055 – Pining for the Hoards

We wrap up Chapter 1 of The Hobbit, “An Unexpected Party”, where Bilbo’s Tookish side is awakened by the mysterious dwarf-song filling his home, but his Baggins side is less enthusiastic once Thorin and Gandalf lay out the details of the dwarves’ quest. Will Bilbo stay safely in his comfortable hole, or will he rise to the challenge like his great golfing ancestor Bullroarer Took? Also: more word-nerdery as we talk about Tolkien’s use of the plural form ‘dwarves’ in the first installment of another new show segment: Philology Faire.

Listen to the episode here, on YouTube, or in the player below:

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Comments or questions for Barliman’s Bag:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Click the green button at right
  • Email barliman (at) theprancingponypodcast (dot) com

Recommended Reading:

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Hobbit (Mariner Books, paperback) pp. 14-26, “An Unexpected Party”

Tolkien, J.R.R. and Douglas A. Anderson, ed. The Annotated Hobbit (HarperCollins, hardcover)

Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (Mariner Books, paperback)

054 – Nobody Expects the Dwarvish Inquisition

We begin our reading of The Hobbit with the famous first line and meet Bilbo Baggins, living a predictable life of luxury and ease until Gandalf comes by one Tuesday morning. Soon Bilbo’s world is turned upside down by an unexpected party of hungry dwarves, and his comfortable life is threatened. Along the way, we discuss the enduring courtesy of hobbits, the dangers of saying “Good morning” to wizards, and offer fashion tips for homeless dwarves. Plus, the first installment of our new segment: Today in Tolkien History.

For more on the recent genealogical research into the Tolkien family conducted by Ryszard Derdzinski, please see Mr. Derdzinski’s blog at http://tolkniety.blogspot.com/ (bilingual: Polish/English)

Listen to the episode here, on YouTube, or in the player below:

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Comments or questions for Barliman’s Bag:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Click the green button at right
  • Email barliman (at) theprancingponypodcast (dot) com

Recommended Reading:

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Hobbit (Mariner Books, paperback) pp. 3-14, “An Unexpected Party”

Tolkien, J.R.R. and Douglas A. Anderson, ed. The Annotated Hobbit (HarperCollins, hardcover)

The Prancing Pony Podcast is going weekly!

Last month, about this time, I provided a pretty lengthy State of the Podcast post, letting you all know the things we’re working on here at The Prancing Pony Podcast. To recap, here are some of the things we’ve done, all starting with the launch of Season 2:

  • Improved recording quality
  • Better post-processing tools
  • New content segments
  • New iOS11 episode organization
  • Exclusive patron content

If it weren’t for the support of members of The Fellowship of the Podcast, we wouldn’t have been able to make some of the improvements we’ve made. But our most recent change — the one we’re announcing today — is the biggest step we’ve ever taken and it’s all because of our patrons…

Recently, our Patreon family helped us reach our second goal — and as a result, we are pleased to announce that, starting with our very next episode, Shawn and I will be releasing The Prancing Pony Podcast on a weekly basis. That’s right: no more waiting two weeks to hear our take on the latest chapter of The Hobbit — every week, you’ll be getting a new episode to take you through your daily commutes, your morning workouts, or whatever it is you do while you’re listening to us1.

We’ve mapped out our schedule through the end of The Hobbit and, barring any setbacks, this new schedule means we should finish our discussion of it sometime near the beginning of the summer! It took us 38 episodes (not including our specials and interviews) to go through the 289 pages of The Silmarillion, for an average of 7.6 pages per episode. The Hobbit is of similar length, but we figure we’ll go through it at a quicker pace. We’ll also have specials — including our new Questions After Nightfall sessions — and maybe an interview or two, so mid-June sounds about right. We hope you’ll enjoy the journey There and Back Again as you walk alongside us!


1 We like to think of you sitting in a comfy chair, Hobbit in hand, a cup of your favorite beverage on a nearby table, with all your attention focused on our analysis, banter and witty repartee, but we know that many of you don’t have any more spare time than we do.

