Exploring The Lord of the Rings

This is a post that will likely appeal to only truly obsessive fans of JRR Tolkien’s fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. However it might help some of you get through an otherwise boring day at the office if you are fortunate enough to be able to listen to music at your desk – or surreptitious podcasts. And yes, I am one of those lucky ones who, firstly, gets to sit at a PC all day (technically two desktops, a laptop and a smartphone), and, secondly, has an employer civilised enough to realise that the ever-present earphones help – not hinder – productivity*. Corey Olsen, Assistant Professor of English at Washington College in Maryland, hosts a multi-part video series on YouTube exploring Tolkien’s best know work in minute detail. There are some interesting thoughts and ideas in there along with a lot of filler but at thirty-seven episodes and counting, and at two or so hours each, it will certainly fill up a working week.

*Having spent the last eighteen months travelling the eastern borderlands of Mitteleuropa for work, I am eternally grateful for a bit of office-bound monotony. Admittedly countless weeks alone in hotel rooms of varied quality has made me even more anti-social than usual. I do miss Prague though!

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One comment

  1. Thank you for linking to this podcast as I could binge LOTR related info for hours and its been a shite week.

    I wonder if anyone here has played Middle of Earth Shadow of Mordor? Its a fun videogame with a lore heavy yet at times uncompelling story. One thing does delve into that I didnt know about, but which I think makes things really interesting is that after the vanishing of the Valar (or Valor) im going to be embaressed if I get them wrong but basically the Gods of middle Earth, the world of Arda began to decay and fade. Sauron, a maia (lesser God) was so great at ring lore that he devised a way to heal the lands. But only on the condition he and he alone could shape it. He is a tyrant, but at the same time a tyrant who posseses the ability to heal and sustain lands like Lothlorian. Unlike Melkor he prefers order to discord, but will unleash terrible fury at any who opposes his right to govern. His erradication is the reason those realms begin to fade.

    I think its interesting from the point of view of the savior being unwilling to share power. A dictatorship rather than the lover of hell on earth visage depicted elsewhere in the mythology. I believe Tolkien at times floated around the motives of his villains. I dont think this is a retcon of the game either, but rather sonething maybe found in lost tales. I love all the obscure things which could be expanded upon, such as Saurons former power to be a warewolf and even if I remember rightly a vampire bat.

    Will enjoy the podcast Id say, just wanted to share something I wasnt always aware of.

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