Episode 8
November 13, 2019

Who Let This Happen?

Hosted by Jared Pechaček, Ned Raggett, and Oriana Schwindt

Jared, Oriana and Ned discuss Oriana’s choice of topic: Tom Bombadil. Famous—or more probably, infamous—jolly Tom is one of the most unusual characters in The Lord of the Rings, dropped in wholesale, along with his partner Goldberry the River Daughter, the threatening Old Man Willow and the bone-chilling Barrow-wight, from a playful English folklore-tinged poem Tolkien wrote years even before The Hobbit was published. And, well, boy, does he sing a lot—and caper. What’s he even doing in Middle-earth to start with, and how does he, or doesn’t he, fit with the entire logic of the larger story? Is it impossible to adapt him for the screen or even the radio? And—despite all of that—what are some of his better qualities as a character in this story, given that in the end he also inspires some of Tolkien’s most lovely—and, alternately, terrifying—writing?

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Show Notes.

Jared’s doodle for the episode. Tom’s walking along but he’s not alone…

Deadline’s report on Joseph Mawle’s casting as Oren. Hm, yes, Oren. Mm.

Collider’s report on Maxim Baldry’s casting.

Ioreth is pretty damn great, no lie.

Christopher Lee DID do a project that Tom Bombadil appears in—but not the one you’re thinking of.

Väinämöinen has seen a lot, at least according to the Finns.

Oldest and Fatherless: The Terrible Secret of Tom Bombadil.”

If you really must listen to the 1979 NPR production of The Lord of the Rings, be our guest.

Brian Sibley’s 1992 BBC radio series Tales From the Perilous Realm, via CD or Audible.

Farmer Maggot rules—and here’s a little more about why he has that name.

Tolkien’s Letter 144, written to Naomi Mitchison.

The Dude abides.

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is a fun read for sure, especially with Pauline Baynes’s illustrations.

Bored of the Rings is a thing.

The Last Ringbearer by Kirill Eskov is the thoroughly unofficial Russian-language sequel/alternate read on Middle-earth. But it’s part of a long tradition of response literature. (Consider The Wind Done Gone.)

AO3. That’s all we’ll say.

Barrow-wights are seriously creepy as hell.

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