Episode 52
July 3, 2023

This Weird Paranoia Paradise Vibe

Hosted by Jared Pechaček, Ned Raggett, and Oriana Schwindt

Jared, Oriana and Ned discuss Ned’s choice of topic: The Fall of Númenor. Published in fall of 2022, The Fall of Númenor is the most recent posthumously published collection of Middle-earth writings, acting as an overall guide to the Second Age of Middle-earth, with its key defining moments in Tolkien’s legendarium being the fall of the titular kingdom of the Dúnedain and the subsequent Last Alliance’s temporary defeat of Sauron. Given that most of the material the book draws on comes from a wide variety of other posthumous Tolkien publications, it can serve as a guide and introduction for those unaware of this deeper history to get a sense of how Tolkien envisioned, however haltingly in some cases, this particular era of his creation. But at the same time, since there is no new material presented in the first place, it can be argued in turn that there is little more here for some readers to learn about, while the fact that it was published in tandem with Amazon’s Rings of Power series while not specifically calling attention to the general connection with that series’s setting raises further overall questions. Does the book do a service in bringing the story of Aldarion and Erendis back to the fore after some decades, given its particular detail in comparison with the rest of the material presented? Is the choice of Alan Lee to present more illustrations as with other posthumous collections an understandable point of continuity or a sign of relying too much on one particular artistic vision of Middle-earth? Are there any particular details or points of interest that have sometimes been overlooked in Tolkien’s conception of his world that come back to the fore more here as a result? And really…just what IS it with Elendil’s description of his son at a couple of points?

Show Notes.

Jared’s doodle. Those birds have to be at least a little distressed.

News of the expanded edition of The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien. 700 pages? Why not?

A detailed report on The War of the Rohirrim’s event at Annecy. Enjoy a separate interview as well.

The Fall of Númenor. It fell indeed.

Our episode on Aldarion and Erendis. Give it a listen, it’s one of our favorites.

Brian Sibley’s done a lot.

The Lost Road and Other Writings does have quite a lot to delve into.

C. S. Lewis’s space trilogy. It…goes places.

The New Shadow and The Notion Club Papers are indeed very unusual and interesting.

Nope, we’re still not over The Rings of Power.

Lebensraum, hoo boy. (We do not approve of the idea at all.)

Mary Renault is truly a vibe and we appreciate her. And we love that she loved Tolkien’s work in turn!

Strictly speaking California doesn’t have private beaches full on…but boy some try.

Further discussion of the physical body in Tolkien can be found in the essay collection The Body in Tolkien’s Legendarium.

Alan Lee’s illustrations of Sauron’s Temple and Moria from the book.

Mike Mignola would have been a fine addition for del Toro’s planned Hobbit films. (And indeed, episode 50 is there for you.)

Ah, David Brent.

Our episode on orcs.

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