Putin's Russia, Tolkien's Mordor: What's the Difference?

A plan to celebrate the premiere of the latest Hobbit movie by lighting up Sauron's Eye on a Moscow tower could never happen in real-life Mordor.

The all-seeing eye of Putin

MIKHAIL KLIMENTIEV/AFP/Getty Images

I was rendered temporarily speechless by the news that a design company was planning to light up an enormous Eye of Sauron over a Moscow skyscraper this week. Though the project was ostensibly meant to mark the premiere of the third part of director Peter Jackson's ambitious Hobbit trilogy, it was impossible to ignore the symbolism of the evil all-seeing eye imagined by J.R.R. Tolkien watching over President Vladimir Putin's capital.

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