though she looks a little different than I remember her. I just can't quite put my finger on it. Oh, it's probably the fact that she's now a human lady instead of a gross giant spider for most of her screentime appearance.
The community consensus around Lord of the Rings: Shadow of War is that the game is already treading dangerously into fan-fiction territory after Shadow of Mordor. The series is already changing all sorts of things from J.R.R. Tolkein's lore and mythology for the service of making a cool action game. The latest change of course is to Shelob, The Shadow Spider, who apparently gained a new power in Shadow of War. A power that turns her into a femme fatale of sorts, slinking up to the main character (who is already stomping up and down Tolkein's canon).
Fans have reacted, interestingly to the new trailer, though of course purists remain adamant that Shelob remain a giant spider.
wait... so are they trying to claim Shelob is able to transform into a human woman now? Sigh...— Sean Engel [SC] (@SeanEngel) July 21, 2017
How dare she?!
I know right?! I think the whole point of Shelob is her monstrous nature and then they go and give her a human body— Sai Narayan (@nightmask3) July 21, 2017
Don't judge a book by its cover, unless that cover is a giant evil spider.
Shelob is a giant grotesque spider, not a sexy lady. Why does Shadow of War do this?— a dog in a barrel (@HenryGoeldner) July 21, 2017
Explain yourself Warner Bros!
If this is not a prime example of Women being replaced by younger hotter versions, I dont know what is https://t.co/BoSEpx6J3m— Tanya Beeson (@greenspacepuppy) July 21, 2017
Of COURSE the developers of Shadow of War had to make Shelob a scantily clad woman. What else?— Hoglorfen (@lady_whin) July 21, 2017
One fan's reaction in particular is a little...uh, disconecerting.
I don't want to fuck sexy lady Shelob I want to fuck sexy SPIDER Shelob, they're trampling on Tolkien's grave smh. xhttps://t.co/H8mWLEVedR— Charlie Warren (@MrWarrenTweets) July 21, 2017
Of course there are those who've reacted more posivitely to the altered Shelob, in very predictable ways.
Also shelob could lowkey get it— ﾑ ~ (@SindarMomoa) July 21, 2017
Couldn’t be more excited to play @shadowofwargame! I absolutely LOVE the way you’re handling the material! SHELOB TRAILER IS PURE— Shanktoon 2 (@ShankTheTank) July 21, 2017
I'm actually just glad people are excited by the changes in the material.
Cute Shelob is a win in my book. I need that game.— Large Bear (@Gralgomar) July 21, 2017
But it's still nice to know that Lord of the Rings fans are a particular bunch, loyal to Tolkein's vision (as interpreted properly exactly three times by Peter Jackson).
Hmm.........looks like Shelob will be spending a lot of time in a human form that's kind of boring— DISHONORED OWNS ME (@cause_boredom) July 21, 2017
One commenter on Reddit is checking off the various ways this could work in canon and I kind of dig that.
NeoGAF users are also debating the merits of the new Shelob. "We're in full fanfic mode," writes JonnyDBrit. "Potentially thematically appropriate fanfic, but fanfic all the same. They're already screwing with the timeline, and nothing explicitly said she couldn't take humanoid form."
"I'm basically treating this like I do all the thousands of non [canon]/alternative timeline comics that I've read and loved in the past," comments user VlaudTheImpaler.
I'm not going to lie though, this is the comment that got me. Dark Souls might have conditioned me to expect spider women.
The trailer does show Shelob in her spider form, so it's not like Shadow of War has completely forsaken her true, multi-legged visage. I am interested to see how this change pans out, because since the game is kean on making some dramatic changes, I now expect Shadow of War to go for broke.