Hope and Despair

By now, you’ve likely noticed that there are certain themes that Tolkien touches on frequently in the Legendarium that I’m quick to notice and talk about during the podcast — or even here in our Ponderings. Not surprisingly, then, this is another one of those moments, as I finally have a chance to write briefly on one of the most recognizable themes in Tolkien’s works: hope and despair, and the choice we have to embrace one or the other. We’ll even touch a little on the fulfillment of hope in the eucatastrophe. Admittedly, we we’ve been spending the last year or so discussing The Silmarillion in the podcast, and there are plenty of moments of hope and despair in this work. But today I want to focus on two characters from The Lord of the Rings — Denethor and Théoden. Continue reading

006 – Tolkien Reading Day Special

Happy Tolkien Reading Day!  On March 25 every year – the date of the fall of Barad-dûr – Tolkien lovers worldwide celebrate by reading and promoting the Professor’s life and work. For this special, Alan and Shawn read and discuss favorite passages related to this year’s theme of Life, Death, and Immortality, and indulge in a little inter-fandom rivalry.

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Recommended Reading:

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Two Towers: Being the Second Part of The Lord of the Rings (Mariner Books, paperback), pp. 495-513, “The King of the Golden Hall”

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Return of the King: Being the Third Part of the Lord of the Rings (Mariner Books, paperback), pp. 812-820, “The Ride of the Rohirrim”; pp. 832-839, “The Pyre of Denethor”; pp. 1032-1038, Appendix A.v. – “The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen”