Category Archives: The Lord of the Rings

VoK 172: The Silmarillion ReRead (Part 4) – The Beginning of the End


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The Vassals of Kingsgrave continue our Silmarillion re-read in which we cover chapters 13-18 of the Quenta Silmarillion; “Of the Return of the Noldor” through “Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin”.

The Noldor have a few bright spots and shining moments before everything starts to go downhill in their ceaseless war against Morgoth.  We visit the hidden city of Gondolin and follow Maeglin the clinically depressed Elf as he tackles his daddy issues and falls in love with his cousin.  Men finally show up on the scene and join the fight; and we get one of the most awesome and bittersweet scenes in the book in which Fingolfin challenges Morgoth to single combat with the expected results.

Hosts Greg, Matt, Alix, Shane, Brett & Matthieu explore all this and various tangents including having several lessons on pronunciation, debate the wingspan of the great eagles, who would win in a fight; Gimli or The Mountain, and why didn’t the eagles just fly the damn ring right to Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings.

Credits:
Edited by Greg

Image art of Fingolfin and Morgoth by artist unknown

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VoK 163: The Silmarillion ReRead (Part 3) – Oaths Before Bros


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Join the Vassals of Kingsgrave for the third part of the ongoing Silmarillion re-read project.  Today we recap chapters 7-12 of the Quenta Silmarillion which covers “The Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor” through “Of Men”.

The action picks up in earnest as the light of the Two Trees are extinguished by Melkor and his giant spider, the Noldor swear a terrible oath, the Valar create the Sun and Moon, and the Dwarves (Stunted People) and Men (The Sickly) finally come into the story.

Hosts Greg, Matt, Shane, Brett & Matthieu debate the dickishness of Feanor, the haughtiness of Elves in general and the unintended consequences of unbreakable oaths made in haste.

Credits:
Edited by Greg

Image art of the “Kinslaying at Alqualonde” by Ted Nasmith

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VoK 155: The Silmarillion ReRead (Part 2) – Dwarves Still Gonna Need Wood


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The Vassals of Kingsgrave continue their Silmarillion re-read series.  Today we discuss the first six chapters of the Quenta Silmarillion.  We finally meet the first Elves and follow them as they make their way West and along the way many adventures and hijinks ensue.  The Dwarves make a brief appearance, there is some bickering between married gods, a lovely island ferry, mighty eagles, Ents and Orcs.

We also learn the twelve different names the Elves have for themselves (Quendi, Eldar, Avari, Falmari, Eldalie, Calaquendi, Umanyar, Moriquendi, Nandor, Sindar, Falathrim & Eglath) in case you were wondering.

Join hosts Greg, Brett, Shane, Alix, Matt & first time podcaster Matthieu as they attempt to keep all the names straight while at the same time try to understand why Tulkas likes wrestling so much.

Credits:
Edited by Greg

Image art by Ted Nasmith

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VoK 154: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith)


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Join Fortytwo, Alias and White Raven for their review of Monolith’s new game, “Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor”. First half of podcast is spoiler-free. Spoiler filled review starts at 43mins.

Credits:
Edited by Vikram (fortytwo)
Hosts: Fortytwo, Alias, White Raven
Intro Music: “hmm ok” by Gablé
Various other music: BoxCat’s Discography

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Links:
AngryJoe vs Olgoth

VoK 147: The Silmarillion ReRead (Part 1) – Meet the Valar


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The Vassals of Kingsgrave kick off their Silmarillion Re-read series.  Before discussing the book itself we break down the troubled history of the publication and the development of the text of what eventually became The Silmarillion as it was published in 1977, four years after the death of J.R.R. Tolkien.  We also analyze the letter that Tolkien wrote in 1950 to a friend in which he explained his reasoning behind writing The Silmarillion and what he hoped it would mean to England.

Join hosts Greg, Brett, Shane, Alix & Matt as they try to get into the head of Eru Iluvatar and his musical selections.

Put on your finest raiment and hearken to the tales of the Music of the Ainur and the Valaquenta.

Credits:
Edited by Greg

Image from the Melkor Was Here Tumblr from March 12, 2014.

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VoK 102: LOTR ReRead (Part 8) – The Fourth Age of Middle-Earth


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Join the Fellowship of Vassals for the final episode of their epic eight part re-read of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings. In this episode, Bina007, Shellfish (Peter), Nadia, Middlecyclone (Amanda), Whiteraven (Brett) and EastTexasDirewolf (Shane) discuss chapters 5 to 9 of The Return of the King and the Appendices.

Topics of discussion include the logistics of Maiar reincarnation; the sex lives of elves; badass ninja hobbits; whether, if Galadriel had a beard, she would be more attractive to Gimli; the ineptitude of the White Council and the relative merits of a wiffle bat and a cricket bat in the event of a Zombie apocalypse.

