#21—“The Mirror of Galadriel”

#21—“The Mirror of Galadriel”

After the Fellowship is tacitly “tempted” by Lady Galadriel, Frodo and Sam peer into her watery mirror. The Heads—with Patricia from Comparative Literature as special guest—ponder how it may be that the fate of Lothlórien is bound up with Frodo’s task. We also discuss why the notion of a forest-city is a tantalizing etymological contradiction.

RANDOM-ASS THEME: Badgers

#19—“The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm”

#19—“The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm”

Doom, doom! We delve deeper and deeper into Moria after Gandalf and Gimli piece their way through a tattered historical text. We focus in particular on Gandalf’s humanity as he squares off with a foe that may be his match.

As the Fellowship suddenly finds itself safely in daylight again, but without its leader, our lectio section deals with the shocking dissonance we face when we encounter a calm for the first time after tragedy or trauma—the cruelty of normalcy.

RANDOM-ASS THEME: Brunch

#18—“A Journey in the Dark”

#18—“A Journey in the Dark”

In this chapter, the Fellowship—followed closely by the Heads—begins a long march into darkness after solving a riddle at the entrance to Moria.

We focus on a passage where Gandalf leads the Fellowship through dark passages having long since forgotten the way, and yet “did not falter.”

RANDOM-ASS THEME: Public transportation

#16—“The Council of Elrond” (Part II)

#16—“The Council of Elrond” (Part II)

As the Council of Elrond winds to a close and Frodo Baggins submits himself to a heart-wrenching task, the Heads reflect on the relationship between Evil and Power, taking Saruman and Gandalf as points of study.

How does a good person become swayed to wicked actions? Is it the Ring itself that corrupts, or is it the Ring’s power that corrupts?

RANDOM-ASS THEME: Yoga pants

#15—“The Council of Elrond” (Part I)

#15—“The Council of Elrond” (Part I)

There is much to talk about in the first half of this chapter. We learn yet another portion of the history of the One Ring, and it remains uncertain how the story will evolve from Rivendell.

Our lectio divina section has two would-be allies pitted against each other in their competing ideas about how to save Middle-earth. Will this disagreement be consequential for the story of the Ring?

RANDOM-ASS THEME: Toilet paper