053 – A Hole New World

It’s the start of Season 2 here on The Prancing Pony Podcast as we start discussing the book that first introduced Middle-earth to the world: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit! In this episode, we look at the novel’s composition, publication and lasting legacy. Alan and Shawn share their personal stories about reading The Hobbit for the first time, and talk about the Professor’s surprising genealogy in a welcome return of the Tolkien Fun Fact segment. Plus, learn how young Christopher Tolkien’s attention to detail tended to confusticate and bebother his father.

To see an authentic (championship-level) match of the UK pub game Aunt Sally — to which one reviewer compared Tolkien’s use of conflict in the plot of The Hobbit —see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXybxupIr1o. (Seriously, you should watch it.)

We’d love it if you would spend 30 seconds filling out this survey for our podcast host, Libsyn. No one will get your personalized data; only Alan and Shawn will get your email addresses, and if we get 250 responses, we will enter all email addresses into a drawing. Click here to complete the survey, and thank you!

Listen to the episode here, on YouTube, or in the player below:

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Comments or questions for Barliman’s Bag:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Click the green button at right
  • Email barliman (at) theprancingponypodcast (dot) com

Recommended Reading:

Tolkien, J.R.R. and Douglas A. Anderson, ed. The Annotated Hobbit (HarperCollins, hardcover)

Carpenter, Humphrey. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography (Houghton Mifflin, paperback) 

Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (Mariner Books, paperback)

Judd, Walter S., and Graham A. Judd. Flora of Middle-Earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Legendarium (Oxford University Press, hardcover)

Olsen, Corey. Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (Mariner Books, paperback)

Rateliff, John D. The History of the Hobbit (HarperCollins, one-volume hardcover)

Scull, Christina, and Wayne G. Hammond. J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide (Two Volume Box Set) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, hardcover)

Scull, Christina, and Wayne G. Hammond. The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, hardcover)

 

052 – Exploring The Hobbit and More: An Interview with Corey Olsen

In honor of the 80th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, Alan and Shawn are excited to welcome Corey Olsen, the Tolkien Professor himself, to The Prancing Pony Podcast! We talk about Corey’s work as a Tolkien podcaster — and get the latest news about Signum University, Mythgard Institute, and more — before jumping into a discussion of his book Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Plus, sage advice for parents seeking to raise the next generation of Tolkien-loving fantasy geeks.

Follow Corey Olsen online at his website, http://tolkienprofessor.com, on Facebook (facebook.com/TheTolkienProfessor) or on Twitter @tolkienprof)

For the latest news and events from Signum University, see https://signumuniversity.org.

For the latest news and events from Mythgard Institute, see https://mythgard.org, or follow the Mythgard Academy on iTunes or on YouTube.

We’d love it if you would spend 30 seconds filling out this survey for our podcast host, Libsyn. No one will get your personalized data; only Alan and Shawn will get your email addresses, and if we get 250 responses, we will enter all email addresses into a drawing. Click here to complete the survey, and thank you!

Listen to the episode here or on YouTube

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Comments or questions for Barliman’s Bag:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Email theprancingponypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.

Recommended Reading:

Olsen, Corey. Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (Mariner Books, paperback)

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Hobbit (Mariner Books, paperback)

Down the Hobbit Hole

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

It’s incredible how much ten short words can do, isn’t it? These were the first ten words I ever read by J.R.R. Tolkien, and they changed my life in several ways: by introducing me to my favorite author, by rekindling a dormant love for linguistics, and by starting me on a road that would eventually lead me (many years down the road) to a makeshift recording booth in my closet, where I have the pleasure of co-hosting a podcast that has brought me in touch with similarly minded Tolkien lovers all over the world.