The chapter discussion runs up to 1h 9m and the appendices to 2h.

This podcast contains spoilers for the works of Tolkien and George R R Martin.

Credits:
Edited by Bina007

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VoK 81: LOTR ReRead (Part 7) – The Destruction of the Ring


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The epic Vassals quest to destroy the One Ring finally reaches Mordor as we complete Book Five and begin Book Six of Tolkien’s fantasy epic Lord of the Rings.  Join Bina007, Shellfish (Peter), Nadia, Whiteraven (Brett), Middlecylone (Amanda) and Teddard (Eddie) as they discuss how culpable Gandalf is; Breomer’s poor swordsmanship, and the general awesomeness of Sam as we journey to the Field of Cormallen.

Please note that this episode contains spoilers for Lord of the Rings and incidentally other parts of the Tolkien oeuvre as well as George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Intro;  3m: Book Five Chapter Eight: The Houses of Healing; 17m: Chapter Nine: The Last Debate; 32m Chapter Ten: The Black Gate Opens;   44m Book Six Chapter One: The Tower of Cirith Ungol; 56m: Chapter Two:  The Land of Shadow; 61m: Chapter Three: Mount Doom; 80m:  Chapter Four: The Field of Cormallen; 90m: Outro; 96m Aftershow.

Credits:
Edited by Bina007

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VoK 76: Metanarrative in the Game of Thrones (Part 2) – Martin and Tolkien (audio essay)


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In this followup episode to VoK 23, Valkyrist continues to look at postmodern theory in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. However, where part 1 dealt with the story and characters, part 2 focuses on structure, and how Martin’s fantasy texts contrast with the more traditional writing of J. R. R. Tolkien.

Contains spoilers for all published books in A Song of Ice and Fire

Credits:
Written and Edited by Valkyrist
Music from HBO’s Game of Thrones soundtrack

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Links:
The Postmodern Condition: A Report on the Understanding of Knowledge (by Jean-François Lyotard)
VoK 23: Metanarrative in A Game of Thrones (Part 1)

VoK 67: LOTR ReRead (Part 6) – The War of the Ring


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The Fellowship of Vassals record their best reread yet, covering the Siege of Minas Tirith; the Ride of the Rohirrim; and the Battle of Pelennor Fields. Naturally, this podcast is chock-full of spoilers for all of Tolkien’s works.

02:30 – White Raven recaps Chapters 1 (Minas Tirith) and Chapter 2 (The Grey Company).  Shellfish accuses Aragorn of being a usurper and MiddleCyclone accuses Gandalf of knowing less than the average Gondorian. Bina007 defends Eowyn’s decision to abandon her people and ride to war, and Nadia supports the manliness of archers.

35:00 – Shellfish recaps Chapter 3 (The Muster of Rohan), in which it is discusses how good orcs are at math; how scary it must be to watch people lay siege upon you; and the difference between Book and Movie Eomer.

50:20 – Teddard recaps Chapter 4 (The Siege of Gondor), including the attack from the Mordor Air Force. White Raven argues that Faramir is baked and Bina007 plays devil’s advocate for Denethor.

1:12:00 – Nadia recaps Chapter 5 (The Ride of the Rohirrim), inciting the mantra, “Theoden is magnificent here, but also really stupid”.

1:28:00 – Middlecyclone recaps Chapter 6 (The Battle of the Pelennor) Fields, the coolest chapter in perhaps ALL of literature. Fact! But we all have a bit of a rant about how the movie handles the Army of the Dead.

1:45:57 – Bina007 recaps Chapter 7 (The Pyre of Denethor), and discusses what would happen if an Eagle took the ring, and more seriously, the overtly religious nature of this chapter (and the twisted love Denethor has for Faramir).

Credits:
Edited by Bina007

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VoK 64: LOTR ReRead (Part 5) – Forum Feedback Discussion


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In this episode our Fellowship of Vassals takes a break from carrying the Ring into Mordor in order to discuss all the fantastic feedback the four previous episodes have had in the Podcast of Ice and Fire forums.

Podcasters: Shellfish (Peter), WhiteRaven (Brett), Teddard (Eddie), MiddleCyclone (Amanda), Scilens (Tanja) and Bina007 (also editing, using music from the Brobdingnanian Bards and Chicago.)

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VoK 62: LOTR ReRead (Part 4) – The Journey into Mordor


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Join our Fellowship of Vassals as they Journey Into Mordor, and discover that the much-dreaded Book Four of Lord of the Rings has more to it than just ‘more walking’.  Not least, many spoilers for all of Tolkien’s oeuvre.

