In what marks a substantial accomplishment for the YouTube community at large, resident creator and media critic Lindsay Ellis has been nominated for a Hugo Award — an awards franchise established in 1953 that marks one of the highest honors in the science fiction and fantasy space.
Ellis’ nomination comes in the ‘Best Related Work’ category and recognizes Hobbit Duology, a series of three videos (don’t let the titles fool you) that serve as a critique of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit film, painting it as a disappointing miscalculation in the wake of the much-beloved Lord Of The Rings trilogy, per Paste Magazine.
In the YouTube series, Ellis and her writing and editing partner Angelina Meehan traveled to New Zealand — where The Hobbit was filmed — to interview members of the cast and crew, and also explore the ways in which the film impacted labor regulations across the country. Many subjects within the Hobbit Duology posited, for instance, that certain rights were stripped from native New Zealand actors and crew members in order to make the country more attractive for future Hollywood productions.
This also isn’t the first time that a YouTube standout has been nominated for a Hugo Award. It’s the second.
Singer and comedian Rachel Bloom was nominated in 2010 for a music video titled “F-ck Me, Ray Bradbury.” That nomination was in the ‘Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form’ category, and Bloom – who currently counts 156,000 subscribers – didn’t ultimately take home the prize. She did, however, go on to co-create and star in The CW‘s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which nabbed her a Golden Globe win in 2016 for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy, along with more Golden Globe and Emmy noms in the years since. This year, a win for Ellis – who currently counts over 590,000 YouTube subscribers on her eponymous channel – may also be unlikely, she notes, given that she’s up against acclaimed speculative fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin as well as a look back at the Hugo Awards themselves, courtesy of writer Jo Walton.
You can check out the first episode of Ellis’ Hobbit Duology series — which has garnered 4.1 million views across all three installments — below: