Episode 42
September 1, 2022

This Isn’t Freaking Redwall!

Hosted by Jared Pechaček, Ned Raggett, and Oriana Schwindt

Jared, Oriana and Ned talk about Jared’s choice of topic: food in Middle-earth. As Jared says in his introduction, he was reminded of the subject when a semi-viral Tolkien tweet went around again claiming that The Lord of the Rings is in its various parts like the stereotype of recipe blogs: a lengthy and seeming rambling introduction to an eventual meal. But that’s not in fact the case, and the wider question of how food – and appetites and hunger in many different forms – is described by Tolkien in Middle-earth as a whole raises some interesting questions in turn. (We didn’t even talk about Smith of Wootton Major, come to think of it!) Where did the idea the tweet incorrectly claims come from and why do people apply it to Tolkien when it seems much more apt for the works of other writers? How does evil in general intersect with questions of appetite and destruction, and are there differences in how that is applied both in a literal and metaphorical sense? How does hunger play out in Middle-earth and where, and is it more apparent in some works than others? And what would be your preferred meal to join in on if you were given the chance? Also, we have another rather lengthy news section this time out because a certain series is literally about to premiere mere hours from now…

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Show Notes.

Jared’s doodle. Lembas and stew, who wouldn’t want that?

The By-the-Bywater Kitchen Party! It was great. (Catch Jared on the next Kitchen Party live on Megaphonic’s Twitch channel.)

One last Rings of Power trailer. And it’s cluuuuuunky. (At this point there are endless features and promo pieces out and if we tried to track them all we’d seize up.)

TheOneRing.net’s report about how Alex Jordan has joined the Warner Bros anime.

The Embracer rights news, also from TheOneRing.net.

The Marquette University exhibition J. R. R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript’s home page. Absolutely go if you can get the chance; here’s links to the three associated lectures and other programming that’s happening.

If you just want to buy the exhibition catalog, here ya go.

Milwaukee magazine on the exhibition, plus two local TV news reports on it.

Bear McCreary’s Rings of Power soundtrack is streaming on all services; unsurprisingly Amazon’s includes extra cuts.

The J. A. Bayona interview with io9 with the weird ‘elves are political, men are melodramatic’ comment.

Insider’s speculation/semi-behind the scenes piece on Amazon’s financial interest and stances in the series.

There’s endless recipes for things ‘inspired by’ Tolkien and Middle-earth online. Tolkien Gateway has a few specific entries on actual food in canon, including lembas of course.

Does Redwall have food? Does it ever.

Kumis! Ma’amoul! Squid-ink pasta! Try ‘em all.

Peter Jackson’s Aragorn with the deer moment from Fellowship. (It’s at 2:07 in this clip.)

There is indeed a lot out there on fairy tale food as temptation – this 2013 thesis is almost titled that!

Lembas, Tolkien’s Catholicism and the Eucharist – plenty out there as well! Here’s an essay/podcast episode on the matter.

A good chunk of Jackson’s Unexpected Party sequence from the first Hobbit film. (Bilbo’s defeated look in his empty pantry is also at 2:07.)

No, really, John Carter was a very entertaining film.

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