#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

#14—“Many Meetings”

#14—“Many Meetings”

Our first episode of Book Two looks at wrath. The Heads wonder whether anger can be directed towards a good end, or if it is inevitably a tool of the Shadow.

We also look into Bilbo’s notion of life as a story and history as a confluence of many personal stories. The story of Frodo as the Ringbearer began where Bilbo’s ended. Will Frodo’s quest find its end at Rivendell?

RANDOM-ASS THEME: Bike paths

#13—Book One Recap Episode

#13—Book One Recap Episode

In this special show, we reflect on everything that went on over the course of the twelve chapters that make up Book One of Fellowship, and attempt to put everything in perspective.

The Heads run through the the main events so far. Did we miss anything? We also look more closely at particular passages that we found intriguing, compelling, engaging … or just plain interesting.

RANDOM-ASS THEME: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

#12—“Flight to the Ford”

#12—“Flight to the Ford”

As the Hobbits race towards Rivendell, pursued closely by the Ringwraiths (and encountering some would-be trolls on the way), the Heads reflect on how panicked decision-making can lead to hasty or untrue conclusions.

We also take a shot at decoding how exactly the shadow world of the wraiths works. How is Frodo’s wound transforming him and his experiences? What is “the Shadow,” exactly?

RANDOM-ASS THEME: E-readers

#11—“A Knife in the Dark”

#11—“A Knife in the Dark”

The Hobbits make their all-too-public exit from Bree and travel towards Weathertop in this eventful chapter.

The topic of hedges and what they symbolize once again rears its head, but our analysis section focuses more on nostalgia and the longing for what used to be.

RANDOM-ASS THEME: Craft beer

#10—“Strider”

#10—“Strider”

This week we continue our discussion about hedges, boundaries, and xenophobia in Middle-earth. Some racial issues crop up, as well; we mull over ideas about how people of color are—and aren’t—represented in Tolkien’s world.

The chapter is packed with judgments about newcomers and strangers. Are they justified? See whether you agree with us.

RANDOM-ASS THEME: Student loans

#08—“Fog on the Barrow-downs”

#08—“Fog on the Barrow-downs”

As the Hobbits conclude their “short cut”—after some new and dangerous situations—and get back onto the Road, we discuss the feeling of getting back on track after a long hiatus, and not losing sight of the big picture.

We also reflect on the nature of evil in Middle-earth.

RANDOM-ASS THEME: Noise-canceling headphones

#07—“In the House of Tom Bombadil”

#07—“In the House of Tom Bombadil”

What’s in a name? This week the Heads puzzle through what it means to know somebody else—or even ourselves. Are we defined by how we think about ourselves? … by how others think about us? … or maybe by the things we do and say?

We join the Hobbits for story time with Tom and Goldberry as we ask some important questions, not the least of which is: who or what is Tom Bombadil?

RANDOM-ASS THEME: Panera Bread