I suspect many of you reading this had your first entry into Tolkien’s world through these ten words as well.  Continue reading

051 – Why Does It Hurt So Much?: The Hobbit Film Trilogy

It’s there and back again at the movies with the Prancing Pony Podcast! After talking about The Lord of the Rings films in our last episode, Alan and Shawn dive into Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit film trilogy. Once again, we watch clips of the changes we liked (and just a few of the ones we didn’t) and discuss them, returning to Tolkien’s own observations about film adaptation to assess the films fairly. Luck lost, love found, dragon-sickness… and how will we ever know if four-legs got some? Video version available on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

For streaming audio and a transcript of the Tom Shippey lecture “Tolkien Book to Jackson Script: The Medium and the Message”, see the Swarthmore College website at http://www.swarthmore.edu/news-events/tolkien-book-to-jackson-script-medium-and-message. (Audio highly recommended!)

The essay “Another Road to Middle-earth: Jackson’s Movie Trilogy”, is published as Appendix C in the 2005 edition of Shippey’s The Road to Middle-earth, and is also available in other collections.

We’d love it if you would spend 30 seconds filling out this survey for our podcast host, Libsyn. No one will get your personalized data; only Alan and Shawn will get your email addresses, and if we get 250 responses, we will enter all email addresses into a drawing. Click here to complete the survey, and thank you!

Listen to the episode here or on YouTube

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Comments or questions for Barliman’s Bag:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Email theprancingponypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.

Recommended Reading:

The Hobbit Trilogy (Extended Editions) [Blu-ray]

Shippey, Tom. The Road to Middle-Earth: How J.R.R. Tolkien Created a New Mythology (Mariner Books, paperback)

Shippey, Tom. J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century (Mariner Books, paperback)

Olsen, Corey. Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (Mariner Books, paperback)

The State of the Podcast

Shawn says it’s my turn to write a Prancing Pony Pondering this week, but instead of giving you 20 pages of my ramblings, I’m actually going to take this opportunity to update all of you on what’s been happening here at The Prancing Pony Podcast and — more exciting, I’m sure — what will be happening over the coming months. Please be sure to comment, or ask questions that you may have, in the comments below.

Where We’ve Been

Just a bit over six months ago, I wrote our ‘birthday’ post, celebrating the one-year anniversary of The Prancing Pony Podcast. At that time, we talked about a few of the plans we had for the PPP in its second year. Specifically, we had five exciting things to share, so it’s time for a report card!

Continue reading

050 – You Have Kept Your Honor: The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy

Put aside the books and join us at the movies! In this episode, Alan and Shawn discuss Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. We watch clips of our favorite (and not-so-favorite) changes and go back to Tolkien’s own words about film adaptation to understand why some worked and others didn’t. Blazing beacons, tragic deaths, Elves where Elves have no business being… they’re all here in this action-packed, star-studded, Oscar-winner-watching episode of the Prancing Pony Podcast! Video version available on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

For streaming audio and a transcript of the Tom Shippey lecture “Tolkien Book to Jackson Script: The Medium and the Message”, see the Swarthmore College website at http://www.swarthmore.edu/news-events/tolkien-book-to-jackson-script-medium-and-message. (Audio highly recommended!)

The essay “Another Road to Middle-earth: Jackson’s Movie Trilogy”, is published as Appendix C in the 2005 edition of Shippey’s The Road to Middle-earth, and is also available in other collections.

We’d love it if you would spend 30 seconds filling out this survey for our podcast host, Libsyn. No one will get your personalized data; only Alan and Shawn will get your email addresses, and if we get 250 responses, we will enter all email addresses into a drawing. Click here to complete the survey, and thank you!

Listen to the episode here or on YouTube

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Comments or questions for Barliman’s Bag:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Email theprancingponypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.

Recommended Reading:

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring / The Two Towers / The Return of the King Extended Editions) [Blu-ray]

Shippey, Tom. The Road to Middle-Earth: How J.R.R. Tolkien Created a New Mythology (Mariner Books, paperback)

Shippey, Tom. J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century (Mariner Books, paperback)

New Outtake for August!

While you wait for our first-ever full-length video episode 050 to come out next Sunday (August 27), we have a new outtake for you from one of our final episodes on The Silmarillion!

If you missed any of our recent outtakes, see page 4 of the Outtakes section. Or view all of them starting here, and check back regularly for more silly mistakes and self-mockery from your hosts!