As they explore the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, hosts Alan Sisto and Shawn E. Marchese welcome readers of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and the other works in the Middle-earth legendarium to tune in as they discuss favorite passages from the books and films that started the worldwide fantasy phenomenon.
Alan and Shawn engage in plenty of in-depth study of Tolkien's books, but with a healthy dose of self-effacing humor, pop-culture references, and bad puns. These are the two guys you'd want to hang out with at a pub and talk Tolkien with.
192 - Race, Tolkien, and Middle-earth, Revisited
Following up on our previous examination of race in Tolkien’s work in Episode 114, today we welcome listeners of different racial and ethnic backgrounds to join us and share their experiences of Tolkien’s works and fandom. By looking beyond the author's own views and intentions, we hope to gain a better understanding of the actual impact of Tolkien’s treatment of race from people who have experienced racism directly. We urge all listeners to tune in for this special, which challenges our assumptions while keeping at heart the love of Middle-earth that unites us all.
Alan and Shawn wish to sincerely thank our listeners who came forward to let their voices be heard for this episode. Your stories have inspired us and opened our eyes. 'Eglerio! A laita te!'
191 - A Trick of the Took
Now ringed in by the Rohirrim, the Orcs wait for reinforcements, all the while continuing their civilized parliamentary deliberations. On the committee agenda: 1. You’re a maggot. 2. That guy’s an ape. 3. Consideration of a motion for a vote of no confidence in Uglúk. Grishnákh seizes an opportunity — and the prisoners — but Pippin thinks quickly and devises a Tookish (and very, very dangerous) ruse to take advantage of the Mordor Orc’s secret plot. Who’s a fool now, Gandalf? All this, plus a Tolkien Christmas surprise, in our last episode of 2020!
190 - Follow Uruks, Follow Me
The Hobbits continue their zero-star walking tour of Rohan, trudging along with the Orcs in an endless tunnel of misery with nary a pub nor a B&B in sight. But the feel of wet grass between his hairy toes gives Pippin an idea, and he breaks away from the beaten path for just long enough to leave a message for any friend who may be following them: a token that may or may not idly fall. We wonder about Orc parents’ baby naming practices, revisit The Fall of Gondolin, and imagine Ulmo talking like a Cockney street tough in a Victorian melodrama.
189 - Supper’s Ready
Looks like meat’s back on the menu as we pick up the tale of Pippin and Merry and their delightful hosts: an army of Orcs on their way to Isengard. Merry is apparently down for the count, but Pippin takes in their surroundings and gradually begins to piece together an escape plan. We learn way more about Orkish medicine than we ever wanted to, offer a sidebar on the history of the Black Speech, and speculate about whether there are some things even Orcs won’t eat (probably not). Plus, how to make a holiday Orcmanbit.
188 - Questions After Nightfall 13
While Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli look for their horses, we welcome listeners to the common-room for our last live Q&A episode of 2020! As always, the questions are unrehearsed, so hearing us muddle through head-scratchers like “Do Orcs have free will?” is as entertaining as expected. We speculate on what Lobelia might have done if the One Ring had fallen into her hands along with Bilbo’s spoons, get into chains and bondage with Beren and Lúthien, and more. Plus, what were the guys hoping to do if they actually caught up to the Uruk-hai?
187 - The Old Man and the Coconuts
Éomer bends the rules “just this once” to let the wanderers go free in Rohan, and even lends them cocon— uh, horses* to ride, on the condition that after they find the bodies— uh, their friends*, they return the rentals to Edoras in good condition and hand the keys back directly to Théoden King. They ride quickly to the Entwash and camp near the edge of Fangorn Forest, where a mysterious visitor appears and makes them wish they’d sprung for the loss damage waiver. (*We apologize for the fault in the blurbs. Those responsible have been sacked.)
Customer ReviewsSee All
A Middle Earth Treasure
What a fantastic podcast, have rediscovered the joy of Middle Earth and the Legendarium. Such a fantastic way to have some time out. Subscribe and share!
Engaging and informative
I’ve been reading the Silmarillion for the 1st time and found this fantastic podcast. It’s got a perfect blend of interesting information and an engaging format. Haven’t finished but loving it so far.
Thank you both for your time and effort! Amazing show!