Introducing Prancing Pony Ponderings!

Beloved listeners – we hope you are as excited as we are to hear about the debut of a new section of our website: Prancing Pony Ponderings!

Before Alan and Shawn embarked upon the Prancing Pony Podcast, we were discussing our ideas in a Facebook group through short essays focused on specific themes in Tolkien’s work as illustrated in favorite passages from the books. We’ve always wanted to take this idea to the next level, and now we’ve decided to do just that.

New podcast episodes are released every other week, so follow this blog and our social media feeds to catch Prancing Pony Ponderings on the weekends between episodes! The first essay is by our Man of the West, Alan Sisto, and will be released this Sunday, October 2.

021 – New World, Man

In Chapter 12 of The Silmarillion, the Second Children of Ilúvatar – the Atani, or Men – awake, and we quickly learn precisely what the Elves think of them.  We revisit the differences that Tolkien created between Elves and Men in both life and death, along with the ominous portent this new race holds for the Firstborn.  Plus, the monotony of Manwë’s wardrobe.

For photos of the Carfax Tower, the Martyr’s Memorial, and other sites likely passed by young Tolkien on his late-night bus ride, visit this page highlighting a number of tourist attractions in Oxford.

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. 103-105, “Of Men”

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

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

020 – Tolkien’s Secret Vice: An Interview with Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins

Alan and Shawn welcome Dr. Dimitra Fimi and Dr. Andrew Higgins as the first guests to The Prancing Pony Podcast! They are the editors of the new critical edition of Tolkien’s A Secret Vice. We turn the word-nerdery up to 11 to talk about Tolkien’s approach to language invention and the lasting impact his work had on the Middle-earth legendarium and the fantasy genre itself. Our inner geeks get the vicarious thrill of handling manuscripts written in the Professor’s own hand.

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:

Fimi, Dimitra, and Andrew Higgins, eds. A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages (HarperCollins, hardcover)

019 – How to Get the Celestial Body You Want

In Chapter 11 of The Silmarillion, the Valar put forth their power to help the Trees bear one last fruit and flower, and then place them in the sky as celestial lights to illuminate all of Arda: the Sun and Moon. We also delve into some of Tolkien’s own concerns about his astronomical myth. Finally, the Valar go shopping for a home security system, but instead opt for a really, really big wall.

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. 98-102, “Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor”

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

Fimi, Dimitra, and Andrew Higgins, eds. A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages (HarperCollins, hardcover)

Flieger, Verlyn. Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World (Kent State University Press, paperback)