 

  1. 02:45 Shellfish aka Peter describes The Taming of Smeagol, and his deep and abiding fascination for Elvish rope.
  2. 12:45 JoThirteen aka Joanna taks us through The Dead Marshes, and asks what exactly the magicks are that are preserving the bodies.
  3. 19:20 EastTexasDirewolf aka Shane leads us to The Black Gate, in which  we debate whether the black gate is, in fact, just a big gate.
  4. 28:40 Middlecylones aka Amanda speaks Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit in which we discuss  the coolness of armoured elephants.
  5. 45:30 Bina007 gasps in awe at Faramir in The Window On the West, and gets excited about how the Dalai Lama could use the Ring to take over India.
  6. 57:50 Teddard aka Eddie watches over The Forbidden Pool and asks if Frodo was a victim of creaking doors.
  7. 1:01:30 WhiteRaven aka Brett takes a Journey To The Crossroads, in which there are some cool staves and a Venn diagram of doucheyness.
  8. 1:04:45 Nadia leads us into Cirith Ungol and Shelob’s Lair where we discuss Orc technology, Beren and Luthien and whether Frodo is Lord of the Rings.
  9. 1:19:00 Shellfish aka Peter describes the Choices of Master Samwise, as Frodo continues his habit of being stabbed by new and exotic things, this time off-screen, and Shelob Occupies Wall Street
  10. 1:30:00 Outro.

 

Editing credits: Bina007 using music from the original soundtrack to The Two Towers composed by Howard Shore.

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VoK 60: LOTR ReRead (Part 3) – The Treason of Isengard


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The ongoing quest to re-read Tolkien’s fantasy classic continues as the Fellowship of Vassals tackles Book Three of Lord of the Rings aka The Treason of Isengard.

In this  third episode, Nadia, Eiffel aka Matt, Shellfish aka Peter, Amanda aka MiddleCyclones,  Joanna aka JoThirteen, Brett aka Whiteraven and Bina007 enumerate their love for all things Rohan!

Beware of Spoilers: This podcast discusses Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and the Silmarillion in detail.

00:00 Introduction to the Fellowship and Bina’s geeky key stats.

05:00 JoThirteen leads a discussion on Chapter One – The Departure of Boromir – Should this chapter have been in the previous book? How were orcs and trolls made? Why does Aragorn keep Boromir’s betrayal secret?

13:00 Eiffel leads a discussion of Chapters Two and Five – The Riders of Rohan and The White Rider – Is Saruman deliberately trying to look like Gandalf? How come Gimli is happy to ‘ride bitch’? Is Aragorn every funny? Does Gandalf know about the Entmoot? Is it weird that Saruman is abroad before battle?

49:00 Whiteraven leads a discussion of Chapters Three and Four – The Uruk-Hai and Treebeard – is cutting off a hand harder than swinging a sword? Poor Orcs! Did the movie misrepresent Ents?  What happened to the Entwives?

1:05:00 MiddleCyclones leads a discussion of Chapter Six – The King In The Golden Hall – in which we express our Hama-love for seemingly hours; Theoden compared to Mufasa and/or the Arthurian Fisher-King;  why do they let Wormtongue go?

1:22:00 Nadia leads a discussion of Chapter Seven – Helm’s Deep – Do the movies rob Treebeard and Theoden of their agency? The Elves show up! Erkenbrand doesn’t! The absurdity of Aragorn parlaying with the Orcs!

1:45:00 Bina007 leads a discussion of Chapters Eight and Nine – The Road to Isengard and Flotsam and Jetsam – On the new no-nonsense Gandalf the White and the importance of chilling out.

1:54:00 Shellfish leads a discussion of Chapter Ten – The Voice of Saruman and Chapter Eleven – The Palantir – what is the nature of Saruman’s power? Would Theoden have fallen?  How Theoden has all the best lines. Does Saruman know Gandalf has the Ring? Was Saruman always bad? Is it credible that Gandalf doesn’t know about the Palantir?

Edited by Bina007 using extracts of music from the official soundtrack to The Two Towers composed by Howard Shore.

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VoK 53: The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug [2013] (Review)


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Happy New Year Listeners! . Fortytwo is joined by LordManderblee, Bina007, Shellfish, No True Lady, White Raven and Scilens to rate, review and discuss Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013).

Credits:
Edited by Fortytwo

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Links:
Tolkien Professor on Hobbit 2
Elf Lore Comic
Thranduil in 1977’s Hobbit
Golum in Wellington Airport

VoK 52: LOTR ReRead (Part 2) – The Fellowship of the Ring


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Join our doughty Fellowship of Podcasters as they level up and discuss Tolkien’s high fantasy novel at almost as slow a pace as Frodo’s quest to destroy the Ring.

