016 – Hit the Road, Jack…

In the first half of Chapter 9 of The Silmarillion, “Of the Flight of the Noldor”, Melkor and Ungoliant leave the dead Trees behind them and continue their crime spree in Formenos. Fëanor goes full-emo and rallies the Noldor to pursue his Black Foe back to Middle-earth, swearing a terrible oath in the process. We revisit Míriel in Mandos, and also discuss how a Silmaril is like a bite of ribeye.

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Recommended Reading:

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Silmarillion (Mariner Books, paperback) pp. 78-85, “Of the Flight of the Noldor”

Tolkien, J. R. R. (Christopher Tolkien, ed.) Morgoth’s Ring (The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 10) (HarperCollins, paperback)

Do Balrogs have wings?

Way back in Episode 007, we invited listeners to submit a 5,000-word essay on whether Balrogs have wings. We never really expected a response, but listener Tom Hillman took up the challenge! We’re truly thrilled to share the results.

In collaboration with a mutual friend (who has asked not to be identified, but rest assured that if he revealed himself, he would be recognized by everyone), Tom has presented us with a well-researched and impressively organized essay detailing the many “subtle points” to be made on the subject. We highly recommend reading it, as we believe it finally definitively answers this long-standing question.

We hope you enjoy it. If you do, visit Tom’s blog Alas, not me (alasnotme.blogspot.com) for more insight and humor about Tolkien and the Middle Ages.

Click here to read: “Do Balrogs Have Wings”

015 – Along Came a Spider

Doom falls on Valinor in Chapter 8 of The Silmarillion. Manwë hosts a feast to reconcile the estranged sons of Finwë, but Melkor chooses that moment to get his revenge with a little help from the mother of all evil spiders (literally), Ungoliant. We bring back Tolkien Fun Facts with a young Professor’s trek through the Swiss Alps, and wonder about Valarin bug spray.

For an image of Der Berggeist by Josef Madlener, the painting that Tolkien deemed the “Origin of Gandalf,” visit this page for the artist’s hometown of Memmingen (German language site): https://www.memmingen.de/76.html

For an image of The Killing of the Trees by John Howe, visit the artist’s home page here: http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/gallery/details.php?image_id=977

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:

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Silmarillion (Mariner Books, paperback) pp. 73-77, “Of the Darkening of Valinor”

Carpenter, Humphrey. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography (Houghton Mifflin, paperback) Book II, Chapter 4, “‘T.C., B.S., etc.'”)

014 – Trouble in Paradise

In Chapter 7 of The Silmarillion, Fëanor crafts the most renowned jewels in the history of Middle-earth – the Silmarils – and conflict is immediately kindled between the sons of Finwë while Melkor stokes the fire. Meanwhile, a listener question about the crafting of weapons leads Alan and Shawn down a nerdy pop culture reference path from which there is no turning back.

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:

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Silmarillion (Mariner Books, paperback) pp. 67-72, “Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor”