Episode 30
September 7, 2021

The Family That Fights Together Stays Alive Together

Hosted by Jared Pechaček, Ned Raggett, and Oriana Schwindt

Jared, Oriana and Ned talk about Jared’s choice of topic: The Fall of Gondolin. One of the three ‘Great Tales’ that formed the key heart of Tolkien’s earliest work on Middle-earth with the Book of Lost Tales, the story of the hidden Elf refuge that was destroyed in an evening of primal violence after a betrayal remained one of the most powerfully resonant for the rest of Tolkien’s creative life. Referred to in other works and in various mentions over his lifetime, it only surfaced in redacted form with the original 1977 publication of The Silmarillion. Christopher Tolkien’s last published work on his father’s fiction drew together the various forms of the story, including the extensively revised and expanded but frustratingly incomplete revision from the 1950s, into one volume. What might be the weight of this story in particular in terms of how to view the rest of Tolkien’s Middle-earth work that followed? How might Gondolin’s story serve as a way for Tolkien to work through his own feelings of experiencing wanton destruction via his war service? What does the experience of Tuor’s encounter with Ulmo on the shores of the sea in the revised version tell us about not only the perspective of Men viewing the Valar but also what strange undercurrents about Middle-earth’s theology might exist? And how did we end up comparing Idril Celebrindal to Avril Lavigne? (Jared’s still indignant about that one.)

Show Notes.

Jared’s doodle. It’s a long way to fall in cool waters...

Indeed, we all three recommend The Green Knight. We all appreciated this lengthy discussion.

Amazon’s tweet announcing when the show would begin, along with THAT image. Which, yes, has been...discussed. (And if you’re wondering why we’re going on about September 22…)

Separately, news about the shift from New Zealand to the UK for season two.

The Fall of Gondolin as a text is really the place to start, just to compare all the various versions and get a sense of how the story changed and evolved.

As always: Tuor is just a guy. (But as Oriana says, rereading the story for this episode provided more insight.)

The History of the Hobbit is very much recommended, almost like a distaff entry in the History of Middle-earth series.

Perhaps you’ve heard of The Clone Wars.

The USS Scamp was the submarine that Ned’s dad and Jared’s grandfather served on together, unknowingly. Small world!

The Alan Lee painting showing Turgon’s fall. That’s really good and unsettling all at once.

The ‘From each according to his ability’ line is rather well known.

Voronwë is a legit interesting character we don’t have enough of

The Seven Gates of Gondolin. At least we have the full detail of those!

Alan Lee’s take on Tuor and Ulmo. (For contrast, here’s John Howe’s.)

Ulmo really does have an intriguing role in the mythology.

Watch out for the Actually Guys.

Idril is even more of a legit interesting character etc.

Were you a Sk8er Boi? Or did you love one? How obvious WAS it?

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