Episode 27
June 1, 2021

The Brita of Middle-earth

Hosted by Jared Pechaček, Ned Raggett, and Oriana Schwindt

Jared, Oriana and Ned talk about Jared’s choice of topic: Lothlórien. Following the necessary but still disastrous journey through Moria, the Fellowship of the Ring is able to evade pursuing Orcs to journey to this forested Elf realm, itself thousands of years old as an organized society but ruled in recent years by Galadriel and Celeborn. Their experiences there are among the most personal and mysterious of their journey, at once a chance for recuperation but also a stay in a place that is seemingly out of time’s general flow—and, per various comments by Galadriel, increasingly out of time in general. Aragorn firmly rebukes Boromir’s unease at their journey by saying those who visit the land return ‘not unscathed but….unchanged,’ yet the nature of such an experience and the land itself are among the most elusive moments in Tolkien’s work. What does it mean that Tolkien himself, through the narrative personae of the hobbits’ eyes (and, in one memorable sequence, their other senses), seems to reach the limits of descriptive language when outlining Lothlórien? How do the borders function in demarcating Lothlórien from the outside world, and what do those elements suggest about the society that has evolved there? What can be made of the suggestions of ecological and political colonialism at play in the origins of Lothlórien, which Tolkien only explored in more detail after completing The Lord of the Rings? And besides his other seemingly amorphous at best qualities, why is Celeborn terrible at place names?

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Show Notes.

Jared’s doodle. But you’ll have to imagine Nimrodel’s voice yourself.

Sergio Agüero does indeed have tengwar on his arm. But Fernando Torres is the real nerd.

Lothlorien Apartments! Flets not an option.

Charlotte Brändström joins the directing squad for Amazon. This show is never coming out, is it.

Ludi Lin isn’t wrong, really.

Specifically, the pilot was called Babylon 5: The Gathering, and it was indeed a lot earlier than the full show.

Lothlórien indeed. A place, a state of mind, somewhere neither here nor there?

Our episode on Galadriel (and Celeboring).

The Tolkien zine Ned was talking about is the still-going Beyond Bree. (The one he forgot to discuss further is Vinyar Tengwar.)

Peter Jackson and team really did a great job with Caras Galadhon, no lie. And again, all hail Liz Fraser.

The earlier Lórien (and yes, the Vala’s name is Irmo).

Kievan Rus is an intriguing society for sure, but yes, that origin story seems...convenient.

The various Elf kindreds are their own involved tangle, and Silvan Elves and the Sindar and the Noldor did all take different paths…

Ned got the forest in Beleriand wrong—that’s Taur-im-Duinath.

Maedhros, Amrod and Amras fan art showing off the red hair? Oh it’s there.

Eurovision is great, Italy’s winning entry this year was great, but yeah, Ukraine. (And totally separately, Iceland.)

Someone is WRONG on the Internet.

Mallorns! Or, as Tolkien (and Jared) note, mellyrn.

Ecological or environmental colonialism is no joke.

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