It’s been a year since I started this project, and according to my original plan, I should be winding it up right about now, just strolling into Mordor. Instead, I’m not even out of Fellowship of the Ring. And that’s perfectly okay by me. I wanted to write a blog that would allow me to explore Tolkien’s works, and I’ve done that, learning oodles in the process, and meeting some really great people. That it’s a bit slower than I had hoped is all part of the gig.
With the coming year, I’ve even got a few more pokers to jab-stab into the fire. First, I plan to continue with Frodo’s journey to Mt. Doom. Since we’re at the point in the story where the Fellowship is about to break, I’ve decided to continue following Frodo and Sam, but to also check in with the others in a timely fashion. For example, the same day that Frodo and Sam meet up with Faramir, Gandalf and Pippin are riding for Minas Tirith, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas reach Dunharrow (where Éowyn makes her case to come with Aragorn), and Merry is traveling with Théoden to Dunharrow. Lots is going on, and it would be fun to take it all chronologically from here on out, since Tolkien really doesn’t do that in the narrative.
Second, I’ve mentioned before about wanting to do something similar with the Silmarillion. While doing “five miles a day” makes no sense whatsoever when it comes to that book, doing a page-a-day does. Of course, it wouldn’t be a page every day, and would probably only be once or twice a week, but I think this can happen. I’d take a look at the writing history, the larger story, its connection to other bits in Tolkien’s legendarium, and whatever else along the way. A big part of me wants to start this now with the new year! I don’t know how many I could do each week, but even if I did one or two, at least it would be something.
Third, the thing I’m most excited about is the potential to do a Tolkien podcast with my friend Ryan (who comments here regularly). I’m not sure of really anything at all about it, but I know it’s very likely to happen. We’re shooting for it to be a weekly or fortnightly, 30 to 45 minute conversational podcast focusing on one main topic each episode, while allowing time for little segments on other various characters and topics. We both approach Tolkien from different angles, and it’ll be fun to see where we end up.
The podcast will unfortunately have to wait until I wrap up research and writing of my American Civil War blog, which I’ll finish in late March. It’s even possible that podcast won’t start till later, or hell, maybe we’ll decide that my complete lack of radio voice is too much for the kind ears of would-be listeners. But this is the thing which I’m most excited about and really wish I could jump right in.
The topics we’d cover wouldn’t follow any sort of order like the LotR and Silm posts do. Each episode, we’ll take a broadish topic – say, Redemption in Tolkien’s Writings – and then talk about different stories and characters that deal with Redemption. The shorter segments might feature minor characters like the most awesome Ghân-buri-Ghân or a bit of history like The Kinslaying. Maybe we’ll do a word of the day bit that takes a word like “doom” or “fey” and discuss how Tolkien used it in his writing. We could even feature bits of history from Tolkien’s life from 50 or 100 years ago. The possibilities are really wide. Come for the Tolkien, stay for our witty and charming personalities.
Since the podcast idea is in its infancy, we’re very open to ideas about what to talk about. We’ve got a list, but we’d also like to hear from you.
For the time being, I’m going to stick to three Lord of the Rings posts each week (except around the holidays). Once the Silmarillion posts start, we’ll see where we go from there.
A Few Notes
- Thanks to both lurkerinthemirk and S.B. Roberts, who are both doing some great Silmarillion posts on their respective blogs. They were absolutely my inspiration to do my own.
- Quite a bit goes into even trying to do a podcast. New (good) mic, some ability to record and edit audio (check), and someone willing to jump into with you. Thanks, Ryan!
- Next up: Orc Week!
About the Photo
This used to be the future – a 1980s control room for a small nuclear power plant in Idaho. Always look into the future, even if it’s the future as seen from 30 years ago. Usually that’s more fun anyway.
- Miles today: 10
- Miles thus far: 1174 (260 miles since leaving Lothlórien)
- 129 miles to the Falls of Rauros
- 599 miles to Mt. Doom
Book II, Chapter 8, Farewell to Lórien. Drifting down the Anduin, February 21, 3019 TA. (map)