I shall not keep you long — I have called you all together for a Purpose. Indeed, for Three Purposes! First of all, to tell you that I am immensely fond of you all, and that one year is too short a time to podcast among such excellent and admirable listeners!
Secondly, to celebrate OUR birthday.
That’s right, I’m taking a break from my usual in-depth analysis of various themes and topics in Tolkien’s works today because… well, because we’ve a birthday to celebrate! On February 21, 2016, the first episode of The Prancing Pony Podcast was released and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been a part of making the PPP what is is!
Please note: some of this will be a repeat of what Shawn and I talked about during our FB Live appearance today, but I know not everyone follows us on social media (though you should!) and I wanted a more permanent written record of my appreciation to exist here on the interwebs, as they say.
We think you’ll find some of the plans
we have for The Prancing Pony Podcast
as we enter our second year very exciting!
First, I want to thank J.R.R. Tolkien for the incredible world that he created and for sharing it with all of us. He strove to create an ‘inner consistency of reality’ and he achieved it in a way that no other author has since. As I mentioned during our January 3 birthday toast to the Professor, whenever I read about Middle-earth, I am instantly transported to an incredibly-real, truly believable place. My intellect knows no such place exists — or ever existed — but my heart knows otherwise: these characters, cultures, places, languages, and events are as real as anything I have actually experienced.
Second, I want to thank Christopher Tolkien, whose lifetime dedication to his father’s works has given us so much more than we would otherwise have. Without Christopher’s efforts, there would be no Silmarillion, no Unfinished Tales, no History of Middle-earth series, no Children of Húrin, no Beren and Lúthien, no Letters, and more. The world his father created is much richer for us because of his tireless efforts.
Next, I want to thank all the Tolkien biographers and scholars whose incredible works we’ve benefitted from as we study the life of Professor Tolkien and his legendarium. I’m sure I’ll miss mentioning someone, but names like Humphrey Carpenter, John Garth, Tom Shippey, Verlyn Flieger, Douglas A. Anderson, John Rateliff, Wayne Hammond, Christina Scull, Dimitra Fimi, Andrew Higgins and Corey Olsen all come to mind.
And while we don’t often talk about the films, I also want to thank those involved in the making of The Lord of the Rings movies — after all, their efforts have brought countless new readers into Tolkien’s world and revitalized global interest in Middle-earth. Though I sometimes criticize their choices, I’m grateful for the work of Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and the incredible cast and crew of those first three movies. And a special thanks to Howard Shore whose beautiful music inspires me nearly every day.
Perhaps most importantly, I also want to express my deepest appreciation to my wife and our children, as they have consistently given me the time and opportunity to pursue this passion. Their encouragement and love are invaluable and I am constantly amazed at how much they sacrifice for me. Without their support, this podcast literally does. not. happen.
And how could this list be complete without the Éomer to my Aragorn, the real-life Lord of the Mark, my friend and co-host, Shawn Marchese. When I first had the idea for this podcast, his was the only name who came to mind — for good reason, too: knowledgeable, clever, insightful and funny. Little did I know that, a year later, we’d not only still be going strong, but we’d be looking forward to many more years of Tolkien podcasting to come! And a special thanks to his family as well — I’m sure I’ve tested their patience with my demands on his time, but I’m grateful they allow him to join me here on The Prancing Pony Podcast.
Last, but most certainly not least, I want to thank each and every one of you — after all, it is you — our listeners — that have made The Prancing Pony Podcast the success that it is. When we first started this endeavor, we were pleased that a few of you listened — One Gross, if I may use the expression. And now so many more have joined us on this journey — thank you very much for coming to our little party.
Thirdly, and finally, I wish to make an ANNOUNCEMENT.
No, we’re not going anywhere. Granted, we may not make it to eleventy-one years (or even thirty-three!), but we’ve got plenty more to talk about! What we do want to announce, though, are some of the plans we have for The Prancing Pony Podcast as we enter our second year — we think you’ll find these very exciting!
First, we are scheduled to finish The Silmarillion in July and we are planning to have a few special episodes immediately following: interviews, hopefully, and some film discussion. We’ve reached out to some reasonably big names in the Tolkien community and we hope to have some good ones set up for you soon!
Second, that means we’ll be starting The Hobbit sometime this fall — in September or October, I’d guess. We’re hoping this means that many more people will be joining us as The Hobbit might be a bit more… accessible… than The Silmarillion. So be sure to share us on social media, in Tolkien forums, Reddit, LotRO, or wherever else you find fellow Tolkien readers! (And don’t forget to give us a review on iTunes, even if you listen to us elsewhere — it really helps us out!)
Third, we’re looking into ways to give listeners a chance to join us more often — more FB Live events (we hope) and also the opportunity to Skype with us during an episode recording or a special event!
Fourth, we promise to bring more Tolkien Fun Facts to you, along with listener-contributed comments like we did for our Tolkien tribute episode. We’re also looking into ways to do more prize giveaways!
Fifth, and finally, we’ve heard from more than a few of you that you might be interested in some Prancing Pony Podcast gear: t-shirts, hats, stickers, mugs, shot glasses, and other ‘good stuff’, as the saying goes. Well, we are looking into that right now and hope to have news for you on that front shortly.
This is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!