In this second episode, Teddard, Nadia, Shellfish and Bina007 discuss the events of Book Two of The Fellowship of The Ring: The Journey of the Nine Companions / The Ring Goes South.

Beware of Spoilers: This podcast discusses Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and the Silmarillion in detail.

02:00 Nadia leads a discussion on Books 1-2, Many Meetings and The Council of Elrond, in which we debate whether:

  • The Elf Bard is the “asshole of the year”
  • Sauron shows his hand in sending an emissary to the dwarves
  • Gandalf sends Balin into Moria for no reason at all

47:45  Shellfish leads a discussion on Books 3-6:  The Ring Goes South, A Journey In the Dark, and The Bridge of Khazad-Dum, in which we discuss

  • Which fantasy sword has the coolest name
  • Whether Legolas is a jerk (Shellfish has a beef with Elves)
  • Frodo’s hobby of “getting stabbed by new and exotic things”
  • Whether the Balrog has wings

1:13:55 Teddard leads a discussion on Books 7-8: Lothlorien and the Mirror of Galadriel:

  • “there seems to be this bird called Galadriel, and she seems to be quite important”
  • Is Sauron drawing Frodo toward the Mirror of Galadriel?
  • Is Nadia the Samwise Gamgee of Vassals of Kingsgrave?

1:23:00 Bina007 leads a discussion on Books 9-10:  The Great River & The Breaking of the Fellowship in which we discuss:

  • Tolkien clearly not caring as much about food as George R R Martin
  • Yet more Legolas hate from Shellfish
  • And accusations that Elrond is basically incompetent in how he sets up the Fellowship!
  • The nature of Boromir’s corruption.

1:40:00 Closing thoughts on Book Two and a special song for Shellfish.

Credits:
Edited by Bina007 using music from the  Brobdingnangian Bards’ album Memories of Middle Earth.

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Links:
Tom Shippey’s book Tolkien: The Author Of The Century

VoK 50: LOTR ReRead (Part 1) – The Return of the Shadow


Book Cover

Join our doughty Fellowship of Podcasters as they level up and discuss Tolkien’s high fantasy novel at almost as slow a pace as Frodo’s quest to destroy the Ring.

In this first episode, EastTexasDirewolf, Teddard, Nadia, Shellfish, Eiffel and Bina007 discuss the events of Book One of The Fellowship of The Ring: The First Journey/The Ring Sets Out.

Beware of Spoilers: This podcast discusses Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and the Silmarillion in detail.

00:00 Introductions – how we got into the books

08:00 How we rate Fellowship compared to the other two volumes and whether we faff about too much with Tom Bombadil

12:00 EastTexasDirewolf leads a discussion of the The Prologue and Chapters 1-6 (Frodo finally leaves the shire and runs into elves, black riders and Tom Bombadil).  We debate:

  • whether Tolkien’s directions are a bit Quaithe-y;
  • whether pipeweed is in fact weed;
  • the endearing xenophobia of hobbits;
  • Gandalf as the Doran of Middle Earth;
  • whether Gollum eats babies;
  • the alleged creepiness of Sam and Frodo’s friendship;
  • whether Fatty Bolger is bonkers or a badass;
  • and the nature of the evil in the forest.

41:00 Eiffel leads a discussion of Chapters 7-12 in which we discuss:

  • the nature of wights;
  • Tom Bombadil’s mad pick-up lines;
  • how Gandalf is susceptible to the Ring;
  • how the Black Riders are weaksauce;
  • the misremembered tactical idiocy of going to Weathertop;
  • how far Frodo has free will;
  • the insane badassery of Glorfindel;
  • how Elves are kind of Cylon-y – hobbits not so much;
  • what’s the use of gods anyway?

1:20:00 Final thoughts on Book One.

Credits:
Edited by Bina007

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Links:
The Tolkien Professor

VoK 43: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey [2012] (Review)


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Approached out of the blue by the wizard Eiffel the grey, fortytwo finds himself joining the company of forum dwellers LordManderblee, Shellfish, Easttexasdirewolf and Teddart to review Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit 1: An Unexpected Journey. Their journey will take them through treacherous spoiler filled territory of Hobbit the book, LoTR trilogy and other Tolkien Lore; lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs, Sorcerers and sexualized dwarves !!!

Beware of spoilers, the following podcast discusses the movie Hobbit 1, Hobbit the book and Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Credits:
Edited by Fortytwo
The Misty Mountain by Howard Shore

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Links:
Dwarf Cheat Sheet
Tolkien Professor
Peter Jackson’s Youtube Channel
Hobbit Contract