So as for orc slavery, the nature of evil, and the ultimate folly of man, we’ll leave that for Fincher to explore more deeply when Peter Jackson inevitably hands him the keys to Bilbo’s hobbit hole some time in 2020. Until then, all I know is that I have a lot of guilt-free street justice to mete out along the Black Gate. More salient is how Shadow Of Mordor itself expands and connects to the Tolkien canon in fascinating ways. Middle-Earth has always been a fairly closed system, in that there hasn’t been too much added to the mythology beyond that written by Tolkien himself or compiled from his notes by the author’s son. Most agree that The Silmarillion—Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings prequel, if you will—would be a particularly difficult book to capture in film. Shadow Of Mordor, though, successfully draws on some of that material in a way that is simultaneously engaging for a fan of Tolkien’s extended works but not alienating for those passingly familiar with the story.