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:

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Comments or questions for Barliman’s Bag:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
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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.