Turning Point

In my previous essay for the Prancing Pony Ponderings series, I wrote of Frodo’s meeting with the Elves of Gildor Inglorion’s company in the Woody End in Book I of The Lord of the Rings as an initiation into the mythic world, and found in that topic an excuse to count pages and words. This time around, I turn to another transition point later in the story; and not to be outdone by myself, I am not only counting pages, but I have also prepared a line graph. (In my next Prancing Pony Pondering, I intend to use integral calculus to prove that Tom Bombadil is Eru Ilúvatar.¹)

There are approximately 1145 pages in the standard paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings – including appendices, indices and forewords – making the midpoint of the text the chapter encompassing pp. 562-573: Book III, Chapter X, “The Voice of Saruman.” Continue reading

001 – In Defense of Fantasy

In the first episode, get to know your hosts, Alan and Shawn, and learn about why we started the Prancing Pony Podcast.  We also discuss favorite moments from the life of J. R. R. Tolkien as told in Humphrey Carpenter’s biography, and introduce Tolkien’s ideas about the nature and purpose of fantasy as described in his famous essay “On Fairy-Stories”.

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Recommended Reading:

Tolkien, J. R. R. Tree and Leaf: Including “Mythopoeia” (Harper Collins, paperback)

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

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