Episode 28
July 2, 2021

Is He Hot Or Is He Tall?

Hosted by Jared Pechaček, Ned Raggett, and Oriana Schwindt

Jared, Oriana and Ned talk about Ned’s choice of topic: The Children of Húrin. The final posthumously published form of one of Tolkien’s original creations from the Book of Lost Tales, the 2007 book, edited and retouched slightly by Christopher Tolkien, The Children of Húrin primarily tells the story of the oldest child, Túrin. One of Tolkien’s most compelling figures, Túrin not merely verges on the antiheroic but at points nonheroic, simultaneously a figure driven by vengeance and justice for his losses and those of his family but ultimately causing the death and destruction of most of what he holds dear—he slays one of Morgoth’s chief lieutenants, the dragon Glaurung, but Glaurung exacts a terrible cost even in death. Is Túrin’s course in life truly the working out of a curse by Morgoth or is it the result of rash actions taken in the face of wiser counsel almost every step of the way? What does it say that it is one of Tolkien’s most vividly physical stories, including various humiliating fates, at one point the threat of rape, and in the end, drawing on one of humanity’s deepest taboos, unwitting incest? For all that various flawed or doomed heterosexual relationships define much of Túrin’s life, what does it say that the deepest connection he feels is to the Elf Beleg, and what does his own tragic death signify? And maybe to end on a lighter note, are those potatoes that the Petty-dwarves are digging up or what?

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Show Notes.

Jared’s doodle. Tol Morwen, one of Middle-earth’s loveliest and saddest places.

Yes, Ned is a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race in all its forms. He could go on.

The announcement of Warner Bros’s planned anime film, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim.

Kenji Kamiyama has quite the rep, trust us.

And yes, as we talked about in episode 25, plenty of history already with Japanese animators and Tolkien!

That Fellowship of Fans Twitter thread with the Amazon contract details. Cross yer fingers...

TheOneRing.net’s piece with its best speculation about the whole issue of rights divisions going on about now.

The Children of Húrin—and there’s a lot going on.

That Tumblr post with Túrin describing himself as the ultimate goth. He would.

Kullervo, the Finnish anti-hero that was the general source for Túrin but not the sole one. Tolkien’s translation, created before he created the Book of Lost Tales but only published formally in 2015, is one of his earliest works.

It’s a little obvious to mention—and Kullervo’s story overall is closer—but yes, Oedipus Rex is also a key template for the dramatic end of the story.

Ned’s old 2007 blog entry on reading The Children of Hurin.

Episode 2—and Tuor is still just a guy.

Glaurung, Tolkien’s other main dragon creation in Middle-earth...is a piece of work.

Is there Turin and Beleg fan art? C’mon, you know the answer.

Alan Lee’s illustration from the book of Glaurung approaching Brethil.

The Petty-dwarves have their own tangled tale, mostly unknown.

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