It was only upon seeing the first Lord of the Rings movie that I even realised I was steeped in more of the mythos than I realised; all those Dungeons & Dragons campaigns that I played as a kid were essentially LOTR games in all but name. Though, at least the way we played it, with more abundant availability of magical rings.
From there I realised that Tolkein - and I deliberately misspell his name here to irritate Lord of the Rings fans - had pretty much invented the fantasy genre (even if he borrowed liberally from myth and folklore). While this led me to have a greater degree of respect for the books he wrote, it irritated me how derivative the genre was.
I mean, this is why I can't bring myself to watch Game of Thrones, which I gather is essentially Lord of the Rings with boobs and gore and that, so people can kid themselves they're watching something grown-up and sophisticated.
And yet, weirdly perhaps, I really, really loved Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, the predecessor to Shadow of War. Although if you want to tell me how the story progresses in this sequel... forget it. I skipped most of the cutscenes, with their tedious portentous dialogue. Indeed, at least the previous game had something akin to an emotional grounding for your character, who was freshly dead and brought back to life by becoming a half-ghost thing.
Here you're straight into the achingly self-important cut-scenes about stuff that I found it impossible to care about. It was as much fun as scrunching up some cardboard and rubbing it into my eyes and ears. Fortunately, the game all that bollocks is shackled to is every bit as enjoyable as Shadow of Mordor.