Episode 14
May 7, 2020

But...Faramir! He’s such a good boy!

Hosted by Jared Pechaček, Ned Raggett, and Oriana Schwindt

Jared, Oriana and Ned talk about Oriana’s choice of topic: Tolkien adaptations! Reworking stories in one form or medium of art into another is pretty much part of human history in general and Tolkien’s creations, even in the modern world of copyright and licensing, are no different. Everyone knows about the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movies, sure, but there’s been plenty of other adaptations done and there will be more to come—and the questions of how and why (and more) continue to be relevant. We’ll talk more about specific artworks and productions in the future but this is a general introduction to a big part of how Tolkien’s work is understood by a wider public in recent decades. What are some of our favorite adaptations in any medium? What adaptations of Tolkien’s work would we like to see happen, if money wasn’t an object? What are the key elements of any adaptation that have to be included in order to stay true to Tolkien’s core themes and approaches? And could it simply be the case that we’ve reached a point where there’s too much adapting of Tolkien—or too much attention to it—than is needed when so many newer creative voices are coming to the fore?

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Show Notes.

Jared’s doodle for the episode. Who says the Valar have to look like humans?

New Zealand’s change of state of emergency to Level 3 is a great sign for sure, but the road is long.

The Tom Shippey rumors...remain just that.

Timothy and Samuel West’s version of Beren and Luthien is out (and here’s their Fall of Gondolin).

I mean...the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings trilogy is KINDA well-known.

The Rankin-Bass Hobbit really does deserve more attention. Here’s a great essay about it from a couple of years ago.

The theater Ned saw the Jackson films at was the Big Newport. And it is big.

That specific FoxTrot strip Ned mentioned (forty-hour film rather than twenty, but you get the idea).The entire series of strips is here.

David Lynch’s Dune is a fascinating, weird film. Good...not really. But fascinating and weird.

Fans were arguing about the ‘character assassination’ of Faramir in Jackson’s Lord of the Rings pretty much straight out of the gate. And yes those words were used.

Ursula K. Le Guin’s merciless vivisection of the thoroughly terrible live-action adaptation of A Wizard of Earthsea is just another reminder about why she was one of America’s greatest authors. And yes, the Studio Ghibli version isn’t great shakes, dragon design aside. Third time’s the charm with A24?

Dorothy Dunnett forever.

P. C. Hodgell’s God Stalk and Dark of the Moon were mindblowers for a teenage Ned.

N. K. Jemisin, total hero. And yes The Fifth Season is supposedly still in the works for TNT.

The name Ned was trying to say and stumbling over is Nnedi Okorafor, and he should know better. As of last year, Who Fears Death is still being adapted for HBO.

The David Wenzel-illustrated graphic novel of The Hobbit is really, truly wonderful. (And it did come back into print in 2001, not 2012!) Oddly enough the cover art there doesn’t really equate to what’s inside. Various interviews with Wenzel are around; here’s a solid short one from a few years ago.

Jared does indeed have good reason for boosting comic/graphic art in general. Subscribe!

Saul Zaentz’s Tolkien Enterprises is now Middle-earth Enterprises. And they’re not letting THAT go any time soon.

Here’s that Tom Shippey interview from last year.

The viral tweet about having to compete with Tolkien and other ‘dead guys’ on fantasy bookshelves.

Cassandra Khaw’s official site.

Various editions of the BBC Radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings have been released—here’s a breakdown of a more recent version.

Ned’s Quietus piece on Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings and other Tolkien adaptations of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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