053 – A Hole New World

It’s the start of Season 2 here on The Prancing Pony Podcast as we start discussing the book that first introduced Middle-earth to the world: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit! In this episode, we look at the novel’s composition, publication and lasting legacy. Alan and Shawn share their personal stories about reading The Hobbit for the first time, and talk about the Professor’s surprising genealogy in a welcome return of the Tolkien Fun Fact segment. Plus, learn how young Christopher Tolkien’s attention to detail tended to confusticate and bebother his father.

To see an authentic (championship-level) match of the UK pub game Aunt Sally — to which one reviewer compared Tolkien’s use of conflict in the plot of The Hobbit —see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXybxupIr1o. (Seriously, you should watch it.)

We’d love it if you would spend 30 seconds filling out this survey for our podcast host, Libsyn. No one will get your personalized data; only Alan and Shawn will get your email addresses, and if we get 250 responses, we will enter all email addresses into a drawing. Click here to complete the survey, and thank you!

Listen to the episode here, on YouTube, or in the player below:

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Comments or questions for Barliman’s Bag:

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  • Email barliman (at) theprancingponypodcast (dot) com

Recommended Reading:

Tolkien, J.R.R. and Douglas A. Anderson, ed. The Annotated Hobbit (HarperCollins, hardcover)

Carpenter, Humphrey. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography (Houghton Mifflin, paperback) 

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

Judd, Walter S., and Graham A. Judd. Flora of Middle-Earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Legendarium (Oxford University Press, hardcover)

Olsen, Corey. Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (Mariner Books, paperback)

Rateliff, John D. The History of the Hobbit (HarperCollins, one-volume hardcover)

Scull, Christina, and Wayne G. Hammond. J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide (Two Volume Box Set) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, hardcover)

Scull, Christina, and Wayne G. Hammond. The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, hardcover)


Deadline Extended! – Tolkien’s 125th Birthday Giveaway

A very special thank you to those who have taken the time to submit their thoughts about Tolkien for our 125th birthday tribute to the Professor on January 3! We love the submissions we’ve received so far, and we want to make sure we have a chance to hear from more of you! So we are extending the deadline by one week.

That’s right, you now have seven more days to send in your thoughts about Tolkien for our 125th birthday tribute! The new deadline is December 4 at 11:59 p.m. PST – that’s 7:59 a.m. UTC on December 5!

The request is still the same: send us your thoughts by email in 125 words or less, or email us an audio file of 45 seconds or less to theprancingponypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com. We’ll read (or play) as many submissions as we can on our January 3 episode … but whether we read/play yours or not, you’ll be eligible for our drawing for a copy of the newly-released Facsimile First Edition of The Hobbit!

We are also extending the deadline for our other giveaway. Just send a question to Barliman’s Bag before December 4 at 11:59 p.m. PST and you’ll be eligible for a drawing to win a copy of The Art of the Lord of the Rings, by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.

See details and limitations here. And don’t forget to tune in to our January 3 episode to find out who wins!

Last Chance! – Tolkien’s 125th Birthday Giveaway

There are only five days left to enter our two Tolkien’s 125th Birthday Giveaways!

Send in a question to Barliman’s Bag before November 27 to enter for a chance to win a copy of The Art of the Lord of the Rings, a beautifully-curated collection of Tolkien’s own artwork edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.

Even better, send in your thoughts in 125 words or less on what Tolkien means to you by November 27 for a chance to win a copy of the newly-released Facsimile First Edition of The Hobbit! Send us an email to read, or send us audio to play, and we’ll include your tributes in our January 3 special!

Details and limitations on both drawings, and instructions for audio submissions, are on our website here. There are only five days left, so email theprancingponypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com to enter today!

Tolkien’s 125th Birthday Giveaway!

We are pleased to share a special announcement! On January 3, The Prancing Pony Podcast will be releasing a special episode in honor of Professor Tolkien’s 125th birthday – and just like a good hobbit, we are giving away gifts to celebrate! We’ll be drawing the names of two lucky winners.

The first drawing is really straightforward: anyone who has submitted a question to Barliman’s Bag since the beginning of the podcast – up until the deadline of November 27 – will be eligible. So, if you haven’t sent us a question, get one in to us by November 27 and you’ll be eligible for this drawing. The prize? A copy of The Art of the Lord of the Rings: a beautifully-curated collection of Tolkien’s own artwork edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.

The second drawing is even more fun. In our birthday special, we’ll be raising our glasses to toast the Professor, and we invite you to join us by sending us your thoughts on what Tolkien means to you! You can submit this to us in writing or – here’s where it gets fun – send an audio file for us to play on the show. We’ll try to read or play all submissions, unless we get too many and have to choose. But whether we share yours on the show or not, you’ll be eligible for the drawing: a copy of the newly-released Facsimile First Edition of The Hobbit, your first chance in decades to read the story as it was originally published before Tolkien changed it in 1951.

Whether sending written comments or audio, we ask that you keep your submissions to 125 words or less, in keeping with the theme of 125 years of Tolkien and so we can hear from as many of you as possible. Please make sure to include your name and location at the beginning – for example, “Alan S from California … hoom, hm, hrum”. We may not be able to convert or cut audio files, so please keep them to 45 seconds or less (that’s about how long it takes to read 125 words) and submit them in 96kbps or higher .mp3 format as an email attachment to theprancingponypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.

Although it pains us to say this, we are but humble podcast hosts, and cannot cover shipping costs of hardcover books to Tol Eressëa or Far Harad. Though anyone can win, we can only ship the books to US addresses. Our apologies.

Please remember that the deadline for both drawings is November 27 at 11:59 p.m. PST – that’s 7:59 a.m. on Nov. 28 UTC – so get your questions to Barliman and your thoughts in honor of the Professor to us before then at theprancingponypodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.